The Sunday News
Fairness Moyana in Hwange
NINE workers died, while more than 1 000 were injured in occupational accidents in the first three months of the year, it has been revealed.
National Social Security Authority (NSSA) regional manager for Matabeleland North Mr Wellington Chinembiri said the high trend in occupational accidents in the mining sector and entire industry was worrisome as most companies had safety measures in place.
“It is sad to note that despite different approaches to safety and health management in the mining sector and the entire industry in general, the number of occupational accidents is still depressingly high, with 1 135 injuries and nine deaths recorded in the first three months of 2019,” said Mr Chinembiri.
Last year, 5 965 serious injuries and 70 fatalities were recorded. Mr Chinembiri, who was speaking during the 47th anniversary of the Kamandama Mine Disaster in Hwange on Thursday said as a result of the accidents, the country continued to lose resources through compensation of injury or death.
“This trend is not promising at all. The nation continues to lose resources towards compensation of the injured and families of those who lose their lives while creating wealth for their companies. NSSA in conjunction with other stakeholders will continue with the drive for mainstreaming of structural and non-structural disaster reduction strategies into developmental plans and processes across industries to abate evils brought by developmental needs and activities. I therefore call upon players in the industry to adopt the vision zero strategy that is spearheaded by the International Social Security Authority (ISSA),” he said.
Associated Mine Workers Union of Zimbabwe president Mr Edward Ruzive said the Government should take measures to ensure that there is an increase in the number of mining inspectors for effective coverage and visibility.
“There has been a wave of deaths in Shurugwi, Zvimba, Mazoe and Shamva, whether this took place in formal or informal mines does not matter, what matters is safety. Again like before, Government must take measures to ensure that mining inspectors are increased in numbers to effectively cover the country and be visible everywhere,” he said.