- The safety and health of our employees and our contractors
- The training and development of our employees and our contractors
- Fair remuneration
Human capital includes health, safety knowledge, skills, intellectual outputs, motivation and the capacity for relationships of individuals. Organisations depend on individuals to function.
We need a healthy, motivated and skilled workforce. Intellectual capital and knowledge management is also recognised as a key intangible creator of wealth. Damaging human capital by abuse of human rights or labour rights or compromising health and safety has financial and reputational costs.
The Venture enhances its human capital by:
- giving employees and community members access to training, development and lifelong learning and capturing and sharing knowledge;
- ensuring adequate safety arrangements are in place; and
- incentives and remuneration.
Stakeholder impact and engagement with stakeholders
The stakeholders most affected by the ability of Merafe and the Venture to keep our employees safe and healthy are their families and dependants.
KEY POINTS – 2017
(2016: one fatality)
Total recordable injury
frequency rate (TRIFR)
Lost time injury frequency
Disabling injury severity
The Venture had no safety
penalties or prosecutions
The Venture’s policies and approach to safety management
The Venture’s operations maintain stringent safety and risk management systems, which it aligns with the international standards OHSAS 18001 and ISO 31000. Glencore collates best practice from each of its assets and from externally recognised leaders in safety management and shares this knowledge across the Glencore Group. Through Glencore, all the operations of the Venture are members of the International Council of Minerals and Mining (ICMM).
The Venture takes a proactive and preventive approach towards safety, aiming to instil a positive safety culture in which everyone fully integrates its safety values into their working lives. It has updated its approach to safety by updating its risk management framework. Glencore’s fatal hazard protocols and high potential risk incident (HPRI) reporting processes have been rolled out in the Venture.
Glencore's Sustainable Development Director is responsible for safety, health and wellness.
Safety programme overview
|Zero fatalities||We reviewed and strengthened our incident investigation process to include 24-hour notification of senior management and the Glencore corporate sustainability team for fatal incidents and launched a mandatory on-site fatality investigation process following any fatal incident. The Venture's senior management must then report to the Glencore Board HSEC Committee on fatalities and the subsequent independent investigations in person. Any lessons learned that could further improve general fatality prevention are shared across the Group.
We ensure independent third-party assistance is on site within 72 hours of a fatal incident.
We developed SAFEALLOYS, a Group initiative to foster a safety culture based on behaviours and consequences at all levels.
We rolled out fatal hazard protocols and life-saving behaviours (part of the SAFEALLOYS programme) across the Group.
|Reduction of TRIFR||The Venture focused on reducing the TRIFR. The supporting actions resulted in the TRIFR reducing from 4.58 (2010 baseline) to 3.74 in 2017.|
The Venture's key performance measure for injuries is the total recordable injury frequency rate (TRIFR) which measures injuries per one million hours worked by both its employees and contractors. The injuries included in the TRIFR are lost time injuries, medical treatment injuries and restricted work injuries. Glencore believes the TRIFR is a more complete measure of safety performance than lost time injuries (LTI) alone.
The Venture's business processes include analysing the root causes of incidents causing injury and developing appropriate programmes to understand, address and eliminate the underlying causes.
What the Venture is doing to make its operations safer
The Venture's management encourages transparent reporting and proactive knowledge sharing across its operations and has made it compulsory for its people to report high potential risk incidents (HPRI). The Venture assesses accountability, responsibility and consequence in the context of each situation to determine the underlying causes of incidents. The Glencore Executive Committee receives a report on the investigations of all such incidents and discusses them at its monthly meetings.
In addition, the Glencore group shares the lessons learnt in the operations it manages during monthly sustainable development conference calls. This approach has allowed it to develop a global reporting culture which provides its management team with the information they need to assess how effective their controls are and to implement improvements. When they feel they do not fully understand a hazard they enlist external experts to assist them in developing appropriate controls.
Reducing contractor management complexity in the Venture
Safety summit are held with all the Venture's contractors. Focus areas and leading indicators are identified.
The Glencore Fatal Hazard Protocols and Life Saving Behaviours, which provide a set of tools which initially are focused on the fatal risks, are being rolled out in the Venture as part of SAFEALLOYS. The life-saving behaviours are aimed at strengthening the focus in the Venture on behaviours and consequence rather than a rules-based culture. The fatal risk categories that Glencore has identified as being most hazardous and responsible for the majority of its fatalities include: energy isolation, working at heights, mobile equipment, ground/strata failure, confined space and electrical safety. Over and above this, the Venture highlights specifically people vehicle interaction as a key danger area.
In 2017 there were 104 recorded injuries in a workforce of 15 245 (including contractors). As was the case in 2016, in-depth analysis by the Venture revealed that no one single factoral cause stood out in 2017, but that 'at risk behaviour' remains a major problem. As safety is the number one priority in the Venture, a number of campaigns were rolled out and re-emphasised including 'SAFEALLOYS', 'Life Saving Behaviours' and 'Consequence Management'.
The Venture implemented the Fatal Hazard Protocols in 2015.
Safety in the Venture is always the direct responsibility of Glencore's senior management, who provide the leadership, systems and processes for the prevention of incidents and the elimination of fatalities in the Venture. The formal management structure documents responsibility for safety from the Glencore Board down to each individual Venture employee and contractor.
The Venture puts considerable effort into embedding a safety culture in its operations. Its leaders are aware that they are expected to put safety before production or other considerations and to personally endorse safety initiatives and engage with employees at all levels to discuss safety issues and priorities.
It concludes health and safety agreements with the trade unions.
The sustainable development policies in place in the Venture are aligned with the Glencore Group Sustainable Development Standards. They set out its commitment to zero injuries and fatalities.
The role of training
The Venture's investment in safety training is detailed below in the Human capital section of this report. It continues to use virtual reality training, combined with easy-to-read written instructions, on all its different procedures. The training is designed to ensure that employees cannot complete their training on a procedure until they have shown they fully understand it. Training, as can be seen from the detail below of this report, was a major focus during the year. Focus for 2017 was again on supervisory development training, ensuring that all supervisors understood their legal responsibility, life saving behaviour, fatal hazard protocols and critical controls.
Human capital: health and wellness
Human capital includes health, knowledge, skills, intellectual outputs, motivation and the capacity for relationships of individuals.
KEY POINTS – 2017
hearing loss cases
Organisations depend on individuals to function. They need a healthy, motivated and skilled workforce. Intellectual capital and knowledge management is also recognised as a key intangible creator of wealth. Damaging human capital by abuse of human rights or labour rights or compromising health and safety has direct, as well as reputational costs.
We enhance our human capital by providing healthcare and training and education in health matters.
Our policy and approach
A business needs a healthy workforce that is able to work at its full potential. The health programmes provided by the Venture, aim to eliminate and address occupational illnesses, public health issues and the overall wellbeing of its employees and contractors.
Typically, occupational illnesses such as noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) are only diagnosed some time after the event that caused them. As a result, the occupational illnesses currently occurring in the Venture’s operations are usually the result of historic mining and smelting practices.
The Venture has identified NIHL as a major occupational health risk for its employees and has employed a full time Audiologist to counteract this risk. Any of its workers exposed to the internationally accepted noise level limit of 85 decibels or above were issued with personalised noise clippers hearing protection. The equipment it provides includes variphones/noise clippers, which are custom-made for comfort and are 100% leak tight. Employees are trained in the use, maintenance and storage and care of this equipment. Any employees or contractors at risk of being exposed to noise that could damage their hearing are personally monitored and regularly tested as part of our hearing conservation programmes.
Wherever possible the Venture reduces the noise from the equipment it uses in its operations to levels below the internationally recommended standards using design modifications, exclusive zones and ‘buy quiet’ programmes for new or upgraded equipment. The Venture’s operations have reduced machinery noise to less than 110 decibels. There were two occupational disease cases in 2017. These related to noise induced hearing losses.
All the Venture’s operations undergo an annual risk assessment of their baseline risks on ISOmetrix.net and legal audits are conducted by an external legal company accompanied by subject matter specialists every three years.
Typically, occupational illnesses such as noise induced hearling loss (NIHL) are only diagnosed some time after the event that caused them. As a result, the occupational illnesses currently occurring in the Venture's operations are usually the result of historic mining and smelting practices. The Venture conducts regular occupational health assessments of the chemical, biological, physical and ergonomic risks at its operations. These assessments help the Venture to manage the occupational health risks in its operations effectively and to minimise the impact of occupational illness through its early identification.
Through the wellness programme, employees and contractors are made aware of health issues and what they can do to avoid them. Employee representatives are members of the Venture's formal joint management-worker health and safety committees, which monitor and advise on occupational health and safety programmes.
The Venture has identified NIHL as a major occupational health risk for its employees and has implemented hearing conservation programmes to counteract this risk. Any of its workers exposed to the internationally accepted noise level limit of 85 decibels or above must wear hearing protection. The equipment it provides includes variphones, which are custom-made for comfort and are 100% leak tight. Employees are trained in the use, maintenance and storage and care of this equipment. Any employees or contractors at risk of being exposed to noise that could damage their hearing are personally monitored and regularly tested as part of our hearing conservation programmes.
Wherever possible the Venture reduces the noise from the equipment it uses in its operations to levels below the internationally recommended standards using design modifications, exclusive zones and "buy quiet" programmes for new or upgraded equipment. The Venture's operations achieved their commitment to reduce machinery noise to less than 110 decibels by 2013.
HIV and AIDS
HIV and AIDS is a human rights issue, which Merafe and the Venture address through their policies and programmes. To ensure these policies are accessible to the Venture’s employees and contractors, they are available in all the languages spoken by its employees.
Employees can choose to receive HIV and AIDS counselling, care and support. Any HIV-positive employees of the Venture can receive treatment they need free of charge, together with the support and education that will make it possible for them to maintain their antiretroviral treatment programme through the membership of a medical aid.
All the Venture's occupational health nurses have been trained in the management of HIV and TB and the impact of HIV and TB. All employees that visit its occupational health clinics are screened for TB. Those whose screening tests indicate they may have TB are referred to healthcare facilities for TB investigation and treatment. The Venture's wellness programme has been incorporated into the annual/periodic medicals conducted at each operation. Medical records remain on site and are only seen by the Occupational Medical Practitioner and the nurses.
All Venture employees who are HIV positive are encouraged to receive antiretroviral treatment.
- providing employees and contractors with the knowledge they need to protect themselves and their families from HIV and AIDS through workplace education programmes that explain clearly how HIV can be contracted, what can be done to prevent contracting and transferring HIV, and what should be done to enhance the quality and length of life of those who are HIV-positive
- encouraging employees and contractors to know their HIV status and providing counselling and testing facilities for them
- running HIV and AIDS campaigns that involve employees at every level of the organisation
- ensuring that every employee attends an HIV and AIDS education session during working hours, followed by an individual wellness counselling session with a healthcare provider
- ensuring that testing for HIV is voluntary and that employees are only tested for HIV and AIDS after giving their informed consent
- guaranteeing the confidentiality of employees' medical information
- providing pre- and post-test counselling for employees or contractors wishing to be tested for HIV and AIDS
- forming public-private partnerships with local, provincial and national government structures in joint projects to fight HIV and AIDS in the communities in which the Venture operates
- facilitating the training of peer educators and establishing and training home-based care workers through the Venture's corporate social investment programme.
Human capital: our employees
Organisations depend on individuals to function. They need a healthy, motivated and skilled workforce.
KEY POINTS – 2017
No protected or unprotected
Intellectual capital and knowledge management is also recognised as a key intangible creator of wealth. Damaging human capital by abuse of human rights or labour rights or compromising health and safety has financial and reputational costs.
We enhance our human capital by:
- giving employees and community members access to training, development and lifelong learning and capturing and sharing knowledge;
- respecting human rights;
- paying fair remuneration to our employees and our business partners; and
- creating satisfying work opportunities.
Our approach to our employees
Glencore’s Code of Conduct, which is applied in the Venture, recognises and upholds the rights of employees to a safe workplace, collective representation, just compensation, job security and opportunities for development, all of which are based on the core belief that our people are fundamental to our success.
Glencore’s Human Resources Director is responsible for labour relations in the Venture.
Both Merafe and the Venture are committed to providing a workplace based on:
- mutual respect;
- equal opportunity at all levels; and
- open and two-way engagement with our employees and their representatives.
More on our approach to our employees, and adherence to international employment standards can be found on our online integrated annual report for 2017 under Human capital: our employees.
- Industrial action in the mining industry and the Venture
- Meeting our employment equity and human resource development targets and exceeding the Mining Charter scorecard targets
- Employee work satisfaction
- Maximising local employment in the Venture
- Retaining skilled employees and securing the next generation of skilled employees
The Venture's workplace agreements specify notice periods and it consults with employees before any significant operational changes. ln line with its Sustainable Development Policy it consults and communicates with its employees and provides them with appropriate support during significant organisational changes. The Venture's management team always consults with the aim of reaching agreement with trade unions.
Both Merafe and the Venture provide well-structured employment contracts and fair and competitive remuneration. We offer an equal rate of pay to male and female employees of equal experience. Our employment equity policies provide all potential and existing employees with equal opportunities in terms of recruitment, promotion, transfer, employee benefits, training and conditions of service.
The Venture bases its minimum wages on union agreements and pays all its employees according to the standard minimum, or above.
The benefits that the Venture provides its fulltime employees, over and above the legally mandated employment benefits, include retirement benefits in the form of provident funds, medical scheme benefits and assistance with housing loans. lt does not offer these additional benefits to temporary or parttime employees. During 20'l 1 the Venture offered all its A to C band employees (nonmanagerial employees) the opportunity to participate in an employee share ownership plan (ESOP). The scheme was finalised in 2012 and has been implemented.
While Merafe’s (as opposed to the Venture's) employees are not unionised, we consult with them in advance of any significant changes to our business.
Engagement and resolving disputes amicably plays a very important role in labour relations. The Venture undertakes to consult with its employees and their recognised representatives in advance of significant operational changes in an effort to reach consensus about any necessary business actions.
Collective bargaining and freedom of association are considered a fundamental right for the Venture’s employees. Collective agreements, particularly around terms and conditions of employment and company benefits, are negotiated between the parties with due regard to the relevant legislation. The Venture seeks to reach agreement with the unions on annual wage increases for implementation in July each year.
The Venture is committed to treating all its employees with dignity and in a manner that is culturally sensitive. Unfair discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion, political or sexual orientation, national extraction or social origin is not tolerated.
Disciplinary and grievance policies and procedures are in place at Merafe and the Venture.
Industrial action at the Venture in 2017
There were no protected or unprotected strikes during 2017.
At the end of November 2014 the Venture signed a three-year wage agreement until July 2017 for the western mines. A new agreement was signed to July 2018. In 2015 the Venture signed three-year wage agreements with the western smelters and eastern smelters.
The Venture has recognition agreements with NUM, NUMSA and Solidarity and approximately 73% of its workforce is unionised.
KEY POINTS – 2017
The total workforce of the Venture by employment type*
|Full time employees||6 651||6 505||6 436|
|Temporary/fixed term employees||431||285||363|
|External contractors||8 315||7 591||6 800|
|Total||15 245||14 381||13 599|
Maximising local employment
When hiring employees we give preference, where possible, to members of the local community and, in some instances, we offer training opportunities to community members to develop the skills they need to become our employees.
Diversity and equal opportunity
Management and site employment equity committees monitor employment equity in the Venture’s operations every month and report the results to the Venture, which in turn reports to Glencore and Merafe.
We base our employment equity policies on providing equal opportunities to all potential and existing employees.
- Maximising local employment in the Venture;
- Achieving employment equity that is supported by everyone in the workplace;
- Making careers in mining more accessible to women in the Venture;
- Engaging with the Venture’s employees and the trade union through open communication channels to achieve labour peace; and
- Providing a workplace that is free of discrimination.
Venture workforce by employment and gender type at 31 December 2017
|Permanent and fixed term||Male||Female||Total|
|Supervisors, administrators, technicians||984||398||1 382|
|Operational, maintenance, production||4 868||657||5 525|
|Grand total||6 078||1 121||7 199|
Diversity in the Venture
The term diversity used in this section of the report is based on the Mining Charter Scorecard's definition of historically disadvantaged South Africans (HDSAs), which includes African males and females, coloured males and females, Indian males and females and white females. Ongoing transformation is a priority and is discussed at all levels. The Venture is again focusing on its retention strategies with specific reference to senior management HDSAs.
|Venture employment equity||% Mining
Diversity in Merafe
|Mining Charter||% Mining Charter target 2017||% achieved 2017||% achieved 2016|
|Top management (includes Board)||40||87||87|
|Senior management (Exco)||40||100||100|
There are no junior managers employed by Merafe.
Merafe achieved a Level 8 B-BBEE status under the Codes of Good Practice in 2017 - See the B-BBEE certificate together with an explanation and reasons for the rating.
|See the table on Our approach to governance of this report for detail of the structure of the Venture’s Joint Board and top management of the Venture where executives of Glencore and Merafe are members.|
Human capital: training and development
Both Merafe and the Venture’s long-term interests depend on our ability to attract and retain the best people and to transform our workforces. We identify employees with high potential at every level and are committed to providing them with the support and tools they need to develop.
The Venture uses surveys to assess employees’ satisfaction levels and to find out about issues that it may need to address. It records and addresses these issues and provides its employees with feedback in this regard.
Since 2011 the Venture has extended its annual individual performance management and development reviews to include all supervisory level employees introduced team performance reviews for all its employees and extended annual individual performance management and development reviews to include supervisory level employees.
All the Venture’s employees have job descriptions and action plans, which they can use to set career objectives for themselves and to measure their own performance. Its managers are trained to conduct performance reviews and give effective feedback.
Each operation in the Venture has a workplace skills planning committee, which is responsible for identifying the operation’s specific training requirements. The Venture structures its training to meet these specific needs. This includes providing training to local community members in skills that will equip them to seek employment in its operations.
The Venture, as part of Glencore, shares a joint training provider accreditation with Glencore Coal.
The Venture’s operations are spread across three provinces, which requires it to provide training centres at most of its operations. The Steelpoort Development Centre in Limpopo province provides training facilities for the Lion ferrochrome plant, the Lydenburg ferrochrome plant and the Thorncliffe, Helena and Magareng mines. It also provides training to employees of other mining companies in the area. The Centre not only trains members of the community in skills that will equip them to work in the Venture’s operations, but also offers training in marketable skills including bricklaying, welding and household electrical skills. The Centre also offers a bridging programme that prepares local students for tertiary education.
To address the shortage of mining, engineering and related skills the Venture offers bursaries for full time university and technikon studies in the mining, electrical, metallurgical and mechanical engineering fields, geology, occupational hygiene, financial management, information technology, science and commercial accounting.
It also offers graduate trainee positions, work placement for students as well as financial assistance focusing on members of the communities in which it operates. A mentorship and coaching programme supports employees who receive educational assistance, those who have entered into learnership agreements and those identified for accelerated development.
The Venture also provides full time adult basic education training (ABET) for its employees and portable skills training that equips employees for career endings.
KEY POINTS – 2017
The Venture invested
Development and training
Both Merafe and the Venture are committed to meeting their human resource development targets and retaining and developing their skilled employees.
The Venture provides:
- development and training opportunities for HDSAs that will help them to further their careers;
- career development opportunities that allow it to develop and retain high potential employees;
- training that addresses risk-tolerant or ingrained behaviours that impact negatively on our operations; and
- training in its Code of Conduct and Sustainable Development Standards and HSEC Standards and Protocols.
It continually evaluates its training methods and the best way to communicate with the various age groups and cultures in its workforce.
|Total training hours||826 095||770 928|
|Total training hours for permanent employees||454 798||373 794|
|Average training hours per permanent employee||64||55|
|Total training hours contractors||407 297||395 537|
|Number of health issues training sessions||12 588||11 239|
|Number of safety issues training sessions||19 398||19 121|
|Number of human rights issues training sessions||15 043||9 687|
|Number of environmental training sessions||12 520||10 910|
|Community health training||76||60|
|Community environmental training||76||60|
|Community human rights training||97||60|
Development of staff was a key focus in 2017 across all sites. Increased focus on computer-based training made training more efficient and structured.
The Venture invites senior managers whom it has identified as having leadership potential to participate in leadership programmes at universities. The Venture also provides them with additional training, support and career development opportunities. In all, 100% of senior management level employees who participated in a senior leadership programme were HDSA, 60% of middle management level employees who participated in development programmes in 2017 were HDSA and 71% of junior leaders who attended a programme to enhance their supervisory skills were HDSA.