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mine and occupational health and safety

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ENSafrica has one of the most rounded mining practices in South Africa. From mining law to mining M&A and mine health and safety, the firm is at the forefront of the industry.
Chambers Global Guide, 2019

ENSafrica is the only law firm in Africa with a dedicated mine and occupational health and safety (MOHS) team.

Our senior practitioners have more than 60 years of combined experience in advising international mining houses and multinational corporates on compliance with MOHS law.

We have deep expertise in a wide range of MOHS legal work related to the mining, heavy construction and engineering industries in South Africa, including compensatory and civil (delictual) damages claims.

We provide advice to clients inside and outside the mining industry, including regarding the South African Mine Health and Safety Act, 1996 (MHSA), the South African Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (OHASA) and legislation dealing with compensation of work-related deaths, injuries and diseases.

Our key differentiator is our ability and capacity to manage matters from start to finish, with our MOHS practitioners appearing personally in informal investigations, formal inquiries, inquests and criminal prosecutions, as well as dealing with civil court proceedings and dispute resolution.

We also have the unique advantage, as part of Africa’s largest law firm, of being able to harness the expertise of more than 600 practitioners throughout the continent. ENSafrica has a significant breadth and depth of experience and specialist expertise that spans all commercial areas of law, tax, forensics and IP.

As such, we regularly partner with specialists across the firm, meaning that we are able to assist with all aspects of all matters across all sectors in all African jurisdictions, ensuring that your legal requirements are handled quickly and seamlessly.

what we offer

We advise on all aspects of MOHS law, including:

  • advice on legislation for compensation of work-related deaths, injuries and diseases, such as the South African Occupational Diseases in Mines and Works Act, 1973 and the South African Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, 1993
  • appeals to the Chief Inspector and appeals and/or review applications to the South African Labour Court relating to MOHS matters
  • applications for exemption from the provisions of the South African Mine Health and Safety Act, 1996 (MHSA) and the South African Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (OHASA)
  • civil litigation and dispute resolution in respect of MOHS matters
  • due diligence investigations and audits pertaining to MOHS
  • labour policy alignment with regard to MOHS obligations
  • legally required appointment letters
  • MOHS law auditing
  • MOHS law training
  • representation at informal investigations, formal inquiries, inquests, criminal prosecutions and applications for compensation relating to MOHS
  • representations in opposition to prohibition (including closure) and compliance orders issued in terms of the MHSA and the OHASA
  • representations on proposed amendments to MOHS law, including legislation for compensation of work-related deaths, injuries and diseases
  • research and opinions on new developments in MOHS law
  • statutory and regulatory compliance in terms of the MHSA and the OHASA, and preparation of legally privileged documentation
  • support on administrative and constitutional law issues applicable to MOHS matters
  • written correspondence, representations and submissions to the South African Department of Mineral Resources and the South African Department of Labour
  • written representations following recommendations to impose administrative fines in terms of the MHSA
  • written representations following recommendations to suspend or cancel certificates of competency in terms of the MHSA

experience

ZAR5-billion settlement
in South Africa’s largest ever class action brought against 32 mining companies by half a million miners who had contracted silicosis and/or tuberculosis.
Inquiries into fatal accidents
at various shafts belonging to Impala Platinum.
Investigation and accident inquiry
after seven miners died in a seismic event at Sibanye-Stillwater’s Masakhane shaft.
Investigation and accident inquiry
after six miners died in an underground fire at a mine belonging to Palabora Mining Company.
Investigation and accident inquiry
after five miners died in a ventilation-related accident at Sibanye-Stillwater’s Ikamva shaft.
Investigations and inquiries
into fatal accidents at AngloGold Ashanti’s Mponeng mine.
Investigation and accident inquiry
after five miners died in a seismic event at Harmony Gold’s Kusasalethu mine.
Investigation and accident inquiry
after nine miners died in an underground fire at a mine belonging to Harmony Gold.
Investigation
after an Eskom power failure prevented a large number of employees from being hoisted to the surface at Sibanye-Stillwater’s Beatrix operations.
Opposition to amendments
to the South African Occupational Diseases in Mines and Works Act and the South African Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act.