On 12 September 2014, the Minister of Mineral Resources amended Regulation 11 to the Mine Health and Safety Act 29 of 1996, as amended (MHSA) through the insertion of a new Regulation 11(8) regulating reporting to the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) of certain occupational diseases. Click here to read the full Government Gazette.
This amendment requires that employers report:
- the diagnosis of occupational lung diseases;
- other occupational diseases as covered by the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act 130 of 1993;
- other occupational diseases as covered by the Occupational Diseases in Mines and Works Act 78 of 1973;
- noise-induced hearing when percentage loss of hearing shift is 5% or greater; or
- any illness that may have an impact on the health or safety of employees, as determined through instructions by the Chief Inspector of Mines. These other illnesses may also include lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.
These reports must be made within 30 days from the date of diagnosis using the new form DMR 231, referred to as the Health Incident Report (click here for a copy of form DMR 231). The completed Health Incident Report must be delivered to the relevant Principal Inspector of Mines. However, the Health Incident Report requests that the completed form also be returned to the Medical Inspector, Occupational Health Chief Directorate.
The Health Incident Report has been developed to generate a centralised database of the occurrences of occupational diseases and their impact on the South African mining industry. It will be used for research purposes in order to assist in the identification and implementation of preventative measures.
Given that employee medical reports and information will be contained in the Health Incident Report, medical ethics and confidentiality must apply to the information provided and reported to the DMR. Accordingly, employees will be required to complete an Employee Consent Form, an example of which appears as part of form DMR 231. The completed employee consent must be retained by the employer and does not form part of the information to be provided to the DMR.Click here to read more about the Additional Reporting Obligations in respect of Occupational Diseases.