Drilling technology and services provider Rosond of Midrand recently celebrated a year of Zero Harm operations in Carletonville in Gauteng. This area-specific safety record, achieved on 28 February, is the latest in a series of occupational health and safety (OHS) accolades for the company, which recorded Zero Harm across the entirety of the business on 1 October 2019.
Rosond is currently undertaking core and exploration drilling, its two main areas of expertise for the mining industry, at six different mines and 11 associated shafts. A total of 300 employees are involved, with all safety-related activities overseen by Senior Safety Officer Eugene Barnard. “I wish to congratulate all Rosond employees working in the Carletonville area on one year of Zero Harm. This is an enormous achievement that the entire company can be extremely proud of.”
The OHS culture at Rosond is underpinned by the simple mantra of “We cannot drill if we cannot do so safely”, explains Barnard. From MD, Ricardo Ribeiro,right down to the drill assistants, safety is lived and breathed at the company. “The fact that this is underpinned right from top management all the way to ground level is critical.”
Adding another layer of complexity to Rosond’s OHS compliance in the Carletonville area is that it works for different mining houses at a range of mines, all with their own specific requirements and procedures and policies. These are often subject to amendment, which means that Barnard and his team have to be constantly alert to any changes that might impact on OHS.
From the outset of the lockdown in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Rosond committed itself to complying with all of the necessary government rules and regulations that were proscribed. “We also had to be cognisant that many mining houses themselves implemented additional measures, as mining is a high-risk activity with specific requirements in terms of ensuring worker safety during this difficult period,” adds Barnard.
In terms of OHS compliance in Carletonville specifically, Rosond had to carefully monitor the types of activities that needed to be undertaken in order to allocate the correct numbers of workers in accordance with social distancing protocols. The Covid-19 requirements for the mining industry also have a legal stipulation for specific OHS documentation to be completed daily, for example.
As part of its own OHS initiative, Rosond has quarterly safety drives based on a specific topic identified in the period under review. This information is then distilled into the form of safety posters and other awareness-raising to underscore essential OHS lessons and learnings.
Every site where Rosond is operational is also subject to a quarterly internal OHS audit to ensure compliance with the Mine Health and Safety Act and any other additional statutory requirements. Weekly safety meetings are conducted by site managers, supervisors and safety officers, in addition to an ongoing daily work risk assessment and hazard identification process to red-flag any OHS related issues to prevent incidents that may arise.
Barnard attributes Rosond’s significant OHS achievements to date to the fact that the safety system implemented by the company is both readily understandable to all employees, and flexible enough to take into account any contingencies. The company is also committed to constant innovation, which means that all drilling and related equipment is constantly upgraded to improve the level of risk management.