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Government laud Chamber of mines first-aid contest

By Derrick Silimina

The government has expressed gratitude that the Chamber of Mines has continued to host the intercompany mining first aid competition to underscore its importance in the mining sector.

As at 31st June 2023, the mining industry has recorded 12 fatalities and 14 mine reportable or dangerous accidents, according to the Ministry of Mines.

In a speech read on his behalf by Ministry of Mines Permanent Secretary Hapenga Kabeta when he officiated at the 16th Intercompany Mining First-aid Competition held under the theme, “Learn first aid, you never know when you need it,” in Kalumbila district on Saturday, Mines and Minerals Development Minister Paul Kabuswe said the increased number of accidents compared to the same period in 2022 that the industry has recorded is of great concern to the government.

“I have been delighted by the exemplary show of first aid skills by teams and individual participants. Let us all recognize that a safe and healthy workplace will create healthy workers, increase productivity, contribute towards sustainable development and create a positive image for the mining industry. I wish to remind you, like I did during last year’s competition, that occupational health and safety is not negotiable! We all have a responsibility to guarantee the safety and health of our workforce,” Kabuswe said.

He urged all stakeholders and mine operators of their obligations to ensure that workers are guaranteed of a safe work environment adding that management and responsible officers at all sites must ensure that mine safety regulations are complied with at all times without fail.

The Mines Minister further stressed that the mining industry, through the chamber, should lead the way and inspire confidence among the workforce and their families that mining can be done safely especially with advancement in technology, mining should surely become a more attractive and safer business than ever before.

“For matters of life, we cannot say we have done enough and sit back. The government has always emphasized zero tolerance for accidents, let alone loss of life, even as the industry aspires for increased productivity targeting three million metric tonnes per annum in the next decade,” Kabuswe stated.


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