Engaging on safety in Tanzania

There are times when there are substantial benefits to working with others that face the same challenges, share the same ambitions and work to the same core values. Our people are not just our direct employees but those who also work for us as subcontractors.

On the 11th and 12th of September 2018 we took advantage of an opportunity to partner with Helios Towers and Delmec engineering to run a face to face workshop for 120 delegates in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

There were representatives from the operators, our customers in Tanzania and the telecoms regulator but the primary focus was the suppliers and subcontractors involved in the high risk work on site. We wanted to share with them our thanks for the amount of effort they have made in recent years, to demonstrate that we shared the challenge and are all committed to making the industry safer still. We also wanted to understand their point of view, their perspective on the challenges and hear the ideas that they could share to help continue to make things better.

There were three key themes running through the two day event:

  1. Being positive, focussing on the fact that we get things right more than we get them wrong – winning hearts and minds
  2. Making the complicated simple, removing complexity and not hiding behind it
  3. Collaborative working, the importance and power of working together

Day 1 included presentations, including one from the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) and a discussion panel which brought out some interesting topics. It was great to see the level of ambition, passion and technical capability that was present in the delegates attending and the will to want to work together.

This discussion was helped by using the Nokia reconstruction video to remind everyone of the personal impact of incidents

Day 2 was an interactive day:

  • The local subcontractors used a local site to run a demonstration of lifting techniques and equipment, showing good and bad examples based on experience
  • They also had a range of equipment on a stand to demonstrate the good and the bad.
  • One supplier brought along a vehicle and demonstrated how the vehicle tracking system and online tracking elements worked to improve road safety.
  • A series of discussion groups, focussing on each of the three themes enabled everyone to bring their views, ideas and challenges to the surface
  • We demonstrated the Virtual Reality Work at Height experience, which gave those people not familiar with climbing the opportunity to experience climbing.
  • Nokia had samples of the promotional material we use, including the supervisor toolkits, which are great examples of making the complicated simple.

We opened the event with a short video on the 4th industrial revolution,

The video emphasizes that as an industry, telecoms does great things, we improve peoples lives through technology but to make technology work there can be high-risk situations. One delegate said:

“Telecoms is considered one of the top industries in Tanzania, second only to mining, we should be talking to schools, colleges and teachers about what good looks like, so that when people enter work they know how to be safe”

We are all aware of the improvements that have been seen across the industry in recent years, we are aware of the challenges we still face, but sometimes we need to take stock of where we are and be proud of what we are part of.