Exxaro has marked a significant safety milestone this month, with the Plant and Central Engineering Workshops (CEWS) – work areas within the organisation’s Matla coal mine, in South Africa – achieving 730 lost-time injury (LTI) free days.
This achievement is equivalent to two years of zero mine worker LTIs, the company said.
The accomplishment forms part of Exxaro’s Khetha Ukuphepha safety campaign, which was launched in 2019 across all business units to address the risky nature of mining work, the company said. “The cornerstone of the company’s zero-harm pledge, the campaign ensures that every employee adheres to strict safety standards and procedures both at work and home,” Exxaro explained.
Earlier this year, Exxaro celebrated three years of fatality-free operations with a steady decrease in its lost-time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) over the last five years. In 2019, Exxaro maintained an overall LTIFR of 0.12, above its target of 0.11.
Exxaro’s Matla Coal Mine Acting Business Unit Manager, Musa Mabasa, said: “We remain determined to achieve Zero Harm in our operations. This includes focusing our efforts on health and safety measures that will ensure the well-being of our employees.”
Mabasa stressed the importance of building a collaborative culture where every employee, no matter their job designation, is responsible for the safety and wellbeing of their colleagues.
“When it comes to a risk-free work environment, we are all leaders, and all of us need to lead the way to safety excellence,” Mabasa said.
“I am incredibly proud of Matla’s Plant and CEWS teams for achieving yet another safety milestone. They continue to set the standard and raise the bar when it comes to safety performance.”
Matla Plant Manager, Chris Welkom, added to this congratulations, saying: “I would like to thank everyone for continuing to work safely and make safety their way of life in their various working areas. Let us continue with this attitude and determination as we aim for another year without LTI. Our next target is 1,095 LTI free days.”
Some 20 km west of Kriel in Mpumalanga, South Africa, Matla comprises three mines that produce 14 Mt/y of power station coal with a workforce of over 2,500 permanent employees and contractors. It is a fully-mechanised underground mine employing continuous mining and shortwall methods, according to Exxaro.