Rössing Uranium recorded its lowest All Injury Frequency Rate (AIFR) of 0.29 in 2021, the best performance in the history of the mine.
Rössing’s manager for Health Safety Environment and Protection Services (HSE & PS), Jacklyn Mwenze, shares what this achievement means to the business.
“Our goal is for every member of the workforce to go home safe and healthy every day and for us, this is a big milestone and a sound indicator that we are well on our journey towards Zero Harm.
“Consistently since 2018, we have been on a downward trend in terms of all injuries and year-on-year we are exceeding the annual targets that we set for ourselves. This symbolises ownership and is evident that people are taking care of their safety and not hurting themselves while at the same time looking out for one another,” she said.
Jacklyn added that there is passion from the leaders in driving safety in their areas of responsibility. This was seen in our fatality elimination scheme where we met and, in some instances, exceeded our performance in terms of the number of interactions and in field verifications.
She believes that several injuries were prevented through these verifications which led to proactive job stoppages. Leaders are purposeful about making an impact on safety and supported their teams very well. This outcome is evident in the low AFIR recorded in 2021. Achieving an 0.29 AIFR required ownership, hard work, commitment, and teamwork from all the stakeholders at Rössing. On lessons learned, Jacklyn said; “Everybody has a role to play and if we each play our role in self-preservation and look well after one another, the outputs will show themselves in the result as was the case 2021. It is never an individual effort, but safe work relies on all members of the workforce to get involved and make the deliberate efforts of keeping safe every single minute.
It is also important that the management systems, processes and tools are set up to enable safe work and make the goal a reality.
“For Rössing, one of the key drivers was the near-miss reporting and the role that the OHSE Representatives played in pulling together and mobilising everyone to work towards that common goal of proactive reporting. They engaged everyone through their continuation with the housekeeping competitions, pushed for near miss reporting and executing crew projects in the business and this made a difference along with leadership support towards maintaining a safe workplace.
“There is no break on safety, you need to be engaged every single second of every minute. We also never arrive with safety, so we should not think that now that we have achieved this big milestone, we have arrived. The reality is that nobody arrives with safety and thus, being fully alert and engaged is the order of the day for us all. We all need to keep our engagement level going because having a good result today does not guarantee the same result next week or even the next minute. You need to keep in tune with safety all the time”.
Jacklyn is most grateful to the Rössing team, but urged them to keep working towards the goal of zero harm.
Contributed by Rössing