Mining companies are urged to keep employees with underlying conditions that put them at high risk of getting infected with the coronavirus away from work as the industry returns to production, the Mine Health and Safety Council said on Tuesday.
The council was presenting a report before a Parliamentary portfolio committee on mineral resources and energy, where it also stated that it was encouraged by the early detection of positive case of Covid-19 infection at an Impala Platinum mine.
“We encourage mines not to bring vulnerable employees to work,” said David Msiza, the Chief Inspector of Mines, adding that they had observed a level of compliance with safety protocols by mines.
Last Saturday, Implats revealed that it had temporarily shut down its Marula mine in Limpopo Province, after 19 mineworkers tested positive for Covid-19. The mine is the first large producer to have reported a cluster of infections since companies returned to reduced production levels last month, following the easing of lockdown regulations by the government.
“The focus has to be on adherence to safety protocols, screening and testing of employees, as well as contact tracing,” he said.
The virus has so far killed over 200 people around the country, with a growing number of infections. – fin24.com.