Nothing is more important than the safety, health and well-being of our workforce. We believe that everyone has the right to a safe working environment and that every employee should go home safe and unharmed, every single day.
2:43am on Sep 29, 2022
achieved at SA PGM processing plants and concentrators
ISO 45001 & 14001
certification or recommendations for certification across all Group operations
of re-emphasised ‘Eliminating fatalities’
Total recordable injury frequency rate
7.10per million hours worked
> 80% of employees
have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine
We are committed to maintaining a working environment that is safe and that fosters the health and wellbeing of our employees and contractors. Safety, one of our principal material focus areas, is underpinned by our CARES values. While zero harm remains our ultimate objective, our immediate focus is on managing core risks and hazards to mitigate high-energy incidents and build a solid strategic base from which we can evolve our zero harm strategy.
Our safety performance in 2021 was overshadowed by the loss of 20 lives in occupational incidents at our SA operations – six at our SA PGM operations, 12 at the SA gold operations and two at the US PGM operations. As a consequence, we have reprioritised the elimination of fatalities and introduced a fatal elimination strategy, developed with the aid of independent, third-party experts. The focus of this strategy is to operationalise the core of our existing safety strategy particularly the management and mitigation of high-energy risks. The roll-out of the safety strategy will continue throughout the 2022 year.
During 2021, we invested R616 million (SA PGM operations) and R338 million (SA gold operations) in safety management initiatives, including personal protective equipment (PPE), capital outlay and training.
In addition, we have expanded our safety performance monitoring and benchmarking metrics to include the total recordable injury frequency rate (TRIFR), a measure of non-fatal incidents. We have set a Group TRIFR benchmark of 4.0 per million hours worked, to be achieved by 2025. Our TRIFR for 2021 was 7.10 (2020: 6.69).
Our CARES values guide our approach to health and well-being.
Delivering on our purpose to improve lives through our mining activities, safeguarding the health and well-being of our employees, their families and our communities is a key priority. We strive to maintain the safety and health of our employees by identifying, monitoring and reducing exposure to risks that can lead to occupational disease such as heat, radiation, noise and dust; and we participate in the health working group of the ICMM, which helps increase our awareness of health-related matters in our industry.
As with safety, each region has tailored its own needs-specific approach to health and wellness programmes.
In Southern Africa, we provide individualised care including access to occupational health resources that assess health risks and fitness to work, shaft clinics close the workplace, satellite primary healthcare clinics, 24/7 primary healthcare centres, emergency medical services, hospital networks offering specialised care, and medical aid that protects our employees from the financial risk of high medical costs. In addition, we conduct annual medical examinations of all employees (as well as those contractors engaged in risky work) to ensure their fitness for assigned tasks, as as mandated by the South African Mine Health and Safety Act (MSHA),
We are also working to align our health care model with the Sustainable Development Goals – in particular Goal 3, which relates to universal access to and equity in health care.
The spread of COVID-19 was identified and prioritised as a significant risk in February 2020. To protect the safety, health and well-being of our employees, contractors and communities, extensive safety and health protocols were developed and implemented to mitigate the risk in the work environment, while ensuring the ongoing continuity and sustainability of the operations.
In 2021, Sibanye-Stillwater continued with the implementation of public health and social measures to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, with 81% of our full-time workforce being vaccinated by year end. We serviced employees and their dependants at our registered vaccination sites.
Our COVID-19 measures also include mask-wearing, good hand hygiene, social distancing, touch point cleaning and access screening. Vulnerability assessments are also conducted with the assessment of comorbidities being included in the employee health surveillance programme.
For the most up-to-date information, follow our response to COVID-19
Silicosis and tuberculosis class action
In November 2014, Sibanye-Stillwater, Anglo American Limited, AngloGold Ashanti Limited, Gold Fields Limited, Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited and African Rainbow Minerals Limited formed an occupational lung disease (OLD) industry working group to address issues relating to compensation for OLD in the gold mining industry of South Africa. As part of the working group, Sibanye-Stillwater was involved in tracking and tracing employees to settle claims relating to silicosis. We also collaborated with financial institutions and the Mineworkers Provident Fund in distributing unclaimed pension funds.
In May 2016, a class-action suit, filed to obtain compensation for South African gold miners affected by silicosis or TB, was approved by the High Court in Johannesburg with parties finally reached an agreement in May 2018. In an historic judgment, the court approved this agreement on 26 July 2019.
The Tshiamiso Trust, registered on 28 November 2019, has been tasked with locating, verifying, medically screening and paying out thousands of miners across southern Africa.
The websites below provides more information relating to the court application and settlement agreement: