Advice to mine bosses

By Graeme • February 2nd, 2011

I spent three years working for the Debswana diamond company in Jwaneng, Botswana. It was my first exposure to life on a mine and one of the things I remember was the importance placed on mine safety training. We were always working towards having a great incident free record for the world to see.

Mine health and safety continues to come under the spotlight and the recent death at Gold Fields Driefontein mine in South Africa has forced the spotlight on mine bosses. According to national secretary for health and safety, Erick Gcilitshana, the The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in South Africa “will forge ahead with a campaign to ensure the necessary amendments to the Mine, Health and Safety Act are put in place for the prosecution of mine bosses.”

If I was a mine boss I would put my people before profits. I would get out of my office, put my hard hat on and walk amongst my people. I would spend more time in my surveillance and security operation as they are the eyes and ears of a mine. I would then report back to my management team on a regular basis so as to create a culture of safety for my people. It’s not about the incident free record, it’s about creating a genuine culture of safety and it starts at the top.

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