Message Dim 2 Aoû 2009 01:08

KCM still lagging behind in safety, admits Kumar

Written by Mutuna Chanda in Chingola
KONKOLA Copper Mines (KCM) chief executive officer Kishore Kumar has said the firm still had a long way to go in ensuring safety at its mines.

Speaking during the launch of the KCM health and safety week at Nchanga stadium on Friday, Kumar said it was not in the interest of the mining giant or any other organisation to ignore safety.

He said he was very unhappy with the three accidents that occurred at the mine in June.

Kumar however warned employees against being drunk and sleeping on duty.

He also encouraged contractors at KCM to ensure that they adhered to safety rules in their areas of operation.

And Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) president Rayford Mbulu urged KCM not to overstretch its employees' working hours.

Mbulu said with copper prices on the increase, mining companies tended to pile pressure on employees to produce more.

He said some of the causes of accidents in work places included employees being overworked and lacking training.

And mines permanent secretary Dr Godwin Beene urged employees to police each other and ensure that those who smelled of alcohol were inspected by supervisors to prevent accidents.

And safety equipment suppliers representative John Zgambo said among suppliers were some companies that sold recycled products and undercut genuine suppliers by not paying taxes.

He also said some of them obtained orders using unorthodox means.

He however said it was the duty of responsible corporate citizens to ensure that such activities were unsustainable.