Golden Star celebrates 9.1m man-hours without injury

September 11, 2017
Source: Norvan Acquah-Hayford l l Ghana
Golden Star celebrates 9.1m man-hours without injury

Golden Star Resources Limited an established gold mining company that owns and operates the Wassa Bogoso and Prestea mines situated on the Ashanti Gold Belt  has celebrated a major milestone of working 9.1 million man-hours without a “Lost Time Injury” (LTI) at its Bogoso mine.

This means the Bogoso operations of the company as of Thursday September 7, 2017, have in 818 days not recorded any injury serious enough to warrant an employee absenting him/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.

The historic achievement which is rare within the mining industry in Ghana, had been possible, according to Jerry Agala the General Manager of Golden Star Resources Bogoso Prestea operations due to the continues 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 with the B&FT after a health walk organized to commemorate the 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.

Mr. Agala said, with a collaborative effort between management and staff, “We resolved that all kinds incidents that could lead to absentee at work or injuries or death 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! So, if they are caused, then they can be prevented. Over the last two years, this is what we have applied ourselves to, and this is what has brought us this far.”

Recognizing 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 CEO to Senior management, we want to convey and emphasize 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.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Sulemanu Koney who had his speech read on his behalf congratulated the management and staff of Golden Star Resources Limited for this remarkable feat and urged 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.

“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) gives 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.

On his part the Occupational Health and Safety Superintendent, Philip Thompson in an interview  stressed that Golden Star has committed tremendous resources to training to ensure compliance with corporate and statutory requirements, maintaining the 9.1 million LTI-free was the result of that investment.

Mr. Thompson, re-iterated that as a member of the larger Golden Star Resources Limited Group, where the core values mandate various mining sites to be responsible corporate citizens, and where employees owe a duty of care to each other and to the environment.

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 made a passionate appeal for individual contribution 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 is not safe, please do not even attempt. Management of this company have 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.”

“Let us follow the procedures and measures that have been put in place at the workplace and the industry. Through this we can come to work and go back home safe to our families and everybody will be happy,” he added.