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Sepon Mine launches employee safety campaign on microsleep

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On 25 June MMG LXML Sepon launched a campaign on microsleep, to assist in further enhancing safety as the core value at the mine.

‘Microsleep’ is an episode of sleep which may last anywhere between a fraction of a second and 30 seconds.  Causes can include physical tiredness from lack of sleep, or undertaking monotonous activities for long periods. 

Microsleep may have serious consequences if it occurs in a situation which requires constant alertness, such as operating heavy machinery, and has therefore been identified as a potential risk for certain employees at the mine.

The key message of the campaign is that employees should tell their supervisors if they feel sleepy at work – and they will not get into trouble for doing so.

“Employees who experience microsleep, or who feel so sleepy that they might be at risk of it, may be too afraid to tell their supervisors,” said Kongsamay Chalet, a Safety Superintendent at Sepon mine.  “The purpose of this campaign is to encourage our people to look after themselves and their work colleagues by speaking up if they feel in danger of experiencing microsleep.”


An image from Sepon mine’s animated film about microsleep  

Getting proper rest prior to commencing work is a critical issue in reducing the risk of microsleep. While the mine has taken steps to ensure that employees have the opportunity to get proper rest, this may not occur.

“Safety is our core value, and our vision is to be a ‘zero harm and fatality free’ workplace.  Tackling the issue of microsleep is consistent with that.  We want to see everyone returning home safely to their family and friends,” said Rick Watsford, General Manager Sepon. 

The microsleep campaign started with the screening of an eight-minute animated film commissioned by the company.  The film engages target audiences using humour and local cultural references. 

Other companies in Laos who might be interested in showing the film to their employees can request a copy from MMG LXML Sepon.