MINIMISE THE RISK
article, as well as the limitations of its use. Such conditions must refer to the proper use of the article as envisaged in section 21(1)(a)(i).
Persons involved in the design, manufacture, repair, import and supply of articles to mines must implement measures to ensure that appropriate information, guidance and assistance is provided to their client. Such measures may include:
The conduct of risk assessments and the provision of safe operating procedures;
The provision of comprehensive user material;
The provision of training and training material on the use or operation of the article;
The allocation of appropriate resources to assist with the maintenance and repair of the article;
The conduct of regular meetings between representatives of the client and the designer, manufacturer, repairer, importer or supplier to discuss any issues of concern; and
An offer for inspections and/or audits to be conducted to ensure the article remains in a safe condition and/or it is being used in a safe manner.
Questions are being asked by the Mine Health and Safety Iinspectorate regarding the system implemented by designers, manufacturers, repairers, importers and suppliers of articles to comply with the provisions of section 21 of the act, in particular to test the knowledge of such persons of the provisions of section 21. A failure to comply with section 21 may constitute a criminal offence and a person who fails to comply is liable to a fine or imprisonment.
In the event that a fatal accident has occurred and a designer, manufacturer, repairer, importer or supplier is unable to show the manner in which it discharged its obligations, in terms of section 21 of the act there is a possibility of a conviction on the basis of a contravention of section 86(1) or section 86(2) (any person who by a negligent act or by a negligent omission causes serious injury or illness or endangers the health and safety of a person at a mine commits an offence) and/or the common law crime of culpable homicide.
Pieter Colyn and Celeste Coles are directors in ENSafrica’s Mine and Occupational Health and Safety Department.