Mopani fires 115 after alcohol test

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MOPANI Copper Mines (MCM) has fired 115 workers and banned 331 contractors for testing positive for alcohol during mandatory breathalyser tests.
According the latest MCM newsletter made available to the Daily Mail in Kitwe yesterday, security manager Anton Bester said management is saddened by the increasing number of employees testing positive for alcohol.
“The number of workers testing positive for alcohol has sadly increased markedly from August 18, 2014 to date. So far,115 employees have tested positive for alcohol in the 11 milligramme percentage and above category.
“Unfortunately, this means that 115 Mopani employees have since been dismissed from employment along with the 331 contractors have been banned from taking up employment on any Mopani property for next three years,” Mr Bester said.
He expressed sadness that despite the Mopani zero tolerance policy being widely advertised through its safe mining campaigns, a number of employees and contractors still report for work drunk.
“It is a well-known fact that alcohol impairs the judgement, concentration, reflexes and reaction time of an individual, depending on the amount of alcohol consumed. People under the influence of alcohol in the work place are, therefore, not only a danger to themselves but may also be the cause of injuries and fatal accidents involving innocent and sober colleagues,” Mr Bester said.
He cautioned MCM employees and contracted workers against reporting for work under the influence of alcohol.
Under MCM’s zero tolerance policy to alcohol and drugs, any person who tests positive for alcohol at the workplace is promptly dealt with under Mopani disciplinary and grievance procedure.
Employees and contractors found to have tested positive in the one to 10 milligramme percentage category receive a final warning and are suspended from work for a prescribed period while those that test positive in the 11 and above milligramme percentage category are instantly dismissed from employment.
“As a gesture of goodwill, we recently installed self-testing stations at various points to enable employees test their own sobriety levels before they can be subjected to the mandatory alcohol test that we conduct at every point to all Mopani assets.
“Sadly, some employees and contractors proceed to undertake the mandatory test, even when they know their state and fate. I would like to urge to all employees and contractors to consider the well-being of their families before they consume alcohol and report for work intoxicated,” Mr Bester said.
He cautioned MCM employees and contracted workers against reporting for work under the influence of alcohol.
The mandatory breath alcohol tests for all persons entering MCM plants and work areas was introduced in March 2014 as part of the safe mining campaign in an effort to curb accidents and fatalities at the workplace.

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