630 Status of regulations on health and safety in mining in kenya since enactment of the occupational health and safety act,2007

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Abstract

Introduction

Large and small scale Mining in Kenya has been in practice for close to 100 years. This includes mining of minerals like soda ash, gold, flourspar, gemstones, quarrying. As an occupation with varied risks, regulation has been used in many countries to ensure the health, safety and welfare of workers is taken care of. There have been various regulations governing some aspects of mining in Kenya including health and safety. Such laws were enacted as early as 1940 for the Mining Act CAP 306 and 1951 for the Factories Act CAP 514 whose purpose was to make provision for health, safety and welfare of persons employed in factories and other places.

Methods

A systematic review was conducted after setting the research questions. Online databases and sources were identified to conduct the review. The articles under review were limited to law provisions on health and safety in mining in Kenya. Online sources used include Kenya law reports database, the Extractives Baraza, the Ministry of Labour Website and Ministry of Mining Website.

Results

Laws and Regulations that touch on health and safety in mines which were enacted before the Occupational Health and Safety Act,2007 have since been repealed. The Mining Act of 2016 replaced Mining Act CAP 306 where small scale mining has been recognised as a legal activity. However, there are no specific regulations on the health and safety provisions for this group of workers. Kenya has not ratified a number of International Labour Organisation(ILO) conventions on health and safety.

Conclusion

Kenya has taken notable steps in ensuring mining industry has regulations that govern its operations. Having artisanal and small scale mines recognised as a legal activity are indicative of these steps among others. The findings also indicate the need to have rules that are specific to the industry.

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