Anglo American has brought together leaders from more than 60 of its contracting companies to jointly plan how to improve the health and welfare of contract workers at its operations. The Contractor CEO Health and Welfare Summit was held in Johannesburg in late November, and builds upon the Contractor Safety Summit Anglo American held in 2009.
Anglo American has industry-leading safety and occupational health standards, and provides best practice health and welfare programmes to all its employees, which include HIV and tuberculosis testing and treatment. The company’s comprehensive programme of prevention, care, support and treatment for HIV and AIDS for its workforce dates back to 2002. The company seeks to work together with its contracting companies to provide the same standard of health care and welfare to its contract labour workforce.
Anglo American estimates that its health and safety initiatives alone benefit more than 300,000 people directly and indirectly in South Africa. Addressing attendees at the summit, Cynthia Carroll, CEO of Anglo American, urged attendees to consider the positive impact business can make on the lives of its employees, their families and communities.
“As leaders, we set the tone for our industry and believe that the health and wellbeing of our people and our host communities is the greatest challenge for 21st century mining. Our industry is facing particularly tough times, but we do not have the option to ignore the unrest in our society and allow it to destabilise our communities and businesses. We must tackle the challenge by working together to create stronger communities, stronger businesses and a stronger South Africa. The recent events have shown, our approach as an industry has not been at a consistent standard in terms of pay, working conditions, safety, health and overall well being for its people.”
Anglo American has a long history of investing in the health and welfare of South Africans. In the 1950s the company established the Anglo American Chairman’s Fund which, for more than 60 years, has invested in the health, education and development of communities throughout South Africa.
Khanyisile Kweyama, executive director of Anglo American South Africa, said: “The health, safety and welfare of our workforce is the number one business and operating priority for Anglo American. Every person who works at our operations – whether they are an employee or a contractor – has the right to return home safely and in good health at the end of each working day. This is a position upon which we will never compromise.”
Adapted from press release by Lauren Bryant.
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