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Part E: Local Development, Labour, Health and Safety | 42. Occupational Health and Safety

Mines are potentially hazardous and unhealthy places by reason of the risk of exposure to chemicals, the complex machinery used in some mines, poorly kept mine equipment and conditions, among others. Unsafe working conditions in mines may thus cause serious injury, death, the spread of disease and ultimately, heavy costs for the health system. Occupational health and safety provisions typically address the obligations of various stakeholders, from license holders to government agencies, to create a safe working environment for persons who work in and around mining sites. These provisions may be provided for in other pieces of specific legislation such as a mine health and safety laws which should then be referred to in the mining law. These provisions may also be addressed within the mining law in general obligation provisions for the type of license or as a distinct chapter, and can include (but are not limited to):

  • The minimum age of mine employees (including child labour prohibition);
  • General occupational health and safety measures to protect mine workers (including use of explosives and hazardous materials);
  • Standards for adequate housing (where the license holder provides housing on or near the mine site).