PROUD ACHIEVEMENT: Some of the Lonmin Platinum employees who were responsible for the outstanding milestone in mining safety. Picture: THABO RANTLHA
Team work and non-discrimination were attributed to Lonmin Platinum’s success in celebrating the first 2 million fatality free shifts on the mine since the Eastern 3 Shaft was sunk more than 20 years ago.
Lonmin Eastern 3 Shaft senior manager Elliot Mnisi said the mine had achieved a milestone for the first time between May 28, 2008 and February 8.
“Production was low and safety out of control but we saw the beginning of the journey in 2010 after being appointed to turn things around. After listening to advice all employees recognised that we are one team with a common goal to mine platinum safely.
“The shaft employs 3000 workers and there was only one fatality, which happened in 2007, before I took over.
“I started at Lonmin based in Limpopo as a student 15 years ago and went for training from learner mining. I was appointed mine overseer in 2001 in Marikana and section manager in 2003. In 2005 I returned to Limpopo and came back here in 2010,” said Mnisi during celebrations in Marikana on Thursday.
Lonmin executive vice-president Mark Munroe said the fatality free shifts were history in the making and he commended the management and workers for the achievement.
“You have given new meaning to the term team work and have proved the possibility of achieving a fatality free record in an industry as dynamic as mining. Remember to exercise your right to withdraw from any unsafe work environment,” Munroe told the workers.
“When working underground we rely on our team members, not only to reach our targets but look out for each other ensuring safety for everyone.”
Lonmin Eastern section ventilation officer Malcolm Davids said they were setting a target of exceeding 5 million incident-free shifts by May 2015.