Lonmin, the world’s third largest platinum producer, has achieved a full calendar year without a fatality, the first in the company’s history.
This important safety milestone was reached on Monday 27 October 2014, the same day that the Lonmin mining operations clocked up 6 million fatality free shifts. The last fatal accident at Lonmin’s operations was on 26 October 2013 when Mr Siyabonga Sibango succumbed to his injuries after an underground vehicle accident.
Lonmin CEO Ben Magara paid tribute to the employees and contractors for their dedication and commitment to the belief that Zero Harm is achievable: “This is the first year in Lonmin’s history in which the Company has not suffered an operational fatality. Understandably we had minimal mining activity for five months during the platinum wage strike, but this is counterbalanced by the post-strike ramp up process which is statistically riskier than ordinary steady-state mining.”
Lonmin has invested significantly in safety campaigns over the past 24 months based on a holistic approach to safety that includes communities and schools and goes far beyond the mine gates.
“Our teams have worked tirelessly to engage employees in innovative ways around health and safety both on and off duty. Complacency is the enemy and we are continuously looking for ways to energise and engage our teams around safe behaviour at work, on the road and at home,” said Magara.
At the heart of Lonmin’s safety ethos is the fundamental right of every employee and contractor to withdraw from any area or situation that they deem to be unsafe, for whatever reason.
“Safety is ultimately about a mind-set and an attitude. It’s the small, continuous improvements combined with the daily vigilance of every employee and their willingness to comply with and uphold safety practices that make the difference between life and death in our industry,” added Magara.
In addition, Lonmin’s 1B/4B shaft is the current holder of the prestigious JP Ryan trophy for safety excellence in mining, with 8 million fatality-free shifts, a South African safety record.