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Will COVID-19 Reverse the Gains Made in Occupational Health and Safety in the Mining Sector in South Africa?




This paper reviews the possible impact of the Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic on the Mining and Mineral Industry (MMI) in South Africa. It examines the possible impact of COVID-19on the industry milestones on Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) agreed at the industry tripartite summit in 2014 which had ambitious targets of reaching zero harm in the industry and minimising occupational diseases by 2024. The paper used secondary data from the department of mineral resources. The analysis showed that (1) the industry has already missed some of the industry milestones towards the 2024 targets such as zero fatalities by 2020 and many other targets in health are also lagging behind. (2). PTB remains the dominant occupational diseases in the mining sector in South Africa constituting about 50% of major occupational diseases in the sector. (3) COVID-19 Positive continue to increase in the sector and it is being seen as a new epicentre for COVID-19 in the country despite the mandatory guidelines for OHS in the sectorin terms of the Mine Health and safety Act (MHSA) published by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) to respond to COVID-19. There is a need for the industry stakeholders to work together to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the sector and improve occupational health outcomes towards the 2024 targets.


Covid 19, Mining, Occupational Diseases


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