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It is an extremely valuable tool to have the necessary knowledge at your disposal to be able to conduct your own mine health and safety inspection. Whether your mining company is unionized or unorganized, many advantages exist to conducting a periodic mine health and safety inspection, just like with any other business.

A primary reason why you should conduct a mine health and safety inspection is to increase your odds of winning Department of Labour complaints and grievances. Documentation has the benefit of increasing your bargaining power and lessening chances that management will disagree with your arguments. Mine health and safety inspections are also sometimes used as an organizing tool to educate and activate members.

Who are able to conduct a Mine Health and Safety
Inspection?

 

Any worker (employee or employer) has the right to conduct a mine health and safety inspection. However, it should be noted that how a mine health and safety inspection is done and who carries it out totally depends on the unique circumstances of your mining company. For example, in unorganized mining companies a mine health and safety inspection should be carried out cautiously by communicating with co-workers before or after work, during lunch, or on breaks. However, in unionized mining companies, workers are given a certain leeway to carry out a more direct mine health and safety inspection. Unionized workers have the legal right to bring someone from the outside into the mining company to conduct the mine health and safety inspection.

Proceedings to be followed when conducting a
Mine Health and Safety Inspection

 

  • Setting goals for yourself;
  • Making use of a checklist;
  • Keeping detailed notes;
  • Inspecting documents; and
  • Involving other people.

What to do with the Findings of a Mine Health and Safety Inspection?

 

  • You should file grievances relating to the mine health and safety inspection if your contract already contains mine health and safety clauses. You should keep in mind that more bargaining power is gained through group grievances, in which a number of people sign on;
  • You should file Department of Labour complaints if your employer is in violation of regulations. The Department of Labour will subsequently conduct their own mine health and safety inspection;
  • You should organize different campaigns. You should thus be able to direct action by means of building support and showing upper management that employees are unified.
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