Occupational Health Threats Facing Mine Workers

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OCUPATIONAL HEALTH HAZARDS FACING MINE WORKERS
(Experience from Anglogold Ashanti mines, Geita Gold Mine in Geita Tanzania) By
HAMENYA KASASE
Introduction
Mining works have always been among the most hazardous works that demands the health of many people in the industrial world today. Health and safety of many workers particularly those who work directly in mining production and engineering is always at greater risks and thus requires much attention. This paper describes the prevailing situation with regard to the impacts and measures to minimize if not to mitigate the risks. The paper will cover the hazards related to accidents, dusts, noise and vibrations and higher temperatures.

Hazards related with Accidents
Accidents in mining appear to be most frequent in both small scale mining and large mining scale operations. Common accidents in mining are caused by heavy trucks movement, failures and collision, accidents resulting from heavy metals in mechanical works. Other causes are caused by the collapse of mine pits, and car accidents. In Tanzania for example, there has been several accidents reported to cost the life of workers for instance on Thursday 7th October, 2010 two Gold Miners died when they were buried alive while mining at Geita Gold Mine in Mwanza Region (Daily News, Thursday October 07, 2010). Dusts

Dusts present another hazard to mine workers due to toxicity and poisonous nature of the particulate matter found in it. Workers such as the Drill Rig operators, Dump truck operators and blasting personnel are more vulnerable to dust chemicals. Another group of workers who are at risk are those working in the processing plant especially in Lime Shed activities. Health risks associated with this include the lungs diseases commonly known as Pneumoconiosis more particularly silicosis. Noise and Vibration

Workers working or exposed to excessive noise and vibration for instance those working in rock drilling and blasting, diesel engines and heavy...
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