Ghana Chamber of Mines has commended Golden Star Resources Limited for operating 9.1 million man-hours without a “Lost Time Injury” (LTI) at its Bogoso mine.
This major milestone was achieved on Thursday, September 7, 2017 which also meant that in 818 days, (more than 2 years), the mine had not recorded any injury serious enough to warrant an employee absenting himself/herself from work.
A lost time injury (LTI) is an injury sustained by an employee that will ultimately lead to the loss of productive work time in the form of worker delays or absenteeism.
Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Sulemanu Koney, who had his speech read on his behalf, congratulated management and staff of Golden Star Resources Limited for this remarkable feat and urge them to maintain this standard.
According to the Chamber, working in the mining environment for two years without any Loss Time Injury (LTI) is a feat which is not only worthy of commendation but also emulation by other mining companies or operators in Ghana and beyond.
“The chamber and its member companies believe that mining can be done without harm or injury to employees within the industry as well as host community members. The safety outcomes of Golden Star Resources Bogoso Prestea Limited (GSRBPL) give credence to the chamber’s mantra of zero harm. We are confident that the outstanding safety performance of GSRBPL will be replicated and potentially, surpassed by other mining companies,” Mr. Koney’s stated.
The historic achievement, which is rare within the mining industry in Ghana, had been possible, according to the General Manager of Golden Star Resources Bogoso Prestea, Jerry Agala, due to the continuous review of the company’s risk management system and Golden Star’s safety focus which has a slogan: “If it is not safe, don’t do it.”
In an interview, after a health walk organised to commemorate this achievement, Mr. Agala said: “This feat has not been achieved in a vacuum; it took diligence, hard work and perseverance. In fact, on the part of management, we constantly reviewed our risk management systems, see the areas of concern and make changes where necessary which is communicated to the workforce through their various line heads.
“This is how we have largely worked ensuring that the take-five procedure is followed by any person who is expected to be working on a day. The take-five, let me say, is so important to us and if you can’t answer yes to all five steps then, you are not fit for work that day. With this take-five, we have put together safety rules expected to be followed by any person who works here at Golden Star Resources Limited,” he added.
Recognising the contribution of employees, partners, customers, regulators amongst others to the attainment of the enviable record, Mr. Agala said: the Environment, Occupational Health and Safety division of the company had worked very hard by ensuring zero harm to our people, the environment we work in, our customers and our suppliers.
“It is a great achievement and we are proud of it. Right from the Chief Executive Officer to senior management, we want to convey and emphasis that look, “if it is not safe, then don’t do it.” That is our message but above that we in management we are indeed proud of the staff and sub-contractors at this mine,” he stated.
For his part, the Occupational Health and Safety Superintendent, Philip Thompson, stressed that Golden Star has committed tremendous resources to training to ensure compliance with corporate and statutory requirements, maintaining that the 9.1 million LTI-free was the result of that investment.
He reminded staff of Golden Star that there was no greater value than their life and that nothing should be as valuable to them as ensuring that they leave home for work and return safely to your families.
Mr. Thompson also made a passionate appeal to the workers to take care of their own safety, that of their colleagues and the environment, stating that “I have always encouraged the staff and admonished that “if it is not safe, don’t do it” which is our slogan. If whatever you are going to do, you realise it is not safe, please do not even attempt. Management of this company has given the right to workers or staff to refuse orders from supervisors or line managers if they think the job to be carried out is not safe.”
A durbar was organised after the health walk where all the workers were appreciated for the feat attained.
Minerals & Mining Matters
…with Freeman Koryekpor Awlesu