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Safety and health

Our approach

The priority of keeping our people safe

Our target is zero fatalities, zero injuries and zero harm.

Our people have the right to work in a safe and healthy environment, thus Keaton Energy is committed to conducting operations within the spirit and detail of the MHSA and the OHSA.

The Board monitors Keaton Energy’s safety and health performance through the SHE Committee, which meets at least quarterly. This Committee is chaired by Dr David Salter and its members include Gerard Kemp and Mandi Glad.

Responsibility for health and safety is driven from the top down and is viewed to be everyone’s responsibility. On site, the SHE Manager, Mine Manager and all employees are responsible for health and safety.

Management of safety and health

Formal health and safety committees are in place at all operations. These committees meet regularly to discuss pertinent safety issues and risks observed during the previous shift, day, week and month. This ensures operational teams effectively communicate any safety issues and risks as well as providing ongoing assessment of our safety performance. Every incident and accident is investigated by the SHE and Mine Managers at mine level. The findings of these investigations are reported to the group EXCO, the SHE Committee, the Board and to the DMR as specified in the MHSA.

Each mine tracks its respective adherence to standards and legislation, and progress to zero harm, through self-assessments and head office and external audits. Key progress milestones include visible felt leadership, which we consider to be a key driver of safety excellence, effective HIRAs and PTOs specifically focused on the elimination of repeat incidents.

We have also developed and implemented a COP for each site drawn up in accordance with the DMR 16/3/2/1-A5 guideline issued by the Chief Inspector of Mines, detailing how to identify, prepare for and respond to all emergency situations affecting employees and surrounding communities, for instance fire, flood and bomb threats. Our operations have drawn up and implemented all the mandatory COPs as required and listed by the DMR. These COPs are revised and updated every two years or as required by the MHSA.

Our entire workforce is represented in formal joint management-worker forums.

Safety performance

    Vanggatfontein Vaalkrantz
    FY16   FY15   FY16   FY15  
Fatality-free man hours   7 143 666   5 673 673   1 433 947   286 893  
Fatality-free shifts   4 623 065   3 563 978   203 207   31 034  
Lost-time injuries   1   3   2   2  
LTIFR per 200 000 man hours worked   0.14   0.10   0.06   0.22  
Medicals conducted   2 000   1 982   1 495   524  
Cases of occupational disease   –   –   5   2  

The safety focus during the year at Vanggatfontein was to build on the foundations of the previous year’s task team outputs:

  • the implementation of a safety communication strategy;
  • consistent disciplinary codes applied equally across all levels;
  • self-assessments conducted by business units;
  • implementation of revised HIRA standards;
  • continued consistent visible felt leadership;
  • ongoing benchmarking and sourcing of best practices.

Continued safety improvements including visible felt leadership walks, the implementation of the safety system and greater employee involvement. In addition, the new safety mantra of SLAM – Stop Look Assess and Manage – was launched.

The existing safety system was audited, the results of which prompted a full review of the contractor packs with a specific focus on safety policies and legal compliance. All safety findings are now logged on a safety management system for continuous monitoring and improvement.

Health performance

Maintaining a healthy workforce promotes productivity and reduces health risks. An effective health management system is therefore a priority.

Occupational Medical Surveillance Programme
Medical surveillance is a legal requirement of the MHSA and OHSA and conducted on all our operations as identified and specified in the applicable mandatory COP based on the DMR guideline, DMR 16/3/2/3-A1 Minimum Standards of Fitness to Perform Work at a Mine. It is used to identify trends in health deterioration potentially as a result of occupations or work environments including individual health issues. The information gathered plays an important role in mitigating risks. At Keaton Energy, surveillance is currently outsourced to third parties. At financial year-end our occupational healthcare service providers were Ganala Kriel Occupation Health and Wellness Centre at Vanggatfontein and Occu-sure at Vaalkrantz. Our occupational health clinics and medical surveillance programmes receive consistently positive ratings during regular DMR audits.

All mine employees, both permanent and contract, undergo a medical examination when they join the group and periodically during their service at Keaton Energy. Key occupational health indicators are then continually monitored through regular wellness checks. On leaving the group, all employees undergo an exit medical.

We further provide regular health briefings, which encourage employees to be vigilant about conditions that could affect their own or their colleagues’ safety and health. We provide information on the implications of exposure to various workplace risks and educate employees on measures to maintain good health. All members of the workforce are encouraged to test for chronic diseases and those on chronic medications are frequently reminded to take their prescribed medication. The occupational clinics provide both a hypertension and diabetes awareness programme.

Noise induced hearing loss and occupational lung diseases are prevented through technical engineering programmes aimed at suppressing noise and dust in the workplace, the provision of protective equipment and ongoing employee education and involvement.

Employees diagnosed with TB are managed according to the national health guidelines and may continue to work in their normal positions once they are non-infectious. If diagnosed with a TB infection, the employee is required to remain off duty for two weeks and is removed from underground work until the Occupational Medical Practitioner deems him/her fit for duty following a further diagnostic X-ray. Treatment is administered by local clinics and the DOTS strategy is implemented. TB affected employees also receive nutritional support. All TB cases are investigated in terms of section 11.5 of the MHSA.

Our HIV/Aids management strategy is in line with national DMR and Department of Health guidelines as well as current best practice. A voluntary counselling and testing programme is in place at Vanggatfontein. The occupational health clinics on the mines offer pre-HIV and post-HIV test counselling, ongoing HIV counselling and monitoring of CD4 counts and viral loads on a monthly basis. HIV-positive employees are referred to local clinics for monthly anti-retroviral medication. HIV-positive employees also receive treatment for opportunistic infections and immunisations (flu vaccinations) as well as nutritional support. Employees are encouraged to disclose their status to their partners.

Primary healthcare
Due to the remote location of Vaalkrantz and as part of our community social investment, the mine’s clinic provides primary healthcare services to all employees and contractors working on the mine.

Occupational Health Programme
Both Vaalkrantz and Vanggatfontein employ occupational hygienists.

Occupational health exposure risk assessments are conducted and a health risk register developed for occupational exposures on an annual basis. Monitoring is conducted by the appointed occupational hygienists.

The required mandatory COPs were reviewed during the year. These mandatory COPs are revised every two years and are updated accordingly.

Occupational hygiene sampling, testing and monitoring is performed on a frequency as identified and specified in the health register, with quarterly, six monthly and annual reports submitted to the DMR in accordance with the MHSA.

We further provide regular health briefings with various related topics being discussed at weekly toolbox talks.