95% of mine accidents are due to lack of compliance with safety procedures.

“If you haven’t yet attended a (Asibonisane Safety Compliance) training session……look forward to it…..It’s an eye opener, constructive to achieving a culture of compliance and really great fun.

By the end of the workshops, Koornfontein had 131 and Douglas had 62 classified injury free days, an excellent result!”

– Douglas / Koornfontein Friday Flash 10 Oct. 2003

If you entered the Blinkpan Club near Witbank at the end of 2003, you may have encountered groups enthusiastically singing about safety. Reflecting BHP Billiton and Ingwe Coal’s commitment to safety on their mines, almost 3000 employees and contractors of Douglas Collieries and Koornfontein mines – went through Lance Bloch and Associates’ innovative 1-day Asibonisane Safety Compliance Programme. Just prior to that, a group of 30 management and union reps from each mine had been taken through a more intensive version of the workshop at Olifants River Lodge in August where they enthusiastically bought into the process. Asibonisane was then rolled out to all in the 2 mines between September and November. The name Asibonisane was agreed on by the management & union group, reflecting how the whole process was an ongoing collaboration between LBA and the mines for their specific needs and culture.

In an exciting, highly experiential process, the focus was placed on commitment to a safety culture via building strong multi-cultural teams, creating a sense of individual and team responsibility for safety, building a group vision and values towards zero harm. Highly valuable information was gleaned from all, about why, despite knowing the rules and regulations, safety compliance often does not happen. This was fed back to management and unions, who have started addressing many of the issues, which are more HR, communication and morale questions.

The success of the programme came out of a high level of participation not before seen in mine trainings according to Employee Relations Development Manager Pieter De Lange. This was reflected in the fact that 25 entries of high standard were received for the mine safety song competition coming out of Asibonisane. The cartoon characters of Asi and Boni were generated to continually reinforce the learning’s. In addition, by the end of the workshops, Koornfontein had 131 and Douglas had 62 classified injury free days, an excellent result.

“The feedback received from these 1-day workshops has been extremely positive and indicates a strong commitment by all to a new safety culture on our mines” – Christine Richards, Communication Manager, in the Friday Flash.

“Feedback received to date has been encouraging with employees showing improved awareness to safety in general and higher levels of compliance to our safety rules, standards and procedures” – Jamie Ferguson, GM, Douglas-Koornfontein Complex

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