Safety review

Zero harm – Implats’ vision

Despite marginal improvements in safety performance, regretfully 11 of our employees died at work during the year. Post year-end a further nine employees lost their lives in a major fall-of-ground incident


Safety remains the highest priority for Implats, and we are committed to achieving our vision of Zero Harm. It is a tragedy that 11 employees lost their lives at work during the year, and a further nine were killed in a fall-of-ground incident at 14 Shaft in July 2009. We extend our sincere and deep sympathies to the families and friends of all those who died.

The group’s safety performance did, nevertheless, improve marginally during the year. The improvement in the fatality rate, however, belies the disappointing safety records of both the Rustenburg and Marula operations. Ten of our team members were fatally injured at Rustenburg, and one at Marula. The lost-time injury frequency rate for the group was maintained at 2.92 per million man-hours worked.

It is of great concern to the company that safety performance was well below the targets set. A number of safety initiatives, developed jointly with our unions, were rolled out during the year. These include:

  • Creating and promoting a safety culture within every employee at Implats;
  • Safety communication using sms-messaging, e-mail, posters and billboards and our Safety, Health and Environment Quality (SHEQ) structures;
  • Compliance with our new Platinum Rules;
  • Visible safety leadership using our behaviour-based safety programmes and recognition of outstanding safety leaders and achievers in the company.

We are using our increased understanding of the cause of accidents to improve our performance going forward. Increased co-operation between management and employees will enable the further development of strategies to mitigate future incidents.

Implats welcomes the Department of Mineral Resources’ attention to safety and applauds all efforts to increase safety in the mining industry. It is only through the involvement of all role-players — including government, unions, management, employees, employee representatives and members of the community — that a safer working environment will be created. The realisation of the vision Zero Harm will only be achieved through a collective effort.

In memory of our deceased colleagues:

Thobo TshoseImpala 11 shaft30 July 2008Chaneng Village, North West Province
Arone James MakhobosiImpala 16 shaft3 August 2008Kanana Village, North West Province
Bongani QhuqhaniImpala 10 shaft26 August 2008Mfidikwe Village, North West Province
Moeketsi SebotsaImpala 11 shaft17 September 2008Klerksdorp, North West Province
Thethani Sorry PhondoyiImpala 12 shaft14 October 2008Queenstown, Eastern Cape
Tshepo MazibukoImpala 20 shaft27 November 2008Mafikeng, North West Province
Mkhawuleni ZuluImpala 14 shaft7 January 2009Kwasiwela Village, KwaZulu Natal
Romeu Francisco ChivaleImpala 14 shaft16 February 2009Massinga, Mozambique
Tobias Nelson KhameniImpala 10 shaft21 March 2009Mqanduli, Eastern Cape
Mamonwana Jacob MontwediImpala 2 shaft14 April 2009Hartebeestfontein, North West Province
Lazarus MashabelaMarula Clapham21 May 2009Mashishi Village, Mpumalanga

Tragedy at 14 shaft

14 Shaft

On 20th July 2009, nine employees tragically lost their lives in a massive fall-of-ground incident in one of the mechanised sections. A tri-partite investigation involving Implats, the DMR and the unions, together with an independent review, was conducted. In order to significantly reduce the operational risks the decision was taken to reduce bord widths to six metres across all Rustenburg mechanised sections. A memorial service was held in Rustenburg on Friday, 24th July.

In memory of our deceased colleagues:
Sithembisile FoxoMdwaka Village, Mqanduli, Eastern Cape
Jotata GitywaNenga Village, Mqanduli, Eastern Cape
Albert MachubeniDigetlane Village, Matatiele– Mount Fletcher, Eastern Cape
Ofentse Zacharia MaforaDinokana, Zeerust, North West
Mziwonke MatandabuzoLekhuni Village, Lebote, Eastern Cape
Phindisingaki Mvuleni MbhamaliBhanganoma Village, Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal
Bethuel Karabo RakomaThabaneng, Lerome Village, Rustenburg, North West
Sechache Coronea RamonyatsiKhakhathane, Mohaleshoek, Lesotho
Tsollana TshatshaEsunwane Village, Idutywa, Eastern Cape
FIFR improves marginally (Per million man hours worked) LTIFR unchanged(per million man hours worked) Causes of fatal accidents
Implats Annual Report 2009