ANGLO American has started on a journey, pulling together as a company, moving into new territory for its employees, its divisions, for Anglo as a whole and for the entire mining industry.
Anglo is fundamentally driving a Zero Harm mindset, not accepting that people have to be hurt in mining and ensuring that everyone is treated with dignity, care and respect.
I believe that changing Anglo’s approach to safety is the crucial first step to becoming the leading global mining company of choice.
We are changing the way we do business in all things, through safety.
This is not a course to become risk adverse, cautious or fearful.
This is a bold direction for the company.
This new approach to safety was reinforced when Anglo Platinum suspended production at the major shafts on its biggest producer in its Rustenburg Platinum operations for a period of up to 5 weeks, following 12 fatalities in the first half of 2007.
Production was suspended while safety issues, from cold showers to dangerously confined work spaces, were addressed.
This clear statement of intent has had a major effect not only on Anglo Platinum, but on Anglo world-wide.
Duncan Wanblad, Acting CEO of Anglo Platinum, said, “Our plan for change is bold but it has to be to make the necessary changes, setting the bar higher than it has ever been set before.”
With the goal of creating a truly unified company, safety will be the driver for a genuine One Anglo safety culture with consistent standards worldwide.
Anglo states that it will continue to “take decisive action in order to get to where we want to be in safety”.
The Group has a clear Safety Framework in place and this now needs great leadership, personal accountability at all levels and a commitment to change to realize the vision of Zero Harm.
This message has been made clear across Anglo American – if we cannot get this right, and keep our people safe, it will seriously threaten our license to operate.
There is a new momentum – showing that Anglo is stepping forward to become the leader in the mining industry. It communicates to the countries in which we have operations that we are serious.
Most of all, it communicates to our employees that we have stepped up as the leaders they are counting on for support.
We mean what we say – worker safety is not a slogan but a deeply held value that we will never compromise.