THE Mineworkers’ Union of Namibia (MUN) has raised safety concerns in the wake of the death of a mineworker whose life was tragically cut short when he was crushed by a front-end loader at the Okatji Mine in Karibib a fortnight ago.
Alfeus Heingo, a 57-year-old mineworker, was on 11 January caterpillar out of a front loader where he was a passenger and died at the scene after sustaining serious injuries.
Since his death, the union claims, the company has been invasive and has not offered enough clarity regarding the safety at the mine.
Phillipus Ampweya, western regional office coordinator of the union, said that they are even more dismayed at the lack of information coming from the owners of the mine, as well as the labour or mine inspectors who are responsible for conducting the investigations.
“As a custodian of the industry, the trade union has on numerous occasions requests to get closer to the investigative processes or be furnished with substantive paperwork in respect to what exactly transpired as a subsequent to this needless accident,” said Ampweya.
Ampweya further stated that the dodgy attitude by the owner of the mine in answering questions raised by the union calls for serious concerns as safety violations and non-compliances remain a chronic problem in the marble mining and granite industries.
“It should therefore be noted that the union has vowed to ascertain zero work related incidents, much less fatalities and will take to task whomsoever will be found intentionally gambling with the safety of workers at the expense of production,” Ampweya warned.
He further called upon the mines and labour inspectors to unreservedly execute the functions for which their offices were established.
“Stiffer strategies should be implemented in pursuance to uncompromised health and safety standards and compliances thereto, especially on the part of the employers. The trade union will not rest in pursuing the true course of the incident and take the necessary steps in holding those responsible accountable,” Ampweya concluded.