Categorized | Mining

Miners’ case against Sasol reignites interest

Coal_mine_Wyoming

The record of well-resourced mines in complying with requisite occupational health and safety regulations has been, for want of a better word, appalling. And it is not getting any better it seems – if the court case which Sasol is facing and other recently reported incidents are anything to go by.  Small wonder, calls from those with vested interest in the mining sector for the Department of Mineral Resources to crack the whip with its compulsory reforms have been steadily gathering momentum.

Of particular interest is the Sasol case. No matter which direction its verdict sways, its publicity has, once again, reawakened interest in poor working conditions for workers on mines. As human rights lawyer, Richard Spoor, rightly says “it should save as a warning for the entire coal mining industry”.

Spoor is representing 22 current and former mines who worked at Sasol’s coal mines in Mpumalanga. He is seeking damages on behalf of miners who contacted lung diseases after alleged exposure to coal dust.

According to the DMR, coal dust can cause lung diseases including coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP), progressive massive fibrosis (PMF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

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