The number of injuries at the mines has remained unacceptably high over the year, the Department of Mines said on Friday.
In a report presented at the just ended Coal Mining Conference held at GICC, Mulenga Tembe of the Department of Mines said that most of the accidents could be attributed to contractors who are on mining sites and to poor compliance with regulations, especially by the people working in quarries.
“The number of fatal accidents has remained at the same level of four per annum over the years,” he said looking at the period between 2000 and 2006.
“The department of mines is working with shareholders to address the challenges,” he added.
Tembe said between 1993 and 1999, there were 405 reported cases of serious injuries but the figure went down to 287 reported cases between 2000 and 2006.
“With the mines, the problem is that most of the work is done by contractors,” he said.
Contractors are said to be sloppy on health and environment issues as compared to the mines; and their workers stand a greater chance of being involved in accidents.
“With quarries, accidents are very high at 80 percent. And we have realized that compliance with regulations as stated in the Act is very low,” he added.
However, he stated that the level of accident reporting was encouraging as 90 percent of accidents which involve a victim having to be hospitalized for three or more days are being reported.