Hossia Chimbombi, the Deputy Director (Inspectorate) in the Department of Mines under the Ministry of Minerals and Energy, has called upon the Botswana Chamber of Mines (BCM) to broaden the scope of its annual Inter-Mine First Aid Competitions to include quarries and emerging new mines. These competitions aim to promote safety within the mining sector by equipping the workforce with essential first aid skills.
Chimbombi made this appeal during the recent annual First Aid Competitions held by BCM at the Botswana Ash (BOTASH) Mine in Sowa Town, emphasizing the critical role of first aid in saving lives. He urged BCM to consider extending the benefits of this initiative to these emerging sectors.
“When properly implemented, first aid serves as a crucial relief in addressing various health and medical emergencies in the workplace,” Chimbombi noted. “Beyond preserving lives, it expedites the recovery process, reduces healthcare costs, and minimizes the risk of worsening the condition of the injured person.”
Chimbombi stressed the significance of having trained first aiders in any workplace, as they play a pivotal role in determining the fate of the injured individuals. He underscored the principles of preserving life, preventing further injuries, and promoting the recovery of the injured as the guiding principles for first aiders.
Additionally, Chimbombi highlighted the importance of not neglecting young miners who have recently entered the industry, emphasizing the value of imparting first aid skills to them. He pointed out that no mineral extraction is worth the loss of a life.
The Deputy Director acknowledged the advancements in technology and mining methodologies within the mining industry. Many mines have ventured underground in pursuit of new mineral resources, which, while offering significant benefits, present fresh challenges that require a different mindset and substantial resources. Chimbombi commended those mines that have prioritized safety as they adapt to these transformations.
Chimbombi also proposed taking first aid education to the next level by integrating it into the early childhood learning sector. He stressed the importance of instilling first aid skills at a young age, advocating for schools to incorporate it into their curriculum and promote it as a lifelong practice.
Thirteen teams, comprising five mines and the government parastatal Botswana Power Corporation (BPC), participated in this year’s First Aid Competitions. Debswana’s Jwaneng Mine Team B emerged as the winners of the competition.
The BCM initiated the First Aid Competitions in 1984 as part of its ongoing commitment to enhancing safety within the mining sector.