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Mining Health and Safety Legislation in South Africa

Mining Health and Safety Legislation in South Africa

It is important to be aware of the Laws and Regulations governing Mining Safety in South Africa.

Mining health and safety in South Africa is governed by Act 29 of the 1996 Mine Health and Safety Act. The base premise of the act is:

  • To ensure owner responsibility for health and safety through creation of codes of practise, training, identifying potentially hazardous factors, investigating said factors, employing hygienists for the industry, and founding methods of medical attention and recording for the site.
  • To safeguard the rights of employees to refuse or move away from areas which are unsafe or potentially unsafe.
  • To create the Inspectorate of Mining Health and Safety.
  • To establish the three-party Mine Health and Safety Council.
 
Following amendments in 1997, the original 1996 act now also includes:
  • Provision of a monetary fining system in support of tripartite institution regulation and to provide health and safety-appointed employees in the case of any inquiry.
  • The constitution of the Mine Health and Safety Council concerning matters of procedure within said council.
  • Amendment concerning the election and appointment of health and safety employees, and establishing the authority of health and safety inspectors.
 
The Mine Health and Safety Inspectorate of South Africa are very clear about the ways in which they aim to push legislation and national mining standards to reduce mining deaths and occupational injuries. They also emphasise the importance of support and training in this. Their goals are:
  • Providing policy inputs for the establishment and application of mine safety standards at mining operations, and promote their application;
  • Providing policy inputs for the establishment and application of mine equipment safety standards at mining operations, and promote their application;
  • Providing policy inputs for the establishment and application of mine health standards at mining operations, and promote their application; and
  • Ensuring an effective support and inspection service.
 

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