The Mine Rescue Association of Zimbabwe (MRAZ) is geared to reduce Lost Time Injuries (LTI) and fatalities through continuously educating miners to report all safety risks in mining areas including near misses, MRAZ’s immediate Past President Vavarirai Mahwire said.
Mahwire said MRAZ would like to invite an umbrella body representing Artisanal and Small-scale Miners (ASM) the Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) to attend rescue competitions and encourage the ASM to have at least basic first aid training.
“As a body, we operate under the Chamber of Mines, we have engaged the Chamber to ensure that small-scale miners join our quarterly training through the Zimbabwe Miners Federation. We would want them to have rescue teams at least starting with first aid and fresh air teams,” Mahwire said.
The mining industry recorded 110 fatalities during the period January to July 2023 approximately a 3.8 per cent increase compared to 106 fatal accidents recorded during the same period last year.
According to the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe’s state of mining industry, a survey report which was presented on the sidelines of the 26th edition of the mining, engineering and transport expo (Mine Entra) 2023 in Bulawayo by lead researcher Professor Albert Makochekanwa large-scale mines recorded 20 fatalities from 20 accidents which are 18 per cent of the total fatalities with 16 of the fatalities happening underground and 4 on the surface.
The report reads that 60 per cent of the fatalities (72) recorded during the period were reported on Small to medium-scale mines from 66 accidents with 62 of the accidents happening underground and 4 on the surface. Illegal operations recorded 28 fatalities from 24 accidents with 23 of the accidents happening underground and 1 on surface.
According to the report, 92 percent of accidents (101) were recorded underground with 8 percent (9) reported on the surface.
“The mining industry reported 110 fatal accidents during the period January to July 2023, compared to 106 fatal accidents during the same period last year. The 110 fatal accidents resulted in 120 fatalities. 92% of the accidents reported during the period under review occurred underground.
“Large-scale operations contributed 18% of total accidents reported in the period under review. Of the 20 accidents reported for large mines, 80% were in underground operations. Illegal mining operations contributed 22% to the total number of accounts. The small-scale mining industry contributed 60% to the total number of fatal accidents,” the report reads in part.