Mine finds a place for childbirth cause

Kestrel employees assemble the birth kits as part of their LEAN training and induction to the Kestrel Mine Extension.
Kestrel employees assemble the birth kits as part of their LEAN training and induction to the Kestrel Mine Extension.

KESTREL Mine employees are undertaking an innovative induction and training exercise that will help women in Africa give birth in more hygienic and safer conditions.

The mine has teamed up to support Birthing Kit Foundation Australia, an organisation dedicated to improving the conditions for women who give birth at home in developing countries.

Kestrel Mine general manager operations John Coughlan said about 190 employees were moving from Kestrel Mine to the adjacent Kestrel Mine Extension site and were assembling 3600 birth kits for pregnant women in Kenya as part of their induction.

"We are working hard to make sure we transition and induct all our employees safely to the new site, and this involves a range of work readiness programs and training," Mr Coughlan said.

"LEAN is a business improvement initiative used across Rio Tinto Coal Australia that helps us solve problems, improve performance, reduce waste, and increase efficiency.

"We learned an estimated 385,000 women die annually in childbirth, many from preventable infections acquired during childbirth. So we decided to use birth kits as the assembly line to teach the same LEAN principles, while helping reduce the numbers of mothers and babies who die from lack of hygiene during childbirth."

Mr Coughlan said the employees were given seven items comprising a black plastic sheet, gloves, string, soap, scalpel, gauze, and a small bag.

"These items make one birth kit, which could save the lives of both the mother and baby," Mr Coughlan said.

"Already 90 employees have moved across to the new site, assembling nearly 1500 of the birth kits, with the remaining workers to transition early next year."



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