Occupational health, safety and environmental management specialist Nosa in December hosted a delegation of 15 people from the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS), a non-Ministerial agency for the Chinese government, to facilitate a risk management training course for safety implementation in China’s underground coal mines.
The course, which lasted four days, focused on South Africa’s coal mining industry, as well as health and safety legislation and regulation pertaining to occupational health, occupational health monitoring systems, occupational health hazard control techniques and emergency rescue and management systems.
SAWS is responsible for the regulation of occupational health and safety in China and attended the course in response to several high-profile safety incidents that have occurred in China’s coal mining industry over the past few years. With more than 20 000 coal mines in China, there is increasing governmental pressure on the management at these coal mines to ensure that injuries and fatalities are significantly reduced.
Given Nosa’s positive record in improving the safety performance of companies across five continents, SAWS approached Nosa for guidance on how the lessons learnt by the South African coal mining industry could be applied to China’s coal mining industry.
In addition to its relationship with the SAWS, Nosa currently services a number of State-owned enterprises in China. Further, China’s State Electricity Regulatory Commission (Serc) implements Nosa’s five-star system as one of its approved health and safety management systems for the power generation sector.
“Nosa supports the need to implement rigorous safety procedures, health and safety standards and worker education and training at coal mines, and I believe our input this week with the SAWS will assist them in improving their safety levels within the industry,” says Nosa CEO Duncan Carlisle.
Meanwhile, through its interaction with the SAWS delegation, Nosa says it gained further insight into the requirements of the Chinese coal mining industry. “The cross pollination of ideas between Nosa and the Chinese delegates enabled us to build a strong relationship over the four days. This augurs well for future interaction and further participation in the coal mining industry in China,” states Nosa innovation head Deonie Botha.
The SAWS says it has gained a strong understanding of the South African coal mining industry, the safety regulations that have been implemented and measures that have been taken to prevent the spread of occupational disease.
“The training helped enrich our knowledge and broadened our way of thinking,” says China’s State Administration of Coal Mine Safety deputy director general Zhu Zhilin.