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20 September 2018

Aspasa rewards operational excellence

First publishedon www.AggBusiness.com
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The top performing operation in the ISHE Audits in 2017 was AfriSam Newcastle with a score of 97.06%

In pursuit of consistent improvement, each year Southern Africa’s surface mining industry association, Aspasa, recognises the good performances of its members with remarkable results in the association’s stringent ISHE health & safety and About Face environmental audits.

Nico Pienaar, director of Aspasa, says this years’ awards raised the bar high with unprecedented score levels, confirmation that development continues apace among both member individuals and operations.    

The ISHE Audits have ushered in new health & safety levels in the southern African quarrying industry, with Aspasa members at the summit of excellence when it comes to health & safety issues. “Every year it has become more and more difficult to decide on the recipients of these awards, considering the level of competition,” explains Marius van Deventer, independent auditor, ISHE Audits at Aspasa.  

Out of the 102 ISHE audits done during 2017, 16 operations achieved scores of above 90% for their audits. Another 26 operations achieved scores between 90% and 95%, while 40 others scored between 80% and 90%, to end on an average of 85.84%. The Top Performing Operation in the ISHE Audits in 2017 was AfriSam Newcastle with a score of 97.06%. This is the fourth consecutive year the operation has won the Top Performer award in this category.

Together with Afrimat Harrismith, which achieved a 95.79% score, AfriSam Newcastle also scooped the award for consistency in achieving Showplace for five years running. “This award honours members that consistently achieve Showplace Status. This is where operations achieve audit scores of 95% and higher for at least five years,” explains Van Deventer.   

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Brownwyn Moore, quarry manager at Midmar Crushers (right), receives an award from Marius van Deventer, independent auditor, ISHE Audits at Aspasa

Midmar Crushers, with a total score of 95.73%, won the Top Independent Performer award for 2017, achieving the honour for the second year running. “Independent operations are also judged on the same criteria as any other Aspasa member and it is often quite difficult for these operations to compete with their corporate-owned counterparts,” says Van Deventer. 

The environmental stewardship of Aspasa member quarries across South Africa has also improved significantly since the inception of the association’s About Face programme in 1994.

The About Face programme has guided and aided most members to elevate themselves from mediocre environmental performances to being among the best quarry operators in the world. “The Aspasa About Face auditors observe service providers across all provinces and believe that where recognition is due should be given,” says Pienaar.

To this end, the Top Performing Group for four or more operations (Crystal Glass Spear large) gong was awarded to LafargeHolcim. The company attained an average score of 97.5% across its 18 operations. The Most Improved Operation (Crystal Glass Teardrop) award went to Raumix Kimberly. The operation improved its score from the previous year by 17.55%.

“This reflects not only significant improvements in the physical conditions, but also the paperwork, demonstrating the effectiveness of the system documentation developed by manager, Andre Scholtz,” explains Alan Cluett, independent About Face Environmental auditor.  

AfriSam Newcastle won the Best Physical Conditions (Crystal Glass Spear Small) award, winning this particular award for the third consecutive year. “This is an industry leading plant both in South Africa and anywhere in the world. We are extremely proud to have this operation in the Aspasa family,” says Pienaar.

Midmar Crushers, another big winner this year, scooped the Top Independent Performer (Spear Large) award, making it the third year running the company has taken home the gong. “Midmar Crushers has continued to demonstrate onsite management excellence and innovation, including through employee environmental training, which is demonstrated by a high degree of environmental awareness among the company’s employees,” says Cluett.

The Top Performer (Spear Large) award went to Afrimat Harrismith, with the highest ever score of 99.7%. Despite being a small quarry, the system documentation is said to be of the highest order, with physical innovations noted across the site including stormwater management, dust control, hydrocarbon management and employee commitment to environmental stewardship.

“The auditors are delighted with the 2017 awards. There has been a significant improvement across the industry. This is indicated by the high number of Showplace awards which indicates that the industry is dedicated to continual performance improvement,” concludes Pienaar.

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