By Yewa Kumwenda

Lubambe Copper Mine – Support Services Team has won the Zambia Chamber of Mines, Inter-company First Aid Competition which was hosted by FQM – Trident Mining Limited at Trident School grounds on Saturday 5th August 2023 in Kalumbila after scoring 76.92 percent in the three categories of examination.

In second position with 75.75 percent was Konkola Copper Mines – Konkola Mine Geology Team while Mopani Copper Mines – Nkana Security Team scooped the third position with 75 percent.

The competition saw 24 teams drawn from different mining companies and contractors participate.

The examined categories included the following: treatment of three patients in a simulated scene of an accident to test the ability to take charge of an accident scene, identify the injuries of the casualties and manage the injuries before transporting them to the hospital. The second category involved the treatment and transportation of a single casualty based on the injuries sustained in an accident which tested the efficiency and technical ability of the team in managing the casualty and injuries correctly, within the allocated timeframe, and the final category were individual tests which allowed for the assessment of the technical ability of each individual first aider to treat specific injury.

The event was graced by Dr. Hapenga M. Kabeta, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, who was representing the Minister, Honourable Paul C. Kabuswe, MP, as Guest of Honour.

The PS Mines, Dr. Hapenga Kabeta, giving a speech on behalf of the Guest of Honour, Hon. Paul C. Kabuswe.

Speaking on behalf of the Guest of Honour, Dr. Kabeta said that government had always emphasised the importance of first aid in the mining industry saying the first aid competition was important as it showed the status the industry attached to issues of emergency preparedness.  He said first aid was key to the mining industry because it was the initial assistance given to a victim of injury or illness. He reminded employers and employees to always observe adherence to principles of occupational health and safety which were non- negotiable.

“I therefore, urge all employers, trade unions and the workers themselves across the mining industry to actively participate in securing a safe and healthy working environment, where the principle of prevention is accorded the highest priority by treating symptoms first,” Dr. Kabeta.

Dr. Godwin Beene, President of the Zambia Chamber of Mines giving his speech

He urged all Mining companies to train workers in first aid, in line with Mining Regulations and the theme of the 2023 Zambia Chamber of Mines First Aid Competition, “Learn First Aid, You Never Know When You Will Need It”. He commended FQM – Trident Mining Limited for hosting a successful competition and congratulated the winners Lubambe Copper Mine – Support Services Team for a great display of first aid skills.

The Chamber of Mines of Zambia Council for First Aid (CMZCFA) operates under the auspices of the Zambia Chamber of Mines and is at present the only society recognised by the Chief Inspector of Mines to supervise First Aid Training Activities in the Mining industry and issue certificates of competence to deserving candidates. The Council also conducts mining inspections at all the mines that are affiliated to the Chamber of Mines. These inspection visits are aimed at checking on compliance to acceptable standard First Aid practices and statutory First Aid requirements as prescribed by the Mining Regulations – MR 1201 – 1210 as well as 213 and 214.

Zambia Chamber of Mines CEO, Mr. Sokwani Chilembo making an address

Giving a brief background, CMZCFA Chairperson Dr. Mieke Mulenga said the first aid competitions had a long history in the mining sector from dating from ZCCM days to the current post privatisation state of the mining sector. The competitions were introduced as a motivation and encouragement to employees to be engaged in first aid activities in the workplace. Every department of each mine selects a team of six (6) based on their first aid skills. The teams represent their departments at the inter-departmental competition held at each mine site and the winners of each departmental competition including contractors represent their companies at the annual Inter-Company Fist Aid Competition. At each competition, each team is assessed on the same set of tests as set by the Board of Examiners composed of medical doctors from hospitals run by mining companies and also the Occupational Health and Safety Institute (OHSI).

Lubambe Copper Mine – Support Services Team

Speaking at the event, Chamber president, Dr. Godwin Beene asked the Guest of Honour, to urge all mining companies in Zambia to consider joining the Chamber of Mines in order to benefit from programmes made by the Council for First Aid, the Zambia Mines Rescue and the Safety, Health and Environment committee, among others, that promote international best practices in occupational health, safety and environment.

He said the Chamber was making every effort in ensuring the safety of all mine workers by adhering to international best practice.

FQM – Trident Mining Ltd. General Manager Mr. Keyser (on the far right) and Chamber of Mines of Zambia Council for First Aid (CMZCFA) Chairperson Dr. Mieke Mulenga (second from right) lead guests in the prize giving ceremony

“The Zambia Chamber of Mines would like to restate that we will not support the engagement of commercial private first aid training providers that would like to swarm the mining industry. First aid is a specialized training field and should not be infiltrated by private providers who have the potential to dilute the quality of training that is provided. We call upon the Mines Safety Department (MSD) to ensure that only training provided by the Chamber of Mines of Zambia Council for First Aid (CMZCFA) through the Board of Examiners is recognised in the mining industry by both mining companies and business partners or contractors.” Dr. Beene.

Dr. Mieke Mulenga explaining test scenarios to the Guest of Honour Dr. Kabeta as Dr. Beene (far right) and Mr. Chilembo (far left) listen in

FQM – Trident Mining Ltd. General Manager Mr. Junior Keyser said it was an honour to host the 2023 Inter-Company First Aid Competition and the teams showed great display of first aid skills. He later handed over the hosting CMZCFA flag to CNMC Deputy CEO Mr. Robert Kamanga. The 2024 Inter-company First Aid Competition will be hosted by CNMC Luanshya Copper Mine.

A first aider from Kansanshi Mining Team performing life-saving skills
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