Acclimatizing Men to Heat in Climatic Rooms on Mines

Wyndham, C. H. ; Strydom, N. B.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 3
Publication Date: Jan 10, 1969
Discussion C. G. Hinds (Member): The climatic chamber at Kloof Gold Mine was built to the design referred to in the paper presented by Professor Wyndham and Dr Strydom. As no suitable underground facilities existed for the acclimatization of labourers at the rate required, mining operations would have been severely restricted had there not been a climatic room timeously built on surface. The climatic room can accommodate 120 labourers per 4-!-hour shift. The standards laid down by the Human Sciences Laboratory were and still are being adhered to as strictly as possible. Through a shortage of European personnel the recommended degree of white supervision could not be adhered to and the use of Bantu assistants with a minimum education of Standard 8 was introduced. This is considered to have met with sufficient success to warrant acceptance as policy. The climatic room was brought into operation on the 1st September, 1967, i.e. two months after stoping at Kloof was commenced. The figures quoted herein therefore pertain to the period between that date and the 31st March, 1969, when the main shaft and the main surface fans were commissioned. The areas worked were sited between 5016 ft and 6 365 ft below surface. Virgin rock temperatures ranged between 92°F and 99°F. Stopes are cleaned by hand lashing. During the 20 months of stoping prior to the commissioning of the main shaft, mining operations at Kloof were effected through the Harvie Watt shaft of the Libanon Gold Mining Company Limited. In this period 10 452 Bantu labourers were acclimatized in the following categories: Experienced workers 7 326 New to the industry 2 086 Re-acclimatized 1 040 It will be noted that during the period, labourers 'new to the industry' averaged 22 per cent of the intake. This percentage fluctuated from time to time and reached 42 per cent. (The present percentage is 60.) The greatest number acclimatized during anyone month occurred in February, 1969 when 1234 Bantu were treated. The greatest number of Bantu acclimatized during any 8-day period was 411. As many as four X 41/2 hour shifts were run in 24 hours. The number of men found to be heat intolerant over the period of 20 months was 33 out of a total 9 412 Bantu. The following tabulation illustrates the history of the build-up of manpower and the climatic conditions under which they worked: The average dip of the reef is 35°. The number of heat stroke and heat exhaustion cases during the period of 20 months under most difficult ventilation conditions was Nil.
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