Two fatalities recorded in mining industry in 2013

21 May 2014 19:30pm
WINDHOEK, 21 MAY (NAMPA) – The Namibian mining industry suffered two fatalities in 2013, both involving electricity, president of the Chamber of Mines of Namibia Werner Duvenhage said on Wednesday.
Duvenhage announced this while presenting the Mining Industry Review for 2013 during the opening of the Chamber's Annual General Meeting (AGM) at a local hotel.
The AGM was set to be followed by a mining conference on Thursday under the theme 'Mining industry on the growth path to support the Namibian economy'.
Duvenhage said one fatality occurred at Weatherly Mining's Matchless Mine, while the other occurred at Paladin's Langer Heinrich Uranium Mine.
He said an employee of the Matchless Mine, Petrus Engelbrecht was fatally electrocuted underground on 12 March 2013. At the Langer Heinrich mine, electrical team leader Willem Andries van Zyl suffered third degree burns from an arc flash accident on 02 October 2013.
Van Zyl was admitted to the Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa for operations in preparation of skin grafting. He died there on 30 October 2013.
“We express our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the deceased employees. We continue to learn from these tragic accidents with a view to do everything possible to prevent a repeat of the circumstances that led to such accidents,” Duvenhage said.
He said although this figure was down from the five fatalities suffered in 2012, the goal of zero fatalities was not achieved.
Duvenhage noted that the total number of lost day injuries for last year was 88, which equates to a Lost Day Injury Frequency Rate (LDIFR) of 2.84, an increase of 10.5 per cent from the 2012 LDIFR.
“The Chamber of Mines regrets this tragic loss of life and the Chamber's safety committee continues to rigorously implement the recommendations provided by an international expert during 2012 safety review,” he said.
In his part, Mines and Energy Minister Isak Katali urged the mining industry to take the safety and health of employees into consideration and to try and keep their operations free of accidents.
“Let us invest in the safety of our employees to enable them produce without any illness or accidents,” he said.
Katali commended the mining industry for creating employment for Namibians, especially the Husab mine which recruited about 60 per cent Namibians in its workforce.
President Hifikepunye Pohamba on 08 May commissioned the commencement of operations at the new Husab Uranium Mine, situated 22 kilometres south of Arandis in the Erongo Region.