Occupational safety and health hazards of workers in small-scale gold mining

Assessment of occupational safety and health hazards exposure of workers in small-scale gold mining in the Philippines

The study examined the practices in the small-scale gold mining (SSGM) industry in the Philippines, particularly the working conditions of miners and workers during gold extraction and processing. It evaluated the miners’ and workers’ exposure to various occupational safety and health (OSH) hazards and recommended appropriate control measures for their maximum protection.

The study results show that various health hazards such as noise, dust, chemicals, inadequate ventilation, and so on are present at the gold-processing plants and underground miners. However, a majority of the workers perceive these hazards to be not detrimental to their health. Incorrect work practices; improper handling, usage, storage and disposal of chemicals; and absence of adequate personal protective equipment were also found at the sites, which all show that workers are more exposed to hazards.