We believe that our pro-active and preventative approach, as part of our safety strategy and system, contributes towards achieving zero harm.
Our operations fall under the jurisdiction of the Mine Health and Safety Act, and all employees receive the required safety and health training.
We believe that leadership commitment is crucial to success in safety. Executives – from board members to senior management – undertake regular site visits and interact with employees on all levels to discuss operational safety issues. We expect all employees – at every level – to be aware of the safety issues and policies that impact their job, other employees and the community in general.
Managers, upon learning of any circumstance affecting the health and safety of the workplace or the community, must take appropriate action to address the situation. Employees must immediately advise their managers of any workplace injury or any circumstance presenting a danger to them, other co-workers or the community in general, so that timeous corrective action can be taken.
Personal responsibility for safety, leading by example, encouraging safe behavior and eradicating unsafe acts will be achieved by:
- Providing continuous training and coaching in addition to the necessary resources and personal protective equipment;
- Monitoring and analyzing workplace conditions and the employee’s interaction with them; and
- We support and enable Section 22 and 23 of the Mine Health and Safety act, where workers are responsible to look after themselves, their colleagues and to remove themselves and their colleagues from dangerous work places.
Stakeholder engagement structures and processes are in place at every level of the organization to ensure that open and honest discussions about health and safety are possible. Continued awareness of safety issues, driven by management in consultation with organised labour, is vital to ensure accident prevention.
Together, we are committed to ensuring that our mines and associated infrastructure are operated in a responsible and safe manner.
Health and Wellness
The health and wellbeing of our employees has a direct impact on their ability to perform safely in the workplace. Our objective is to prevent people from being exposed to occupational risks in the workplace. If an occupational disease does occur, we have the responsibility to learn from the incident and put measures in place to prevent a repeat.
As a PGMs and chrome company, the most significant occupational risks facing our employees are tuberculosis and noise-induced hearing loss.
To help combat noise-induced hearing loss, Eastplats provides hearing protection and noise zoning in the workplace, conducts environmental noise assessments, runs regular audio assessments to ensure early detection and hosts hearing conservation drives.
In an effort to reach the target of detecting and treating 90% of all new TB infections, the Company monitors chest x-rays at annual medical assessments and hosts regular awareness and educational campaigns.
Occupational lung disease, associated with long-term exposure to silica dust underground, is a more significant occupational health issue in gold mining – but is present among some Eastplats employees who have previously worked in the gold sector, and is monitored by our Occupational Health team.
Occupational health statistics are collated and reported in accordance with the requirements of the Mine Health and Safety Act. Cases of compensable occupational disease are reported to the Medical Bureau for Occupational Diseases. No over exposure to dust and diesel fumes was reported since July 2013 to June 2022.
Eastplats also recognizes that the management of HIV/Aids is an integral part of its approach to ensuring the well-being of its employees. The Company holds an annual wellness day with a focus on HIV/Aids prevention by providing free screenings and awareness campaigns. Eastplats reports its monthly medical data compiled by its medicals staff to our Triparty Health and Safety Meeting.
Crocodile River Mine has an occupational nurse on site and makes use of an Occupational medical practitioner center for medical screenings The primary functions of the center include occupational health services, health risk assessments (Blood pressure, blood glucose, BMI), monitoring of chronic conditions and treatment of minor illnesses and injuries.
The healthcare practitioners also provide consulting and referral services, prevalence assessments, impact analyses and wellness-related educational and awareness information to employees. An operational Wellness Committee interacts monthly to monitor progress on the wellness strategy and find innovative methods to prevent occupational health-related diseases.