People and safety behaviour


This is the thrust in which we have made the least progress. In reviewing the lessons learnt from our investigations, we identified non-compliance with systems and standards as the underlying cause  
of a significant number of incidents. Our Zero Harm in Action initiative  
was launched specifically to address this shortcoming.

Zero Harm in Action

Despite Amplats’ consistent attention and commitment to safety, and also the encouraging downward trend in the number of injuries on our operations in the past few years, we continue to experience fatalities.

To address the challenge, the Zero Harm in Action project was launched in November 2011. It sets out to incorporate Zero Harm in the way we do business and, as a consequence, to improve our safety performance.

The project is thus designed to complement the robust and varied safety efforts already under way at all our operations. It is targeted at all levels of the organisation, and is being woven into the very fabric of day-to-day activities.

Zero Harm in Action is founded on the Company values and rests on three pillars:

  • People
  • Systems
  • Technology


“People” is the biggest component by far. Achieving the Zero Harm objective will only become a reality when the Company’s workforce is imbued with the desire to work for and achieve a harm-free work environment. Therefore this component entails building a sense of respect for one another and aims to further deepen the Company’s values.

The enrolment of employees, under the “people” component, is being trialled at Tumela Mine, with the focus initially on the leadership roles. This enrolment process is essentially a tool called the Safe Profitable Platinum Index (SPPI) model which focuses on (i) applications of living the Company values; (ii) management’s ability to communicate to the workforce in the workplace; and (iii) risk management.

The model delivers a gap analysis and an individual profile for each employee including an individualised self-driven leadership mastery intervention plan that caters for specific development needs. Altogether 145 employees have now gone through these profile assessments and are currently receiving feedback. Once the first group is complete the model will be rolled out to the rest of Tumela Mine and the following site will be targeted starting with the management level.

Risk management, which involves the closure of actions associated with the remedying of identified deviations, has been a major focus throughout the Group. Together with the placement of boards at our operations, which indicate areas where risks have been identified and an increase in risk awareness, this drive has assisted us in improving the time taken to close these actions, and will therefore be continued in the forthcoming year.

Approximately 1,100 employees received training in Visible Felt Leadership (VFL) in 2012. (See the VFL section in this report.) This will ensure that we standardise our approach in line with Anglo American’s and connect with all our employees  
on a regular basis through the  
VFL process.

Best-practice visits conducted by senior managers are useful in improving the spread of best practices across the Group. These managers not only infuse the best practices they observe at various sites into their own areas of influence, but are also tasked with sharing the lessons they have learned with managers from other areas of the Company.


Wilson Zurumba operating a Fletcher roofbolter at Unki Mine


Edwin Masiela with new pinch bar hand protection guard(Tumela 1 Shaft)


Zero Harm pledge wall at Polokwane Smelter



























This component refers to the systems used to monitor the close-out of findings as well as sharing of safety audit findings across the various sites and disciplines in the Group. This process has commenced and will be further entrenched in 2013.


This final pillar concerns innovation targeted at improving our hierarchy of controls. Liaison with departments such as Asset Optimisation and Supply Chain has commenced in order to leverage off similar systems already used in the Group.

Expected outcome

The Company as a whole has already experienced further improvements in lost time injuries of approximately 9% year-on-year as well as fatalities  
(7 compared to 12 in 2011). At Tumela Mine, where employees have started the enrolment process, there was a steady improvement in the number of safety incidents throughout 2012. We are confident that, with the further implementation of the project across our operations in the next few years, Amplats will accomplish a significant improvement in safety performance through the entrenchment of the Company values.

Visible felt leadership

Our operations have all implemented structured visible felt leadership (VFL) programmes, which aim to increase the effective time spent by operational leaders in each operation’s critical areas. The most common VFL programme is the 4/7/7/11 programme, which requires each senior manager at an operation to spend four days a week either underground, in the pit or in the plant, interfacing with operators (4/7). Furthermore, no meetings are allowed between 07:00 and 11:00 on any day of the week (7/11), ensuring that managers concentrate uninterruptedly on critical areas. Feedback from the VFL visits is captured on If follow-up action is required on any of the captured feedback, it is logged. Progress on such action is followed up until the issue has been resolved and feedback has been provided to employees.

Global CEO Safety Day

Our CEO Safety Day was on 26 November 2012. The focus was on safe shut-down and start-up, VFL, confined spaces and transport. Operational senior management, Company executives and corporate teams discussed relevant topics with employees at their workplaces in the specific operations. The format of the day was aligned with the rest of the business units in Anglo American, and the global theme was “Real safety begins with me”.