KCM launches first-ever Safety Stand Down
July 20, 2018
CHINGOLA, 19 July, 2018: Vedanta Africa Base Metals & Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) Chief Executive Officer Deshnee Naidoo today launched the first-ever Safety Stand Down campaign in the local mining sector in a bid to raise safety standards and curb mine accidents and fatalities in the company.
The Safety Stand Down campaign, comes in the wake of the recent Safe 400+ tonnes daily production focus, which KCM initiated as a springboard to raise production to 12,500 tonnes per month. It also recognises the impact of mine accidents in the workplace, to the families of the deceased, the economy, and is a renewal of management and employees’ commitment to safe working practices.
The CEO reiterated that she would rather production is paused if there was a threat to the safety of employees than continue mining in unsafe environments.
Ms Naidoo told over 700 of KCM’s 12,000 employees, who attended the launch of the Safety Stand Down that, “It is not acceptable to have had multiple fatalities across KCM in the last six years. All fatalities are preventable.”
She added that, “Even when we are pushing to achieve that production target of 400+ tonnes, the first thing on my mind, as a priority for KCM, is safety. It should also be the first thing in your minds. We cannot have production if it does not come safely. When there is a fatality, it hurts and devastates everyone.”
She outlined some key objectives of the new safety initiative, which include, No more fatalities, No more injuries, No more damage to equipment and property.
Ms Naidoo said leaders of the three unions representing employees at KCM agreed to provide extra oversight on the implementation of the safety campaign.
James Mwabu, the Senior Inspector of Machinery at the Mine Safety Department (MSD) read a speech on behalf of the Director Gideon Ndalama, prodding KCM management and employees not to slacken in pursuing the safety objectives.
“It is our concern as government that every miner and other employees go to work and return home safely. The mining sector is such an important industry and we cannot afford to continue losing life in the sector,” he added.
Mr Mwabu said work stoppages caused by accidents in the mines were harmful to the industry and the entire economy.
“Sector-wide statistics on safety are alarming. Although measures are being taken to correct this scenario, the government wants the mines to focus entirely on safe production, like you have committed to do here at KCM,” Mr Mwabu said.
General Treasurer of the National Union of Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW), Saul
Simujika, who spoke on behalf of the Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) and the
United Mineworkers Union of Zambia (UMUZ) pledged the unions’ support to the
“We believe, like everyone else, that life has no substitute, and therefore the safety of a
person is our number one priority. Our desire as unions representing workers at KCM is
to see to it that this stance is entrenched as a way of life by all of us. It is always
saddening to lose life because of the huge implications such as losses to the family, the
company and the economy,” Mr Simujika said.
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Notes to Editors:
Konkola Copper Mines (‘’KCM’’) is one of the largest copper producers in Zambia, which
operates underground mines and open pit mines as well as metallurgical plants with operations
located at Nchanga, Konkola, Nkana and Nampundwe on one of the highest-grade copper
seams in the world. Vedanta Resources plc (“Vedanta”), a London-listed diversified resources
group owns 79.4% of KCM. The state-owned ZCCM-IH holds a significant shareholding (20.6%)
in KCM. The group produces aluminum, copper, zinc, lead, silver, iron ore, commercial energy,
oil and gas. KCM is one of Zambia's largest private sector employers, with nearly 12,000
workers, of which 11 percent are women. KCM seeks to be a role model for safety, environment
and socio-economic development, while playing a key role in making Zambia one of the world’s
leading copper producers. For more information visit www.kcm.co.zm