Harmony Gold leads with fatalities in South African mining sectorChristian Fernsby ▼ | July 3, 2019
The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) is shocked and saddened by the report of yet another fatality at Harmony Gold.
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It again calls for greater accountability through tougher regulation of mine safety.
Yet again, Harmony Gold has killed another mine worker. This makes six mineworkers to date that have been killed in Harmony Gold’s South African operations.
On Friday, 28 June 2019, an assistant to an onsetter (person in charge of winding operations via the main shaft) was killed during conveyance of material cars at the 105 level station at Kusasalethu Mine in the West Rand.
As AMCU has it, the onsetter and his two assistants were loading material cars at the 105 level station and when spragging a material car, which was already loaded, the conveyance (cage) shifted downwards and trapped the two assistants against the station matt rails, injuring both.
One assistant died from his injuries, the other was admitted to hospital.
Other fatalities for 2019 to date at Harmony Gold’s South Africa operations include:
1. On 8 April 2019, an acting team leader was fatally injured in a seismic-related fall of ground, whilst she was installing roof bolts at Doornkop mine;
2. On 30 April 2019, a mining crew was in the process of installing support when a key block dislodged in between support units, fatally injuring one mineworker and trapping another, who was subsequently rescued.
This also occurred at Doornkop mine;
3. On 7 May 2019, a tramming miner was fatally injured by a large boulder in what appeared to be an ore box incident at Bambanani Shaft;
4. On 29 May 2019, a rock engineer was fatally injured during a Proto visit underground at night at Phakisa Mine (Nyala Shaft).
Another worker was also injured, but survived.
It appears to be related to electrical maintenance, with the rock engineer somehow being electrocuted; and
5. On 5 June 2019, a scraper winch operator was killed when he was somehow caught between the winch ropes during scraping activities at Tshepong Mine AMCU cannot emphasise enough their dismay at these deadly events.
The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union is reminded of the Sibanye-Stillwater horror of 2018, where 23 mineworkers were killed (21 in gold operations).
Moreover, for the 2018 year, Harmony Gold killed nine mineworkers in total, in seven separate incidents.
To date we have six separate incidents at Harmony Gold operations, each of which has killed a mineworker, and five of which have also injured another.
We are only halfway through 2019.
Harmony Gold now leads with fatalities in the mining sector. ■