Occupational Safety - A Government Overview

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 0
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1994
It is sometimes necessary to resort to extremes in order to call attention to something that is pertinent to safety in mining. When some of the experts in occupational safety talk about this topic, they usually refer to a 'regulation' established by the Romans which stated that, due to the health hazards, usually death, no Romans but only slaves should work in mining. Since the time of the Roman Empire, a lot of ground has been covered in the field of mine safety. Nowadays, it can be said that occupational safety is being seriously addressed, with the result that the number of mining accidents has reduced dramatically, fatalities in this industry are less frequent, and the rate of accidents compared with other activities, such as construction or fanning, is low. This achievement has been possible initially through government legislation and by procedures established by the mining companies themselves. However, the dilemma for government is whether to regulate and if so, how much. It is pleasing to observe that most companies are establishing working procedures which conform with new government legislation, placing strong emphasis on the duty of care for mine employees. There will always be some regulatory aspects of legislation, and perhaps the best example of this is in the use of mine hoists where there are no international or Australian standards, and the regulations applied are of an empirical nature that err on the side of safety.
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