Sunday, June 23, 2024

BCL unveils new safety campaign at its mines

Copper/ nickel miner BCL last week unveiled its new campaign aimed at strengthening efforts to promote mine safe behaviours and compliance.

According to the Selebi/ Phikwe based mining company, the campaign is targeted at encouraging information sharing among employees to ensure zero incidents at all BCL mine operations.

BCL said through this campaign, named ‘Stop and Fix’ BCL intends to refresh and refocus attention on mine safety and promote model mine behaviours.

“The organisation also aims at intensifying preventative maintenance that will result in decrease in emergency work orders and decrease in unscheduled down time of operations,” the company said on Friday.

“We have realised that focus on procedures and systems can do its part, but we believe that, key to SAFE production is embedding the right behaviours”.

The campaign follows an investigation by BCL SHE Department which revealed, among other things, that, much work has been done to reduce the opportunities for error and failure, through the implementation of policy, standards and procedures.

According to the company, the previous campaign code named NOKO 1 & 2 launched some years ago is also experiencing campaign fatigue leading to the need for fresh ideas.

“In summary, there is need for thinking of safety as a standalone exercise. The company now is looking at how to intensified safety observance in every facet of its operations to achieve Safe Operations,” BCL noted.

The company added that the new campaign should be looked at as the “next step”, that requires a change in mind-set and behaviours.

“This campaign recognises that, majority of incidents are caused by an individual committing an unsafe act, generally one that he has been warned against and negligence of policies, standards and procedures governing conduct and behaviour.”

The company said that Stop and fix campaign involves traditional theatre to demonstrate negligence of instructions, policies and rules and the resulting incidents. This drama encourages a proactive approach and calls all involved to view safety as top priority and discourage action that is taken only when there is an accident.

It added that the Stop and Fix campaign looks forward by encouraging all employees to use and share information available on safety and to investigate approaches sensitively. “When this is done, we believe that, human error potential will be reduced and safety will be improved. Machine/Person or workman interface risk will be minimised. This campaign encourages mine safety to be underpinned by a proactive and preventative activity rather than a reactive maintenance one.”

By naming the campaign STOP & Fix, they want to get employees’ attention on the importance of fixing unsafe conditions, correcting unsafe behaviours and adhering to the correct and relevant procedures, standards and instructions. Immediate correction of unsafe conditions means that a person cannot have the opportunity to interact with a hazard.

The campaign borrows the universal road sign “STOP” for halting mobility to observe the dangers that may occur to negligent road users.

“It represents a clarion call to continuously halt and attend to situations to ensure safety. It calls in all operations, to stop to assess the area for hazards, the job and the tools for suitability, to take note of permits, isolations and tools and confirm knowledge of the procedure to apply (unsafe acts) and adherence to Safe Working Procedure,” BCL observed.

BCL is the country’s biggest underground mining company which operates Botswana’s deepest shafts.


Read this week's paper