Death of 2 miners: GGDMA calls on miners to adhere to, implement, good safety practices

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

The Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) has called for a closer examination of the practices of small and medium-scale miners.

This call has come as the GGDMA extends its deepest sympathy to the relatives and friends of the two miners who recently died when a section of the open pit in which they were working collapsed.

Dead are 44-year-old Troy Scott of Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) and 32-year-old Seon Martin of Lethem, Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo), who had been employed by a businessman of Rahaman’s Park, Greater Georgetown. They were both working at Kumung Kumung Backdam, Puruni River, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni).

Preliminary investigations revealed that Martin was the general manager for the operation, and at the time of the incident, he was operating the jetting hose while Scott was operating the marrack hose in the mining pit, which was about 25 feet in depth. During the mining operation, the land reportedly caved in, trapping them beneath. Based on reports, the other workers who were in the mining pit at the time escaped unhurt.

Workers rescuing the two trapped men after Friday’s mining pit cave-in

The two men were pulled from under the debris, but by that time they were already dead.

Their bodies were taken to the Bartica Hospital the following day. An investigation has been launched.

On Thursday, the GGDMA said such accidents are now frequent and reiterated its appeal to the general mining community to adhere to and implement, good safety practices.

“The GGDMA recognises that many miners cannot afford to close their operations during the rainy season, since they have huge bills to pay, further compounded by an increase in operating costs. We also recognise that the rainy season has become prolonged, and this results in the instability of the soil, thus heightening the risks for workers’ safety.

“While we continue to recognise that the mining sector is a very high-risk industry, we urge all our miners to follow good occupational health and safety practices.”

To reduce these accidents in the mining sector, the GGDMA, through its Technical Services Unit [TSU], which is housed in the lower flat of the GGDMA Secretariat, will be offering free technical support and advice to all miners.

“We implore all miners to utilise these services offered by the GGDMA, to ensure the adaptation of practices and technology that will increase their productivity and the safety and health of workers,” the mining body has said.

Only recently, another mining accident occurred at Micobie Village, Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni), which led to the death of 64-year-old miner and businessman Donald Gouveia.

It was reported that Gouveia and three others were working in a mining pit which is about 60 feet in diameter and 70 feet in depth when one of the walls caved in and covered him.

Also, in June, 23-year-old Akeem Khan of Lot 37 Old Housing Scheme, Bartica was killed after he was covered in slush when the walls of the mining pit he was working in collapsed at Sand Hills Backdam, Cuyuni River, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni).

It was reported that, at the time of the incident, Khan was jetting in his mining pit with a 25-year-old employee when the walls of the pit began to cave in.