The Role Of Legislation And Regulation In Safety And Health In Mines

Stewart, J. M.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1995
Mining fatality rates in many countries have not changed substantially over the past ten years. This demonstrates not only that there is an inherent risk in mining, but also that current approaches to improving safety need to be rethought. An analysis of productivity and fatality data in the United States, United Kingdom, and South 4frican coalmining industries shows that the impact of legislation on safety is overlain by other significant factors. Although improvements in safety and productivity usually occur together, the data warn that safety legislation can sometimes cause a significant reduction in productivity. Based on the data and experience considered, it is concluded that legislation should be aimed at creating a framework within which a positive attitude towards the implementation of more productive and safer mining methods, work practices, and technology can flourish, rather than attempting to enforce excessively prescriptive provisions. This later approach is even more problematic when safety standards and legislation are transferee from well developed to less developed countries. A legislative framework in which the mine manager is required to take al reasonably practicable measures to procure safe working conditions in accordance with mine-specific codes of practice is outlined. Within that framework, the value of adopting widely accepted standards is recognized. A performance-based external audit arrangement is outlined as a basis for ensuring that detailed attention is focused on those areas most needing improvement.
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