South African mining sector concerned about increase in mining fatalities

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Mining Site

The Minerals Council South Africa on Friday expressed its concern over an increase of mining fatalities at the country’s mines, which reached 55 as of Oct. 28 this year.

The number of the same period last year was 43, and this year the gold sector has recorded the highest number of fatalities with 23 followed by the platinum sector with 14 fatalities, the mining-industry employer organization said in a statement.

It is “deeply concerned about the worrying regression” in the safety performance of the mining sector since 2020, and the organization supports the national Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, labour and mine professional associations and mining suppliers to hold a summit in November to address safety and to establish urgent corrective measures, read the statement.

The disruptions to the work environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are a factor in the regression while the leading cause of fatalities remains falls of ground, said the statement, adding that the two other leading causes of fatalities in mining are general types of accidents and transport-related incidents.

There were 60 fatalities in the full year of 2020, over 20 of which were caused by fall of ground, the organization’s figures showed. Enditem

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