ZCTU bemoans rising deaths

via ZCTU bemoans rising deaths – Southern Eye

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has bemoaned the high number of people dying in work-related accidents, singling out the mining sector as cause for concern.

By Stephen Chadenga

According to the National Social Security Authority, 11 workers died at work between January and March while 1 420 injuries were recorded during the same period.

In a speech read on his behalf during the National Safety and Health Day celebrations in Gweru last Saturday, ZCTU president George Nkiwane said occupational accidents were not abating.

“The first quarter of 2015 January to March has already recorded 10 accidents and 11 fatalities,” Nkiwane said.

“Labour is concerned that 2015 as it stands has already recorded 1 420 injuries and 11 fatalities, an indicator that come year end the figures would be even higher.”

Nkiwane said the mining accident trends revealed that close to 80% of mishaps occurred among small-scale miners.

He said the working conditions in mines were hazardous and there was need for public-private partnerships to promote safety in mines.

The ZCTU boss said it was sad that most accidents and fatalities were a result of gassing, explosives, electrocution, falling materials and shaft accidents.

“This is an indicator that the mining sector has been lagging behind in terms of mining safety promotion,” he said.

“It is time we strengthened the public-private sector partnerships as scaling up awareness campaigns is key if we are to contribute towards the reduction of accidents in the mining industry.”

He said 5 666 occupational injuries and 76 fatalities were recorded in 2013 compared to 5 491 and 98 respectively in 2014.

Last Saturday ZCTU joined the rest of the country to commemorate the Kamandama Mine disaster in Hwange.

The accident that claimed 427 lives happened on June 6, 1972 at the colliery.