ICMM releases 2015 mining safety report

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The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) today reported its 23 member companies which employ over 900,000 people recorded 60 fatalities across the globe in 2015 with five members recording zero fatalities for the year.

ICMM CEO Tom Butler said, “Nothing is more important to us than people’s health and safety and ICMM’s ambition is to have no fatalities in the mining industry. Our members helped compile this report as part of their efforts to reduce fatalities and injuries in the mining sector.”

“We welcome the overall downward trend in both fatalities and injuries since 2012 but are ever vigilant and note that there was an increase in fatalities in 2015. The mining and metals industry has been working hard to eliminate fatalities, but we acknowledge we still have a long way to go. ICMM membership means committing to continuous improvement of health and safety performance and we continue that journey,” he said.

In order to accurately measure the frequency of fatalities, the report examines the fatality frequency rate – fatalities per million hours worked – which was 0.027 in 2015.

ICMM total fatalities and fatality frequency rate (2012-2015)
 

ICMM 2015 mining safety graph

ICMM’s members also reported a decrease in total recordable injuries from 13,895 in 2012 to 10,586 in 2015 alongside a decrease in the total recordable injury frequency rate from 5.07 to 4.74 injuries per million hours worked.

The annual safety report is the third produced by ICMM with the aim of encouraging information and knowledge-sharing among members in order to further improve safety across the industry.

Report findings include:

  • Four additional fatalities recorded in 2015 compared to 2014
  • 70% of fatalities were attributed to fall of ground in underground mines, machinery and transportation
  • 60% of fatalities occurred in South Africa
  • The mining industry must continue its efforts to eliminate all fatalities and catastrophic events
  • ICMM’s work on critical control management is a key strategy to reach this goal.

Dr Sizwe Phakathi, Head of Safety and Sustainable Development at the South African Chamber of Mines said: “This report is a really useful tool which will help us all to make mining safer. It identifies the most common causes of injuries and fatalities which will help us to prevent them recurring in the future. While 2015 saw the lowest number of fatalities in South African mines we believe that a single mining death is one too many and we share the ICMM’s ambition of achieving zero fatalities in mining.”

Mr Butler said that the data was helping the industry learn where to focus its efforts. “ICMM believes that ongoing measurement and evaluation is key to driving safety improvements. The more data we collect, the more equipped we are to analyse common challenges and determine how to address them. We believe taking a collective approach allows us to make greater progress as an industry than if we tackled the issue individually,” he said.

Last year, ICMM’s member companies worked together to develop good practice guidance on critical control management. The management of critical controls is founded on the principle that some controls are more crucial than others to prevent unwanted events and/or mitigating their consequences should they occur.  Companies should therefore focus on systematically identifying, assessing, implementing and evaluating those controls that are essential to the prevention of fatal or catastrophic events.

“We put people first, and as a high-risk industry creating a strong safety culture is crucial. It is therefore essential that we continue to embed critical control management into our day-to-day operations. While the fatality and injury rates serve as backward-looking indicators, critical control management offers leading indicators on the health and safety status of an organisation. This means being able to monitor real-time performance and respond accordingly,” said Mr Butler.

For further information please see the ICMM 2015 Safety Data Report.

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