VISION ZERO – THE NEW GLOBAL STRATEGY FOR SAFE MINING

World Mining Congress
Over 330 million accidents at work happen world wide every year, only counting those leading to more than four days absence. More than 350,000 end fatal. Two million people more die every year due to work-related diseases. To sum this up: around 2.4 million people die every year because of work conditions. Among many risky industries, mining stands out. While mining represents just 1% of employees globally, it unfortunately represents 8% of all occupational fatalities. Mining operations go along with a variety of hazards. Not only in large operations, as they first come to mind, but also in the manifold small scale mines, with an estimated 13 million labourers worldwide exposed to substances such as dust, mercury and other chemicals, while also dealing with poor ventilation, inadequate space and overexertion. But is the number of severe accidents and diseases inevitable or can we change this situation? We can make mining sustainably safer, but we need a successful strategy to do so. A high potential lies in Vision Zero. Vision Zero is a prevention strategy for a safe future without fatal or serious occupational diseases, work accidents and traffic accidents. First defined as early as in the 19th century by Eleuthère Irénée du Pont, its very successful elements were adopted by many European countries first aiming at road safety, then extended to safety and health at work. Vision Zero’s holistic elements cover technology, workplaces, rules, and people as fields of action. By focussing on severe and fatal accidents, its application increases the level of safety and health overall.
Keywords: mining; Accidents; Safety; vision; Prevention; Health; Traffic; Change; Mining industry;
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