Proactive safety, health, environment, quality and training (SHEQT) programmes have resulted in a record 27 months of fatality-free work for leading contract mining firm Redpath Mining Africa.
Redpath Mining Africa SHEQT general manager Johan Jansen van Vuuren points out that fatality and injury prevention is of primary importance to the company. “A fatality prevention programme was established in 2012 to combat fatalities, with Redpath Africa currently working 27 months fatality-free. During the 2013 calendar year, we achievedthree months accident-free and eight months lost time-free work across Africa.”
These are some of the best safety results that Redpath Africa has achieved, and the company plans to build on the success achievedin 2013. Jansen van Vuuren does, however, admit that mobile equipment remains a key issue in the cause of serious injury and fatality. “As a result, we are currently in the process of rolling out a mobile equipment initiative and awareness campaign to maintain safety in this regard.”
Redpath Africa is accredited to conduct various skills training programmes, including; blasting assistant training, competent A training and competent B training, safe work procedural training, learner miner and learner artisan training and specialised raisebore training, which is conducted in association with Redpath Canada.
After Redpath Africa’scontinued success at the Glencore Mopani Project in Zambia, the next step is to contribute to Glencore’s Centre of Excellence training facility to ensure that all future employees are adequately trained in all necessary skillsets.
The focus of the Centre of Excellence will be to equip new employees with the necessary skills that will enable them to achieve the production requirements safely, on time and within budget,” explains Jansen van Vuuren.
Redpath Africa will also be conducting self-directed work team training at its head office andwill include simulated training through the aid of 3D simulators. This will include training on a drill rig, LHD, rock bolter and load haul dumper. Jansen van Vuuren observes: “The goal is that once all training has been completed, the operators will be adequately equipped to handle real world scenarios.”
Jansen van Vuuren reveals that Redpath Africa will also extend the scope of its Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA) accredited training and development facility to offer registered apprenticeships that will qualify the participants as Section 13 artisans – who are formally trained and qualified professionals trained through an extensive three-year apprenticeship programme.
“The training facility will train millwrights to be a part of the self-directed work teams.These are small work teams comprised of a highly-qualified workforce. A millwright is an artisan who is highly skilled in electrical, mechanical and welding skills. In addition to this training, the training facility will also offer defensive driving training and safe operating procedure training,” he adds.
The welding qualification that the millwrights receive will be in line with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) standards. This training facility will also be responsible for the specialised raisebore training. This programme was developed by Redpath Canada and will be made available in an E-Learning format, as well as at the training facility.
According toJansen van Vuuren, SHEQT leadership is extremely important, and leaders in this field should always be present to train, coach and audit the various work teams. “Supervisors and management have clearly defined responsibilities within the organisation. Their leadership within these areas is important as it plays a key role in defining the company’s culture. SHEQT leadership will continue to be a focal point for Redpath Africa,” he concludes.