The safety expectations by individuals, society-at-large as well as companies, matured over time. What was acceptable in the past is no longer acceptable and will evolve further in future. Company and other stakeholders’ expectations have increased dramatically over time resulting in increased complexity and effort to have a sustainable business. Making adequate returns on investments is paramount to ensure business success but it cannot be done at the expense of society expectations. Mining companies cannot operate in isolation and society creates an enabling environment if expectations are met and the opposite if it is not met. There are therefore compelling reasons for a company to mine safely and to regard it as a moral and business imperative to ensure sustainability.
Society’s expectations and the mining industry’s response has moved closer over time the mutual vision of ‘zero harm’ was adopted although it has not been achieved as yet. Will ‘zero harm’ ultimately be reached?
Research was done to determine what actions were taken to improve safety in six South African deep level mines over a 10 year period.  Emerging themes were observed which enabled the companies to create sustainable safety outcomes. This high level approach could be adopted by the relevant companies and organisation in a country to improve the safety performance.
Bio: Kobus de Jager has been in the mining industry since 1975. He is currently a Senior Vice President: Safety, Health and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) at Sibanye Stillwater. He was a Visiting Adjunct Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) School of Mining Engineering and is a founding member of the WITS' Centre for Sustainability in Mining and Industry. Kobus was appointed as an Adjunct Professor at the Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre, Sustainable Minerals Institute, University of Queensland in June 2020. Read bio in full

About SMI Webinar Series

The Sustainable Minerals Institute Webinar Series showcases the exciting research underway across SMI - from processing to social performance to health and safety - join us on a Tuesday for the presentation followed by Q&A with the researcher.