South Africa Union Wants More Mining Workplace Safety

The head of the most powerful union in South Africa recently called for authorities to crack down in 2011 on mining companies over safety despite the fact 2010 appears likely to be one of the safest years for the mines on record.
According to Business Exchange, South Africa has been struggling for years to decrease the death toll in the mines where scores of miners die every year. But by Sept. 30, 2010 96 fatalities had been recorded in the mines compared with 130 over the same period in 2009. (WCxKit)
General Secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers Frans Baleni noted, "We need to get tough this year and have zero tolerance towards fatalities in the mines. There is a new chief inspector of mines starting this year and we as a union will be impressing on him how vital it is to be tough on safety; he must follow the letter of the law right up to the boardroom when it comes to accidents.
"There are too many silly accidents still in the mines, especially with machinery. We feel that mine bosses get complacent after they reach a million fatality free shifts and that is when accidents happen."
Baleni was speaking as 1,000 workers downed tools at Arnot coal mine, owned by Exarro, in Mpumalanga to mourn a fellow worker who died in a roof collapse last month.
Baleni added, "Each and every time there is a death in the mines of South Africa we will be calling the workforce of that mine out on strike."

Author Robert Elliott
, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See for more information.  Contact: or 860-553-6604.
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