Sub-Sahara Mining & Industrial Journal
Health and Safety Mining News

Mining corporations are being encouraged to prioritize the safety and well-being of their employees working in mines

The Ministry of Public Service and Labour underscores the crucial need for mining companies to implement rigorous safety measures to safeguard the health of mine workers, particularly in combating respiratory ailments like silicosis. This lung disease arises from inhaling minuscule particles of silica, a common mineral present in various rocks and sand, prevalent in sectors such as construction and mining.

The ministry’s advocacy for mine workers’ safety coincided with the commemoration of Occupational Safety and Health World Day on May 16th, emphasizing the imperative of prioritizing safety protocols across all workplaces and addressing impediments to employee welfare.

Minister Jeannette Bayisenge emphasized the obligatory nature of ensuring employee protection within mining firms, stressing compliance with prescribed safety standards and insurance coverage for workers. Beyond duty, she framed worker safety as integral to national progress, highlighting investments in training and the establishment of dedicated oversight committees as pivotal to safeguarding lives and securing the future workforce.

To enforce comprehensive safety measures, specialized committees have been entrusted with monitoring worker well-being. Dr. Evariste Ntaganda, from Rwanda Biomedical Centre, disclosed alarming findings from a survey conducted in Kayonza District, revealing a significant prevalence of silicosis among miners, coupled with comorbidities such as tuberculosis and lung dysfunction. This underscores the urgent need for interventions to address the multifaceted health challenges confronting the workforce.

Bayisenge reiterated the gravity of the situation, emphasizing the role of these findings in informing targeted interventions. Specialized committees, fortified with extensive training, were mobilized to oversee safety practices and mitigate risks, with collaborative efforts between governmental bodies deemed vital for effective implementation.

Recognizing the collective responsibility in ensuring workplace safety, stakeholders were urged to actively engage in adhering to safety protocols and advocating for improved working conditions. Continuous training and awareness programs were underscored as essential for fostering a culture of safety across all sectors, with an acknowledgment of the indispensable role of collaboration among employers, employees, and regulatory entities in addressing occupational health and safety concerns.

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