An employee was killed in a fall of ground accident on Friday at Harmony Gold‘s Masimong mine, in the Free State.

This comes in the wake of the Department of Mineral Resources’ (DMR) announcement of the 2015 mining health and safety statistics on Thursday.

Statistics revealed only a marginal improvement, with 77 reported fatalities in 2015, compared with 84 in 2014. While this equates to an 8% improvement year on year, it is only seven fatalities less.

In terms of the number of fatalities caused by fall of ground incidents, while the amount of incidents decreased from 25 in 2014 to 22 in 2015, fall of ground is still one of the major contributors to fatalities in the South African mining industry.

Speaking at the DMR statistics briefing, retired CEO of Harmony Gold Graham Briggs said that while the industry numbers are the lowest ever recorded in the history of the mining sector and are certainly noteworthy, the industry must continue to work towards its common goal of achieving zero harm.

As a member of of the Chamber of Mines, Briggs commended the DMR on its open door policy surrounding discussion on improved health and safety.

Harmony’s management expressed their heartfelt condolences to the members of the deceased’s family and his colleagues.

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