Murray & Roberts Cementation’s Dwarsrivier contract received the DME 1000 Accident Free Shift Award in September 2005, after notching up a record eight months injury free.

Doug Sammons, contracts manager for Murray & Roberts Cementation, says this can be attributed to the dedicated approach to safety by all personnel on site.

"From the point of entry onto Dwarsrivier there is a strong focus on safety, and this has germinated into a culture of abiding to the rules and procedures considered so necessary to ensure a safe working environment for all," Sammons says.

"It is accepted that each person is responsible not only for his own, but for every other person’s safety as well. Management has encouraged the active reporting of all incidents which could jeopardize a safe working environment for all."

With all sub-standard practices being reported immediately, these are dealt with on a daily basis by Sammons at the morning briefing meetings, and it is apparent that the process is working as the results speak for themselves. Training also plays an important role and all employees are inducted in fall of ground competency training, irrespective of their job requirements.

Murray & Roberts Cementation is undertaking a shaft and underground development project at Dwarsrivier. The mine is converting from an open pit to an underground operation with the surface section being phased out by the end of 2005.

Work being done by the company includes three declines as well as some development work over a fixed term of about two years. This is the company’s first contract in the chrome mining sector, and it is currently ahead of its contractual obligations for Phase I.

Development of the three 6 metre by 2.2 metre declines began in 2004, and decline development and stopes establishment are well underway at Dwarsrivier.

Two 5 metre diameter raisebored vertical ventilation shafts were also recently competed. One of which will service a downcast ventilation shaft and the other an upcast ventilation shaft. Both shafts were sunk by Murray & Roberts Cementation’s Mining Services Division underscoring the company’s full mining service capability.

The operation at Dwarsrivier is highly mechanised with an extensive fleet of equipment including LHDs, drill rigs and utility vehicles.