Press releases

Latest protection equipment now being issued to OKD miners

Latest protection equipment now being issued to OKD miners

Ostrava (26 November 2008) – In recent weeks, OKD began issuing the most up-to-date protection aids and safety equipment to the Corporation's employees. This year the company will invest ca. CZK 40 million in this equiment, and the total worth of new equipment planned to be purchased during the period up to 2010 is about half a billion CZK. Acquisition of new aids and equipment for the miners is part and parcel of the safety strategy approved by the Board of Directors early this year, and not even the world financial crisis will threaten its implementation.

 

In spite of the fact that the accident and emergency rates have experienced a long-term downward trend and that the service life of the personal work aids currently in use has by far not been exhausted yet, we have decided to speed up their planned replacement. The new aids are first-rate products abreast of top world standards, now being implemented at mines in the most advanced countries,“ said Leo Bayer, OKD's Director of Operations. At OKD mines, the year-on-year accident rate factor for the first three quarters has dropped nearly 20 per cent.

 

Professionals on the surface as well as workers underground have tested the work aids offered by various suppliers over a period of several months, so that the company could pick the best of them. New hard hats with eye protection shields were purchased in the greatest quantities so far – their number at the mines now has overstepped 9,000. Also, deliveries of reflective T-shirts are in progress; the number of these will approach 10,000 by the end of the year, out of the total number planned, which is 135,000 pieces.

 

The first 2,850 miners now are shod in new working boots, with delivery of a further 4,850 pairs of this footgear expected during November and December. „We purchase three different models of high-quality leather boots. Employees may choose whichever of these suit them best,“ Bayer added. Also, the first hundreds of indication and detection instruments and of new personal lamps already are being used at the deep mines; they are more compact, of lower weight, and more powerful than the lamps used until now. The total number of these items to be purchased by OKD until 2010 will be 17,000.

 

The new work safety enhancement program, approved early this year by the Corporation's management, has pushed the accident rate down more than 20 per cent over a period of nine months. „Safety at work is our priority. Nothing is more precious to us than the health and lives of our people,“ said Klaus-Dieter Beck, OKD's Director General and Chairman of the Board. The safety-at-work enhancement program is being launched by OKD in parallel with the POP 2010 project (Production Optimization Program), which will usher in the most advanced extraction technologies to the mines. This will mean yet another step toward improving the working conditions of our employees.

 

OKD Corporation is owned by New World Resources N. V. of the Netherlands.

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