By T.C.P. Booysen and W.C. Olivier
On Sunday, 29 July 2018 Master Drilling Exploration’s (MDX) Kolomela project achieved 4 years without Lost Time Injury (LTI) or nearly 1 million LTI free man-hours. This is truly a remarkable feat considering the project employs over 100 people operating 15 drill rigs with supporting logistics at any given time. This achievement reflects the strong safety awareness and culture of not only the MDX SHEQ department but every employee on the site. This milestone could also not have been achieved without the close collaboration of our client, Kumba Iron Ore and, more specifically, the Kolomela safety and leadership teams to whom MDX would also like to give credit.
“Safety must come first, and I believe there is no reason we can’t have an injury-free workplace. Our team have really embraced this approach, understanding incidents not only impact our work, but importantly, family and home life too”, TCP Booysen, MDX senior safety officer.
On the 15th of August 2018, the General Manager of Kolomela Mine, Mr. Masala Mutangwa and some members of his Kolomela Leadership Team (KLT), presented MDX with a certificate for this milestone safety achievement.
The COO of MDX commended the team for this remarkable achievement but emphasised that they should not become complacent and should remain vigilant and innovative in the ways they approach safety, always advocating “safety as a culture” on site.
The Kolomela Project has implemented several initiatives which contributed to achieving this excellent safety milestone, including but not limited to the following:
Ensuring that the site has the correct skills and competent persons for each job;
Strong safety processes which encourage pro-active safety behaviour;
Encouraging a culture of safety – both as a collective and as an individual;
Active participation in the client’s initiatives, safety strategies and safety management plans;
Planned Task Observation (PTO), Visible Felt Leadership (VFL), on-the-job coaching by management and leadership teams;
Planned audits, inspections, reporting and monitoring;
Learning from incidents,; through dynamic SHEQ communication across the business;
Embracing the “STOP & FIX” culture for unsafe conditions and/or behaviours;
Monthly, daily and weekly meetings and safety forums;
Quarterly participative forum meetings;
An effective safety incentive scheme.
MDX’s SHEQ management system and process approach proved to be fundamental contributing factors to ensuring a safe workplace at Kolomela. Utilizing innovations such as electronic checklists, daily inspections and other paperless technologies to not only gather data on possible future areas of risk, but also communicate safety related content to employees on site rapidly and effectively, bolstering safety awareness and culture daily.
This way of doing things differently compared to traditional methods fits into Master Drilling’s vision of, “We challenge the status quo to provide our clients with specialised, adaptive one-stop drilling solutions”. It is within the framework of this vision that MDX, in collaboration with clients, strives to accomplish even greater safety achievements with zero-harm always being the ultimate goal in the workplace.