Safety

G4:

G4-LA1
Total number and rates of new employee hires and employee turnover by age group, gender, and region
G4-LA5
Percentage of total workforce represented in formal joint management/worker health and safety committees that help monitor and advise on occupational health and safety programmes
G4-LA6
Type of injury and rates of injury, diseases, lost days and absenteeism, and total number of work related fatalities by region and by gender occupational
G4-LA7
Workers with high incidence or high risk of diseases related to their occupation
G4-LA11
Percentage of employees receiving regular performance and career development reviews, by gender and by employee category

Key features

  • Over 41% reduction year on year in FIFR
  • Nine fatalities in 2013 (as opposed to 16 in 2012)
  • Lost-time injury frequency rate reduced by 11%

Targets and objectives for 2013/2014

Sibanye’s goal is zero harm. The Group has sought to improve both lagging (fatalities, LTIFR, SIFR and MTIFR) and leading (Safety Officer Audit Report) indicators by 10% per annum.

Mining and processing of ore involve inherent hazards, which must be understood and effectively managed to eliminate or minimise risk of injury or harm to employees. This is particularly pertinent when it comes to ultra-deep underground conventional mining.

Sibanye’s vision is that every employee has the right to a healthy and safe working environment. Its Health and Safety Policy commits Sibanye to conducting activities in a manner that ensures employee health and safety as a priority.

The Group’s safety strategy seeks compliance as a minimum, while engineering out safety risks and collaborating with stakeholders, including employee representatives and the DMR, to improve performance.

Sibanye’s approach to safety and health in the workplace is guided by extensive legislation and regulations, the most significant of which is the Mine Health and Safety Act. In terms of this legislation, it is a requirement that a health and safety agreement be formulated at operational level, which deals with the appointment of workplace health and safety representatives, full-time health and safety representatives, as well as the establishment of joint health and safety committees to deal with appropriate health and safety matters at the mine, among other issues.

Driefontein and Kloof have both concluded new agreements with newly appointed employee stakeholder representatives and are in the process of finalising the full-time health and safety representative election process following which a Health and Safety Committee will be established. These agreements remain in place at Beatrix.

The Sibanye Health and Safety Management System has been developed in line with internationally accepted standards. This system is reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure that a continuous improvement process is realised as the system evolves.

TRAINING

Awareness and behaviour-based safety programmes are in place to reduce incidents that cause injuries. Similarly, programmes are in place to equip employees with the information they need to reduce hazards and eliminate risks so that they may enjoy a safe and healthy workplace.

All employees and contractors receive safety induction training and are subject to the Group’s safety standards. Safety officers, who are independent of day-to-day production and associated targets, visited each workplace on a monthly basis, on a 21-day audit cycle, throughout the year. In line with legal requirements, 524 workplace-safety representatives have been appointed at Beatrix, 846 at Driefontein and 720 at Kloof.

Employees are actively encouraged to exercise their right to refuse to work if they believe that conditions are not safe. The right to withdraw from an unsafe situation or workplace is outlined in the Group’s Health and Safety Policy and forms an integral part of induction training offered to all employees. Sibanye has a risk management process in place that requires individuals or teams to stop work, to withdraw to a place of safety, to assess the risk in collaboration with the appropriate supervisory level or discipline specialist, to rectify the situation in terms of mine requirements and to continue activities only once the required remedial action has been verified should a risk be identified. This process is commonly referred to as Stop, Think, Fix, Verify and Continue.

Regional tripartite meetings are held on a quarterly basis with the DMR and with various discipline specialists from within the Group who participate in the Chamber of Mines forums that deal with, among other issues, the overall improvement of health and safety in the industry.

Sibanye is also a participant in the Chamber of Mines CEO Elimination of Fatalities Team – a cross-sector initiative established to facilitate the sharing of experiences and initiatives to address safety challenges among mining companies in South Africa.

ENGINEERING OUT SAFETY RISKS

Engineering out safety risks at Sibanye’s operations remains a key priority for the Group, and a number of ongoing and extensive safety risk-management initiatives have contributed significantly towards a reduction in the severity of safety incidents. In particular, these initiatives relate to reducing falls of ground, seismic and tramming incidents, which accounted for approximately 37% of injuries in 2013.

Reducing falls of ground and seismic risks

Sibanye’s initiatives relating to seismic-risk management include:

  • Fitting removable safety nets during drilling shifts and the installation of roof bolting on all stope panels at all operations except where hanging-wall rock conditions do not allow this, in which case alternative solutions are devised.
  • Enhanced pre-conditioning of rock before stoping begins. This entails drilling longer-than-normal holes and time-detonating explosives ahead of the scheduled blast to allow for fracturing of the rock at the face, consequently releasing energy within the rock mass. This reduces the likelihood and/or impact of strain bursting while employees are working on the panel.
  • Ongoing mine-planning reviews to ensure the minimisation of high-risk concentration of mining.
  • Centralised blasting during a narrow time window to minimise the exposure of crews to seismicity during shift times.
  • The cessation of night-shift working in isolated areas that have a high night-shift seismic-risk profile.
  • Undertaking regular seismic hazard assessments, allowing for the temporary withdrawal of crews.
  • Mechanised flat-end development, which entails replacing the use of conventional handheld rock drill machines with drill rigs, which allow for remote operation of drilling machines. This minimises the extent to which employees are exposed to potential hazards in the development end.

Reducing tramming risks

Tramming entails moving men/ women, material and ore by means of rail-bound equipment, which include locomotives, hoppers and other rail cars. Tunnels accessing the orebody are relatively restricted and need to be laid out so as to prevent the risk of collisions.

Sibanye’s Guard Communications System programme continued during the year. This included the overhaul of underground locomotives, including improved cab designs, enhanced braking systems, electronic data recording, hand-held controls with pivot-based safety cut-out systems and enhanced direct communication with drivers.

The rolling out of a fail-safe command system has continued and is expected to be completed on target by mid- 2014. This system requires both the driver (at one end of the locomotive) and the guard (at the other end) to issue the same instructions to the locomotive before it will function. It includes an emergency stop function that can be initiated by either individual.

ACCIDENTS AND INCIDENTS IN 2013

It is with deep regret that Sibanye reports the death of nine employees during the year under review (2012: 16). The Board and management extend their deepest sympathies to the families, friends and colleagues of those who died (acknowledged below).

In memoriam
Date of accident Name and surname Operation
26 February 2013 Mr Msabeli Mabhozana Beatrix
4 April 2013 Mr Siboniso Delani Beatrix
5 May 2013 Mr Gilbert Morema Driefontein
2 July 2013 Mr Manuel Salvador Tamele Kloof
18 July 2013 Mr Bonginkosi Mqityana Driefontein
13 August 2013 Mr Moses Mmoshe Marumo Kloof
14 August 2013 Mr Raul Zacharias Cossa Kloof
16 October 2013 Mr Mechaque Miguel Mpsanganhe Kloof
8 November 2013 Mr Thabiso Mpuke Driefontein

While every fatality is one too many, it is pleasing to report a significant reduction – of some 41% – in the FIFR to 0.10 per million hours worked (2012: 0.17). Pleasingly, other safety indicators have also shown improvement during the year. In 2013, the LTIFR was 6.13 per million hours worked (2012: 6.90). The SIFR was 3.50 per million hours worked (2012: 3.67).

LTIFR per operation [graph]

The medically treated injury frequency rate (MTIFR) for 2013 was 4.32 per million hours worked (2012:5.80). Within Sibanye, distinction is made between three severity levels in terms of injuries, namely treat and return, lost day and serious injuries (including fatalities). The international practice of defining two classifications within “treat and return” injury type has not been practised at most South African operations. All miners, regardless of severity of injury, must be seen by a medical practitioner – this is for reporting/assurance purposes and, therefore, no “minor injuries” are excluded from safety statistics. All injuries less severe than a lost-day injury are classified as MTIs (treat and return to work) in accordance with internal reporting standards.

Driefontein in particular showed an overall improvement in all safety lagging indicators, particularly the FIFR which improved by over 65% and which is the lowest ever recorded by the mine to date. Kloof, unfortunately, had four fatalities in 2013. In spite of the regression measured against the exceptional achievement of one fatality at Kloof in 2012, the longer-term trend is positive for all key safety lagging indicators. Kloof’s Imva shaft was awarded the JT Ryan Award (gold) at MineSAFE 2013. The Thuthukani and Masimthembe shafts also received awards for ending first and eighth respectively for overall safety improvement year on year. The implementation of the overall safety strategy will remain a key focus in order to realise continuous improvement.

STOPPAGES

A total of 55 work stoppages were imposed as a result of Section 54 notices by the DMR (2012: 49) and resulted in 35 production days lost (2012: 130). The DMR may give an instruction to mining companies to cease all or part of mining activities if the Chief Inspector of Mines believes that an operation is unsafe. In addition, the Group initiated 10,383 internal incident reports, which included safety stoppages. Incident reporting is promoted as part of the Group’s safety risk-management strategy. In addition, attention is given to near-miss incidents in order to reduce the likelihood of the occurrence of more serious incidents. Stop, Think, Fix, Verify and Continue also forms part of the incident-reporting system.

ILLEGAL MINING

As all mining rights in South Africa are owned by the state, companies (and individuals) must apply for the right to mine. Sibanye holds the rights to mine at all of its operations – surface and underground. Any small-scale mining activities on its properties are, therefore, deemed to be illegal. At Kloof, particularly, illegal mining continues to be a significant challenge.

In 2013, 144 illegal mining incidents were reported, which involved the arrest of 323 illegal miners. Sibanye managed to recover 435kg of gold-bearing mercury with an approximate value of R528,117. Criminal charges brought against the illegal miners range from trespassing to the possession of unwrought precious metals – offences relating to the Minerals and Petroleum Development Act and the Mines Health and Safety Act. Sentences handed down by the courts extend from minimum fines of R500 or two months imprisonment, to a maximum fine of R30,000 or 32 months imprisonment. In one such case, the sentence handed down was eight years imprisonment without the option of a fine.

While illegal mining undermines the financial viability of operations, these activities have severe safety and health consequences for our own employees as well as the illegal miners.

Additional preventative measures, such as the implementation of shaft flasking (fencing off of a specific risk area with one access/egress control entrance), activating facial biometric access control on various shafts and increased visibility with the deployment of additional Sibanye employees on shafts and in crush offices, have continued to contribute to the detection of incidents.

Technological solutions to increase the effectiveness of access controls in a cost-effective manner are continuously sought and considered.

ILLEGAL GLEANING ON THE SURFACE

Similar to illegal underground mining, surface gleaning continues to plague the Sibanye operations with Driefontein being targeted more frequently than Kloof and Beatrix.

Surface gleaning relates to scavenging at waste rock dumps, old metallurgical plant sites and slimes dams by unemployed people. Through the numerous responses to address this threat, 125 criminal cases, involving 126 perpetrators, were registered with the South African Police Service. A total of 223,641kg gbm, to the value of approximately R486,610, was recovered.

Collusion between illegal miners and mine employees has become a reality for the Group, and 85 incidents relating to the assistance of illegal miners were recorded for the year.

Mine employees assist the illegal miners by supplying food, batteries and other personal items, through breaches in the mining structures, assist with access to and from underground, and by rewarding them with profits gained from the illegally mined products.

Disciplinary action was instituted against 87 employees, which resulted in the discharge of 41 employees and 15 final written warnings were issued. From this, 20 employees were found not guilty or had their cases withdrawn and, to date, results for 11 cases are still outstanding.