General: Take trends into account, Solidarity warns after 140th mine
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The death of the 140th mine worker on South African mines can no longer just be another number on mines’ record, the trade union Solidarity warned today. Intervention should now take place to stop the rate at which mine deaths are currently taking place. Solidarity called on mining companies to regard 140 as the turning point in this battle and that mine safety should be made a first priority by, among other things, considering the trends in accidents.
A mine worker died in an electricity related accident on Saturday 18 October at about 13:00 at Anglo Coal’s Greenside mine some 10km south of Witbank. The accident took place in the process of moving a certain production segment of the mine.
“If the number of mine fatalities that happen at coal mines annually is considered, coal mines are the third most dangerous mining sector in South Africa, preceded only by gold and platinum mines,” explains Solidarity spokesperson, Jaco Kleynhans. “Mines should shape up on safety, especially circumstances that are favourable for accidents, as well as take trends relating to accidents into account. Studies have shown that more than 52% of mining fatalities in South Africa in 2007 took place during the peak time between 08:00 and 14:00. Even though electricity related accidents are not very common on mines, safety must not be compromised in this regard.”
Kleynhans added that four mine workers died in electricity related accidents last year, while 36 others were injured.
Solidarity welcomes Anglo Coal’s quick reaction to tackle safety. The group has already indicated that all electricians will now be sent for training as well as re-testing before further moving will be done.
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