Bid to make mines safer

Johannesburg - An initiative to make mining safer and provide skills to workers was announced at the mine health and safety summit held in Johannesburg, the Chamber of Mines said on Wednesday.

The "centre of excellence" aimed to eliminate exposure to high occupational health and safety risks, improve asset utilisation, provide mine employees with skills, and support socio-economic opportunities through mining, spokesperson Zingaphi Matanzima said in a statement.

Achieving "zero harm" to mine workers was the summit's main aim.

"The industry has prioritised the health and safety of workers as an integral part of being in business and being good corporate citizens and the sector's moral obligation to do all that is possible to achieve zero harm," Matanzima said.

The summit was convened under the theme "Every worker returning from work unharmed every day".

Chairperson of the Mine Health and Safety Council and chief inspector of mines, David Msiza, said mining fatalities had been reduced from 615 in 1993, to 270 in 2003, and to 93 in 2013.

It was noted that the 2014 achievements were an improvement from 2013 by 8%, but 85% better than 1993.
 

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