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Sandvik Mining celebrates a decade of manhours without injury

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The Sales Area West Africa of global mining equipment giant, Sandvik Mining & Construction, has celebrated a major milestone of working for a decade without a Lost Time Injury (LTI).

This means the West Africa branch of the company, which include operations in Ghana, Nigeria, Mali and Burkina Faso, has in 10 consecutive years not recorded any injury serious enough to warrant an employee absenting him/herself from work.

A decade without an LTI is equivalent to 120 months, or 3,652 days or 7.6 million manhours without a serious injury at work.

“This outstanding historic achievement reiterates our company’s commitment to safety and demonstrates that in Sandvik we ‘walk the talk’ when it comes to safe working practices.

“It is also a testament to the strong leadership commitment and relentless effort from our employees, customers and stakeholders,” Sandvik’s Vice President, Sales Area West Africa, Nuhu Salifu, said.

Over the last three years, both the size of operations and workforce of the company have increased by about 30 per cent – now operating several warehouses and workshops across Ghana, Mali, Nigeria and Burkina Faso.

For Mr Salifu, this makes the achievement even more remarkable. It is a “significant milestone in our journey towards making Sandvik West Africa a zero-harm environment”.

What it means

Mr Salifu said the attainment was the result of painstaking planning and a tireless commitment to following the rules set.

“The overarching aim is to ensure that people work and can go home safely. Your teams are working in a very challenging environment but you are still assured that they can close and go home and come back safely without being hurt during the process,” Mr Nuhu Salifu said.

This safety mark during a period of growth underscores Sandvik West Africa’s unwavering commitment to Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) best practices across all facets of its Sales Area, he added.

The MD said, when the company recorded its last LTI on November 26, 2012, “We resolved that incidents of that nature were avoidable and would not be allowed to happen.

“This was based on our firm belief that accidents do not just happen; they are caused! Our simple logic has been that if they are caused, then they can be prevented.”

“Therefore, we took a continuous improvement approach which included incorporating lessons learned from near misses and incidents to improve our safety management system.

“Notable amongst these is our hazard reporting system and the introduction of the ROAM mobile App for reporting hazards, near misses and incidents daily,” he stressed.

Another important tool in our zero-harm journey is our mandatory simplified mini-risk assessment form which has to be filled out prior to the commencement of every task on site

International Safety Standards

Sandvik Mining Ghana and Mali have been certified to the world-acclaimed ISO standards for the environment (ISO 14001:2015), occupational health and safety (ISO45001:2018) and Quality Management Systems (ISO 9001:2015) since 2018 by an independent certification body.

Compliance with the requirements of these international standards has played a pivotal role in the company’s zero-harm journey.

“All our senior managers ‘lead by example’ by way of a public declaration of their EHS leadership commitments every year and ensure that these commitments are achieved by year-end.

These measures and the passion and commitment of our people have ultimately got us to where we are today”.

Sandvik Mining celebrates a decade of manhours without injury

Charge to employees
Some deserving employees were awarded for their outstanding performance that has contributed to upholding safety standards in the company.

Mr Salifu admonished employees against complacency in the wake of this safety achievement.

“…whilst acknowledging that achieving 10 LTI-free years is an incredible safety performance which we must absolutely be proud of, I would like to emphasize especially on this occasion, that we cannot become complacent”.

“We must not lose focus on our main objective – zero harm to our people, the environment we work in, our customers and our suppliers. We must continue to take personal responsibility for our own safety and that of our colleagues”.

Mr Salifu was optimistic the company can achieve the next 10 years without LTI, “if we ensure that the daily actions we all take to identify and mitigate hazards in our work sites are effective and everyone goes home safe and healthy”.

Call to Scale-up EHS

The Vice-President of Sandvik also encouraged Ghanaian companies to prioritize Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) practices in a bid to improve productivity and profits.

He believes if this is scaled up in the larger Ghanaian community, there is assurance “it will increase the productivity of our workforce at the national and global level, and reduce medical cost, because when one person gets injured the cost of treatment can be quite significant.”

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