State praises safety challenge


THE Government has hailed the recent PNG Extractive Industries Emergency Response Challenge as an important concept that is helping mining and petroleum projects maintain a high standard of health and safety.
Goilala MP William Samb, representing Minister for Mining Johnston Tuke at the presentation night in Madang last Wednesday, said the challenge continued to provide participants a platform to reassess and improve their emergency response skills and capabilities.
“The Government believes that a healthy workforce contributes to better productivity and therefore maximium benefit for the country,” he said.
“Hence, it is paramount that both the Government, through the Mineral Resources Authority’s (MRA) Inspectorate, and the industry play their part to maintain a high standard of health and safety at project sites.
“I believe concepts such as the PNG Extractive Industries Emergency Response Challenge are a clear example of how the Government and industry are working together to promote and encourage collaboration between all stakeholders.
“Maintaining a higher standard of health and safety at project sites are an integral part of any successful operation.
“A 12-month analysis by the MRA on the performance of the mining industry on health and safety showed that there is a downward trend on serious injuries and severity frequency rates.
“This is very encouraging as it indicates that mining projects are operating safer than they were 12 months ago, and the injuries are less severe than they were.”
The challenge was held at the PNG Maritime College from October 2 to 4 and attended by teams from Ok Tedi Mining, Porgera Joint Venture, Harmony Gold, Simberi, Oil Search, Ramu Nickel and Newcrest Lihir.
Formerly known as the National Mining Emergency Response challenge organised by the Mineral Resources Authority, the Challenge is now under the stewardship of the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum.

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