No lost time to accident record for Sulphide construction
The members of TVI Resource Development Philippines, Inc.’s (TVIRD) Sulphide
Project construction team have two reasons to feel good about these days. First,
despite extended periods of bad weather, construction activities for the copper-zinc
plant and tailings storage facilities remain on track for the scheduled copper
concentrate production within the last quarter of the year. Second, while the
construction team has been working 24/7 for over three months straight now –
equivalent to over 500,000 man-hours – there has been no reported lost-time
to accidents. And the team is bent on keeping things that way.
photo shows Sulphide Plant construction crew in action. Supervisors see
to it that harnesses, gloves, eye goggles, safety boots and shoes, and
hard hats are always available to workers. In middle photo, Safety inspector
Willie Tumangkis (sitting at far end of table) is joined by TVIRD Canatuan
Human Resources Manager Gerry Marcellana in a safety huddle with Mess
Hall Staff. Reynaldo Jimeno, TVIRD Canatuan Safety Department OIC, poses
beside a safety sign that at the Mill site. A safety consciousness culture
pervades in the company.
Thus reports Reynaldo Jimeno, officer-in-charge of TVIRD’s Safety Department.
The company is busily putting up the production and support facilities for the
next phase of its operations at Canatuan – the Sulphide phase –
in the hinterlands of Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte.
“TVIRD’s equipment contractors, with their 125 heavy equipment
operators, have also maintained a zero lost-time accident record,” Jimeno
says. “We can attribute our excellent safety record to the work safety
consciousness culture that we have managed to instill in the minds of our employees.
Our workforce observes and implements safety procedures at all times.”
welders and fabricators show how safety procedures are observed and implemented
at the construction Sulphide Plant. Below, Jimeno (fourth from left) takes
time off with the Civil Engineering Services group headed by Ed Nercuit
(fifth from left) for a photo session after their morning tool box meeting.
Ely Valmores, TVIRD Canatuan Maintenance manager, says that the
safety meetings he and his supervisors are doing on a daily basis “always
ensure that safety procedures are followed and proper personal protective equipment
is used.” “My supervisors see to it work hazards are identified
during daily work line-ups so that appropriate safe work procedures are observed;
that harnesses, gloves, eye goggles, safety boots and shoes, and hard hats are
always available to workers. No worker is asked to do something without the
necessary protective gear,” he explains.
Jimeno refers to these regular safety sessions, which are held every day before
the workers start their work, as “tool-box meetings”. “Safety
inspections and audits are done jointly by the Safety Department and by the
front line supervisors of the other departments. We also make sure that safety
procedures are cascaded to all workers in the field, and that safety signs are
placed in strategic locations of the mill and mine facilities,” he points
out. “The signs are constant reminders to people that there should be
no letup in as far as safety is concerned.”
worker is asked to do something without the necessary protective gear.
Over at the Sulphide Dam construction area, TVIRD Canatuan Civil
Engineering Services Manager Ed Nercuit says he has banned “texting”
(short message service text messaging) among his men as part of the safety procedures.
“Texting is a taboo and Ed would not hesitate reprimanding texters,”
“Ed’s team has a no lost-time accident record,” avers TVIRD
Vice President for Environment and Civil Works Jay Nelson. “He has maintained
that record since the time he was in charge of the tailings storage facilities
for our Gossan (Gold-Silver) Project.”
The same is also happening at the Assay Laboratory, where its manager, Jerry
Gamelo, sees to it that personnel always wear their safety gear.
of the safety signs at the TVIRD Canatuan Project site. They are constant
reminders to people that there should be no letup in as far as safety
Other support groups are also active participants in the drive to keep Canatuan
a safe place. For instance, the Community Relations and Development Office and
Public Affairs work with the Environment and Assay Lab in religiously monitoring
the systems that supply the water requirements of employees and community residents
to make sure that drinking water is always safe. The safety culture, Jimeno
says, is alive in the Human Resources and Administration, Materials Management,
and Finance departments as well.
“We are proud of our safety record,” says Yulo Perez, TVIRD Vice
President for Philippine Operations. “We will not stop with what we have
achieved. We intend to leave a strong safety culture in Canatuan throughout
and beyond the life of mine.” (Lullie Micabalo)