Deputy Minister Adam Gawęda thanks miners. Mines work as usual

Adam Gawęda, Deputy Minister of State Assets and Special Representative of the Government for Restructuring of the Mining Industry, thanked miners for their responsible response to the coronavirus threat.

– The past few weeks was the time of joint struggle with the coronavirus threat. In this struggle we are all equal – said deputy minister Gawęda. – The health of each miner and your families and the safety of mines is our duty and our overriding objective. Therefore I ordered the OHS services and mine management to develop and strictly comply with special rules minimizing the risk of infection. 

In connection with the increased absenteeism and risk of coronavirus infection, the JSW SA Crisis Management Team has made a decision to introduce a three-shift work system in place of the four-shift one. The key objective is to limit the contacts of the employees working on different shifts. Limitation of the number of employees in the mine cage has significantly increased the time of the miner’s journey up and down. Consequently, journeys up take place according to the order established for journeys down, complying with the 8-hour limit for the miners’ stay in the mine during one shift. 

Some of the passenger trains in the mines have been cancelled in order to limit the contacts between the miners. New, detailed travel timetables have been prepared for each underground unit to eliminate accumulation of miners in the area of the headframes and shaft bottoms. The three-shift system makes it possible for individual shifts to avoid contact with one another in the pithead, in the shower rooms, in the headframe, in the shaft bottom and in the underground mining pits. Thanks to the change of the organization of work, there is time between shifts for disinfection of the shower room, mine cages and the underground rail wagons.

JSW mines work as usual. – We prepare for every eventuality. The safety of our crews is our top priority. Therefore we have scenarios for operations even in critical situations. We will keep you informed on an ongoing basis about the decisions made to protect the miners and the workplaces – said Włodzimierz Hereźniak, JSW SA’s CEO.

– The decisions made, the changes to the organization of work and the requirements imposed on all employees are burdensome but are always aimed at minimizing the threat and at improving your safety – said deputy minister Gawęda, talking directly to the miners.

Deputy Minister Adam Gawęda’s address: