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Mines will not create the virus

The virus does not originate in mines nor in any other JSW plant. The information that allegedly this might be the case is a scandalous abuse and breach of any ethical rules, says Artur Dyczko, vice president of the management board at JSW SA and the head of the crisis management unit appointed by the president of Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa.

photo: Dawid Lach

One of the local portals in Jastrzębie-Zdrój published an anonymous text which included the information that the town’s first infection might be in the mine. Measuring body temperature of those entering the premises, disinfectants and prohibition of entrance for third parties were among the first measures adopted by JSWmanagement boarddecisions in order toprevent persons who might infect others from being admitted to work. - However, even the best prevention methods adopted by the JSW management boardwill not help if the employees behave irresponsibly. Irresponsibility and panic are more dangerous than the virus itself - warns Włodzimierz Hereźniak, president of JSW SA.

A crisis management unitoperates in JSW. Decisions made by the unit are immediately enforced. On Saturday, 14 March, it was decided to withhold works on holidays, excluding works necessary to maintain the operations. Based on precise information updates received by the crisis management unit several times daily, it was considered that in view of the epidemic situation, at present there is no danger for the plant operations.

JSW employeesare aware of the emergency we are facing. Neither panic, nor sensationalism are helpful. The procedures in place are efficient even if onerous. The crisis management unit is receiving information about queues at the plant entrances. Measuring body temperature of those entering the premises slows down the traffic. A similar situation occurs at the exit. - I appeal to the employees to follow the current messages and instruction of the mine management. Mine services are making efforts to keep the operations as smooths as possible, however there are technical limits we cannot overcome - says Artur Dyczko, vice president of the management board at JSW SA and the head of the crisis management unit. - We are functioning in extraordinary conditions with limited availability of disinfectants and other means of protection. That is why we must act prudently and use reasonably the available resources. I appeal for prudence - stresses vice president Dyczko.

A single statistic of 13 March testifies to the scale of steps taken by JSW: in all shift body temperature was measures for 23 010 persons. No employee with increased temperature was recorded. This means that on each business day mine services take a similar number of measurements.

Each mine prepares optimum shift scheduling plans. The objective is to ensure that employees in key positions are able to replace colleagues who at a certain point might be in quarantine. Until recently, most of them worked in the same shift. It intensified the risk that in event of infection many of them would be excluded from work in the mines. - We are dealing with a pandemic. JSW management board wants to ensure that the emergency causes the least possible damage. Since we were aware of the danger, we prepared prevention measures well in advance - stresses president Hereźniak.

- I follow internet forums. I often read that we should close the mines. Many posts contain offensive comments about miners, mine management and the company’s management board. We must realize that closing of the mine in practice means its liquidation. It is not a production line in a modern hall which is easy to secure and close for any time. Unless we mine, the rock mass will close most of our excavation heads, endogenic fires will develop in goafs, tremors will not cease and methane will continue to be released. What can be done? We have to keep calm and unconditionally follow all security procedures that protect from infection, adjust the scope of works to the current situation and ensure the servicing of our assets and jobs - explainsArtur Dyczko, vice president of the management board at JSW SA and the head of the crisis management unit.

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