Debswana’s Orapa Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mines (OLDM) held inter-departmental First Aid competitions at the weekend in an effort to promote safety in the workplace. Thirteen departments from the mines participated in this annual event.
Welcoming the participants, OLDM Human Resource Manager Lydia Sesinyi said first aid skills are very crucial as they are a solution in dealing with accidents at the workplace, at home and even on public roads.
“This event also gives us a great experiential learning platform where we can share experiences, sharpen our knowledge and wisdom by reflecting on our daily practices as we live the “Put Safety” value” she said.
Sesinyi said it is important to note that mining industries are prone to accidents that require first aid application before the arrival of medical assistance.
“To show that we are above board, National Inter-mine First Aid Games are hosted by Botswana Chamber of Mines (BCM) annually,” she said.
Giving a keynote address, the General Manager of OLDM, Bakani Motlhabani said the mining industry is dictated by law particularly the Mines, Quarries, Works and Machinery Act to ensure that employees acquire knowledge and skills on first aid. He added that Botswana Chamber of Mines (BCM) regards this requirement highly, such that they have established the National Inter-mine First Aid Competition.
“As a member of the Botswana Chamber of Mines, Debswana’s Orapa Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mines operation has always hosted the Inter-departmental competition in preparation for the national event,” he said.
Touching on the theme of the event “Preserve Life Through First Aid” he said it advocates for awareness of First Aid principles to all, not only in the workplace. He also said it is important to also note that accidents happen at home, at the cattle posts at the playfield and many other domestic settings.
“First aid is an initial intervention required to reduce the consequence suffered from the occurrence of emergencies, to facilitate the chances of survival. It is an essential skill for livesaving, which all should have at home, at work, at play and otherwise,” Motlhabani said.
In addition he said the competition gives OLDM an opportunity to assess the readiness and effectiveness of its first aiders in their mining operations. He further added that they want to ensure that their employees are ready for treating injuries in the event of an incident. He also said through first aid training, one can preserve life, prevent aggravation of injuries, call for professional assistance and promote recovery prior to arrival of professional medical practitioners.
“First aid training provides more than the knowledge and skills to effectively respond. It also provides the confidence to act when needed in an emergency situation. If you and your loved ones have never done safety and first aid training, do consider it,” he said.
Number two plant (Ore Processing) section emerged a winner of the competitions. It will represent the mine at the upcoming Botswana Chamber of Mines Inter-mine Competitions which will be held in Jwaneng in October this year.