Engineering and Technology Quarterly Reviews
Published: 28 December 2020
Assessment of Safety Culture and Maturity in Mining Environments: Case of Njuli Quarry
Jabulani Matsimbe, Steven Ghambi, Abdul Samson
University of Malawi
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Keywords: Malawi, Maturity Model, Safety Management
Due to an ever increasing concern for safety at most mines in Malawi, this paper aimed at assessing the safety culture and maturity in mining environments by applying the Safety Culture Maturity Model (SCMM). The SCMM is a practical and reliable diagnostic tool to use in the context of Malawian mining environments because it emphasizes the importance of employee involvement in assessing and improving safety culture. Njuli quarry is used as a case study due to its adoption of modern mining technologies and long existence in the mining industry. The methods used to assess the level of maturity of safety culture comprised questionnaires, interviews and behavioral observations. To test the reliability of the questionnaire, the respondents were interviewed using the same questions and comparing the results. There was good reliability of the measures used since the correlation coefficients between questionnaire and interview ranged from r = 0.9 to 1. The results demonstrate that Njuli quarry has more characteristics of the Managing Level 2 or Developing Stage with percentages ranging 55% - 60% followed by the Emerging Level 1 ranging 33% - 36%. The Involving Level 3 ranged 4% - 10% showing improvement in some items of the dimensions of the safety framework. The company had the lowest percentages of 0% - 2% in Cooperating Level 4, and 0% - 1% in Continually Improving Level 5. This was expected because most mining companies in Malawi focus on maximizing production regardless of the safety implications, and also employees do not take safety issues seriously despite minor accidents and near misses. Therefore, the company should carry out safety trainings, set up a safety department, provide PPE to employees, and introduce rewards for best safety performance. Present study has added new knowledge on levels of maturity of safety culture in Malawi’s mining environments which will influence the Department of Mines in policy development, site safety inspections and safety audits.
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