Over the years, numerous programmes, initiatives and collaborative bodies have been established with the principle of zero harm in mind. They include:
The Mine Health and Safety Act
Drawn up in 1996, the MHSA is responsible for the overall regulation and safeguarding of the health and safety of mine employees, as well as residents of areas affected by mining operations. Typically, every operation in the industry has its own health and safety committee that comprises representatives of management and unions seeking to ensure compliance with regulations, to provide safety training for all employees, and to promote active collaboration in all matters relating to safety and health.
The Mine Health and Safety Council
Established in 1996, the MHSC was set up to advise the Minster of Mineral Resources on health and safety in the mining industry, and to respond to industry health and safety challenges. Its primary tasks are to advise the Minister on occupational health and safety legislation, to research outcomes focused on improving and promoting occupational health and safety in South African mines, and to promote a culture of transformation. The MHSC comprises representatives of various government departments and institutions, organised labour and the industry.
Mining Qualifications Authority
The MQA plays a critical role in addressing skills shortages in the mining industry through capacity development and process improvement. It is mandated to ensure that the mining industry has sufficient numbers of competent people who have been trained to undertake healthy and safe production.
Mining Industry Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) Learning Hub
The Minerals Council established the MOSH Learning Hub in 2009 to help companies learn from pockets of excellence in the industry. Through the MOSH system, which is the largest programme initiated by the Minerals Council in the past decade, companies and individual operations have implemented and adopted leading practices to reduce health and safety risks.
Mandela Mining Pricinct
The Mandela Mining Precinct is a public private cooperation that supports local, people-centred innovation to modernise the South African mining sector. The precinct aims to provide technological solutions to the challenges faced by the mining industry in South Africa, including mine employees’ health and safety.