By Michael Gwarisa
LEADING Platinum producer ZimPlats has successfully integrated mental health management as part of its wellness programme aimed at managing the effects of stress and a host of other psychosocial ills among its employees.
Briefing a National Social Security Authority (NSSA) CEO’s breakfast meeting, Zimplats Chief Executive Mr Alex Mhembere said they had come with mental health initiative for their employees and the company would invest more towards the initiative.
“Safety performance has got a direct impact on operational and financial performance of an organisation. Studies in USA (National Safety Council (2013) reveal that, each prevented lost-time injury or illness saves $37,000, each avoided occupational fatality saves $1,390,000.
“Occupational Safety and Health America (OSHA) estimates the monetary value of each life lost to be $8.7million. Investors are increasingly using workplace safety and health measures to screen out underperforming stocks, and are showing stronger returns for doing so. Each $1 invested in injury prevention returned $2 or more.
“We established a comprehensive mental health support programme which include, fulltime professional counselors at the operations,finance and debt management training and awareness, stress management training, mental health assessments by competent consultants (Highlands Halfway House :HHH),” said Mr Mhembere.
Zimplats has been operating since 2001 and is Zimbabwe’s largest producer of Platinum Group Metals (PGM) producing an average of 270 000 Ptoz/annum. The company has 5 500 employees and has various community development initiatives in and around the Mhondoro area.