The Directorate General of Mine Safety (DGMS) in India is currently developing a set of safety codes to protect the wellbeing of contract and temporary mine workers, ahead of the country’s National Safety Conference in Mines, which is scheduled to be held in November.

Around 100,000 people are employed as contract workers in Indian mines, and the DGMS has identified poor living conditions and inefficient infrastructure as the most important factors in determining worker wellbeing and happiness.

“This is part of an ambitious plan to augment mining production as well as to reduce accidents, including fatalities,” said DGMS deputy director general Sanjibon Ray. “Currently, we are in the process of preparing a set of recommendations as a strategy to improve the occupational safety and health of contractual workers. We are in talks with all stakeholders before we finalise the recommendations.

“The prime areas of concern include lack of adequate training and safety awareness of the contractual workforce, something which is one of the contributory factors in creating unsafe and accident-prone situations in mines. The main factor leading to accidents in mines is fatigue and poor living conditions. They don’t get proper drinking water, hygienic food, and medical facilities.”

Mining contributed around INR 1151 to the Indian economy in January of this year, but this figure has fluctuated wildly, from highs of this figure and INR 1121 in January 2017 to INR 767 in the second half of 2017. There have also bene 1,053 recorded fatalities at Indian coal operations, compared with 919 in Australia and 1,060 in France, suggesting that the industry is in need of financial stability and personal safety. Statistics show that contract-based workers are 2.47 times more likely to suffer from an accident at work than full-time workers, so reducing risks for temporary workers is a priority for the government.

Mining Technology’s Mining Safety content is supported by USA mining safety specialists Carroll Technologies Group.

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