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No diamond is worth discrimination, illness or injury. Zero harm is our aim. Our approach to safety is guided by the Safety Way, defined by our Group Safety Policy, and supported by a set of standards and guidelines that establish the foundations for safety excellence, leadership and behaviour change.

We review our occupational health risks annually as part of our Operational Risk Management process. Our key safety risks are transport and fatigue-related incidents; falling objects and working at height; and fall of ground.

Our Safety Peer Group provides a platform where best practice and learning from across De Beers Group is shared. Major topics discussed in 2016 included: Anglo American’s upgraded safety standards; high potential hazards and enhanced high potential incident reporting; contractor management guidelines; incident management guidelines; and operational risk and critical controls.

Safety is part of our Good to Great framework, setting out a five-year improvement journey and a plan for safety with a specific focus on the basics, including:

  • Leadership and personal commitment to safety
  • Continued understanding of risk management and control implementation and monitoring
  • A substantial increase in sharing, learning and responding to incidents
  • Implementation of aligned standards and the operating model
  • Active tracking of the implementation and effectiveness of critical controls and tracking improvement actions.

During 2016, however, there were two fatalities, our first loss of life since 2012. A contract rigger operative died while conducting maintenance work at our Jwaneng mine and a bulldozer operator working for Namdeb’s Southern Coastal Mines was killed when the crosswall he was working on collapsed.

These tragic events provided a stark reminder of how quickly accidents can occur. They emphasised the importance of having an unrelenting focus on safety – and on learning from what happened.

As a result, we ran a CEO Safety Summit in January 2017 to consider whether we are doing enough on upstream safety. We now have a workstream focusing on leadership behaviour and culture as well as the following pledge.

Safety pledge:

We value the safety of our people and pursue it without hesitation or compromise. In every situation, on every site, around every corner, at home and in every decision we take, we will seek out risks to our people and address them relentlessly and with urgency. We will always put the well-being of our people before production and profit and we celebrate our safety heroes who demonstrate that their personal safety and the safety of their colleagues is their most important responsibility.

In 2017, we will demand more of ourselves and those around us to ensure we remain safe and that every diamond we produce represents our care for, and commitment to, one another.