IndustriALL Global Union and AngloAmerican met in Johannesburg, South Africa, 8 February, to discuss how they can work together to build trust on safe and healthy workplaces at Anglo American operations around the world. The initiative will create leading and best practice on safety and health in the global mining industry
IndustriALL and AngloAmerican are signatories of the United Nations Global Compact which commits to the International Labour Organization Convention 176 on Safety and Health in Mines. The convention has obligations for the employer to inform workers of hazards and risks at their workplaces and to take preventing and protective measures. Further, the employer should take measures to eliminate or minimize the risks resulting from exposure to hazards and provide adequate training on safety and health.
On the other hand, unions are obliged to report accidents, dangerous occurrences and hazards. They should also inform workers on safety and health and get relevant information from the employer. Unions should also tell workers to refuse to do dangerous work and monitor and investigate safety and health.
The meeting agreed to develop a standard for responsible mining to be verified through auditing and emphasized on the importance of a culture of safety. As part of the collaboration, training will be conducted on awareness and workers’ rights, hazards, risk analysis, and critical control management. Those who will attend the training will include workers, safety representatives, supervisors and managers.
The collaboration will address real daily experiences at workplaces in the global mining industry as well as integrate with the companies’ human resource policies. Safety and health will be promoted among shop stewards.
“Safety and health should be demonstrated even when no one is watching. Everyone is a custodian, and managers and supervisors should be accountable. Contractors who violate safety procedures should be accountable”, Says Michael Parker, Head of Group Safety, Operational Risk and Insurance at AngloAmerican.
Glen Mpufane, IndustriALL mining director adds: “Integrity is non-negotiable. We are calling for a global collective bargaining agreement which will provide guarantees and safeguards on safety and health that should include downstream sectors across the supply chain. A safety culture practice should be institutionalized.”
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