While there is a lot of improvement in terms of innovation and technology to reduce accidents in mines and remarkable progress in safety measures, mine rescue teams remain of paramount importance because accidents cannot be completely avoided.
Speaking at the Mine Rescue Association of Zimbabwe (MRAZ) Westzone Quarterly training exercise held at Metallon Corporation Zimbabwe‘s Bulawayo Mining Company (BMC) on Friday, BMC Mine Manager said Proto teams and fresh air teams remain important in reducing fatalities in mining operations despite improvements in technology and innovation to eliminate disaster.
“In 1972 we unfortunately lost 427 lives of miners but over the years we have seen a lot of advancement protocols, policies, procedures, Technology and innovation in mine safety. Despite remarkable progress in safety measures, mining accidents continue to occur leaving devastating consequences. These incidents serve as a reminder that no matter how advanced our technology or stringent our policies are, the inherent associated with mining cannot be totally eliminated. We can significantly minimise it but we can’t totally eliminate it therefore the importance of Proto teams cannot be overlooked. The team are on the forefront of protecting the lives of miners in times of disaster,” he said.
Speaking to Mining Zimbabwe on the sidelines of the event BMC Underground Manager and Westzone Coordinator Engineer Nobert Ndiweni said rescue teams were of importance in reducing fatalities and his organization was encouraging all Mines to set up rescue teams.
He also said that as part of showing the importance of rescue teams in managing lives, the teams are now inclusive and incorporating female brigades.
“As a strategy, our thrust is to encourage all Mines to have a rescue team. Part of our strategy is We want to be inclusive as BMC HowMine, last year we had one female who was our captain but now two more have been incorporated. As a Zone, if you look at Hwange, four females have been incorporated,” Ndiweni said.