Overview of progress
|Our focus for 2016||What we achieved||Self-assesmnet|
|Continuing education and awareness initiatives||Ongoing at all operations|
|Targeting a 10% increase in the uptake of voluntary counselling and testing||The group achieved a 4.9% increase in the uptake of voluntary counselling and testing|
We recognise that mining carries inherent health risks. Effectively managing associated conditions and diseases is a direct investment by the group in our people, and managing their health is in the interests of our long- term sustainability. The group provides a work environment that minimises health risks by ensuring adequate surveillance of workplaces and employees. This promotes work practices conducive to the long-term wellbeing of employees. The group provides appropriate and adequate healthcare facilities and resources.
Management of the major diseases at our mining operations remains a top priority.
At all operations, occupational health and employee wellness includes the management of the Big 6 diseases: HIV/Aids,TB, diabetes, hypertension, silicosis and noise-induced
hearing loss (NIHL). Barberton Mines also focuses on a seventh disease – sporotrichosis – and noted a decrease in
the suspected cases of sporotrichosis. There was an increase in the participation in HIV/Aids voluntary counselling and testing, which is a testament to the focus on health and wellness at our operations. Campaigns are conducted regularly on HIV/Aids and TB prevention initiatives.
NIHL increased at our gold operations due to an enhanced diagnosis system implemented in FY2015, which proactively identified old NIHL cases. Subsequent to 2008, no new NIHL cases were identified. The management of NIHL cases remains a focus and all employees are issued with hearing protection devices and receive regular training.
Employees diagnosed with lifestyle-related diseases such as hypertension and diabetes are regularly monitored and educational programmes are provided. Testing for these diseases also forms part of the medical surveillance programme, in an attempt to combat these diseases at an early stage.
Occupational hygiene stressors are monitored by a qualified occupational hygienist and quarterly reports are submitted to the DMR. Each employee has an individual health risk profile. All operations’ crystalline silica occupational exposure limits were below the legislative requirement of 0.05mg/m3 for the year under review. All employees are trained in the correct use of personal protective equipment (PPE).