Mining companies in South Africa should adopt technologies and solutions that enable mine modernisation to improve safety measures for workers, according to attendees of MineSafe 2021.
A stakeholders' statement from the Minerals Council of South Africa said companies had agreed to adopt technologies that help adopt safety leading practices, such as collision prevention systems, to address "transport-related risks," in pursuit of ‘Zero Harm' production.
Additionally, stakeholders agreed to accelerate the adoption of production technologies like faster rock drills to shorten the mining cycle and drilling outside the box cut, which reduces risks to operators.
They will also implement a holistic, risk-phased plan on collision-prevention systems with ecosystems readiness for industry-wide adoption by December 2023.
The Minerals Council of South Africa said the commitments had been made to reduce the number of workers killed in South African mines. It said 69 people have so far been killed in mines in 2021.
That is up from 48 in 2020 - the second consecutive year deaths have increased - a situation it described as "unacceptable."
"The urgency of interventions to address health and safety and, more specifically, the continued loss of life of the employees in the mining sector cannot be understated," the Minerals Council of South Africa said.
"Work is already underway to address falls of ground and transport-related accidents which are the leading sources of fatalities."