Monday, June 1, 2009

Day 4 - First Day at the Mine...sorta

Day 4-- 06/01/09
9:30 PM
(click on images to enlarge)

First day at the mine A DAY OF FRUSTRATION! We had to be at the mine at 7:00 AM for site safety training. The training class was to start at 8:00 AM. We could not find the training manuals that were shipped a month earlier. Started tracking the FEDEX number and after a hour found they were delivered to the mine, but could not locate the man who signed for them. He is the training manager for maintenance that set up this training. One would think the guy who set up the training 4 months ago and paid the money to Komatsu ($40,000) would be around to see the training gets set up correctly. I got the classroom set up and decided we would get the students in class after lunch. That didn't happen. I then checked with maintenance, they said no one told them about the training. Then I wen to talk to the regional manager who was on his semi-annual visit (from England) he got the people in charge, chewed them out and said to get the training organized. I was told I would have six students tomorrow. The place is very disorganized but people preach good safety practices. However I saw people in the shop wearing soft shoes, no hard hats, no safety glasses, and no safety vest. Mechanics were working under running trucks, operators in the cab, and using no wheel chocks. People stand around in groups of 3 or 4 waiting for someone to tell them what to do.

The mechanics (15 on day shift) work out of one tool box. If they work on a truck they take only one tool at a time to do the job. If one mechanic has a tool needed by another mechanic, the job just stops. The mine has had an average of 10 equipment accidents per month, with some injuries quite bad.

I am with a Komatsu mechanic from South Africa who has been with the trucks for about 4 months. The power windows of these truck are burning up the motors (8 total at $1,000 each). When one would burn up they just put a new one in and would last a month or so and burn up also. I asked him what is being done, the electrician supervisor for the mine (also from South Africa), a total CAT man said the Komatsu were a bunch of ---- and totally STUFFED!

These trucks have 12 volt window motors, the power is received by center taping two of the batteries. When this electrician hooked them up he hooked the wire to 24 volt instead of 12 volts like the schematics told him to do. I showed him and the Komatsu mechanic the problem, the mine electrician was very P.O.'d and the Komatsu hand went to the manger and took total credit for finding the problems. Oh well that's OK.

Going to and from the mine, we pass lots of people walking the roads; kids going to school in the morning dressed in their uniforms; groups of men standing around while the women are doing all the work. Hopefully we wil be able to start training tomorrow and have a better day.

Pictures of the motel

The electric fence around the motel

A Zambian ant hill

Flowers outside my room

No comments:

Post a Comment