11 July 2017

Zimbabwe: Employee Dies in Accident Gold Miner

A Blanket Gold Mine employee lost their life last Friday in a work-related incident, management has confirmed.

This becomes the send mining fatality in under a month after Mimosa platinum mine also announced the work-related death of an employee at the end of June.

Blanket Gold Mine which is based in Gwanda is majority owned by Canada-based Caledonia Mining Corporation which reduced its interest to 49 percent interest in line with Zimbabwe's indigenisation legislation.

Announcing the incident this Monday, management said the accident occurred in number 6 shaft area of the mine, adding that further details would only be released after the conclusion of a government inquiry.

The ministry of Mines Inspectorate Department is conducting the inquiry and the mine promised to render full support to ensure the process is successful.

"We take the safety of our employees very seriously at Blanket so we are very disappointed with this fatality. I join with my colleagues in expressing our sincere condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of the deceased," Steve Curtis, company's Chief Executive Officer, said.

Last year, Labour and Social Welfare acting minister Sithembiso Nyoni said work-related injuries and deaths remained worrisome despite a steady decline in statistics in recent years.

In 2013, the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) recorded 5 666 serious injuries and 76 deaths, 2014 about 5 736 serious injuries and 106 fatalities and in 2015 there were 52 380 serious injuries and 54 fatalities. By August of last year, 3561 injuries and 33 fatalities had been recorded.

Three years ago, NSSA formulated the National Occupational Safety and Health policy which encourages self-regulation by employers through the adoption of a systems approach to promoting safety and health in workplaces.

According to the policy, workplace accidents are a recognised cost to business, society and families hence the employer and government must to avert them.

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