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  Safety is crucial in the period of our massive build programme
  Safety is crucial in the period of our massive build programme.

We are committed to providing and maintaining a safe and healthy working environment for all our employees and contractors.

On this basis, the elimination of all safety-related incidents in Eskom operations remains a focal point of our safety improvement drive. Despite significant efforts, our occupational health and safety performance remains poor. Accidents still occur, affecting not only our employees and contractors, but also members of the public and their families. We deeply regret the tragic loss of life.

Safety performance

We did not meet our target of zero fatalities.
  • we lost 17 employees this financial year – this was a major blow to the organisation. There were eight employee fatalities in 2007. Of the 17 fatalities, eight were attributed to motor vehicle accidents, five to electrical contacts, two to falls from heights, and one each to a gunshot and a tractor accident. Of the eight fatalities due to vehicle accidents, seven were caused by third parties
  • the build programme and normal maintenance challenges are putting a lot of pressure on staff and contractors. We also lost 12 contractors this financial year compared to 18 in 2007. Four of the fatalities were attributed to vehicle accidents, four to falls, two from falling objects, one to an electrical contact incident and one crushed by a foreign object
  • sadly, 42 members of the public died in 2008 (2007: 41) with vehicle accidents and electrical contacts remaining the major causes. A massive public safety campaign is addressing this

This performance is totally unacceptable, and continued focus is required in terms of enhancing safety training and awareness, skills and competency, supervision and operational discipline.

Safety performance


  Unit of 
Employee safety      
Total fatalities number 
Electrical contact fatalities number 
Vehicle accident fatalities number 
Other fatalities number 
Lost-time incident rate, including occupational diseases index  0,34  0,35 
Electrical contact injuries number  25  30 
Contractor safety      
Total contractor fatalities number  12  18 
Electrical contact fatalities number 
Other fatalities number  11  17 
Public safety      
Total public fatalities number  42  41 
Electrical contact fatalities number  32  27 
Fatalities from other causes number  10  14 


Eskom lost time incident rate (LTIR)

The progressive LTIR is a proportional representation of the occurrence of lost-time injuries over 12 months. During the external assurance over data integrity, issues regarding inconsistencies in the application of the corporate incident reporting and recording procedures, and inadequate processes and documentation for classification of lost-time injuries and identification of occupational diseases, were identified at a selection of sites.

In order to address this, we are ensuring that we follow reporting procedures and have adequate documentation in place. In addition, for clarification purposes and to address these findings, we have initiated a process of including the recent audit findings into the revised Eskom Corporate Procedure (document titled: “Safety Incident Management for the Effective Management of occupational diseases and injuries”).

The provisional LTIR for the year is 0,34. A verification of the LTIR will be conducted by an external service provider to obtain a baseline as accurately as possible for 2007/08. The reported figure may be restated in the 2008/09 annual report pending the results of this external baseline assessment.



Incident investigation

The aim of incident investigations within Eskom is:
  • to establish the basic cause of the incident
  • to prevent recurrence by implementing corrective actions emanating from the investigation
  • to share lessons learnt from the incident
Given the high number of fatalities in Eskom this financial year, it is prudent to outline the process followed from the moment a fatality is reported. Once a fatality has been reported, the following process kicks in:
  • a fatality announcement is sent to all Eskom employees, contractors, Exco and the board within 48 hours
  • senior leaders within the affected division visit the scene of the accident and the family of the deceased
  • the business unit conducts the employer’s investigation as per the objectives outlined above
  • the corporate occupational health and safety investigation follows to further enhance the business unit’s investigation
  • once the investigations have been finalised, the lessons learnt are shared through case studies and intelligence briefings published on the intranet, and safety incident reports circulated within Eskom immediately after the fatality announcement
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