Production at Debswana’s Orapa Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mines(OLDM) was halted last week to allow employees to commemorate the Global Safety Day (GSD). The Global Safety Day is an Anglo American initiative which is commemorated annually throughout the company’s various operations or businesses in pursuit of safety in the working environment and towards achieving zero harm.
Giving a brief overview of the commemoration, the Asset Management Engineer at OLDM, Gasemodimo Pilatwe said the drive for this event is to enhance a desired culture within the operations as well as creating a platform of retrospect regarding their Environment, Community, Occupational Health and Safety (ECOHS) performance and deduce learning from previous performances. He said that the day is set on the premise that everyone everywhere has a part to play in safety by sharing and embracing the value of critical controls.
“We must be proactive in our approach to ensure effective use of controls in order to deliver Zero Harm commitment and to also create an environment conducive for accountability and cooperation as key to success, which underpins ECOHS agenda for excellence,” he said.
Pilatwe said that although they are currently experiencing worrisome incidents this has not yet in fact impacted badly on their ECOHS performance as measured by Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR). He said many of the injuries they have recorded can be classified as low energy incidents.
“For an example slips and trips, hits, cuts or caught in between objects and mostly affected body parts are fingers. Controls for this category of incidents required focus on the management of human behavior to keep employees alert and risk conscious at all times,” he said.
Among other important issues he said the commemoration allows for employees to understand and articulate what critical controls are, why critical controls are important to everyone, how critical controls are identified and what their role is in using them correctly and lastly when to stop work and flag a potential issue.
For his part the Senior Finance Manager at OLDM, Kgomotso Kereng said that the Global Safety Day is very important as it gives them an opportunity to project a desired future in pursuit of “Zero Harm”. “There are various initiatives and interventions in place that are designed and intended to drive one of Sustainability Strategic Pillars of behavior and cultural enhancement. A programme called Quantum Series is one example of such initiatives, of which we often gather in this manner for departmental or sectional launches,” he said.
He said that the theme for this year “Controls Protect Critical Controls Keep Us Alive,” focuses on critical control around unwanted events to prevent or mitigate the impact in case those events materialize. He said as individuals and collectively as employees they have responsibilities and duty to take care of each other’s safety and health as well as the environment. Kereng added that it is crucial to identify and know which controls are available to protect them both in their workplaces and in their social lives. He also said it is important to appreciate and recognize risks within the sphere of everybody’s life both at work and at home.
“It has been tried and tested that whenever right controls are in place, our confidence level in our process is assured and subsequently stability and sustenance of our systems exist. In a nutshell, robust controls provide assurance to our safety and our processes,” he said.
In conclusion he said that as leaders, they subscribe and are committed to full implementation of risk management processes as outlined in their procedures and policies. He also said that it is imperative that that they learn from their previous incidents and always stay switched on as a measure of controls.
“A joint partnership is vital for effective and sustainable control,” he said.