Safety in Mining – Achieving a zero harm target in the mining industry remains a commitment to Dust-A-Side and the broader mining community. One of the ways in which this can be achieved is through each person taking responsibility in being held accountable for their own actions.
In the 40 year history of Dust-A-Side’s existence, no occupational accident has taken place that resulted in a fatality. This is because, Dust-A-Side has a pro-active, rather than reactive Safety Health Environment Quality Community (SHEQC) management approach, where it strives to proactively identify, assess and where possible eliminate all hazards and associated risks by implementing control measures to mitigate risks.
Jerry Sbiloane, Dust-A-Side load haul dumper and tractor operator at New Denmark Colliery, together with his two other colleagues Mandla Qwabe and Enoch Gule were recognised as heroes after they identied a potential safety risk underground.
Jerry recognised a very unsafe condition in the underground section. He reported it and subsequently retracted his fellow employees and other bystanders from the area. Immediately after that, a fall of ground occurred, where they would have been standing that could have resulted in a fatal accident.
Speaking at the celebratory braai held in honour of the Dust-A-Side heroes, Derik Oosthuizen, Dust-A-Side SHEQC Manager said, “We are here today to show you and reiterate that, we take safety seriously and that we appreciate good, proactive behaviour when it comes to identifying unsafe conditions”.
“Safety in the mining area is of utmost importance and what these gentlemen did was indeed a heroic act”, Derik added. “Dust-A-Side is proud to have colleagues who pro-actively take safety into consideration and go out of their way to ensuring safety for themselves and their fellow colleagues”.
Malan Cronje, Dust-A-Side: Operational Manager – Eastern Division, said “It’s wonderful to see that our safety inductions programmes and the sharing of knowledge empowers our colleagues on the ground to be able to identify hazards and potential risks as well as how to handle such situations”.
“Remember, complacency is the snake of the mining industry; as soon as you become complacent, it bites you”, Malan reminded the team. To date, the chamber of mines has recorded over 70 deaths of mine workers who were killed in mine-related accidents.