Last week Tuesday, production at Debswana’s Orapa Letlhakane Damtshaa Mines (OLDM) came to a standstill for a few hours as the mine launched its 2015 Environment, Community, Occupational Health and Safety (ECOHS) Quantum Series Campaign dubbed “Quantum Leap” in an endeavour to promote health and safety in the work place.
The main objective of the Quantum Series Campaigns which were started in 2012 is to drive a collective effort in achieving zero harm with regard to ECOHS.
Giving the overview of the campaigns, the Senior Safety and Sustainable Development Manager, George Sehunelo said for three years in succession, since 2012, they have successfully initiated and implemented the ECOHS performance. He said their goal is to align Debswana’s strategic vision of being a global leading practice.
“For OLDM goal and Debswana vision to be realised we need to align our individual contributions in our various areas of responsibility,” he said.
He said the preparations for launching this campaign started with a review of the OLDM Safety and Sustainable Development Strategy. He also said a clear process for the 2015 launch has been developed and key to it are the following; identification and planning for section launch themes, reviewing and planning for additional launches and reporting on progress of the campaigns over time.
“We need to realize however that successful campaign requires total commitment by all of us employees, strategic business partners and members of the community,” said Sehunelo.
For his part, the Acting General Manger of OLDM, Bakani Motlhabani said the achievement of Zero Harm in the workplace is top priority for Debswana Diamond Company as they strive towards a high performance culture. He also said that they are striving to create a great place to work and live in OLDM.
“When our performance is judged as OLDM and as Debswana, the first question is always “How is their ECOHS performance?” Good production performance led by excellent ECOHS performance is highly applauded by all stakeholders. However poor ECOHS performance tarnishes everything,” Motlhabani warned.
Among other important issues, Motlhabani said that it is very crucial to get everyone to understand and execute pre task risk assessment and risk mitigation correctly in the workplace. He said review of recent incidents at the mine revealed scenarios where some workers identify risks but do not put controls and mitigation in place. He said in some cases the mitigation is done properly with proper controls, but then the whole output is set aside during task execution.
“What is expected most importantly is that the identified controls are strictly adhered to during task execution. If there is one thing we need to do differently is pre-task assessment. This is where we need to put all our energy and focus. It has also come to light that we need to improve supervision at work. All supervisors and managers must ensure safe work in their areas of control per their legal appointments,” said Motlhabani.
He said another disturbing observation is that of failure to report incidents on time or not reporting them at all. He further said such a trend should not be tolerated as once an incident occurs cannot be reversed.
In conclusion he lauded his fellow employees, business partners and the community for the progress they have made hitherto on their collective efforts to improve their ECOHS performance.