Labour ministry inspects Region Eight mining camps
In a demonstration of its commitment to ensuring the health and safety of Guyana’s workforce, the Labour Ministry’s Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) department, on Tuesday carried out inspections at several mining camps in the Potaro-Siparuta (Region Eight).
The visits sought to ensure workers and employers are adhering to the health and safety protocols.
OSH Officer, Darwin Bourne said the inspections also created awareness among the workers, as most camps in far-flung areas are not subject to frequent inspections.
“What we’re trying to do is prevent any form of fatalities or serious injuries to miners. We would also advise them to do some first-aid training. What we find is that with most accidents, persons suffocate within at least five minutes when they are crushed, crumbled or covered. However, if we establish an emergency plan, we can have them recover quickly, and preserve life.”
Bourne said while most persons take the information and adhere to protocols, regular monitoring is necessary.
“Even though when we advise persons, they usually put it into practice, we can’t only depend on them to say that they would continuously follow the guidelines.”
He said the ministry will facilitate regular OSH visits to these areas.
“We have flyers on safe mining practices and reducing hazards, as well as on working with mercury, to name a few. We also exchange numbers so that they can call for advice. We will be coming back to the area to monitor, however. We can’t just leave information.”
Officials from the ministry recently met with representatives of the Guyana Mining School, where at least nine rangers are employed to facilitate regular monitoring of these areas. The rangers will report to the mines officers any unsafe mining practices and will provide some level of monitoring.
The officials also met with the Regional Executive Officer (REO), Peter Ramotar, to discuss the facilitation of training sessions for staff later in the year. The meeting entailed establishing an Occupational Safety and Health committee under the OSH Act Chapter 99;10, Article 23.