Developing a zero harm safety culture framework for the mining industry
Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.
Safety culture is a multi-layered dynamic concept, meaning that it is not only the aspects pertaining to compliance with compulsory legislation, but also many other non-compulsory safety management and leadership initiatives, which enhance the companies’ safety performance. Most of the available literature focuses on a safety climate, which is an aggregate measure of employee attitude and opinion regarding safety. This paper presents the zero harm safety culture, a common contextual framework, taking readers beyond the traditional safety climate metrics and presenting a variety of assessment and analytical tools for each level of the framework. Techniques used to transform the safety culture toward a state of zero harm are explored in this research report. Finally, 26-components exist in a zero harm safety framework, to illustrate the development and application of a zero harm safety culture in the mining industry. It is also worth mentioning that the most important element of clearly perceived leadership has been found to be neglected in the past and resulted in persistence of incidents leading to fatalities. This important factor, which requires constant leadership interaction, is what makes or breaks the zero harm safety culture framework. Hence, it is crucial that organisations appoint leaders in positions influencing direction of the safety culture, and that these individuals are committed to the drive towards zero harm. This would assist leaders in the mining industry, especially small mines where resources are scarce, to apply the zero harm framework in such a way that the drive towards a zero harm safety culture becomes a reality. When considering implementing the zero harm safety framework in any mining company, irrespective of its size, a successful safety culture can be accomplished realistically within three to five. This paper also provides a series of recommendations to help implement this framework.