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Harmony Gold disaster highlights the importance of managing risks in your company

by , 06 February 2014
Eight miners at Harmony Gold have died. This after they were trapped underground when a fire broke out on Tuesday at the Doornkop operation. This tragic incident has cast the spotlight on workplace safety, more especially risk management. Read on to find out how to reduce risks in your workplace.

According to Eye Witness News, initially 17 employees were trapped, but specialised rescue teams managed to bring eight of them (unharmed) to the surface yesterday.

Latest reports are that the search is still on for one other missing miner.

Harmony Gold says it'll investigate the cause of the incident. But, the report says 'it's believed the fire started after a seismic event triggered a partial tunnel collapse and damaged electric cables.'

If there's one thing to take away from this incident, it's the importance of managing risks.

How do you go about doing this?

Read on to see what you must do to manage risks in your workplace

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Here's what you must do to manage risks in your workplace

The Health & Safety Advisor says 'risk control means the measures put in place to prevent adverse health effects, injury, damage or some other form of loss.'

Safety laws recognise that you can't eliminate ALL risks, but you're required to reduce them to an acceptable level. To do this you, you need to:

  • Identify all the hazards associated with each work activity
  • Assess risks associated with each hazard
  • Identify risks that are acceptable. The ones where you don't need further risk control measures.
  • Implement appropriate risk control measures to reduce unacceptable risks to acceptable risks.

Don't forget that failure to control risks will increase your operating costs and open you up to criminal prosecution in the event of a serious incident like the one at Harmony Gold.

As cliché as it may sound, prevention is better than cure. And this certainly applies when it comes to risk management.

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