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UMngeni-uThukela Water places great importance on the protection of Health and Safety and welfare of its employees, contractors and other stakeholders and firmly believes in risk prevention and the promotion of Health and Safety in the workplace, as these are key factors that improve job quality, working conditions, competitiveness and sustainability of operations. Health and Safety is a way of doing business and it is not the responsibility of a single person or department but a collective effort where every employee is responsible for playing their part.

The entity’s commitment is driven by:

  • Acknowledging that while we operate in an inherently high-risk industry, we cannot ignore our moral and legal obligation to safeguard the well-being of our people and community and other stakeholders;
  • The introduction of a safety article by the Chief Executive to demonstrate leadership and commitment;
  • By ensuring that employees understand the hazards and risks associated with their activities;
  • By prioritising and addressing and mitigating Health and Safety risks;
  • Our approach is that to health and safety comes first at all times and that there are no shortcuts;
  • Our continuous efforts to create a culture where every employee understands the importance of working safely and can go home safe and healthy to their family after every shift;
  • Ongoing supervision and inspections by supervisors and line management;
  • Introduction of site Health and Safety IMBIZOs to promote Health and Safety Awareness amongst all employees;
  • By instilling our beliefs and culture to our employees and relevant stakeholders, that a safe site is a productive site and that safety and production go hand in hand;
  • Maintaining the health and safety of our employees, as well as within the communities in which we operate;
  • Promoting Dam Safety awareness to schools and communities, which are located within the Dams;
  • Scheduled compliance audits are conducted on all sites to ensure maximum SHEQ compliance, and these include management audits to instil participative leadership;
  • Continuously providing resources, information, training, equipment, systems and other support to all individuals as they have a role to play; to enable all to understand their role, to work safely, healthily, and to participate in improving performance overall and minimise business impact upon the environment;
  • The migration from an Operations Division SHEQ policy to a Co-operate SHEQ policy. This further strengthened our top management leadership commitment.

UMngeni-uThukela Water applies international, as well as South African standards across the organisation. The entity also drives programmes to support it in complying with relevant legislation and regulations that govern its operations and operating environment. In this regard, the organisation has retained its OHSAS 18001 accreditation and duly awarded ISO 9001:2015 accreditation. To maintain the integrity and continuous improvement of this system, regular SHE legal compliance audits were conducted by an independent, competent and accredited service provider.

One of the measures adopted by uMngeni-uThukela Water in measuring its safety performance is the Disabling Injury Frequency Rate (DIFR). There was a noticeable increase in the number of disabling incidents recorded in the year compared with previous years. Our final DIFR was recorded at 0.02

Calculation of disabling incident frequency rate (DIFR) is as follows: The total number of fatal injury cases, permanent disability cases, lost workday cases, restricted workday cases, health fatality cases, irreversible diagnosed disease cases and reversible diagnosed cases times 200 000 divided by the number of rolling man-hours worked over the exposure period.