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Safety culture established to ensure smooth operations

5th November 2021

By: Theresa Bhowan-Rajah

journalist

     

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With the importance of health and safety within an industrial and nuclear setting, Lesedi Nuclear Services (LNS) states that it establishes a world class safety culture by structuring itself in a manner that ensures that management fosters a top-down approach that is actively involved in control and governance. 

“This allows the company to ensure that all safety systems are well integrated into one business management system and that the company management is responsible for company policies, mandatory procedures and the traits of safety culture. This safety culture is achieved by adhering to these policies, through a planned roll-out of training initiatives and inductions to employees and subcontractors,” says LNS safety, health, environment and quality senior manager Thabani Mthabela

Moreover, he states that the company’s employees are trained and refreshed continuously on the safety standards and safety policies are regularly updated. These policies are safety, health, environment and quality assurance policies, as well as mining and nuclear standards. 

The training and refresher safety courses take place through the Lesedi Skills Academy. 

The Lesedi Skills Academy was established in September 2015 by LNS and other stakeholders in the power industry.

The academy provides skills development and training (mechanical engineering), allowing young people, and previously disadvantaged individuals to enter the formal job market.

While the Lesedi Skills Academy does not train mineworkers, it does ensure that the labour provided to the mining sector is equipped with sufficient skills and knowledge required for the role and responsibilities required by the specific job.

“LNS is involved in a number of mining projects with platinum producer Impala Platinum, Northam platinum mine and a number of coal mines that require strict adherence to specific health and safety Acts. These Acts include the Mine Health and Safety Act 29 of 1996 and Occupational Safety and Health Act 85 of 1993, as well as adherence to certain safety standards, such as ISO 1400, ISO 45001 and ISO 9001,” says LNS safety, health and environment manager Phumeza Sidonti.

Additionally, LNS has been executing upgrade and maintenance projects at Koeberg nuclear power station for about 30 years and various mining projects for over 10 years. Coming from a nuclear industry, the company is involved in various safety standards internationally and has to comply with world class safety requirements.

These international nuclear standards are the Nuclear Quality Assurance (NQA-1) Certification, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (18CRITERIA) and the 10CFR - 50 APP B. LNS must also comply with the National Nuclear Regulator NNR - RD 00 34 standard.

Covid-19 Response

While Covid-19 vaccination is not mandatory, it is encouraged. Sidonti states that she is responsible for educating employees, keeping them informed and making a great effort to encourage employees to take the vaccination. Also, the company recommends that employees can return to the workplace while still being flexible with home working, for those who are set up with full working at home equipment. 

Fortunately, of the employees who had Covid-19, all have made a complete recovery.

“Most management employees have since been able to travel internationally having seen the advantages. Additionally, with personal protective equipment, which is mandatory at all LNS operations, it is not only about safety but the actual materials and whether it is appropriate, such as the correct fabric, quality and application. This maintains safety as a priority,” Sidonti concludes. 

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor

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