My name is Abednego Chigwada I work for Zimplats, a subsidiary of Implats division. As you are aware Implats is in South Africa and basically, I'm the group safety health environment and quality executive there. We have done extremely well in working together with IsoMetrix to come up with an integrated system where we combine all the facets of safety health environment and quality.
Which IsoMetrix solution do you use?
We were looking for a product that would make information readily available to everyone, but most importantly to the board so that we can make informed decisions as opposed to stale information.
What is it like working with the IsoMetrix team?
It is fantastic, it's a family. We enjoy it and their turnaround time is fantastic, it's not very difficult to pick up the phone and call or write an email and within a short space of time you get a response and this is certainly what we are looking for and what we expect from an organization that wants to be a global leader.
Where has IsoMetrix made the biggest impact?
Rightfully, I must say that it has embedded our philosophy very well in that they were very willing to take up our thought process and make sure that they assist in making sure that we have the right technology to navigate across all our operations and be informed of what is happening in our business without any challenges
Why would you recommend IsoMetrix?
The reason why I would recommend IsoMetrix is that they are flexible in meeting the needs of their clients and that's exactly what we need. As opposed to imposing what they have, they ask the client what he or she wants or requires for their specific needs.
What is your opinion of IsoMetrix?
IsoMetrix seems to have a good culture in terms of engagement, as well as in the selling of their business proposals. We thought that it was the way to go given our constraints.
Nine million fatality free hours, and counting.
A lost time injury frequency rate of 0.19 per million hours worked.
These are the safety statistics that bear testimony to the extraordinary achievements of the board, management and employees of Zimplats, Zimbabwe’s largest mining operation.
|Solutions being used||IsoMetrix EHS|
|Go live date||November 2016|
|Number of employees||6 000|
Stanley Segula, COO of Zimplats, explains the company’s approach. “Back in 2008 we realized we had a problem. That year we had 154 injuries, of 11 were LTIs. Ten years later, as at end September 2018, we have had 3 injuries, of which one was a first-aid case, the second a minor injury, and the third an LTI.”
So how did this remarkable improvement come about? “It took a huge focus on education,” explains Segula. “At Zimplats we moved from reactive to cooperative working. If you take the analogy of a fire, at first it was a question of ‘We did not know we would get burned’; this progressed to ‘We knew the risk but got burned anyway.’ Now, today, everyone is a risk manager.”
In 2008, the company analyzed its top risks, and identified technologies that would reduce risk in its operations. Recently the mine had a fall of ground collapse, with zero injuries. The sensors that had been installed for remote monitoring of ground stability had allowed the company to evacuate everyone before the collapse occurred.
At that time the leadership team also decided to implement an integrated system for SHEQ management. “Our system is our life and blood. The safety system is embedded within our production systems,” says Segula, “as everything that we do has a safety focus.” Zimplats has subsequently automated their EHS systems, implementing IsoMetrix for management of safety, health and environment in 2016.
As Abednego explains, it was also important to take the team along, to inculcate a sense of ownership regarding safety management. “When it comes to safety, we have a culture of zero tolerance. People simply do not cross the red line. Everyone in the company understands and appreciates that. Leadership resilience is crucial. Our people pillar is our most important asset. We have self-directed work teams that take ownership of their safety responsibilities. And because individuals are all different, it is important for us to understand the psychological make-up of a team. Depending on the risk profiles of individuals within a team, we will sometimes need to blend teams, to reduce their overall risk.
“Competition is also effective if harnessed properly. We operate a safety log across 40 teams, who compete for honors month by month and quarter by quarter. Safety doesn’t start and end at our doors. We encourage our employees to commit to safe behavior in their communities, and we have carried out broader community-based safety programmers and mental health programmers.”
Zimplats is hailed by its peers as a regional benchmark in the mining industry. Their success has been based on creating a strong safety culture, underpinned by effective systems. And the company’s outstanding results to date have not engendered any sense of complacency. The goal is to further reduce the company’s LTIFR to 0.17 in the year ahead.