The Forum for Democracy and Development is worried with increasing number of mine fatalities especially at Mopani Copper Mines following another mine accident which claimed the lives of two miners yesterday who were working on the mine underground operation.
In a message of condolences to the families of the two miners who died yesterday at Mopani Copper Mines, FDD Chairperson for Labour, Employment and Social Development Yotam Mtayachalo has noticed with alarm the rising levels of occupational hazards in the mining industry which have continued to claim lives of workers.
Mr. Mtayachalo said this trend cannot be allowed to continue and has appealed to Mopani Copper Mines and other mining firms to put in place adequate safety measures especially on their underground operations to avert incessant mine accidents in order to protect lives of workers who are the most precious factor of production.
He has also appealed to the ministry of Mines and their counterparts at the ministry of Labour and Social Security to formulate coordinated radical safety inspection measures in various mining undertakings countrywide and ensure that mines adhere to strict Occupational Safety Standards to avoid occupational hazards at work places.
Mr. Mtayachalo said government should also design stiffer punishments against mining firms which fail to maintain high degree of safe working environments which do not meet prescribed standards which undoubtedly lead to fatalities and injuries at work places which at times could be avoided or minimised.
He acknowledged that Trade Unions take issues of Occupational Health Standards very seriously but has appealed to them to take a step forward and ensure that their members who suffer injuries or die while on duty are highly compensated by advocating for a review of laws or conditions of service which favours the plight of their members.
Two miners died yesterday morning at Mopani Copper mine in Kitwe after a blasting accident.