Occupational health management

At Palabora, senior management attitudes, employee relations, respect for community interests, and technology all combine to play a part in maintaining the highest standards of occupational health and safety in our workplace.

We review our written occupational health and safety policy annually and maintain programmes to implement the policy across our activities. By establishing a clear line of responsibility for correcting health and safety concerns, we strive to enhance working relationships between our management cadres and the wider employee and contractor base.

Potential occupational health risks are monitored continuously by a team of trained Occupational Health Officers. Employees are regularly monitored for temperature, ventilation, hearing impairment, illumination, and the effects of dust, hazardous substances, gases and radiation exposure. Because occupational diseases can be slow to manifest, preventative health risk management is key to keeping our people healthy.

Occupational diseases are defined as those diseases that are primarily caused by exposure to physical, chemical and psychological agencies in the workplace. Typical diseases include diseases of the lung (asbestosis, silicosis), diseases of the skin (dermatitis), diseases of the musculo-skeletal system (back problems), diseases of the ear (mainly hearing loss), as well as less tangible diseases such as work-related stress conditions.

All employees and contractors undergo entrance and exit medical examinations when joining and leaving the company. During their course of employment they undergo routine medical examinations. These examinations provide a comprehensive health profile of each employee. Employees are also alerted to the likely implications of exposure to various work-place health risks, as well as poor hygiene and unsanitary work practices, and made aware of how occupational diseases affect both quality of life and the loss of potential income.

A Code of Practice on 'Fitness for Work' has been developed which recognises different physical requirements for particular roles. These roles include, but are not limited to, working in hot conditions; working with hazardous substances; and operating large equipment in confined spaces.

For information on how we manage HIV/Aids in the workplace, please see the section dedicated to HIV/Aids.

For further reading, please access our annual reports in the Investor relations section.