It is with great pleasure and appreciation that Solidarity welcomes SA Gold Segment of Sibanye-Stillwater’s achievement of safe production without a fatality for a period of one year and seven million fatality-free shifts.
2018 was a bleak year for Sibanye-Stillwater as they suffered 21 mining fatalities in mining disasters between 1 January 2018 and 30 June 2018. Organised labour labelled this “the Sibanye-Stillwater Storm of 21”. Since then, all the stakeholders in health and safety in Sibanye-Stillwater, i.e. organised labour, senior mine management and the DMRE came together to analyse the problems and find solutions to improve the health and safety at Sibanye-Stillwater SA. Solidarity actively participated in this process and these safety improvements are a direct result of this process.
“Such achievements can only be accomplished through all shouldering their responsibility for health and safety and teamwork. Furthermore, Sibanye-Stillwater’s safety leadership and that of their team during the past year has been noted and is highly appreciated,” said Gideon du Plessis, General Secretary of Solidarity.
Solidarity is confident that Sibanye’s safety leadership has improved the safety culture at Sibanye-Stillwater SA and that this made all the difference in achieving this milestone compared to the extremely unfortunate previous year.
However, Solidarity warns the mine against complacency and urges it to continue to be safety conscious so that every employee can return home safely to their families every day.
“The real test of your safety culture and commitment now comes with the maintaining of this achievement and with the further reduction of accidents and injuries,” Du Plessis said.