Zero harm remains Exxaro’s key safety objective. The group recorded a lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) of 0.05 (FY20: 0.05), which is lower than the set target of 0.11. We remain confident that we will continue to improve on this through our ‘Khetha Ukuphepha’ safety campaign, which we launched in November 2019.
We review our safety target every year, based on prior performance, and apply stringent management protocols, programmes, and systems. Our BU management teams investigate every safety incident occurrence and, in terms of LTI and a skilled committee headed by an independent chairperson, investigate fatalities and HPIs. Exxaro reports investigation findings to the Executive Committee as well as the Sustainability, Risk and Compliance Committee, and escalates these to our Board.
The leading causes of incidents and sources of safety risk remain trackless mobile machinery, fall of ground, energy and machine isolation, lifting and material handling, as well as poor risk awareness and discipline. We provide on-the-job training to ensure well-trained people are in suitable positions. Each BU tracks adherence to standards and legislation through a safety improvement plan of self-assessments and corporate audits.
We are pleased to report zero fatalities for 57 consecutive months on 2 December 2021.
In 2021, Exxaro celebrated four years without a fatality across our mining operations, a remarkable milestone and one that highlights the importance of our continued and collective safety efforts. Safety is an ongoing factor for us as a business, and our commitment to achieve zero harm is embodied in our ‘Khetha Ukuphepha’ (which means ‘Choose safety’) campaign. The campaign was designed to ensure every employee keeps safety and individual responsibility front and centre. It promotes adherence to our strict safety standards and ensures we all return home each day unharmed.
“We believe that zero harm is possible. We cannot sell coal associated with injuries and loss of life. That’s not our business. Four years without any fatalities marks a great milestone for our company and the future of the South African mining industry. The leadership and strategic initiatives to improve safety regulations have ensured that all our employees can work in an environment they can trust, and that they can return home to their loved ones unharmed,” said Dr Joseph Matjila, Group Manager: Safety and Health.
Planning early for mine closure is critical to protect the future of the environment and society, and to uplift the surrounding communities. That’s why we prioritise closure planning and mining rehabilitation, ensuring we tick all the boxes before, during, and after the operating life of a mine.
Our health and wellness strategy, approved by our Executive Committee and Board in November 2019, aims to:
We need seamless integration of health and wellness management with clearly defined employer and employee responsibilities for our strategy to deliver a comprehensive health solution.
Our integrated health and wellness strategy is supported by three pillars that ensure a cohesive approach to occupational and lifestyle diseases throughout our operations: