The Director of Mines, Kgomotso Abi, has called for safety in the mines to be practiced and taken seriously.
Giving a keynote address during the Inter mine First Aid Games at the Orapa-Letlhakane Debswana on Saturday Abi pointed out that safety is a value that should never be taken for granted as an injury to one is an injury to all.
“What is currently required is not so much knowledge on safety, but a way of switching us back into the safety mode,” he told the participants.
He indicated that the employees and the nation at large should not be mere “hearers” of the safety message, but the “doers” of it because wisdom lies not in the knowing but in the deeds.
Abi said that the frontline employees in particular are accountable for their own safety and the safety of their fellow workmates.
He said that the employees should know that first aid is a secondary layer of the safety strategy of mining operations, the primary layer being the avoidance of accidents.
“When the primary layer of the strategy has failed, it is important that the secondary layer is invoked to minimize the impact of accidents, including the loss of life,” he stated.
Touching on the Inter Mine First Aid Competitions, Abi went further to highlight that while the competitions represent the simulation of real life situations, they are very critical in providing the necessary practice to hone the skills should the need arise to administer First Aid or evacuate the injured in real life.
He pointed out that first aid is as crucial to the miner as the use of a simulator to practice crash landing to a pilot.
The practice to hone the skills, he said, is done in the hope that the skills are effectively deployed to mitigate injuries and save lives when there is need.
“These first aid competitions are not only about winning prizes during the day, but a demonstration of readiness to intervene to mitigate injuries and safe lives,” he told the participants.
The Inter- Mine First Aid Competitions are an annual event of the Botswana Chamber of Mines (BCM). With safety being an imperative aspect in the mining industry, the competitions aim to equip employees with the necessary skills to administer first aid where needed.
This year’s games were won by Morupule Colliery Mine, followed by Orapa ÔÇô Letlhakane Debswana Mining Company and Tati Nickel Mining Company. The other mines that participated included African Copper, BCL and the Jwaneng Debswana Mine.