The Dangers of Mining and Why Intervention is Necessary
I’m a miner; and I have been mining of the last 17 years. My uncle too used to be a miner and he is the one who introduced me to mining. I our day to day activities; we are usually exposed to too many health risks. Our job is too hazardous. Anything can happen in our lives. It is not that we are obsessed by mining; or any miner really ‘loves’ his career, it’s because we don’t have any other choice. My uncle died while mining; so has many of my co-workers. My uncle died in an underground cave-in 6 years ago. It was purely ‘accidental’; but it really pain.
When my uncle died he was on duty but to date; the long awaited compensation for his loss of life has yet to be remitted to his family who are eking for a living. He was the main breadwinner and it really pains me to see my cousins suffering; because of lacking basic needs. He’s not alone, many have lost their lives; while working and no or little compensation has been awarded to their families.
Health and Personal Safety Regulations are Essential for Mining
As dangerous as mining can be; there is usually the need to address the various dangerous situations that face us each day. There is the need for trade unions to impose regulations; which can ensure that miners work safely. There are several standards that the labor unions need to put in place to ensure that the health and personal risk of working in the mines is mitigated that the deaths at the mines are minimized.
I agree that most are purely accidental. But there are other life concerns such as a cancerous material; which miners may get exposed to.
In the protection of workers, core labor standards need to be instituted. There is need to develop policies to ensure a balance between mining and personal life. Like I said again, I personally don’t love mining much. But I’m supposed to risk my life and health as I try to provide my family with a better life. That said, the mining job is too precarious and thus the need to give special attention to the job. It employs many people in the society; and ensures that they get their daily bread.
Labor Unions Need to Intervene to Make Mining Safe
Most of the leadership that comprises most labor unions is people in society; who may not know the health risk that miners like my uncle or I undergo each day. It would be paramount to have representation in the labor unions comprised of somebody who has been a miner before. If such a person is available in the formulation of policies, laws and employment programs, then he can be at a position to address the predicament that faces miners. To all miners globally, this is one way through; which the plight of miners can be effectively taken care of.
Then labor unions need to be pressurized to develop a plan of work for occupational health that touches all the health and other personal risks that miners face. The plan of work should be thoroughly researched so that it can address all the dangerous tasks involved; such as cave-ins, gas explosions, equipment collisions, chemical leakages etc. Only then will miners be able to have safe working health conditions.
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