Safety and health

Safety is our number one value and if we cannot mine safely, we will not mine. This objective drives our goal of achieving zero harm in eliminating all fatalities and serious injuries at our operation, while at the same time demonstrating care for the health and well-being of our employees.

We are currently implementing the Courageous Safety Leadership (CSL) and Vital Behaviours programmes to ensure our people are enabled to make the right safety decisions every day with courage and conviction.

Our Courageous Safety Leadership Principles

  • 1If I cannot mine safely, I cannot mine
  • 2I care about the safety and wellbeing of our people and demonstrate this through daily conversations about safety
  • 3I am vigilant about identifying unsafe behaviours and am not afraid to speak up
  • 4I am disciplined about developing, implementing and adhering to safe systems of work
  • 5I am responsible for my own and others’ safety and help to ensure accountability within our teams for this
  • 6Safe production is my priority. By living our Values, I support this achievement
Mining [photo]

How we grow our safety culture at South Deep

Safety culture [photo]

We are also invested extensively in technical and engineering safety solutions, such as proximity detection and collision avoidance systems, while also deploying fit-for-purpose real time positioning and management systems.

Khumbul'Ekhaya

We have fully endorsed the Minerals Council South Africa’s Khumbul’Ekhaya safety and health programme. Click for the link to the website www.safetyandhealthinmining.co.za and CEO interviews.

Khumbul’ekhaya, which is the Nguni word for “remember home”, is a CEO-led strategy on health and safety that has been developed by the Mineral Council’s CEO Zero Harm Forum to drive and sustain the mining industry’s pursuit of zero harm. Our Executive Vice President represents South Deep at this Forum.

The emphasis on “home” in Khumbul’ekhaya directly acknowledges that fatalities have the greatest impact on loved ones at home and encourages employees to bear these loved ones in mind as they go about their day-to-day tasks. Importantly, the programme places equal emphasis on health and safety.

The objectives of the Khumbul’ekhaya strategy are to:
  • Promote a holistic approach to the elimination of fatalities
  • Develop a system of understanding occupational deaths beyond employment
  • Adopt methods for more effective and competitive training, for example, through centralisation and modernisation
  • Adopt global-leading practices to learn better and faster from each other

We recognise that our employees may be exposed to occupational health and wellness risks associated with silicosis, tuberculosis (TB), noise-induced hearing loss and diesel particulate matter. As such, we have extensive programmes in place to mitigate these risks and to monitor and manage the exposure of employees to these occupational diseases.

Managing HIV/Aids remains an important issue at South Deep. Our Wellness programmes encourage all employees to know their status through voluntary counselling and testing, which is also offered to permanent contractors. Free, highly-active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is provided to HIV-infected employees. Employees’ dependents can also receive HAART via the company’s medical aid schemes.

In 2019, Gold Fields was party to an historic settlement between six gold mining companies and attorneys representing former mineworkers suffering from silicosis and TB. This was endorsed by the courts in and an independent trust, the Tshiamiso Trust, has been set up to compensate ex-mine workers and will be operational by mid-2020.

See more at www.silicosissettlement.co.za