Lesedi Drilling Annual Safety Reviews 2008

Annual Report to all stakeholders on Health and     Safety for the year July 2007 to June 2008.

Summary

  • 9 lost shift accidents
  • DIFR (Disabling Injury Frequency Rate) = 2.2
  • Number of employees stable at 370
  • Operating machines 135.
  • Worst set ever of accidents statistics for the company.

The year under review represents the company’s fifth full year of operations.

The previous year’s record of 2 lost shift accidents was not bettered and 9 lost shift accidents were recorded during the period under review. This is a substantial increase and is a source of concern.

Accidents during the 2008 operational year

Date

Name

Mine

Lost Shifts

Circumstance

20/10/07

N Dini

Tshepong

10

Hurt left index finger drilling up-hole

30/11/07

Mabui

Tshepong

6

Hit by a pipe wrench on forearm

08/12/07

Hlazo

Tshepong

76

Left thumb amputated when lowering rods

31/03/07

Thekiso

Tshepong

21

Rock fell from hanging injuring his back

6/08/07

Tshabalala

Moab

66

Amp. 5th digit R/H. Rods fell out up hole

26/09/07

Matekane

Moab

47

Twisted ankle falling from a platform

08/12 07

Valentum

Moab

22

Fell off new platform design.

05/01/08

Bila

Doornkop

33

Injured moving machine

08/02/08

Gatyana

Cooke 3

22

Struck by spanner when machine started

Lesedi drilling currently has operations at the following mines/shafts:

Harmony: Tshepong, Bambanani, Phakisa, Joel, Doornkop, Cooke1, Cooke2, Cooke3, Anglogold Ashanti Moab Khotsong, ARM/Impala, Two RiversAnglo Platinum. Boschfontein, Townlands, Turffontein, Brakspruit, PMC. Palabora, 

2007-2008 Review

It is important to classify the lost shift accidents. The table below achieves this. 

Accidents July 2007- June 2008

 

Critical Activities

Freq of

 Incidents

Severity

(lost shifts)

1

Gas Measuring

0

0

2

Start of  Shift Procedure

0

0

3

Transport of equipment

1

33

4

Rigging of equipment

1

34

5

Beginning of hole operations

0

0

6

Drilling Operations

4

76

7

Pulling and Lowering rods

3

152

8

End of Shift Procedures

0

0

 

 

0

0

 

Total

9

295

Pulling and Lowering rods

The lost shift accidents relating to the rods descending out of holes in an uncontrolled fashion resulted in finger amputations. These could just have easily been fatal accidents. As can be seen from the table we had three such incidents during the year under review and two of these accidents resulted in finger amputations. Unfortunately these severe accidents were caused by operators ignoring safe working procedures. The accident at Moab was actually caused by an operator attempting to dismantle a safety device in order to get the job done faster. This cost him his finger. The company has since tried to make it difficult to dismantle a face plate in operation but it is massively disappointing that the behaviour of the operator was such that rules are for other people and not for him. He was dismissed from the company as a result of a disciplinary hearing but had he been killed it would have been “managements” fault.

Drilling Operations

4 accidents happened in this area of operations. Two injuries occurred as a result of falling off platforms and 2 as a result of slipping spanners. 

The platform accidents at Moab were disappointing. The first resulted in the designing and building of a new generation of platforms and yet not more than a few weeks after deploying them another worker fell from the steps leading to the platform. The real cause of the accident was ambiguous as the worker, Mr Valentum, complained that he had had a dizzy spell which caused him to fall.

The two spanner accidents were extremely serious as they could also have resulted in fatal accidents. Both accidents were a result of operators starting their machines when the assistant operator had not completed his work on the rods. Both accidents were as a result of not following safe work procedures.

Transport of Equipment

The injury to Mr Bila at Doornkop was as a result of trying to do work which should have been done by a qualified rigger. Consequently no safe work procedures were in place for moving the heavy power pack and Bila was injured when the anchors in the rock face came lose and struck him.

Rigging of Equipment

Mr Thekiso was injured when he shook the bar jack in order to see how secure it was. A piece of rock fell from the hanging and cut his back. He was off work for 21 days. This also could have had fatal consequences. A and B training has empowered Lesedi workers to be aware of issues such as safe hanging and side walls. This should reduce the exposure to these accidents.

Trends 2003 - 2008

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 during the year under review where 11 lost time accidents occurred.

Lost Shift Trends

 

ß2003-2004à   <- 2004-2005à   <- 2005-2006->    ß2006-2007->   <-2007-2008->

 

Critical Activities

Freq

 

Severity

(lost shifts)

Freq

Severity

(lost shifts)

Freq

 

Severity

(lost shifts)

Freq

 

Severity

(lost shifts)

Freq

Severity

(lost shifts)

1

Gas Measuring

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

Start of  Shift Procedure

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

Transport of equipment

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

2

33

4

Rigging of equipment

2

160

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

34

5

Beginning of hole operations

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

6

Drilling Operations

1

0

3

0

0

0

1

21

3

115

7

Pulling and Lowering rods

2

80

2

140

0

0

1

7

3

152

8

End of Shift Procedures

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

 

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

 

 

 

Total

6

240

6

140

0

0

2

28

9

295

 

 Note: 100 lost shifts = 1 on the Severity/Frequency Scale 

A quick analysis of the last few years reveals the fact that there can be no doubt that the handling of rods and the setting up of heavy equipment is a major source of accidents and loss for the company. During the 2004, and 2005 periods, rigging of equipment and pulling and lowering of rods contributed to the highest number of lost shift accidents and severity of injuries. In 2006 no accidents were recorded but in 2007, a pulling and lowering of rods lost time accident was recorded as was an accident with core sample handling during drilling. The 2008 statistics record two amputations as a result of pulling rods. This is unacceptable as it is telling us that the employed technology and its day to day use is not good enough to safeguard a workers life or prevent serious injury.

We have modified our face clamps to try and eliminate injury and a new system of pulling and lowering will help a lot but vigilance in this area is vital. 

2007-2008 Planned Task Observation Results

 

Given the fear of accidents whilst rigging and that the supervisor is always present during the rigging activity, it is understandable that the organisation has a strong focus on this particular task category. It remains a concern that the deviation from procedures is still high at almost 17% of observations. This is an increase of 2% points over last year. 

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 this year but this is also 2% points higher than last year but not as bad as the 17% failure rate from the year before last. 

Given that pulling rods also has a high accident potential it is of concern that non conformances have increased since last year by 3 percentage points from slightly less than 10% to 13%. 

The overall failure rate on all task observations is over 15%. This represents a full 5% points higher than last year. Given the huge increase in our DIFR during the last year, this serves to highlight the connection between observing higher levels of non conformance and a worsening injury frequency rate. 

As always a risk map has been included (below) so that an interested reader can gauge the severity of the risk for any given work activity. 

                      Risk Map: Pneumatic Diamond Drilling

 

 

The DIFR (disabling injury frequency rate) for 2007 – 2008 is:  2.2

DIFR five year trend

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

As a result of our worsening DIFR result for the 2007-2008 safety year, the following actions have been made.

1. The face clamps are in the process of being modified so that rods cannot descend out of a hole in an uncontrolled fashion. This is a short term technological response to improve the current situation. In the long term, a transition to hydraulic drilling needs to be made in order to protect workers from the dangerous rod handling activity. Lesedi Drilling has moved a long way to implement such a change. Testing has been conducted at Anglo Platinum’s Turffontein Mine.

Side view of a face clamp with gripperbox to prevent rods falling out of an uphole

 

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