FRANCISTOWN: Debswana Diamond Company (DDC) on Friday announced that an employee of Kalcon Excavator Hire lost his life at its Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mines (OLDM), Orapa operation, on Tuesday.
According to a press release from the mining giant’s Corporate Communications Manager, Matshidiso Kamona the employee, Moemedi Mpho from Shoshong, died while at work at the OLDM Fine Residue Disposal (FRD) construction site.
The deceased was employed by Kalcon Excavator Hire at the FRD construction site as a spotter. “It is with a great sadness that we inform you of the passing away of one of our colleagues… The family of the deceased has been informed and is receiving the necessary support during this painful period. The management and staff extend their heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Mpho during this difficult time. The cause of the accident is not yet known and investigations are underway,” said Kamona.
Kamona said Debswana “remained committed to putting safety first at all times. We will continue to ensure that we uphold our safety and that of the people around us.
“DDC takes the safety of all workers at its operations around the country in high regard and outmost importance”.
Sources in Orapa have told The Monitor that the deceased is believed to have died after a dump truck accidentally off-loaded sand on him.
The source stated that Mpho reported for duty on Tuesday night, but his colleagues raised alarm when they did not see him on Wednesday morning when they knocked off. “A manhunt was conducted whereupon the deceased was found buried under the load of sand that his colleague off-loaded the previous night. He was discovered under the load on Thursday much to the shock and pain of the people who were looking for him,” said the source. Spotters in the construction and mining industries are responsible for
The spotters may also perform general labourer duties, including site clean up, and windshield cleaning as necessary.
Recently, OLDM hosted the 38th interdepartmental first aid competitions as one of its various interventions to address safety issues at the mine. During the competitions, OLDM General Manager, Bakani Motlhabani stressed the importance of first aid to workers saying that practising safety at all times can prevent accidents and unforeseen emergencies.
Motlhabani explained that accidents can happen anytime and anywhere – at home, on the road, at a public place like the mall or a park, and also the workplace.
“First aid is an essential skill for life-saving which all should have at home, work, play and other settings. These competitions give us an opportunity to assess the readiness and effectiveness of our first aid in our mining operations. We want to ensure that our employees are ready for treating injuries in the event of an accident,” he said.
“We expect to see creativity in re-enactments that should ultimately teach us how to preserve life, prevent aggravation of injuries, call for professional assistance and promote recovery prior to arrival of professional medical practitioners.”
As a result of Mpho’s untimely death, OLDM indefinitely postponed the GM Charity Walk that was billed for Orapa on September 15 in order to find out what may have caused the accident and give the death the due respect it deserves.
The aim of the walk is to raise P1 million for charity purposes as part of OLDM corporate social responsibility initiatives.