Bows and Arrows in a Mine?

(Outrageous Fortune?)

After we posted a picture from a recent course someone, ironically a hang-gliding Morris dancer who you think would know better, asked the question: “What do they use bows & arrows for in Boulby mine?” A reasonable question and one that could be similarly applied to climbing walls in the Engineering workshops or a laser clay shoot in the potash silo. These were all activities that we set up at the mine to make ICL’s international safety week a more enjoyable and engaging event for the employees here. Combined with a more obviously relevant session on behavioural safety and a review of limiting mindsets, the focus was squarely on the overall safety theme.

The challenges were physical, mental and psychological, prompting some very competitive behaviour, some healthy cajolery and some thoughtful and vocal encouragement. The real challenge for individuals was to maintain their composure, concentration and focus on the right priorities under the various pressures – real or imagined – presented by the activities and the scrutiny of peers.

Despite the low temperatures and the early starts, actually quite normal for most of the participants, and fuelled by a seemingly inexhaustible supply of bacon butties from the irrepressible Charlotte, the participation levels were very high with many discovering new talents and interests as well as insights into motivators and inhibitors to our health and well-being.

So, no they won’t be using the arrows underground or keeping the walls in the workshops, but hopefully the memories will remind them of the key messages and help them all to stay safe in their demanding roles and challenging environment.