On 10 May 2019, the Chief Inspector of Mines published, in terms of the Mine Health and Safety Act, 1996 (the "MHSA"), a Guidance Note on Medico-Legal Investigations of Mine Deaths.

Legal status of the Guidance Note:

It is important to note that the Guidance Note has been compiled with a view to provide guidance to all relevant stakeholders regarding their roles and responsibilities with regard to medico-legal investigations of both natural and unnatural mine deaths. The Guidance Note must be read and interpreted together with the existing legal framework relating to "medico-legal investigations".

Important paragraphs in the Guidance Note:

  • paragraphs 9.1 to 9.3 set out the roles and responsibilities of the relevant stakeholders, which includes the employer, medical practitioners, occupational medical practitioners, the Department of Mineral Resources, the South African Police Service and forensic pathology services.
  • paragraph 9.4 sets out the procedure that needs to be followed when there has been a death at a mine.
  • paragraph 10 sets out various medico-legal aspects that need to be considered when a post-mortem examination is performed.

Click here to view a copy of the notice.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.