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Part E: Local Development, Labour, Health and Safety - 42. Occupational Health and Safety | 42.5 Accidents

Accident and injury provisions typically address the definition, reporting and investigation procedure for incidents that occur on the mining site. Mining is considered an inherently dangerous activity, thus, prevention, response to, and reporting of accidents should be an integral part of the country’s mining law and regulation. State procedure varies widely and may include some of the following examples:

  • Requiring license holders to report death or serious injury directly to a designated government official or regulatory body;
  • Managing the investigation process either through a designated regulatory body or through an independently created inquiry panel

42.5 Example 1:

Article [_]

(1) Whenever an accident occurs in connection with exploration or mining operations causing or resulting in loss of life or serious injury to any person, the person in charge of the operations shall, as soon as possible, report in writing the facts up the chain of the right holder’s Management, who shall in turn report in writing the fact to the [Regulating Authority] who shall hold an inquiry into the cause thereof and record a finding.

(2) A copy of the report and finding shall be submitted to the competent labour authority.

Annotation

Drawn from Somalia’ mining law (1984), this provision requires that accidents are reported to regulating authority who undertakes an investigation. The regulating authority is also obligated to share the findings of the investigation with the appropriate labour authority.

42.5 Example 2:

Article [_]

(1) Accidents occurring in a mine, quarry or in connection with operations that cause serious injury or death must be reported by the operator as soon as possible to the [Regulating Authority], and to such other Persons as may be prescribed by the laws of [Country] within the time specified in such laws.

(2) When accidents occur in connection with operations, the condition of the premises where the accident occurred shall be preserved without alteration until inspectors and representatives of the [Regulating Authority] have completed their investigations, or authorization to alter the condition of the accident scene or objects therein as obtained from the [Regulating Authority]. However, the foregoing prohibition shall not apply to the extent necessary to permit operations for the preservation of human life and property.

(3) In cases of emergency, where the Mine or Quarry Operator has failed to take appropriate hygiene and safety measures, the [Regulating Authority] or its duly authorized agents shall, in collaboration with the appropriate agencies of Government take whatever relief or preventive measures are necessary to remove or mitigate the danger and when necessary shall make demands on local government authorities with the view to saving human life and property.

(4) When part of the work in a mine or quarry is awarded to any contractor or subcontractor, the employees of any such contractor or subcontractor shall in all respects be obliged to respect all regulations provided for in this chapter.

(5) Subsequent to a discovery by any official of the [Regulating Authority]’s inspectorate or a complaint that a holder of a mining right has failed to implement any of the hygiene and safety regulations in this chapter, the [Regulating Authority] may prescribe, in collaboration with the [Health Regulating Authority], and the [Labour Regulating Authority], after hearing representations and recommendations from appropriate parties/agencies, measures required to ensure the hygiene and safety of the workers, plant and inventories. In cases of emergencies or imminent peril, the appropriate department of the [Regulating Authority] may promptly employ or prescribe provisional measures pending issuance of final orders by the [Regulating Authority].

Annotation

Drawn from Liberia’s mining law (2000), this provision goes further to regulate what is required in cases of danger and accidents. It covers aspects such as: reporting, preservation custody, preservation of evidence and the practical application of the regulation. The reporting requirement is not only to the Regulating Entity but other relevant entities, ensuring that all relevant authorities which may include security, labour and environment are timely informed. While it may seem to create an unclear chain of control, the provision maintains the sector Regulating Entity as the lead investigating authority in collaboration with other relevant authorities. The obligations also flow down to the right holder’s contractors and sub-contractors.