SWAKOPMUND - The Mine Workers Union of Namibia (MUN) says proper coordination is needed to restore strict health and safety regulations in marble mining mines.
This follows after two employees were seriously injured at a mine situated outside Karibib.
The latest incident at the mine took place last week Wednesday, whereby a metal object “a shoot” weighing at least 100 kilogrammes allegedly fell on an employee’s back, immediately fracturing his vertebrae. A similar incident was reported at one of the marble and granite cutting quarries located between Karibib and Okahandja, whereby a marble block weighing 20 tons fell on an employee also fracturing his entire right leg.
Western regional organiser of MUN, George Ampweya yesterday indicated that they visited these mines and found them to be of poor safety conditions.
According to him, they noted with worry the disregard and intentional non-compliances with health and safety regulations in these particular sectors, which is very worrying.
“Upon physical inspection, the respective incident scenes and comprehensive reports, it remains evident that both incidents were attributed to very poor safety standards and at times non-existence of any health and safety procedures,” he said in a statement. This he says is despite the fact that the Namibian Labour Act explicitly regulates the health and safety aspects at any work place. “Hence, we are calling upon the labour inspectors in the Erongo Region to jointly compliment the efforts of unions in restoring strict compliance with health and safety regulations at these mines,”Ampweya said.
The union also indicated that language barrier between the Namibian workers and their Chinese colleagues compromise safety at the places of work.
“In most instances, apart from being unable to communicate in the. English language, these Chinese workers similar to the local employees do not receive any pre-employment inductions, there are no adequately trained safety representatives, no first aid kits and first aid responders at designated areas of work, this is despite the fact that most of these quarries are located on the outskirts of towns, Ampweya explained.
He then called upon all stakeholders, especially the mining inspectors’ offices to jointly tackle these serious non-compliances and determine processes of maintaining compliances more especially from these Chinese companies as safety of employees in these sectors is greatly compromised at the expense of reaching targets and attaining
Eveline de Klerk
2019-10-10 07:21:36 | 8 months ago