Total commitment to Zero Harm

Following high levels of compliance and implementation of practices and principles exhibited in the 2023 ISHE Audit, ASPASA members have once again demonstrated their commitment to the health and safety of employees and interested parties affected by their operations. By Munesu Shoko.
For the third year running, Free State-based Afrimat Qwa Qwa scooped the overall Top Performer position.

In the quest for ‘Zero Harm’, members of surface mining industry association, ASPASA, have over the years placed safety at the centre of their operational activities, and 2023 was no different. In a one-on-one with Quarrying Africa, Marius van Deventer, Health and Safety auditor at ASPASA, says ‘Zero Harm’ has become a catchphrase in the mining sector and ASPASA members have once again shown that it is achievable.

“Members who participate in the ISHE Audit process understand and accept their responsibilities when it comes to health and safety compliance,” says Van Deventer. “All participants should be commended for their efforts and enthusiasm to achieve high levels of compliance.”

KwaZulu Natal-based BluRock Quarry was named the overall runner-up and Top Independent Performer in the 2023 ISHE Audit.

Audit scope

The ISHE Audit covers all functions on the mine or quarry that fall under the legal requirements of the Mine Health and Safety Act and applicable regulations. Audits were also conducted at member operations governed by the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Both audit protocols are revised annually in line with new legal requirements and industry standards.

The audit process entails in-depth inspections of facilities at the quarry or mine, as well as the inspection of the documentation of the Health and Safety System. Own legal registers, inspections, pre-start checklists, licences to operate machines and isolation records are among some of the critical documents assessed during the auditor’s site inspection.

The auditor has in-depth knowledge of the legal requirements for technical, plant, machinery and mining area requirements and these are also evaluated for compliance. The main aim of the entire audit process is to provide guidance and add value to the industry’s quest for Zero Harm. Knowledge is shared right across the industry to uplift the understanding, behaviour and attitude towards health and safety, says Van Deventer.

Midmar Quarry achieved a Showplace Status for the fifth consecutive year.

Key findings

Every year, the auditor highlights areas of the audit scope that members should improve on. Van Deventer commends members audited in 2023 for the general improvement at the majority of sites. One of the key initiatives implemented at industry level during 2023 was the sharing of information – a crucial aspect of the auditing process.

“It is encouraging to see that quarry managers are always eager to learn from one another to improve the health and safety performance of their own operations,” says Van Deventer. “One of the positive takeaways from the 2023 audit was the health and safety conditions sustained and maintained throughout the industry, even under difficult conditions.”

Van Deventer also commends the industry for the general improvement in compliance to machine guarding requirements. Another key observation was that mine developments were done in accordance with mine planning guidelines and there were no serious incidents recorded because of mine failures.

In fact, no mining fatalities were recorded at ASPASA member operations during the audit period. Van Deventer says this is a true reflection of employees’ knowledge and understanding of the industry’s drive for Zero Harm.

However, Van Deventer has also noted a few areas of concern highlighted in the 2023 ISHE Audit. While members continue to demonstrate high levels of compliance, some serious injuries were unfortunately recorded at some member operations during the audit period. “This is very unfortunate, and steps have been taken to prevent recurrence,” he says.

In some cases, the investigation of accidents and incidents is still questionable. Members, he says, should conduct thorough investigations to identify the root cause of every accident on site and subsequently establish control measures to prevent these from happening again.

“Too many lost time injuries, disabling injuries and reportable injuries were recorded during the auditing period,” he says. “In 2024, more effort should be directed towards the identification of risks and/or non-compliances. Member operations should also strive to improve their own inspections and pre-start inspections for plant and trackless mobile machinery.”

In addition, full implementation of effective Traffic Management Plans will take centre stage in 2024. Operations, adds Van Deventer, should also strive to improve housekeeping on plants to reduce dust exposure and the dangers of running machinery.

Other key focus areas for 2024 include full compliance to isolation and lockout requirements; attention to accident/ incident investigations to establish root causes; Planned Task Observations to eliminate accidents and incidents, near-miss reporting and recording of Section 23 refusals and improved contractor management, as well as emergency training and mock drills, should be of prime importance.

Audit results

A total of 81 audits was conducted during 2023, with an average score of 89,84%, up from 88,91% in 2022. Of the 70% of members audited, 90% achieved scores of 90% and above, demonstrating high levels of compliance. The highest score of the audit was 97,59%, with the lowest being 68,97%.

For the third year running, Free State-based Afrimat Qwa Qwa scooped the overall Top Performer position with a 97,59% score, while KwaZulu Natal-based BluRock Quarry was named the overall runner-up and Top Independent Performer with a 97,27% score. Midmar Quarry achieved a Showplace Status for the fifth consecutive year, with a 96,52% score.

“The results of the 2023 ISHE Audit are still of an extremely high standard and all participating members should be commended for their exceptional effort and commitment to health and safety. Overall feedback from members was incredibly positive and the consistent feeling is that the process does add value to every operation and contributes significantly to members’ Zero Harm efforts,” concludes Van Deventer.

Top 10 Operations

Position Operation 2023 ISHE Audit Score
1 Afrimat Qwa Qwa 97,59%
2 Blurock Quarry (Pty) Ltd 92,27%
3 Midmar Quarry 96,52%
4 Eskay Crushers 95,88%
5 Afrimat Scottburgh Quarries

Afrimat Bethlehem



6 South Coast Stone Crushers 95,30%
7 Afrimat Brewelskloof 95,18%
8 Afrimat De Kop 95,14%
9 Raumix Queenstown Quarry 95,13%
10 Afrimat Palmiet 95,01%

Breakdown of achievements

Showplace Status (95% +) 11 Operations
5 Shield Status (90-95%) 46 Operations
4 Shield Status (80-90%) 15 Operations
3 Shield Status (70-80%) 8 Operations
2 Shield Status (60-70%) 1 Operation
1 Shield Status (50-60%) 0 Operations


Share on:

Digital Magazine

Sign Up to Quarrying Africa Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter to get our newest articles instantly!
Scroll to Top