Lesedi Annual Safety Review 2010

Annual Report to Stakeholders on Health and Safety for the Year June 2009 to May 2010                                  

Summary

2 lost time accidents were reported during the year

DIFR (Disabling Injury Frequency Rate) = 0.44

Number of employees  436

Shifts worked 105 668

Shifts lost 21

Man hours worked 902 324

Operating machines 163.

55% improvement in the Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate.  

1. Introduction

The year under review represents the company’s seventh full year of operations. The number of machines in operation increased by 33% during the year to a total of 163. Lesedi currently conducts its operations at the following mines:

Harmony Gold: Bambanani Mine, Tshepong Mine, Masimong Mine, Unicel Mine, Phakisa Mine, Merriespruit Shafts, Harmony Shafts, Target Mine, Joel Mine, Doornkop Mine, Steyn Mine.

Anglogold Ashanti: Gt Noligwa Mine, Moab Khotsong.

Rio Tinto: Palabora Mining Company.

ARM: Two Rivers Mine.

Anglo Platinum: Townlands Mine, Turffontein (Khuseleka and Siphumelele Mines), Burnstone Mine. 


Accidents during Operational Year: 2009-2010

The previous year’s result of 4 lost time injuries was improved upon and only 2 lost shift accidents were recorded during the period under review (2009 – 2010). This is a substantial decrease of 50% over last year.

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 2. Review of the Period: 2009 - 2010  

It is important to classify the lost shift accidents. The table below documents the accidents between 16 May 2009 and 15 May 2010.

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Pulling and Lowering Rods

During the last five years 63% of all lost shifts were a result of accidents related to the pulling of rods. In view of the reoccurrence of rod-handling related injuries, management took a decision to redesign the face clamps, thus reducing the risk associated with rod handling. As the table above indicates, the roll out of the new face clamps with the “rod catcher device” seems to have reduced the frequency of accidents to zero in this highly dangerous drilling operation. This is a very  encouraging development. 

Drilling Operations 

One accident occurred in this area of operations. The injury occurred as a result of avoidable incidents. Twisting an ankle is unfortunate and could have been prevented by greater care and attention and better housekeeping. 

3. Lost Shift Trends 2005 - 2010 

The table below shows the trends in our safety failures over the last 5 years. We had a magnificent year in 2005-2006 where we had no lost time accidents. The trend was unfailingly positive since the rather poor years of 2003-2005. However we had two lost time accidents during the 2007 year and then a massive deterioration in the 2008 year where 9 lost time accidents occurred. The year under review had 55% fewer incidents and the severity of the accidents reduced from 114 lost shifts to 21, which is a very good achievement that we believe is due to the implementation of the rod catcher mechanism introduced at the end of the previous year.

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 4. Analysis of Planned Task Observations 2010 

In line with the Company’s Occupational Health and Safety Management System, compliance with Standard Operating Procedures is monitored through a Planned Task Observation programme. During the 2009 safety year, operators defaulted (failing to comply with SOPs) for 8% of all PTO’s conducted. During the 2010 safety year this percentage halved to 4% which is a highly satisfying result.

Gas Testing: Testing for the presence of methane gas is a vital aspect of a diamond driller’s responsibilities and an accident here produces the highest level of loss possible. A 12% PTO failure rate in this area was experienced during the 2008 safety year but this dropped by half to 6% during the following year and to 4% during the 2010 safety year. This is a highly satisfying trend which shows that the mine training in this area has yielded better adherence to work standards.

Pulling Rods: Given that pulling rods also has a high accident potential it is satisfying that failed PTO’s in this operation have dropped significantly over the years. 12% of all PTO’s during the 2009 safety year showed a non-conformance but during the 2010 year this has dropped to just 4%. 

Face Clamp Operations: The roll out of the new rod catcher attached to the face clamp introduced a new technology which increased the opportunity for non-conformance and the need for a greater level of observations - so a slightly elevated non-conformance to 6% of observations from this work task is understandable. This 50% decrease in the percentage of non-conformances is a positive indication of improvement in terms of safety. 

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5. Risk Map: Pneumatic Diamond Drilling 
 
A risk map has been included (below) so that an interested reader can gauge the severity of the risk for any given work activity.
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6. DIFR

The DIFR (Disabling Injury Frequency Rate) for 2009 – 2010 is:  0.44

The calculation is performed thus: LTI X 200 000/Total man hours

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It is satisfying that there was a large improvement in the DIFR to below 1. We exceeded our objective of being below 0.5 as well.

The Company response to growth, accidents and incidents during the year:

1.The roll out of face clamp modification to include the gripper box to catch rods falling out of a hole in an uncontrolled fashion was completed during the year and showed excellent results.

7. Health

Medical Surveillance 
Medical surveillance for occupational illnesses is undertaken at all operations. Occupational health surveillance examinations take place when an employee joins the company, at periodic intervals during employment and when he/she leaves the company (retirement or resignation).

Exposure to Noise
As indicated in Figure 3: Risk Map, noise exposure is a high risk in the underground drilling industry. For this purpose a formal hearing conservation programme has been implemented as part of the OH&S Management System. All machines are fitted with silencers and hearing protection is issued to workers. The wearing and maintenance of hearing protection is monitored through task observation programme. This includes audiometric testing. Where tests reveal hearing loss, action to redeploy such workers to lower noise zones is considered.

8. Achievement of Objectives for the Year

1. We managed to meet our objective of a 0.5 DIFR during the year.

2. We have completed work on a formalised Occupational Health and Safety Management programme in line with OHSAS 18001. Our objective is to achieve recognition for our efforts in this regard through certification by the end of the first quarter of 2011. 

9. Planning and Objectives 2010 - 2011

1. We must maintain our DIFR below 0.5

2. By implementing client, management audit and programme review findings we shall obtain OHSAS 18001 certification by the end of March 2011.

3. Our training strategy must lead to improved employee competence in overall H&S aspects. A training needs analysis and implementation must be implemented by July 2010.

4. An area of weakness that requires urgent improvement is incident/near-miss reporting. All regions must raise awareness around the importance of near-miss and incident reporting through communications i.e. safety meetings/ forums.

5. A survey of the noise levels of our machines must be undertaken and published before year end.

 

Gordon Hogan

Chief Operating Officer

6th June 2010


 

 

 

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