Promoting workplace safety

Our approach to safety

Sasol strives for world class safety performance, having recognised the impact our activities may have on the health and safety of people. Our aspirational culture and refreshed values says: “I am my team, and my team is Sasol. I care for people”. We are committed to ensuring a safe, healthy, engaged and productive workforce, with the required skills, knowledge and experience to succeed. Our safety approach is built on a strong foundation of visible felt leadership and competency, and is strengthened by clear policies and procedures.

We ensure that
Safety is a top priority.

We care for our
people and support
their development.

We are determined to reach our ultimate goal of zero harm and believe that our aspirational culture significantly contributes to this journey. To reach this goal, we remain focused on further strengthening our key Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) capabilities. These include ongoing management of SHE risks with a preventative mindset and accelerating the rate at which we internalise learnings, in particular from actual and potential high severity incidents.

To further improve our SHE risk results we have standardised and optimised our SHE risk management processes. Our emphasis is on identifying and understanding the SHE risks facing our organisation; managing and monitoring these risks; defining and applying effective governance and assurance processes and, ultimately, analysing and improving our SHE performance. We apply a combined assurance approach where, by means of line management oversight on control effectiveness, assurance is obtained that controls are operating effectively. This includes field verification of critical controls and verification conducted by internal as well as independent external assurance providers.

Safety is integral to our culture.
“A safe work environment is a critical enabler to help us realise our aspirational culture.

Remember if you can’t do it safely, don’t do it!”

Affirmation of aspirational culture by Bongani Ngwababa
at the Joint CEO engagement, held in March 2018 at Sasol Place

We are deeply saddened to report that we had four work‑related fatalities and six high severity injuries this year. An incident, which resulted in the tragic death of an employee, was investigated as a fatality and the harm was determined to have been self-inflicted. The main learnings from this investigation were, however, taken on board and implemented with the learnings of the other tragic fatalities and high severity injuries.

Our thoughts remain with the families of the employees who tragically lost their lives in work-related incidents at Sasol this year:

  • Nelson Vilanculo (Exploration and Production International) was fatally injured when struck by a vehicle at our Mozambique Operations on 25 August 2017;
  • Dumisani Sibanyoni (Sasol Mining) was fataly injured when he was struck by a trailer on 6 December 2017;
  • Mandla Mahlangu (Sasol Mining) passed away following a trackless mobile machinery incident underground on 24 January 2018; and
  • Nefthali Sepeame (Sasol Mining) sustained fatal injuries whilst he was operating underground mining equipment on 9 February 2018.

Response to safety incidents

A senior executive safety workshop was conducted as a necessary intervention to evaluate industry best practices and strengthen the standardised approach to prevent fatalities and high severity injuries (HSI) across the Group. Four focus areas (below) were identified which form the basis of our HSI programme. By managing SHE risks, coupled with the provision of assurance that the causes of HSIs are understood and that learning from these are assimilated in our organisation, we aim to avoid repeat incidents. The HSI programme is centred on the elimination of fatalities and the prevention of HSIs as part of an intensive effort to achieve our goal of zero harm.

Response to safety incidents
Preventing fatalities
and HSI focus areas
Identification, mitigation and communication
of hazards during
pre-task risk assessments
and consistent field verification
Understanding how mindset
and human behaviour
influence safety performance
Standardisation and disciplined
implementation of
Life saving Rules
Ensuring consistent sharing,
implementation and embedment of
SHE incident learnings to eliminate
repeat incidents

The implementation of the focus areas is supported by the rollout of a change management programme as well as a toolkit with performance requirements per focus area.

We believe that quick wins from the programme can be achieved with the disciplined implementation of the pre-task risk assessment and life saving rules, of which more detail is shared below.

Pre-task risk assessment:

Before the task begins, supervisors check in with their teams to evaluate employees' motional well being.

Employees with well being concerns are supported to ensure they are not at risk when executing tasks.

Supervisors share learning from previous tasks and ensure team members' understanding of relevant life saving rules and critical controls.


A formal pre-task risk assessment is done for high risk tasks, or a verbal pre-task risk assessment is conducted for low risk tasks.

During task execution, focus is given to life saving rules and critical controls.

The task is stopped when the risk changes or an incident occurs and a new pre-task risk assessment is conducted.

After the task, lessons learned during execution and from near misses are shared and evaluated.

Life Saving Rules:

Our twelve Life Saving Rules were benchmarked internally and externally and revised as a specific set of easily understood and recognised rules. These rules drive the desired leadership and safety behaviour of all our employees.

Life Saving Rules:

Measuring our safety efforts

Sasol this year again allocated 70% of the annual safety short-term incentive (STI) target to pro-active, leading indicators against which performance is rewarded or penalised, as the case may be. In addition to the leading and lagging indicators, a modifier penalty for fatalities is applied on the total incentive so that there is a direct link between the safety record achieved and the manner which senior management is rewarded. Measuring in this way reflects how we are focusing safety performance on proactive initiatives under the STI. This is done to help us continuously improve and adapt, translating our strategic agenda into objectives and targets geared for SHE Excellence. It is encouraging to report that the group recordable case rate (RCR) has improved to 0,27 from 0,28, our lowest level yet. The lost workday case rate improved to 0,11 from 0,12. We had six high severity injuries in 2018 which is equal to the 2017 results.

Sasol High Severity Incidents Safety Video