S. African mines undertake holistic approach to health, safety, HR and security compliance

S. African mines undertake holistic approach to health, safety, HR and security compliance

About three years ago, G4S Secure Solutions South Africa (then under the Skycom banner), became involved with projects aimed at enhancing business support systems, especially in the HR and payroll sectors of South Africa mining operations business. Different projects were initiated and aimed at replacing outdated time and access management system with a new comprehensive access control system utilizing smart card readers, portable card readers, fingerprint readers, facial recognition and access control software.

Mining in South Africa has been the driving force behind the history and development of Africa's most prestigious economy. Gold mining has accounted for 12 percent of the world's production in 2005, although the nation had produced as much as 30 percent of world output as recently as 1993. Despite declining production, South Africa's gold exports were valued at US$3.84 billion (£2.5 billion) in 2005. Almost 50 percent of the world's gold reserves are found in this country. Global mining houses and local mining companies throughout Africa employ well over 450,000 people across all the extraction sectors and platforms.

G4S was tasked with the provision of various hardware and software platforms tailored to the specific requirements of each business. These platforms were then integrated into the existing operations to provide site managers easy and efficient control over access, time recording Health and Safety requirements, movement patterns and environmental situations. The intention was to create software that allowed ease of use to both the end user and management. From the employee clocking into work to the HR team collating reports and gathering management information.

To keep out illegal miners, the solution introduces fingerprint technology to control access to mining facilities; proximity based card readers solutions for mass gatherings; facial recognition deployed for meal issuing and control at canteens plus various accommodation facilities; access control management of shift work or group access to mines as well as health management of workers.

In addition, the system also enables contractor management; visitor management; fuel management; inventory management by making sure workers receive the correct equipment. Through XTIME command and control software, the system can be integrated with building alarm and security systems. Video surveillance systems can also be integrated into the system.

As a direct outcome of the success of the initial projects with large multinational mining houses, a technology partnership was formed with G4S and a number of the big mining companies to develop well suited, efficient technology solutions in accordance to specific requirements at various global mining sites with the use of the time and access management systems. The high end security plant systems were also converted to XTIME which was custom developed for mining and industrial sector customers that had a need for a high security environment such as gold plants and high risk areas. The system handles full search facilities with intelligent routines which are set up by users of the system to cater for different conditions that occur in the plant. The graphical maps feature available provides control and situational awareness from a single screen. This ultimately results in the business being able to view the various platforms in one single view. The overall success of the solution across South Africa has led to implementations within other customer operations in Ghana, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia.


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