SA Mining Health and Safety facts and figures

By | 2020-02-03T13:35:23+00:00 February 13th, 2020|

Minerals Council South Africa has published their Facts and Figures Pocketbook 2019. MTE relays some interesting facts on Safety and Health in South African Mining:

The mining industry recorded a significantly improved safety performance in 2019. Image credit: Minerals Council South Africa

The mining industry recorded a significantly improved safety performance in 2019. Image credit: Minerals Council South Africa


Significant safety improvement recorded in 2019

The industry recorded a significantly improved safety performance in 2019. Tragically 51 people lost their lives in mining-related accidents in 2019, compared with the 81 deaths recorded in 2018.

The last quarter of 2019 was fairly challenging given the increase in the number of accidents that occurred. Fall of ground and transportation related incidents were a concern in 2019 as a significant number of lives were lost due to these types of accidents. This challenge resulted in an increased focus on safety by all stakeholders.

Download Facts and Figures 2019 pocketbook

As part of the annual Minerals Council National Day of Safety and Health in Mining, the Minerals Council and its member companies launched the Khumbul’ekhaya safety and health strategy. Khumbul’ekhaya is a Nguni word meaning ‘remember home’. The emphasis on home acknowledges that fatalities have the greatest impact on loved ones at home and encourages mine employees and managers to bear these loved ones in mind while embarking on their daily tasks.

The Khumbul’ekhaya strategy was developed by the CEO Zero Harm Forum to drive and sustain the mining industry’s pursuit of Zero Harm.

Also read: Minerals Council publishes Facts and Figures 2019 pocketbook

The key focus of the strategy includes:

  • Promoting a holistic approach to the elimination of fatalities
  • Developing a system of understanding occupational deaths in and beyond employment
  • Adopting methods for more effective and competitive training
  • Adopting globally leading practices to learn better and faster from others

The industry remains committed to collaborative efforts as significant strides in improving industry safety and health performance have been made possible through the collaborative efforts of employees and unions, the support of the DMRE and mining companies.


Tuberculosis (TB), silicosis and noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) are the most common occupational diseases in mining. Data from the DMRE shows that there were 1,716 cases of TB, 886 cases of NIHL and 465 cases of silicosis reported in 2018. As there is a lag in the reporting of health-related performance, the statistics presented are for 2018. All these show significant drops from 2008.

Under the Mineral Council’s Masoyise Health Programme, counselling for HIV rose from 79.1% in 2015 to 84% in 2018, TB screening rose from 84% in 2015 to 90.3% in 2018, and TB incidence decreased from 1,068 cases/100,000 population to 435 cases/100,000 population.