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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 0038-223X


HERMANUS, M.; COULSON, N.  and  PILLAY, N.. Mine Occupational Safety and Health Leading Practice Adoption System (MOSH) examined - the promise and pitfalls of this employer-led initiative to improve health and safety in South African Mines. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2015, vol.115, n.8, pp.717-727. ISSN 2411-9717.

This paper assesses the effectiveness of the Mine Occupational Health and Safety Leading Practice Adoption System (MOSH) and its potential to improve mine health and safety in South African mines. Developed by the Chamber of Mines, which represents the majority of the country's large scale mining employers, MOSH was devised to accelerate progress towards achieving health and safety milestones, which were set by tripartite agreement in 2003. The paper documents and builds on the findings of a study conducted by the Centre for Sustainability in Mining and Industry (CSMI) in 2011 that evaluated MOSH strategy, structures, and process of implementation. The study found that MOSH operated across the mining sector, was directed and dominated by experts and, despite best efforts to include other stakeholders, was led by employers. Statutory worker health and safety representatives and structures were not integrated into the complex change process developed by MOSH. The Mine Health and Safety Inspectorate (MHSI) and organized labour were ambivalent about direct involvement in MOSH and preferred regulatory measures to enforce the participation of mines. MOSH interventions were not targeted at mines with a poor health and safety record, and MOSH lacked a baseline from which to track impacts on sector-wide health and safety performance. The leading practices most widely adopted by mines were designed to improve, rather than fundamentally alter, existing practice. Although the depth of engagement with MOSH among stakeholders and on mine sites varied, mining companies, labour representatives, and the Mine Health and Safety Inspectorate (MHSI) saw the programme as significant.

Keywords : health and safety; regulatory framework; best practice; milestones.

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