The Minerals Council CEO Zero Harm Forum (formerly the CEO Elimination of Fatalities Team) came into being in 2012. It is premised on the belief that the industry’s CEOs need to lead by example, to drive health and safety initiatives in the industry, and to address key challenges in order to accelerate the industry’s journey to zero harm.
The forum’s objectives include:
- Developing a model for industry leadership at CEO level
- Modelling leadership behaviour to demonstrate commitment and expectations
- Sharing experiences and helping each other manage key challenges
- Establishing working protocols with industry stakeholders and communities
- Monitoring and agreeing on adjustments to industry models for specific needs
One of the forum’s key focus areas is falls of ground, which remain the largest cause of fatalities in the industry. Other areas of priority include transport and machinery, dust, noise, tuberculosis (TB) and HIV/AIDS, and health and safety culture transformation. In order to address these issues, the forum has been behind numerous health and safety-related programmes and initiatives over the years. Some of these include:
- An industry-wide adoption of the early-entry examination method to ensure a reduction in people’s exposure when entering a workplace for the first time after it has been blasted.
- The introduction of bolts and nets on the face, which has made the most dangerous area – that is, between the last line of support and the face – much safer.
- The implementation of the CEO-supported collision management systems project and MOSH Learning Hub’s proximity detection systems, which have helped to address transport and machinery risks.
- Initiatives are also under way to address occupational lung diseases (OLDs) – such as silicosis and pneumoconiosis – noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), and TB and HIV in the industry. Efforts are being made to adopt leading practices in order to achieve these outcomes.
- Through the MOSH Learning Hub, fogger, footwall and sidewall treatment, and continuous real-dust monitoring systems, among others, have been adopted as leading practices to reduce levels of dust. The Industry Buy and Maintain Quiet Initiative has also been promoted to ensure that the industry purchases machinery that emit lower levels of noise.