Friday, December 8, 2017
The Mine Health and Safety Council is a public entity that is mandated, in terms of the Mine Health and Safety Act (MHSA), to advise the Minister of Mineral Resources on research programmes, regulations, standards, Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) policies, procedures focused on minimising the occupational health and safety risk at mines. The Council is also tasked with promoting a culture of health and safety in the mining industry. The Council office executes the operational deliverables of the Council, including the provision of secretarial support to the Council and all its committees, managing research programmes, finances, communications and promotions, and liaising with other statutory bodies on matters relating to occupational health and safety at mines. Council provides a platform for stakeholder engagements on Occupational Health and Safety matters. The Mine Health and Safety Council was established 20 years ago through an initiative of the then government led by the then State President of South Africa; Dr Nelson R. Mandela. The road to attaining Zero Harm is a long, winding and bumpy one. However, it is a road that is walked alongside diverse people collaborating, executing plans and strongly rallying around a common objective. Since its inception, the MHSC continues to work tirelessly to make a meaningful contribution towards the realisation of ZERO HARM in South African mines. This is a mammoth task that calls for dedication and cooperation from all stakeholders. creation of the MHSC is provided for in section 41 (1) of the Mine Health and Safety Act, No 29 of 1996. However, it actually started as the Safety in Mines Research Advisory Committee (SIMRAC) in 1997. As it was the only active committee, management of MHSC affairs was done by Simrac Project Support Services SIMPROSS.0 The Mine Health and Safety Council has covered a lot of ground in terms of promoting Health and Safety within the mining industry. The purpose of the celebration is to look back at all the work that the MHSC has covered and the milestones achieved in making a meaningful contribution to the mining industry on occupational health and safety research and developments. The Council has made great strides towards achieving Zero Harm for the Mine Workers. The MHSC continues to pursue Research Excellence. This also comes with the launch of the Centre of Excellence – a project which will be a game changer for the South African mining industry.