Tabubil is one of the safest towns in Papua New Guinea, due primarily to the Asset Protection Department (APD) at Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML) with the support of the Royal Papua New Guinea Police Constabulary in Tabubil.
A large component of APD's success is regular communication with company management, residents and other stakeholders.
The APD's functions are:
- Physical security from mine to port
- Reserve Royal Papua New Guinea Police Constabulary duties
- Community policing
- Internal investigations
- Community, government, police and industrial liaison
- Fire suppression, safety, detection, prevention and maintenance
- Land, sea, and air rescue
- Crisis/disaster management and response
The APD also provides an information service for Tabubil residents which provides briefings on request on topics such as personal security when travelling around PNG, home security tips, and preventative medical information.
The APD recommends taking the usual precautions for personal safety that would apply in most situations. These consist of being aware of the general security situation at all times, and behaving in a manner that does not attract undue attention to oneself.
It is also advisable to research the local safety situation from time to time, using Internet sites such as www.smartraveller.gov.au, which can provide relevant information to assist in decision-making.
OTML has developed competent Emergency Response Teams (ERT) within the Fire and Rescue section under the direction of the APD. Due to the remote location of the mine and limited public emergency response capability, OTML has to be able to respond effectively to any emergencies.
OTML has Fire and Rescue stations located at the Mill/Mine, Tabubil, Kiunga and Bige. These stations are manned by permanent fire rescue officers and assisted by voluntary auxiliary team members. Each station has modern well equipped fire trucks that respond to emergencies involving fire, vehicle accidents, rescue from heights, hazardous material and confined space rescue incidents.
APD has recently recruited Paramedics which are attached with each crew and provide a high level of emergency medical treatment to casualties at incidents.
The Fire and Rescue team perform a vital community service by providing response capabilities when requested to locations around the Star Mountains area. Response to incidents outside of OTML’s area of operations is subject to an assessment of each request.
Regular risk reviews are completed across all areas of OTML operations to identify the range of emergencies that could occur at each location, including exploration activities, to review emergency response procedures, training needs analysis, and equipment suitability.
Training of Emergency Response teams is an ongoing commitment to ensure each team member has the highest level of skills required in the case of an emergency. Training is to Certificate IV competencies and based on Australian emergency response standards. Following each training session and emergency call-out, debriefing sessions are conducted to identify the effectiveness of the response and areas for improvement.