Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) are appealing to the Ministry of Mines, Labour and Social Security to form coordinated safety measures in various mining undertakings country-wide.
FDD Chairperson for Labour, Employment and Social Development, Mr. Yotam Mtayachalo said it is important that the ministries ensure that mines adhere to strict Occupational Safety Standards (OSS) to avoid occupational hazards at work places.
Mr. Mtayachalo added that the increasing number of mine fatalities is worrisome and the trend cannot be allowed to continue.
He noted that the rising levels of occupational hazards in the mining industry which have continued to claim lives of workers is alarming.
“Government should design stiffer punishments against mining firms which fail to maintain high degree of safe working environments which do not meet prescribed standards, which undoubtedly lead to fatalities and injuries at work places which at times could be avoided or minimised,” stated Mr. Mtayachalo.
He added that Trade Unions take issues of Occupational Health Standards(OHS) very seriously and is appealing to them to take a step forward and ensure that their members who suffer injuries or die while on duty are highly compensated by advocating for a review of laws or conditions of service which favours the plight of their members.
Mr. Mtayachalo further requests Mopani Copper Mines and other mining firms to put in place adequate safety measures especially on their underground operations to avert unremitting mine accidents in order to protect lives of workers.
“We therefore would like to take this opportunity to convey our heartfelt condolences and grief to the bereaved families of the two miners and the Mine Worker’s Union of Zambia respectively as a result of this tragic loss of human life,” he said.
Mr. Mtayachalo said this in a statement made available to the Lusaka Star on March 20, 2019.