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NUM National Health and Safety Committee Press Statement
9 February 2018
The National Health and Safety Committee of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) met on 8th-9th of February 2018 in its planned meeting to discuss health and safety challenges facing its members and workers in general in mining, energy and construction sectors where the union organises.
The structure is concerned with the trend of fatal accidents that are increasing. It can't be acceptable that from January to date 9 workers have lost their lives in the line of duty. One death is one death too many. We sell our labour, not our lives, lungs, and limbs.
We are very disappointed on the trend of incidents and accidents at Sibanye Stillwater. There was a near miss of disaster where about 1000 workers were trapped underground as a result of power failure last week at Beatrix Mine in Welkom.
Less than a week again two workers died as a result of fall of rocks. Sibanye Stillwater and all other mining houses must prioritize health and safety of workers not profits.
We call upon our structures on the ground to confront the employers whenever there are health and safety deviation or substandard. They must exercise their right to refuse to work in a dangerous workplace and they must not be victimized for doing that as they are empowered by the Mine Health and Safety Act.
The Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) inspectorate also must pull up its socks and pay consistent visits to the mines to ensure compliance and save lives.
"NUM is worried by the failure of the DMR minister Mosebenzi Zwane to attend to health and safety activities, some were postponed last year because of his none availability and it is not clear when he will be available especial the health and safety dialogue by the principals of the industry on health and safety issues, said Peter Bailey, NUM Health and Safety Chairperson.
"We call upon DMR minister to instruct the inspectors to do health and safety audit on the contingency plans of the companies and the state of readiness when there is a disaster."
"We must applaud those mining houses that were able to mine for 12 months or more without a fatal. Through those mining houses, we believe that zero harm is achievable," Bailey added
For more detailed information, please contact:
Peter Bailey: NUM Health and Safety Chairperson: 082 883 7302
Erick Gcilitshana: NUM Health and Safety Secretary: 082 809 3105
7 Rissik Street
Tel: 011 377 2111
Twitter: @Num Media NUM