MHSC NEWSLETTERS MARCH 2019

The 4IR in the SA Mining

On 21 February 2019, 52 stakeholder representatives of the MHSC converged at the Glenhove Conference Centre in Johannesburg to attend a workshop on the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the MHSC, Mr Thabo Dube, hosted the workshop.

In his opening statement, Mr Dube remarked that, in countries where the mining industry is a key component of the economy, for example, Australia, technology and mechanisation are already at an advanced stage. This is because the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is about digitisation and the Internet of Things (IoT), as opposed to the Third Industrial Revolution, which focused on the internet and information technology.

During the event, the Organised Labour Convenor of the MHSC, Mr Mziwakhe Nhlapo, conducted a moment of silence in remembrance of the workers who lost their lives in the mining industry due to accidents and diseases. He stated that, according to statistics released by the Department of Mineral Resources, five mine workers have lost their lives since January 2019. This is compared to 13 mine workers during the same period in 2018. However, one life lost is one too many. 

Working towards implementation 

The purpose of the workshop was outlined by Dr Lindiwe Ndelu. Important points included the following: 

To introduce the concept of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to the MHSC and its stakeholders: Stakeholders need to understand, internalise, reflect and engage with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and consider how it is going to impact on the MHSC and the sector, especially as it relates to its mandate of occupational health and safety. Its implications for job losses and the changing nature of work within the industry must also be discussed. 

To review the research need analysis process and support services in alignment with trends brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution: This will enhance outcomes from the Safety In Mines Research Advisory Committee (SIMRAC) workshop on the research need analysis process. 

To emphasise the fact that the Fourth Industrial Revolution provides powerful objects, enablers and tools that can be used to improve lives: Artificial intelligence and robotic surgical methods have proven to be useful in the health sector. They have led to the reduction of infections in surgical wounds. It is thus crucial for the MHSC and the sector to see the opportunities and advances brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 

To ensure that we keep up to date with developments around artificial intelligence: The Fourth Industrial Revolution is about digitisation and the IoT. Prior to the workshop, the MHSC reconfirmed its resolution to do away with paper in conducting its business. It is thus starting the process of actively participating in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 

To encourage a holistic approach to the Fourth Industrial Revolution in order to address the opportunities and challenges it presents in the mining sector, communities and government. 

I n his opening statement, Mr Dube remarked that, in countries where the mining industry is a key component of the economy, for example, Australia, technology and mechanisation are already at an advanced stage. This is because the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is about digitisation and the Internet of Things (IoT), as opposed to the Third Industrial Revolution, which focused on the internet and information technology.

During the event, the Organised Labour Convenor of the MHSC, Mr Mziwakhe Nhlapo, conducted a moment of silence in remembrance of the workers who lost their lives in the mining industry due to accidents and diseases. He stated that, according to statistics released by the Department of Mineral Resources, five mine workers have lost their lives since January 2019. This is compared to 13 mine workers during the same period in 2018. However, one life lost is one too many. 

Working towards implementation 

The purpose of the workshop was outlined by Dr Lindiwe Ndelu. Important points included the following: 

  • To introduce the concept of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to the MHSC and its stakeholders: Stakeholders need to understand, internalise, reflect and engage with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and consider how it is going to impact on the MHSC and the sector, especially as it relates to its mandate of occupational health and safety. Its implications for job losses and the changing nature of work within the industry must also be discussed. 
  • To review the research need analysis process and support services in alignment with trends brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution: This will enhance outcomes from the Safety In Mines Research Advisory Committee (SIMRAC) workshop on the research need analysis process. 
  • To emphasise the fact that the Fourth Industrial Revolution provides powerful objects, enablers and tools that can be used to improve lives: Artificial intelligence and robotic surgical methods have proven to be useful in the health sector. They have led to the reduction of infections in surgical wounds. It is thus crucial for the MHSC and the sector to see the opportunities and advances brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 
  • To ensure that we keep up to date with developments around artificial intelligence: The Fourth Industrial Revolution is about digitisation and the IoT. Prior to the workshop, the MHSC reconfirmed its resolution to do away with paper in conducting its business. It is thus starting the process of actively participating in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 
  • To encourage a holistic approach to the Fourth Industrial Revolution in order to address the opportunities and challenges it presents in the mining sector, communities and government.