The health and safety of our employees and contractors is of paramount importance to Pan African Resources. Mining is a physically and mentally challenging industry and, as such, mining operations present risks to the health and safety of our people. We, however, continue our efforts in creating an environment of zero harm.
Why the goal is material to Pan African
We strive to create an environment of zero harm by creating a safe and healthy workplace and managing our activities in a way that eliminates accidents, minimises health and safety risks and promotes excellence in the performance of our operations.
We recognise that the better we care for the safety, health, environment and wellness of our employees, the more likely we will be able to attract and retain the highest calibre of people.
Consistently high health and safety standards are fundamental to retaining the support of regulators, investors and employees.
Our board-approved SHEQC policy serves as the safety blueprint for our entire organisation. Our health and safety policy and framework is aligned with the Mine Health and Safety Act. We promote and support a culture of zero harm and minimal environmental impacts.
The board takes ultimate responsibility for the Group’s SHEQC performance and has allocated its direct management to the SHEQC sub-committee. This sub-committee informs the board on matters relating to SHEQC compliance, discipline and the action plans required to optimise responses to any incidents and accidents. The mine general managers are primarily accountable for SHEQC performance at their sites.
Pan African Resources continues to comply with the mining licence conditions set by the DMRE, the Mine Health and Safety Act (as amended from time to time) and other relevant legal requirements. The Group SHEQC manager, as well as safety, health and environmental officials, guide and advise each operation.
Legal requirements are treated as starting points for improvement and are regularly audited by Group SHEQC officials. These are supported by monthly SHEQC performance reviews. Our safety performance results are reported regularly to the DMRE.
Employees at Barberton Mines and Evander Mines are represented via joint management-worker health and safety representative committees.
In addition to the vital role played by our employees in our safety performance, our contractors and suppliers are pivotal to the achievement of our SHEQC objectives. As such, we encourage their buy-in to our safety ethos, as well as their active involvement in our initiatives. This is done through training, written communications and regular face-to-face meetings. We regularly visit areas utilised by contractors to ensure their compliance with health and safety standards
Pan African strives to improve our organisational culture to achieve industry-leading health and safety performances. Creating a positive culture starts at the top by ensuring that leadership are highly visible and engaged and demonstrate care for our employees’ safety and well-being. The Group has shown a significant improvement in creating the right health and safety culture over recent years. Pan African continues to embark on initiatives and interventions to develop safety leaders at all levels in the Group and to create a working environment that is free of injury and harm.
The Group’s injury frequency rates improved significantly from the previous financial year and the group maintained an industry-leading safety performance. The Group’s improved safety performance is encouraging, and is primarily attributable to an unrelenting focus on safety at all operations.
We continue to work to embed a culture of uncompromising safety at all our operations remaining committed to the unrelenting pursuit of our ultimate goal of zero harm by embarking on safety awareness campaigns and educational initiatives to improve our year-on-year safety rates.
The health and wellness of our employees is a key component of achieving our operational objectives. By reducing health and safety-related risks, we are able to support the overall health and well-being of our employees, which enables improved productivity.
Pan African’s workforce may be exposed to a range of occupational health and wellness risks associated with, among others, HIV/Aids, TB, noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and silicosis but we remain committed to creating healthy workplaces, employees and communities with comprehensive occupational hygiene programmes that aims to protect the long-term health of employees by eliminating occupational health hazards.
The COVID-19 pandemic remains the most critical short-term health and safety issue facing the Group. To curb the spread of the virus at our operations, Pan African has instituted and enforced a number of preventative and monitoring measures, consistent with the guidelines provided by the MCSA and the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD). This entails ongoing education and communication programmes to ensure that all our employees are fully informed and aware of the virus and how to protect themselves from being infected. We, however, continue to respond to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and take appropriate measures to reduce its spread and impact on our employees and Group operations.
Our primary focus for the year ahead is to improve ongoing health and safety awareness programmes. We intend increasing these programmes through regular engagement and communication with employees at all operations. Given the success of the motivational speaker events at Barberton Mines, these will be expanded in the coming financial year at our operations.
We recognise that a healthy organisational culture starts at the top of our organisation. We will, therefore, focus on involving the group’s leadership in health and safety to a greater extent, effectively positioning these leaders and executives as role models in the group.