As mining incidents and fatalities increase, mining chief executives, labour and government representatives need to work collectively to improve the safety and health of mine workers.

The ‘Safety and Health First, Always and Everyday’ campaign launched this August by the Minerals Council South Africa (MCSA) is set to promote zero harm and better safety practices in the South African mining industry.

While lobbying efforts are encouraging, and mining groups have committed to implementing safety and health days in every mining operations, the question remains: How can mining organisations proactively address the high fatality rates and poor safety performance?

Focus on Integrated Safety Practices

Firstly, the safety and health of mining employees should be the uppermost priority for the South African mining industry, according to MCSA CEO Roger Baxter, especially given the recurrent high fatalities – 58 deaths of mine workers this year alone.

A dedicated SHEQ solution can provide a holistic view of all mining assets, including the most valuable – its employees. An integrated platform can offer wide applications from medical history and PPE management to incident response and employee permits and responsibilities.

By integrating with core management functions – productions, finance etcetera – and using the latest Industry 4.0 technology available – a comprehensive SHEQ solution can improve the overall safety and health of the mining operations and its people.

SHEQX’s solution transforms your company’s data into rich visuals for you to collect and organise, so you can focus on what matters to you. Stay in the know, spot trends as they happen and push your business further.

Avoid Repeat Mining Incidents

Most fatalities in the local mines are in fact due to the recurrence of similar previous incidents, according to Department of Mineral Resources chief inspector David Msiza.

Mining deaths can become avoidable in the future thanks to proactive safety policies and technology innovations such as IoT-enabled machinery that allows mine workers to avoid unsafe areas completely, therefore reducing exposure to risk and decreasing fatalities.

Better employee risk analysis and incident management ensure that management can handle all incidents successfully and timely from identification and investigation through to action management and closure.

Implementing a SHEQ system for mining operations can significantly improve the visibility, management and reporting of risk to prevent incidents and losses before they occur, improve operational downtime, and ensure the safety of all mining workers.

Click here to read about MCSA’s mining safety campaign initiative.

Health, safety, environmental and quality (SHEQ) technology solutions tailored to the mining industry can hold the key answers to better and safer mining.

Our SHEQX (Health, Safety, Environment and Quality) management solution, part of the XGRC product range, is an integrated management system that aggregates SHEQ data in a single, auditable database. It manages analysis and reporting effectively, ensuring effective compliance and a robust approach to corporate sustainability.

SHEQX suite of modules assists in driving compliance with international standards and guidelines, e.g. ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and more.