31 deaths from mining pit collapse in 2 years
According to the records of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, 31 miners have lost their lives as a result of mining tragedies over the past two years. This was disclosed subject Minister, Raphael Trotman on Wednesday.
The Minister said, “unfortunately, we have lost, according to our records, 31 miners over the past two years – due to mining pits collapsing.”
Speaking during the opening of a Mining Safety Seminar: Trotman said whilst the lives cannot be restored, their memories can be honored by making mining safer for those who remain as active contributors to our country’s development.
The mining seminar under the theme “Putting Safety First in Mining: charting a course to cultivate compliance and strengthen enforcement”, will focus on innovative and time-tested ways and modern mechanisms to improve the health and safety practices within the sector.
The minister highlighted that recklessness compounded by ignorance of the basic aspects of the engineering and physics behind the construction of safe mines is contributing to mining accidents, where the number one (1) cause is found to be negligence.
As the key regulator of the industry said action is needed on the government’s part, but pointed out that a collective effort is also needed.
“It must, by necessity, include a refined Government policy, enhanced regulation, monitoring and enforcement by GGMC, and improved education techniques supported by our technical institutes, University, and by the companies that profit from the sale of excavators, ATVs, and mining equipment. In short, it is in all of our interest to join hands to tackle this scourge” he said.
He highlighted education of miners as critical but also noted that this forum provides an opportunity for stakeholders to craft a plan which includes best practices that exist, areas of contextual relevance and the most effective means of communicating the essential messages.
The last inquiry into a mining accident which caused the death of a young miner found “negligence” to be the sole reason.