Focus on safety: DTEK mines present new health and safety project

Focus on safety: DTEK mines present new health and safety project

09.04.2019
DTEK

The coal mines of DTEK Energy are set to improve their work safety. Last year, the company invested nearly half a billion hryvnias in health and safety. In 2019, DTEK Energy is going to launch a project introducing a new training system and motivation to change the attitude of all employees towards their life and health.

The initiative comprises six modules. The health and safety team will continue to monitor compliance with safety regulations and train employees. An ad-hoc specialist is going to train staff to help improve the quality of employees’ knowledge. In addition, each coal group will have a health and safety expert in place who will be an employee of DTEK Energy. Thus, the company will step up the external control at the mines by engaging an employee who does not depend on performance indicators and managers. The goal is to boost the involvement and leadership on safety issues among all production line staff – from managers to team leaders. The personal involvement and example set by managers is key in the development of the safety culture.

“Our top priority is people who work safely and thus can have a healthy and active lifestyle. We seek to engage everyone, from workers to directors of business units, and ensure that they know what they do, believe in it and communicate their faith to others. To put it simply, safety must be instilled in everyone,” said Mikhail Barabash, Coal Production Director at DTEK Energy.

The project seeks to change the attitude towards health and safety. Today we can hear that safety goggles, gloves and full compliance with work regulations are a whim rather than concern of the company. Employees often forget that these things do not look after the company’s interests but their own life and health.

In H2 2019, Heroiv Kosmosu and Dobropillia Mine Groups are going to launch other modules of the project, which are pilot programmes. Later, these will be finalised and implemented at other businesses.

“Today we focus on carrots and not sticks. We don’t punish our employees, we reward them for working safely. To improve safety, we are going to develop leadership skills in foremen, workers and managers. We will use new risk assessment methods at workplaces and in production processes and teach them to everyone. Every source of danger must be identified and the risk reduced,” said Vadym Berlo, head of health and safety department.

Health and safety has always been key for coal businesses, therefore the company seeks to ensure that working conditions are safe. Last year, DTEK Energy invested UAH 455 million in this area.

Yet it’s necessary to combine the efforts of the company and employees to achieve zero injuries when no employee can get hurt. The new project strives to develop a safety culture at DTEK Energy’s coal companies and convince all employees that they are responsible for their life and health in the first place.

“There is no magic tool or a magic button, which we can press to improve the safety culture, change the mentality or decrease occupational injuries. We need a comprehensive approach and, most importantly, the involvement of the entire production line staff," says Serhiy Riabov, a leading expert in health and safety, who is helping DTEK Energy to implement a new approach to safety.