Fifty-eight. That is the number of workers who have died in South African mines to date this year, higher than the 51 deaths during the same period in 2017.
The figure was confirmed by the mining industry on Friday during the launch of the national day of health and safety 2018 as part of its recommitment to the shared goal of zero-harm campaign and ensuring all employees can go to work in the knowledge that they will return home, every day, unharmed.
Roger Baxter, chief executive of Minerals Council South Africa (MCSA), said the deterioration in safety performance was unacceptable, saying the industry was still facing serious safety problems despite an 88% improvement in fatality rates between 1993 and 2016.
“We recognise that much more still needs to be done and the minerals council and its members acknowledge our responsibility to do all we can to achieve our shared goal of zero harm. We ask all industry stakeholders to share in our commitment to safety and health, first, always and everyday,” Baxter said.
“For us, this recommitment and reaffirmation are much more than the dedication of a single day to health and safety. Inherently, it is about care and respect for people. The ultimate goal of this initiative is to remind each and every company, manager and employee that the safety and health of employees are the uppermost priority for this industry.”
Baxter said that over the next month, 66 members of the minerals council will be hosting safety and health days at each of their operations to recommit and reaffirm the industry’s commitment.