SA mine deaths down in 2010

One-hundred-and-twenty-eight mine workers died in 2010, which was a 24% improvement over the previous year, Chamber of Mines CEO Bheki Sibiya said on Tuesday.

“We are very sad about the 128 mine workers who lost their lives in 2010,” he told media in Johannesburg, before requesting a moment of silence.

However, it was the best annual improvement since 2003, despite deeper mines and the slow progress towards a culture of safety in South Africa, he said.

There were 168 deaths in 2009.

International benchmarks
The chamber uses 2003 as the benchmark year, as this was when it agreed with unions and the government that by 2013 local mine deaths should be comparable to international benchmarks, as represented by Australia, Canada and the United States.

These countries measure fatality rates, which are either fatalities per 1 000 people working or fatalities per million hours worked. The Chamber was not yet able to provide fatality rates as it did not have the necessary labour numbers, or number of hours worked, from the department of mineral resources. They would be available later in the year.

“The annual milestone is a 20% improvement per year,” said Sietse van der Woude, the safety and sustainable development adviser for the Chamber of Mines.

South Africa had an average 24% a year improvement, he said.

Fatalities per million hours worked in 2003 were 0,29. This had improved by almost 50% in 2009 to 0,15.

A dramatic improvement was also recorded in deaths resulting from seismic activity, said Van der Woude.

By November, there had been four deaths for 2010, he said, although this figure was provisional. This compared with the 23 mine workers who died in seismic-related accidents in 2007.

Van der Woude said the 2010 figures, provided by the mineral resources department, were provisional as they could change if workers who were injured in 2010 later died, or deaths that were deemed to be mine-related at the time were later found to have been a result of natural causes.

The chamber represents at least 80% of the mining industry. Last year 69% of the fatalities occurred at major mining companies.

Long-term vision
Sibiya said the chamber’s long-term vision was for every mine worker to return home unharmed every day.

To achieve this, the chamber planned to work with the government and unions to accelerate the implementation of the 2008 Tripartite Action Plan on Health and Safety.

Other initiatives include a learning hub, which was established in 2009 to encourage mining companies to learn from the “pockets of excellence” in the industry.

It was also working on transforming the industry’s culture to one that was more participative and caring.

The chamber would also be pushing for innovative approaches to training. About 40 000 health and safety representatives and union shop stewards would be trained by 2013.

A Centre of Excellence in Mine Health and Safety was planned to provide information that, if implemented, could improve safety and the quality of research. — Sapa

Advertisting

Mabuza’s ‘distant relative’ scored big

Eskom’s woes are often because of boiler problems at its power plants. R50-billion has been set aside to fix them, but some of the contracts are going to questionable entities

ANC faction gunning for Gordhan

The ambush will take place at an NEC meeting about Eskom. But the real target is Cyril Ramaphosa

What the law could clarify this year

Lawfare: Major developments are on the cards where law and politics meet, including the first amendment to South Africa’s Bill of Rights

The secret ‘Warmonger’ at the SSA

A listening device acquired by the agency is at the centre of an alleged R600-million fraud operation
Advertising

Press Releases

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Is your tertiary institution is accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Is your tertiary institution accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

VUT chancellor, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, dies

The university conferred the degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa on Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi for his outstanding leadership contributions to maths and science education development.

Innovate4AMR now in second year

SA's Team pill-Alert aims to tackle antimicrobial resistance by implementing their strategic intervention that ensures patients comply with treatment.

Medical students present solution in Geneva

Kapil Narain and Mohamed Hoosen Suleman were selected to present their strategic intervention to tackle antimicrobial resistance to an international panel of experts.