Leaked report proves negligence in South African mines
According to the Geocouncil’s report of accidents due to rockfalls, carried out for the Mine Health and Safety Council (MHSC) of South Africa in October 2011, there has been a sustained deterioration in the safety of working conditions in the country’s platinum mines. The report found that:
The Pt mines show a 99% increase in number of persons at work in the period, and a 172% increase in incidents, resulting in a net deterioration in their position.
The team that carried out the research pointed out that even though there had been an overall reduction in mining injuries, the increasing amount of accidents from 2001 to 2010 in platinum mines were due to lack of training and placement factors – such as poor physical and mental health of workers- as well as improper standards and procedures, all of which are the responsibility of the employers.
They also mention that recommendations from reports carried out for the MSHC to develop new technologies in order to reduce rockfall accidents have remained widely unimplemented by the industry.
The report concludes with the fact that “the injury rate has remained constant in the Pt mines for 23 years suggests that little has been done to improve it. This is supported by the consistent decline of equivalent injury rates in the Au [gold] mines from a higher level.”
Last August important wildcat strikes began in the mining region near Johannesburg, South Africa as workers from different unions demanded better working conditions and a substantial increase in wages. On the 17th of August tensions escalated rapidly as police forces attempting to disrupt a protest at the Marikana mine shot 34 workers dead.
Two months later, on October 5th, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), the worlds largest platinum producer, responsible for around 40% of the market, fired 12,000 workers who had been striking for weeks. They later took some of them back in an effort to bring an end to the situation. As a result from the strikes mineral prices have fluctuated worldwide, union leaders have been murdered, and both police and workers have been injured and killed.
Source for the document: http://par-anoia.net/assessment/za/bullion/ag%20SIM%201Att.%20Circular%20No.%2024.12%20%20-%2010202%20Final%20Report%20-%20FOG%20Technology%20Transfer%20-%20Copy.pdf
Date of release: October 13th 2012
Short URL: http://whistle.is/?p=585