Answer to Question #163171 in Management for Bradley Bokang

Question #163171

Over the past years, the mining sector has reported an increased number of deaths resulting from accidents and/ or injuries on duty underground the mines, amongst others the gold mines in Carletonville and surrounding areas. Due to this distressing and unsafe situation, the Minister of Labour and Employment has ordered that formal inquiries be conducted as a matter of extreme urgency. Explain in detail by providing nine (9) statements to guide the inspector from the department on how to undertake such a formal inquiry.

Expert's answer

Increased deaths in the mining sector have become an area of concern in the ministry of Labor department rendering investigation. There are certain causes of deaths in the mining sector and statements that should be provided to the investigator to undertake a formal inquiry are explained as follows; the investigator should check the respiration atmosphere of the mine or quarry since employees might have been lack breathing risk. The investigator should inquire about the methane levels at the long wall as high levels of methane causes death in underground mines due to abdominal pain, bloating, and constipation. The investigator should inquire on the strength of the excavator in the gold mine as some of the deaths are caused by injuries of breakage of the excavator injuring the people close to the excavator.

The investigator should emphasize the strength of winder brake failure as the rope on the fixed winder drum can detach from the cage if it's not strong causing deaths. He/she should inquire on the measure put to reduce the explosion risk which is normally caused by flames, electrical equipment, or spark. An occurrence of an explosion on a gold mine causes many deaths since people are normally unable to rescue themselves while underground in the surrounding. He should further inquire about the safety of handling materials, machinery, and powered haulage.  The investigator should also inquire on the risk of the possibility of falling of ground as gold is mined, fall of rock from walls, and slip or fall of a person. 

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