Mining companies have been advised to put in more efforts in minimising serious accidents and fatalities at the mines, as the industry has so far recorded seven fatal accidents and 14 serious accidents this year.
This compares to just one fatal accident in 2022.
Speaking at the 2023 Mines Health and Safety Awards, the Deputy Chief Inspector of Mines at the Minerals Commission, John Amoanyi, said over the period under review, looking at the accident statistics, the mining companies in the Country have not performed very well.
“As of today, we have recorded Seven fatal accidents and 14 serious accidents which is not good at all. We need to do more to minimize serious accidents as well as eliminating fatality.
“As a Regulator, I feel ashamed when the figures are mentioned,” he stated.
He said the accidents were caused by unsafe acts and unsafe conditions, therefore urging managers of safety to up their game and look at their safety management systems, especially towards the Mine Support Services Operators.
Mr Amoanyi noted that four out of the fatal accidents came from contractors and almost all the serious accidents were from contractors.
“We need to ensure that duties are assigned to competent persons as stated in Regulation 44 of LI 2182.
“We should conduct risk assessment in every activity to be done and ensure that employees are taken through safe working practice codes developed. supervision in all activities must be Key,” he pointed out.
He added that notwithstanding the adverse and negatives, some of the mining companies' performed well and deserved to be rewarded.
He said looking at the results of the Mine Audit showed how well the safety management systems have been put in place in some mining companies.
“It is my belief and hope that the performance will translate into reduction of accidents in the various mining companies, going forward,” he said.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Dr Sulemanu Koney, for his part said the recent statistics was a call to action by the mining companies, as seven fatalities at the mines is nothing good to write home about.
“I cannot remember the last time we recorded such fatalities and this is worrying so it’s important that we re-assess ourselves as an industry,” he stated.
He said the mining industry would continue to work with the inspectorate division of the Minerals Commission through the technical committee and other means of engagement to see how these statistics could be improved.
He noted that although it emerged that most of these accidents were caused by contractors, the other mining units also have their own issues which must be addressed.
“Let’s remind each other that at the end of the day we want everyone to go home safely, that should be the riding objective.
“Yes, the ounces are important, cutting cost is important but you can never replace humans. There are times that companies will fold up and come back again but when one soul is lost, it is gone forever,” he stated.
Asanko Gold Mines Limited emerged winner in Best Improved Mine, Gold Fields Ghana Ltd Tarkwa took the second position and Newmont Ghana Gold Ltd Ahafo came third.
For Best Mine Based on Occupational Injury Statistics, Gold Fields Ghana Ltd Tarkwa came first, followed by Asanko Gold Mines and Golden Star Wassa Ltd, respectively.
Golden Star Wassa Ltd emerged as winners in Best Mine Team in the Inter-Mines First Aid and Safety Competition, followed by FGR Bogoso Prestea Ltd, and Chirano Gold Mines Ltd.
For Best Mine based on Safety, Health and Environmental audit, Golden Star Wassa Ltd came first, AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi came second, and AngloGold Ashanti Iduapriem came third.