IOL News writes that a locomotive operator working for contractor MMM Construction was killed and another worker injured in the incident at Impala’s No.1 shaft in Rustenburg on Tuesday morning. An investigation was underway on Thursday morning. The accident brings to four the total number of fatalities at Implats operations so far this year, after a semi-skilled boilermaker slipped and fell in April, a team leader was fatally injured by a ventilation door in May and another worker died in a fall of ground-related incident in June. Implats spokesperson Johan Theron confirmed the death of Nelson Thipe, adding that his family, the department of mineral resources (DMR) and the union were informed of the incident as soon as possible. The family was being providing with counselling, as per standard policy.
“It looks like Mr Thipe’s locomotive was traveling from the underground shaft tipping area, back towards the workings to collect another load of ore. Another fully loaded locomotive on route to the tipping seemingly failed to stop, against all standard safety protocol, at the demarcated place, before entering the tipping area,” Theron said. “Regrettably, this locomotive then collided with the rail carriage on which Mr Thipe was sitting, fatally injuring him in the collision. An independent third party investigation is currently in process under the supervision of the DMR to better understand the cause of the incident and appropriate remedial action.” Theron said while there had been a regression in safety performance recently at the Implats’ No.1 shaft, it followed an extended period of unprecedented safety performance improvement as the operation achieved its best ever safety performance.
by Siphelele Dludla