Mining consists of a wide variety of activities requiring different levels of physical ability. These activities impact not only the safety of colleagues and clients but also on everyone who shares the environment.
Recent mining disasters have emphasized the need for caution and the threats to humans and the environment. Mining is a serious responsibility with physical and mental abilities impacting on the abilities of drivers to perform their work. It is important that the health of miners be recognized as an area of concern by mining companies and that this be included in all mining safety strategies.
HIV/AIDS and the impact on mining safety
Although limited empirical evidence is available to prove the impact of HIV/AIDS on road safety and safe driving – this link certainly exists – and so too the impact on mining safety. HIV Positive miners suffer from aids related symptoms such as fatigue, loss of concentration and weakness from severe wasting. When negative effects of anti-retroviral treatments like dizziness and nausea are added it becomes evident that safety will be compromised.
The safety is not only compromised amongst drivers but also for other mineworkers operating dangerous equipment and working with hazardous materials.
In this section we would like to discuss how an increased focus on health can help to avoid and reduce mining accidents.
Strategies in combating HIV/AIDS and the impact thereof on road safety and safe driving
Research has shown that out of a study amongst 320 truck drivers, 60% have suffered from a sexually transmitted infection in a six month time frame. These challenges facing the transport industry have been discussed in detail at conferences. Several strategies have been devised to promote road safety in the midst of HIV/AIDS by integrating HIV/AIDS awareness with the National Arrive Alive Campaign and by stepping up awareness efforts to taxi, bus and truck drivers as well as traffic officials. It has been decided that combined efforts will be made to secure universal access to prevention, care and 24/7 for all health factors like TB, Malaria, Diabetes and Hypertension- not just HIV/ AIDS.
Fleetwatch / Engen Petroleum / Learn about your health
The developers of this website and the ArriveAlive.co.za website commends both Fleetwatch and Engen Petroleum for their commitment to road safety . Engen and Fleetwatch have released a comprehensive driver health booklet containing all the topics that have been addressed during the Learn about your Health promotional campaign. Fleetwatch has kindly provided permission to share this very important information with the public via the ArriveAlive.co.za website.
We would like to share the information from this Fleetwatch/ Engen Petroleum Guide in as far as this will also be applicable to the safety of mineworkers.