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Enhanced training offered to the mining sector

Publication Date: 
Friday, December 17, 2021

Mine Fires and Explosion Research, Testing and Training Facility

The CSIR is expanding and enhancing its training offering to include immersive, experiential training in emergency response procedures, including the use of self-contained self-rescuers.

Mine Fires and Explosion Research, Testing and Training Facility

The CSIR is expanding and enhancing its training offering to include immersive, experiential training in emergency response procedures, including the use of self-contained self-rescuers.

The CSIR hosts regular training seminars for the mining industry at its Mine Fires and Explosion Research, Testing and Training Facility at Kloppersbos, north of Pretoria. During these seminars, trainees from the mining industry are equipped with knowledge and safety awareness to help prevent disasters caused by underground fires and explosions. Known for its impactful training, the facility now aims to enhance its mine safety training by recreating the emergency experience in a safe, controlled environment. Trainees will be able to experience a range of scenarios and test their emergency response.  

Recording growth of 18% in 2021 and contributing R400 billion to the country’s gross domestic product in 2020, the mining sector is one of South Africa’s most important sectors. Health and safety, however, remains an immense challenge that requires the sector to continuously devise techniques to upskill mineworkers and effect behavioural change. The CSIR hosts training services that cover the mining sector’s critical areas of concern, such as the application of fire prevention principles, methane ignition prevention, the role of ventilation in the prevention of methane ignitions and the effective application of stone dust for inertising to prevent coal dust explosions.

Training around 5 000 mineworkers annually from companies and institutions such as SeritiCoal, Sasol Mines, Anglo American, Exxaro, Colliery Training College and smaller mines, the CSIR facility has contributed to the considerable decline in accidents and fatalities associated with fires and explosions in mines as reported by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy. The CSIR continues to seek new methods of supporting the sector in the area of health and safety to further create a safer working environment for miners in South Africa. As the demand for its training offering grows, the facility is working towards creating opportunities to host more trainees in the future.