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Mine Health and Safety Guidelines Drawn Up

January 17, 2020

Department of Mineral Resources and Energy

17 January 2020

Three guidelines under the Mine Health and Safety Act (MHSA) have been drawn up.

The mineral resources and energy department published the guidelines in Government Gazette 42956.

Notice 27 contains the guideline for the compilation of a mandatory code of practice (COP) for the management of self-contained self-rescuers (SCSR) in mines.

According to the foreword, the guideline details relevant requirements of applicable sections of the Chapter 16 Regulations of the MHSA relating to responses to emergencies in mines.

It also provides a framework to assist employers to implement principles required for the management of procedures intended for the appropriate deployment of SCSRs in mines.

Guidance is provided on the required format and content for the COP and sufficient technical background is detailed to enable a drafting committee at the mine to prepare a comprehensive and practical COP for their mine.

The guideline focuses on author’s guide, format and content of the mandatory cop and implementation.

Other guidelines include:

• Notice 28 – guideline for the compilation of a mandatory code of practice for the prevention of flammable gas and coal dust explosions in collieries.
• Notice 29 – guideline for the compilation of a mandatory code of practice for the management of working in confined spaces at mines.

Meanwhile, in Notice 30, the department published a guidance note for the implementation of HIV self-testing (HIVST) in the South African mining industry.

The guidance note was drawn up to provide a framework in implementing the self-testing approach in line with the World Health Organisation guidelines.

It is designed to assist the local mining industry in “achieving the first 90% of the UNAIDS 90/90/90 strategy which relates to diagnosing all people with HIV by 2020 and to achieve the 2014 Occupational Health and Safety Summit Milestones, that aims to reduce and prevent TB, HIV and AIDS infections”.

Aspects to be addressed in the HIVST programme include HIV self-testing; guiding principles; benefits of HIV self-testing; implementation methods/options of the HIV self-testing; process to be followed in implementing HIV self-testing; monitoring, evaluation and reporting and role players.

In Notice 31, the department published a guidance note on strengthening the HCT (HIV counselling and testing) uptake in the South African mining industry.

Aspects to be addressed in the guidance note include policy issues related to HIV; resource allocation; governance and ownership; leadership and shared accountability and stakeholder buy-in.