PH_MOSH Training 1B

Safer Mines, Stronger Future:

The planetGOLD Philippines contributes in advancing the ASGM sector through Mine Occupational Safety and Health training for small-scale miners

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Miners from Sagada on their way to the Benguet Corporation’s Acupan Gold Progon Mineral Processing Facility as part of Mine Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) Training

Small-scale gold miners work in hazardous conditions, facing health risks from dust inhalation, exposure to toxic chemicals, and inadequate safety measures. Occupational hazards such as cave-ins and accidents are common, and the use of chemicals in mineral processing could lead to health issues and environmental degradation. These combined factors necessitate comprehensive safety and health protocols to protect workers from risks and accidents.

In a significant step towards enhancing the safety standards in the artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) industry, the planetGOLD Philippines Project–in partnership with the Regional Mine Safety and Health Council Cordillera Administrative Region (RMSHC-CAR)– organized a series of Mine Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) training last 20-24 of November 2023 and 19-23 February 2024.

Attended by a total of 50 participants from the Northern Sagada Small-scale Miners Association Inc. (NSBSSMAI), Samahan Ng Mga Minero sa Barangay Casalugan (SMBC), Mines and Geosciences Bureau - Cordillera Administrative Region (MGB-CAR) personnel, and other ASGM organizations from the selected sites, the training series focused on educating the participants about the potential hazards and risks associated with mining operations, as well as the best practices for ensuring their safety and health in the workplace. 

Engr. Augustine L. Baliang Jr. and Engr. Santiago M. Bugnosen, engineers from MGB-CAR’s Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division, along with Mr. Joven G. Maxion, a safety lecturer from RMSHC-CAR with decades of experience as a safety officer from a large-scale mining company, stood as lecturers for the stakeholders during the training, discussing the following modules:

  • Hazards Identification, Recognition, Assessment, and Control
  • Occupational Safety
  • Occupational Environment
  • Underground Working Conditions
  • Behavior-based Safety

These modules equipped the miners with the comprehensive knowledge and skills needed to identify and mitigate risks, reducing the likelihood of accidents, injuries, and occupational illnesses in the mining industry.

On the importance of holding MOSH training for small-scale miners, Engr. Bugnosen of MGB-CAR stated that the MOSH training can provide small-scale miners with knowledge and skills and can establish standards for workplace safety. “MOSH training provides small-scale miners with essential knowledge and skills to identify and mitigate risks, use protective equipment properly, and adhere to safety protocols. This training not only reduces the incidence of workplace injuries and fatalities but also promotes sustainable mining practices, ultimately contributing to the livelihoods of mining communities.”

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MOSH participants conducted a site visit to Benguet Corporation’s Acupan Gold Progon in Benguet, CAR

As part of the MOSH training program, the participants also conducted a site visit to different mineral processing facilities for them to apply their learnings, such as identifying hazards and providing possible improvements. The two mineral processing facilities visited by the participants were Benguet Corporation’s Acupan Gold Progon in Itogon, Benguet for the Baguio participants of the MOSH training program, and the SMBC’s Mercury-Free Processing System (MFPS) Facility for the Paracale participants.

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Participants of MOSH Training undergo a learning session in the Mercury-Free Processing System constructed through the planetGOLD Philippines project in Paracale, Camarines Norte

 

When asked about their learnings on the program, Mr. Augusto Dasco, a miner from SMBC. shared how they were able to learn measures to eliminate casualties in the workplace. 

"We learned a great deal about safety, health, and proper ventilation. We discovered that workplace fatalities can be prevented by adhering to the lessons taught by the trainers."

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When asked about the importance of the training for small-scale mining industry, Mr. Norbie Pizarro, a miner from NSBSSMAI, shared how appreciative they are of the training, as it was a rare opportunity for professionals to discuss the different laws and regulations related to ASGM that they can share with their fellow miners back home. 

"We learned about the various laws and regulations pertaining to mining in order to ensure the safety of miners. We can now pass on this knowledge to our fellow miners, particularly since miners in Sagada do not have the chance to receive proper instruction in mining safety."

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The successful conduct of the MOSH training for small-scale miners underscores the importance of developing a collective commitment towards fostering a safer and more sustainable small-scale mining industry. As participants return to their respective mining sites equipped with newfound knowledge and skills, there is a renewed sense of optimism for the future. By prioritizing safety initiatives and collaborative efforts, stakeholders aim to pave the way for a safer and more responsible mining sector, where the well-being of miners remains paramount.

The Mine Occupational Safety and Health Training is part of planetGOLD Philippines' series of capacity-building activities for miners of the partner mining associations aimed at empowering miners by equipping them with essential knowledge and skills in mine safety and health. Through this training, planetGOLD Philippines ensures the long-term sustainability of the safe and effective mining of the partner associations. Furthermore, through this initiative, the project emphasizes the importance of safety standards and responsible mining practices, ultimately fostering a more secure and sustainable future for the ASGM community.


The planetGOLD Philippines Project is funded by the Global Environment Facility, implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, and executed by the Artisanal Gold Council.

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