The New Denmark Colliery planned its safety and health day activities for all employees over the three days at the beginning of each shift. Each session was opened by the Chief Safety Officer, Rachel Mokaila, who congratulated everyone on the mine for working 54 injury-free days as she explained the purpose of the day. This was followed by a moment of silence and prayer led by local preacher, Bishop Mbao. The Smarty team then took the stage to do a role play on the safety and health roles and responsibilities of each employee as per the Mine Health and Safety Act (MHSA) focusing on the importance of the following Sections of the MHSA:
- 22. Employees' duties for health and safety
- 23. Employees' right to leave dangerous working place
- 83. No discrimination against employees who exercise rights
The session then continued with Mokaila showing the Minerals Council safety and health day in mining 2018 video; after which the General Manager, Gavin Silver, and mine union representatives addressed employees on various health and safety matters.
Mokaila commented: “We all need to commit to health and safety first and always, by being our brothers and sisters keepers both at work and at home, and also by doing what we are trained to do and performing SLAM (Stop, look, access and manage) risk assessments always. Viva Smarty, viva! (Long live, Smarty, long live!)”
The Chief Operating Officer, Themba Masondo, also spoke mentioning that zero harm is a reality which can be achieved if everyone does what they are employed to do and follow the safety and health rules and procedures at all times. He ended by saying: “Rules and procedures are developed from blood spilt at accidents in the past - it is important for everyone to follow the rules to save lives. Qina Seriti, Qina! (Be strong, Seriti, be strong!)”
The key guest speaker at the safety and health day sessions, Ayanda Zide, Acting Principal Inspector, Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) said: “Safety is everyone`s responsibility and employees must exercise sections 22 and 23 of the MHSA. For any reckless actions at the mine everybody gets affected all the way to the DMR office”.
The Head of Safety, Alex Mgadzah, closed each session by facilitating the Zero Harm Pledge to all present. He concluded: “Zero harm is a journey and we need to be fit and prepared to reach this destination. There will be obstacles and challenges on the way but what matters is how you face them and pick yourself up to continue with the safety and health journey.”