HEALTH, SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL
It is with regret that I have to report that 26 employees lost their lives in 25 separate incidents. Of these incidents, 24 occurred underground and one occurred on the surface. A committee has reviewed all of the above fatal accidents and prescribed remedial actions to prevent recurrence were communicated to all concerned in the organisation for implementation.
Falls of ground (62%) and accidents involving trucks and tramways (19%) remain the main
causes of fatalities. In order to address these significant hazards, a proactive fall of ground campaign has been put in place. It focuses on prevention through sound planning, attention to detail, quality workmanship and thorough preparation of the workplace before work commences. Similar campaigns are underway to address the hazards and risks associated with trucks and tramways and environmental and occupational hygiene exposures.
On behalf of the board I would like to extend our sincere condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of those who lost their lives at our operations.
NYAKAZA – Health and Safety the Harmony Way
The campaign has the following messages:
Employee involvement and participation are at the heart of the campaign, requiring employees to deal with hazards identified at source immediately, if they have been trained and are competent to do so.
Harmony Safety Risk Management System
The company has made a significant investment by setting up a multidisciplinary risk management service team that has been tasked to provide expert assistance and support to all operations. The safety risk management team has been structured to:
Radiation protection specialists have been retained to provide expert input and direction to the working groups established at the affected operations. The working groups monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of corrective measures taken to reduce exposure levels.
Occupational lung diseases
Noise-induced hearing loss
A team of occupational hygienists is revisiting existing practices and revising baseline risk assessment findings to assess the benefits of rock drill silencing and the supply of customised noise attenuation devices to at-risk employees.
Prevalence testing conducted in the industry has returned a plus 25% infection result. As prevalence rates appear to be higher amongst younger workers, this will have a negative impact on the wellbeing and productive life of those employees who are mainly involved in a physically demanding environment.
In order to diminish the impact of the pandemic on the company and to achieve a humane solution for all involved, the company fully supports the recent agreement negotiated with employee representative bodies at industry level. The groundbreaking agreement caters for the early retirement of affected workers, home-based care and support, and voluntary testing, counselling and treatment.
The services of a full time medical practitioner to champion the HIV/AIDS cause has been secured. Voluntary prevalence test centres with full counselling and support services have been established at all operations.
Community based interventions for the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases and the Lesedi project (the peer group educator programme at our Freestate operations has proven to be successful in reducing new infections) will be introduced at our other operations. The programmes will be augmented and supported by an expanded social worker corps.
Through our efforts in this regard the company believes that it can contain the cost of the pandemic at below the $5.00 per ounce of gold produced as quoted in the industry.
In an increasingly environmentally conscious society, Harmony aims to balance its business challenge of remaining globally competitive by producing profits from gold mining against the requirements for sustainable environmental protection. Striking this balance is not an easy task and requires informed decisions based on sound scientific reasoning, effective economic analysis, common sense and vision.
The long-term sustainability of Harmony’s business is dependent on operating within the known capacity of the environment. The World Commission on Environment and Development defines development as being sustainable where "it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". It is Harmony’s goal and commitment to minimise the temporary disruption of the environment during exploration
and production, and to maximise the effectiveness of the rehabilitation of lands at the end of the mine’s life. The company aims to achieve a sustainable balance between economic and social development and environmental responsibility.
Harmony, its operations and associates work within the applicable regulatory requirements and are guided by the ISO 14004 in the establishment of environmental management systems.
The company has made a commitment to continuously improve on our environmental performance. This includes the periodical review of our environmental programmes and the audit of our activities to ensure that the company’s environmental objectives are met. Adequate financial provision is made at all our operations for ongoing and final rehabilitation of the environment. The company has estimated that the total cost of environmental liabilities for its mines, in current monetary terms, will be R655 million.