Sub-Sahara Mining & Industrial Journal
Health and Safety

Coronavirus safety regulations for mines to be published this month, court rules

A code of practice setting minimum standards for health and safety in mines during the coronavirus pandemic must be put in place this month, the Labour Court has ruled.

In a judgment issued on Friday 1 May, the court set aside government’s decision not to require employers to prepare and implement a code of practice on the Covid-19 pandemic, or issue guidelines in terms of the Mine Health and Safety Act.

Judge Andre van Niekerk directed the Department of Mineral Resources to publish a notice in the Government Gazette by no later than 18 May, containing health and safety guidelines and requiring employers to prepare and implement codes of practice to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on employees “or persons who may be directly affected by the disease at the mine”.

The judgment further stated that prior to publication of the guidelines, there should be consultation with the Mine Health and Safety Council, and meaningful engagement with the relevant trade unions and employer organisations.

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