KGHM is fighting the coronavirus!

KGHM is actively involved in activities related to the fight against the coronavirus - we work for the benefit of Polish hospitals, institutions and our staff.

"These are difficult times for all of us and as a responsible company we are helping on many levels", said Marcin Chludziński, President of the Management Board of KGHM.

HOW DO WE HELP IN POLAND?

1. The planes with medical equipment purchased by KGHM have landed in Warsaw

Between 26 March and 4 April 2020 a total of 5 aircraft flew to Poland with medical equipment purchased by KGHM.


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2. Manufacture of disinfectants, masks and protective aprons 

The KGHM Group has taken decisive action since the first signs of the coronavirus epidemic were reported. KGHM Polska Miedź and its subsidiaries have become involved, among others, in the production of disinfectants. In order to produce Nitrosept liquid, NITROERG, a company that produces explosives on a daily basis, has immediately launched a new special production line.

"We are actively involved in what we are responsible for - the well-being of the region, the well-being of Poland", said President of KGHM Marcin Chludziński.

In turn, the subsidiaries  KGHM ZANAM, MERCUS Logistyka and Zagłębie Lubin (a football club) have started producing masks and protective aprons. Sewn and sterilised personal protective equipment is gradually being used by those most in need.

3. Thousands of litres of disinfectant provided to medical facilities

As part of the donation, by the end of March the KGHM Polska Miedź Foundation had already provided 20 thousand litres of Nitrosept disinfectant to hospitals, hospices and other medical facilities throughout Poland. The first donations of the liquid produced by a company from the KGHM Group have been given to the staff of medical institutions.

Press Release: KGHM provides 20,000 litres of disinfectant

4. KGHM Foundation donations for the purchase of life-saving equipment

By the end of March 2020, the KGHM Foundation had also donated over PLN 1.2 million for the purchase of life- and health saving equipment in connection with the sudden increase in infected people, including ventilators, tests and oxygen dispensers. The assistance was provided to the MCZ Hospital in Lubin and the Regional Specialised Hospital in Legnica. 

Further donations to health care facilities in the fight against the coronavirus are planned.

"The KGHM Polska Miedź Foundation will donate nearly PLN 7 million to support hospitals - including primarily for the purchase of ventilators and equipment necessary for the treatment of #coronavirus infections", announced KGHM President Marcin Chludziński.

5. CBJ is ready to test for coronavirus and has made the testing equipment available to hospitals

The Quality Research Centre (CBJ) in Lubin of the KGHM Group is able to carry out coronavirus tests. The tests could be conducted with the equipment of KGHM.

The Lubin-based company made its laboratory equipment available to the hospital in Legnica free of charge. It will be used to test samples for the presence of the SARS-cOv2 virus causing the COVID-19 disease.

Specialist devices: MiniSpin centrifuge and sets of automatic pipette tips 0.2 - 200 µl, DNA free with filter were delivered to the Department of Laboratory Diagnostics of the Regional Specialist Hospital in Legnica.

"Our laboratories have high quality equipment, which is so necessary for health care facilities at the moment. Therefore, the decision was made quickly and the equipment is already at the hospital's disposal", stressed Wacław Szetelnicki, President of the CBJ Management Board in Lubin.

The laboratory centrifuge made available to the hospital allows for efficient testing. The device, whose drum rotates very rapidly, quickly separates particles of different densities, contributing to a more efficient preparation of samples for testing.

"The Quality Research Centre, a key company in our production line, joined in the preparations for conducting coronavirus tests, obviously commissioned by hospitals and sanitary and epidemiological stations. If the decision is made, CBJ will perform these tests. We are cooperating with local and regional crisis staff and all institutions, such as the Ministry of Health and the Prime Minister's Office", said Marcin Chludziński, President of the Management Board of KGHM.

The equipment which CBJ has at its disposal uses Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology, which dates back to 1983. This enables the synthesis of billions of copies of any genomic DNA sequence and the detection of a specific fragment of nucleic acid. For this breakthrough in molecular biology, Kary Mullis received the 1993 Nobel Prize. The molecular testing method used by miniOpticon - real-time PCR - has so far been used to diagnose viral respiratory, central nervous system and blood-borne infections. Amongst the diagnostic methods used in coronavirus detection, from temperature measurement to imaging and serological diagnostics, molecular tests, i.e. the detection of the virus identification genes, have proved to be the most sensitive. The serological tests examine the production of antibodies in the body, so in principle they detect the virus only 12-14 days after infection. Molecular tests detect and differentiate the type of viruses in the pre-symptomatic or scarcely symptomatic phase, therefore WHO guidelines clearly recommend them for basic diagnosis.

6. The Copper Health Centre

The Copper Health Centre (MCZ), part of the KGHM Group, is on the front line of the fight against the coronavirus. MCZ is doing everything possible to protect its patients and staff from possible infection.

"It is not possible to stop the epidemic quickly, and as health professionals we are most at risk of infection. Statistics show that every fifth person infected with COVID-19 is a health worker. We are doing everything we can to minimize the risk of infection of patients and our employees", emphasizes Marek Ścieszka, Vice President of MCZ.

The actions taken by the company include reorganisation of the Emergency Room so that patient servicing is provided mainly by telephone; cancellation of scheduled procedures; and ensuring that staff have the necessary personal protective equipment. In addition, employees over 65 years of age and with reduced immunity were offered extended leave.

"We treat every patient like a COVID-19 suspect. In this way, we apply the most rigorous procedures to everyone to prevent the possible spread of the virus," said Ścieszka.

The work of MCZ’s wards is organised in such a way that if an infection is found in one of the employees or a patient, there is no need to close the entire area.

In addition, the Copper Health Centre strives to ensure maximum patient safety. That is why teleconsultation was introduced. The consulting doctor decides whether the patient requires an examination and only then makes an appointment for an in-patient visit.

In oncological patients and in cases where discontinuation of therapy would be life-threatening or would threaten to cause permanent and irreversible damage to health, the patient is cared for under normal conditions.

The problems that affect all healthcare facilities at MCZ are the availability of personal protective equipment and tests for medical personnel for COVID-19.

"This is where the companies of the KGHM Group have come to our assistance, having donated their reserves of protective masks and gloves. Additionally, KGHM ZANAM and Mercus started sewing surgical masks and aprons, NITROERG started production of disinfectants, the KGHM Polska Miedź Foundation purchased five high-class respirators, and the President of the Management Board of KGHM, Marcin Chludziński, assured us that in the coming days we will receive an additional batch of personal protective equipment imported directly from China," says Ścieszka.

The Vice President of MCZ stressed that in these exceptionally difficult times, every day the medical staff meets with expressions of gratitude and respect from patients and their relatives.

7. Donations in kind from KGHM Group companies

The company Uzdrowisko Połczyn Grupa PGU S.A., part of the KGHM Group, has supplied infectious diseases hospitals and emergency medical units with Terra Zdrój-brand health-related cosmetics.

The preparations are to support hospital staff during the fight against the coronavirus by protecting their hands from the adverse effects of washing and disinfecting agents.

"We would like to thank all employees from the medical sector for such a great effort put into limiting the spread of the virus and protecting Polish society from the effects of the disease it causes," says Romuald Michel, President of the Board of Uzdrowisko Połczyn.

The company Staropolanka has donated over 50 thousand packages of mineral water for all 19 Uniform Infectious Hospitals in Poland.

It is an expression of solidarity and gratitude for the commitment and dedication of doctors, paramedics and medical personnel.

This decision was made by the Management Board of Kłodzko Health Resorts belonging to the KGHM Group.

The company Mercus, meanwhile, handed over 5 thousand p2 masks to the Voivodeship Office, which are to support the relevant services fighting against infections. The same amount, 5,000 p2 masks, was also given to the Ministry of Health.

8. Lubinpex delivers lunches to the hospital in Legnica

Lubinpex - a catering company from the KGHM Group, supplies food to doctors, nurses and hospital porters from the Regional Specialist Hospital in Legnica.

"That's 200 meals a day, which are distributed among employees who work for at least 12 hours, i.e. 12 or 24-hour shifts," says Tomasz Kozieł, the hospital's spokesman.

9. Provision of buildings for quarantine purposes

The company INTERFERIE, a member of the KGHM Group, has handed over one of its facilities, after the hotel in Głogów, to the Głogów Starost’s Office. The premises may, if necessary, be used for quarantine purposes. The building will be equipped by the Starost's Office. Mercus has declared assistance in this respect.

In addition, another company in the group, Polska Grupa Uzdrowisk, is also ready to hand over some of its buildings for quarantine purposes.

10. KGHM's volunteer work helps seniors

In connection with the coronavirus, KGHM's employee volunteer work has not remained passive since the beginning of the epidemic. The employees took part in the action "Be a good neighbour".

 The elderly are most vulnerable to the infection. That is why we are helping seniors to meet their most urgent needs.

 Employees have hung posters in their neighbourhoods aimed at seniors to encourage them to use volunteers for activities such as shopping.

 Mine rescuers have also joined in the campaign.

HOW DO WE FIGHT THE CORONAVIRUS IN THE COMPANY?

1. Maintaining production, good level of sales and EBITDA during a pandemic

KGHM Group generated a high net profit of PLN 690 million in the first quarter of 2020, despite unfavorable situation related to the coronavirus pandemic in the country and in the world. Maintaining production, good sales and EBITDA are further achievements of the copper giant in the first quarter of this year. Costs were also kept in check during that period.

Press release: Very good profit in turbulent times

2. KGHM International operating in Canada and the USA

At KGHM International our leadership teams throughout North America, at all levels, have proactively and collectively responded to the crisis early by:

  • Establishing a Covid-19 Crisis Committee that includes representation and solidarity from all jurisdictions we operate in to build and implement effective policy, procedures and communications that help us manage this evolving risk and enables appropriate mitigation to protect business continuity, employees, their families and our communities.
  • Utilization of existing critical standards like the Enterprise Risk Management standard have allowed for a quick and regionally valid assessments of novel risks from a corporate and site perspective in terms of liquidity management, critical site workflows both internal and external (suppliers and vendors).  
  • The Committee works with our regional leadership teams to monitor the crisis at federal, provincial/state, and at a site level on a daily basis to align our actions with guidance from applicable government agencies in the communities we impact and even within the larger KGHM Group.
  • All of our site General Managers are actively participating with peers via Mining Associations for immediate assessment and sharing of best practices and lessons learned throughout the industry.
  • Current preventative measures in place to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission include, but are not limited to:
    • regionally applicable and required pre-screen questionnaires and temperature checks for all entrants to our sites,
    • requirements for relevant social distancing measures at each site,
    • employee surveys for assessing the value of current preventative measures and soliciting new best practices or good ideas,
    • updated absentee and leave policies,
    • recurring reports at the site and corporate level to monitor impacted employees,
    • clear and concise return to work requirements,
    • mental health and employee assistance programs,
    • guidelines for employees and supervisors to keep them informed,
    • „KGHMI Use of ”guidance for PPE and cleaning and disinfecting equipment/work areas,
    • daily monitoring and implementation of novel law in all jurisdiction as necessary,
    • Trigger-Action Plans for critical work flows to expedite any required business response if impacted by Covid-19.

 Some highlights from the sites’ support of our communities include:

    • The Robinson Mine –
      • sponsoring a daily radio show so the Mayor of the City of Ely can effectively communicate to the community during the evolving crisis,
      • providing supplies to local school children to help them during the Stay at Home Order now in place in the state of Nevada,
      • offered logistical support for contingency planning and donated PPE to the regional hospital,
      • Amanda Hilton, General Manager, has been recognized by the Governor of Nevada as a Hero of the Day within the State,
    • The Carlota Mine –
      • coordinating the sourcing of non-critical PPE for all of the sister sites in North America,
      • donated critical PPE to the regional hospital,
      • producing hand sanitizer and cleaning solution in the on-site lab for employees,
    • The Sudbury Operations and Victoria Project –
      • working with local First Nations to provide support during the crisis,
  • donation to Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Laurentian University to produce hand sanitizer for community needs,
  • provided critical PPE to a local Retirement home for patient care.

It is also recognized by KGHMI that there are opportunities to perform better than anticipated amidst the crisis. The Sudbury Operations team is continually updating their mine plan and extraction sequence to exploit high grade precious metal stopes to take advantage of historically high Palladium, Platinum and Gold prices.

The quick response and daily engagement have allowed our sites to maintain continuous operation without sacrificing our shared values of Zero Harm, Teamwork, Result-Driven, Accountability and Courage.

KGHMI fights the coronavirus - gallery

3. Up-to-date information on coronavirus and procedures

In KGHM, all foreign delegations and the participation of KGHM employees in domestic conferences and training courses have been suspended until further notice. Employees over 65 years of age can enjoy the opportunity to stay at home and work from home. The Management Board of the Company has also decided to temporarily suspend the preliminary sobriety checks of KGHM employees. Immediate action procedures have been implemented in the case of notification of a potentially coronavirus-infected person in the workplace.

 Employees in all Divisions have been provided with hygiene and disinfection measures and instructions on how to maintain prophylaxis and basic hygiene principles. All communication media operating in the company (intranet, extranet, kghm.tv, company newspaper Curier, posters, information boards) are updated with current recommendations and announcements from the sanitary services.

 A special helpline and a mailbox for KGHM employees was launched to explain all doubts about the current organisation and mode of operation.

 KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. is monitoring the coronavirus situation on an ongoing basis and is taking measures to support national and local authorities.
 

4. Hygiene and disinfection measures in the workplace

Disinfectants, personal protective equipment, hand washing liquids - everything that is the basis for hygiene in times of fighting the coronavirus, is systematically being delivered to the Divisions. Here, on the spot, the relevant services are constantly replenishing the dispensers - a demanding task, because the demand is enormous.

During one shift, workers who are wearing personal protective equipment sometimes cover tens of kilometres, running from one point to another. Everybody uses the liquid, even just passing the dispensers. Every employee knows that we have to reduce the risk," stresses Mirosława Smętek.

Employees are keeping their distance from each other, with miners putting on masks. They come to get the liquids to spray the surfaces on their workstations and machines. We have disinfectant sprays in the mine meeting chambers to make it safer.

5. Disinfected common areas

The systematic disinfection of common areas on the grounds of KGHM’s Divisions continues. This is another step towards minimising the risk of potential coronavirus infections. The actions are carried out, in between shifts, by selected Divisional services and professional companies.

Thorough disinfection of those areas which are most frequented by the employees of KGHM and external companies is part of a broad programme for counteracting potential risks associated with the coronavirus. Actions in this respect have been taken in all Divisions.

Disinfection in the mines includes entrances, corridors, exit staircases and other passageways, baths, especially showers, apparatus racks, lamp rooms, waiting rooms and beverage dispensing points.

Additional equipment for industrial ozonisation was ordered, adapted to the cubic capacity of rooms in KGHM Divisions. This equipment will be systematically transferred to the Company's plants. Also, deliveries of disinfectant fluids, masks, overalls and other protective materials are under way.

6. Measuring the temperature of all those entering using new technologies

There are thermal imaging cameras at the main entrances of all of KGHM’s Divisions to remotely measure the body temperature of employees entering the premises. In total, we have 25 of them - among others, at the personnel shafts of KGHM’s mines and at the entrances to the metallurgical and processing plants. Thermal imaging cameras can simultaneously determine the body temperature of a dozen or so people with an accuracy of one-tenth of a degree.

The temperature of the person entering the plant is shown on the screen. If the person is healthy, it lights up green, whereas if an excess temperature is detected, it lights up red and activates an acoustic signal.

If a worker is found to have an elevated temperature, he is given a mask and gloves already at the entrance, and the isolated person passes to the medical point through a separate passageway, not connected to the main worker's passageway. At the nurse's station, an interview is conducted and further decisions are made.

 All those entering the divisions, both KGHM employees and those employed by external companies, are subjected to control. This is another action of Polska Miedź to provide employees with the safest possible working conditions and to minimise the risk of the virus spreading.

In other workplaces of KGHM Polska Miedź S.A., the temperature of all persons entering a given plant is measured using remote thermometers.

7. Reducing the number of passengers during travel by bus and mining shaft lifts

In order to reduce the possibility of infection among workers, the number of people transported in employee buses and people carried in mining cages has been reduced.

In addition, special curtains have been installed in the Rudna Mine to isolate the crew during travel in the shafts. Building partitions in the cages was the idea of the Rudna mine’s employees.

8. Introducing remote work where possible

In the case of office workers, the possibility of remote working with the rotation of key employees was introduced almost immediately.

The Central Information Processing Centre (COPI), belonging to KGHM Polska Miedź S.A., which provides IT services to many of the Group companies, has risen to the challenge of rapidly providing hundreds of notebooks and VPN services for remote working. After making a decision on emergency purchases for remote work, by the beginning of April this year, the Data Center Division issued a total of 620 to the employees of the Group. There were so many laptops ordered that they were delivered in whole pallets.

The restrictions introduced as regards business meetings as well as the possibility of remote work increased the need for meetings via video- and teleconferences, as well as the need to share desktops and work on documents together.

In March, the load on the main Internet flow node tripled, and the use of Internet capacity increased by 50%.

Before the epidemic, the average number of requests for such services amounted to 70 per month. In March 2020, up to 1442 requests were recorded. The IT engineers responsible for communications launched a helpline for contacting KGHM’s HR staff and directing calls to epidemiological stations in the Copper Belt region. In addition to ensuring the quality of teleconferencing, they provide the possibility of redirecting land-line numbers to mobile numbers.

Special protection was extended to high-risk individuals over 65 years of age, offering them the opportunity to stay at home or work remotely.

9. Full-time foreign language courses have been suspended, while online courses are being offered

10. Online courses on mandatory occupational health and safety training

With the announcement of an epidemic emergency, mandatory periodic occupational health and safety training has been approved in the form of E-LEARNING. Employees are able to obtain completion certificates without leaving home or at work, at their desk.

These activities have ensured the continuity of training in occupational health and safety and have enabled working standards to be maintained in the Divisions.  Online courses such as these are aimed at reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

11. Reorganisation of canteens, staff cafeterias

Employee canteens and cafeterias are selling only takeaway food, in disposable packaging, with disposable cutlery. The number of people entering the canteens has also been reduced.

12. Preliminary checks on staff sobriety have been suspended

In connection with further recommendations of the government and the Chief Sanitary Inspector, the Management Board of KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. has decided to temporarily suspend the preliminary sobriety checks on employees. The company’s management also took into account the fears and emotions of employees given reports about the spread of the coronavirus in Poland.

At the same time, the company's management board stresses that sobriety testing is extremely important for the safety of all employees. Only last week a dozen or so people under the influence of alcohol tried to enter the production facilities.

Controls will continue to be maintained if there exists a reasonable suspicion regarding a person’s sobriety upon arriving at work or suspicion of the consumption of alcohol at the place of work, as well as random checks.

13. Buses carrying employees undergo disinfecting

In order to ensure safe transport for KGHM's employees, Mercus Logistyka introduced a rigorous procedure for disinfecting the passenger space of buses.

A specialist company from Lubin periodically disinfects the vehicles of Mercus and of external companies involved in employee transport for KGHM.

14. Liquids and masks for KGHM Group employees

Nitrosept biocide fluid and protective masks will be given to every KGHM employee - this was decided by the President of the Management Board Marcin Chludziński. Thanks to his initiative, the staff will receive personal protective equipment before the holidays. In this way, employees will benefit from the fact that the Group produces liquid and sews masks on its own.

"These are difficult times for all of us and as a responsible company we help on many levels. The safety of our employees is a personal  priority for me and that is why I have decided to provide liquids and masks to our employees," stressed Marcin Chludziński, President of the Management Board of KGHM.

Disinfectant and protective masks will be provided to the employees of KGHM and the Group.

15. Games purchased by KGHM provided to employees

Due to the recommended isolation, during the current state of the epidemic in the country, Easter in 2020 differs from previous ones. Staying home and spending holidays in a close family circle requires ideas on how to manage this time for yourself and your children. KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. purchased and handed over to its employees games which can help them to spend time with their loved ones. The proposals included traditional games such as dominoes, cards and dice, as well as colouring books with a set of crayons. In addition, in the Easter edition of the company newspaper Curier, everyone could find an insert with puzzles and rebuses for the whole family and a board game called Copperland, with questions about copper mining and processing.

Since the introduction of the epidemic emergency, workers have received various advice and suggestions on how to deal with the new situation of social isolation through the internal employee network and the Curier newspaper.

16. Visit by the Deputy Prime Minister - KGHM supports the government in its efforts to fight the coronavirus

Cooperation in activities aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus was the subject of talks between the Management Board of KGHM and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State Assets, Jacek Sasin. Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Sasin took part in the meeting – a videoconference with the management of Polska Miedź – and participated in tests of thermal imaging involving the non-invasive examination of employees' temperature.

The use of thermal imaging is another of the measures that will be applied in Polska Miedź and will increase the safety of employees. The morning briefing with the managerial staff summarised the existing solutions and planned future actions. The meeting was attended by Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State Assets Jacek Sasin.

"We are all working in difficult circumstances and exceptional times require us to act responsibly and decisively. I can see the broad context of KGHM's activities both in relation to its employees and all Polish citizens," said Jacek Sasin during a briefing organised in Rynarcice, near the L-VI shaft, where the thermal imaging tests of employees were conducted.