PROFITABLE INDUSTRY

Clear rules on mining needed to curb quarry fatalities

Open quarries should be fenced and signs put up to keep public away

In Summary

• Nema should inspect and recommend the closure of quarries that pose a danger. 

• Most accidents occur when there is a lack of up-to-date technology. 

Miners look at Sindule mines on Tuesday where two people died
DANGER TO PUBLIC: Miners look at Sindule mines on Tuesday where two people died
Image: FILE

Mining continues to be a dangerous career for many of the workers on the frontline of one of the world’s most profitable industries.

Quarry workers operate in very dangerous environments. Most are unaware of the Occupational Safety and Health Act which stipulates that signs of appropriate font sizes and languages be erected at all quarry entries to warn passers-by of dangerous flying debris and deep pits.

Recently, a 30 -year-old man was killed after the walls of a quarry collapsed in Muruka village in Kandara constituency of Murang’a county. Quarrying has generally hurt the environment and people in the surrounding areas, especially quarry workers.

The National Environment Management Authority should inspect and recommend the closure of quarries that pose a danger to the environment or the public. Mining causes land degradation hence the government and the public, in general, should work hand in hand to rehabilitate the land through reforestation, the building of national parks and reserves as well as fence open areas.

Abandoned mines may be dangerous to anyone who attempts to explore them without proper knowledge and safety training. The introduction of modern technologies will aid in reducing fatality rates in the mining industry.

The larger occurrence of accidents in developing countries and in illegal mining operations is directly related to a lack of up-to-date technology or knowledge on its use.

There is also a need for formulation of clear mining policies and regulations which will address proper compensation and resettlement strategies as well as provide for greater weight on environmental protection from undesirable effects of mining. Experienced workers should also be sought.

 

Mombasa