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Guideline on Prevention of Flammable Gas Explosions in Mines Drawn Up

April 13, 2021

Department of Mineral Resources and Energy

The Guideline for the Compilation of a Mandatory Code of Practice for the Prevention of Flammable Gas Explosions in Mines Other Than Coal Mines has been drawn up.

The mineral resources and energy department published the Guideline in Government Gazette 44427 in terms of the Mine Health and Safety Act.

The Guideline was drawn up after consultation with the Mine Health and Safety Council.

It is designed to “assist the employer of every mine, other than a coal mine, to compile a code of practice, which, if properly implemented and complied with, would considerably reduce the risk of an ignition of flammable gas”.

The Guideline covers issues that need to be dealt with in the Code of Practice (COP) in order to significantly reduce the risk of a flammable gas explosion in mines other than coal mines.

Aspects to be addressed in the mandatory COP include identification of flammable gas sources, occurrences and composition; control of gas emissions; detection of flammable gas; reporting of flammable gas; clearance of flammable gas; development ends and accessible tunnels not in through ventilation; mining methods; stopped areas; fixed installations; stoppage, change or reversal in ventilation; identification of hazardous locations; preventing ignition of flammable gas and confined space.

Annexures include summary of findings of a study into flammable gas explosions in mines other than coal mines; guidance note for lamproom practice; guidance note for multi-blasting operations and construction requirements for a fire seal.

The Guideline comes into effect on 1 May 2021.

In Notice 327, the department published a Guidance Note on the Management and Control of HIV in the South African Mining Industry.

The Guidance Note is designed to assist employers to set up sustainable HIV and Aids management and control programmes at mines in order to implement prevention strategies; reduce the burden of HIV; improve clinical outcomes of people living with HIV; reduce morbidity due to HIV and TB co- infection; reduce HIV incidence and avert AIDS related deaths ensuring that people living with HIV start with the right therapy at the right time.

Aspects to be addressed in the Guidance Note include HIV policy development and implementation; HIV programmes; integration of HIV and TB management; fitness to perform work; package of HIV management; monitoring and reporting; training and support; liaison with the public sector and implementation plan.

The Guidance Note comes into effect on 1 May 2021.