Author(s): KS Wilson, T. Kootbodien and N. Naicker

Source: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(6), p.1875

Abstract: Mining is a recognized high-risk industry with a relatively high occurrence of occupational injuries and disease. In this study, we looked at the differences in mortality between male and female miners in South Africa. Data from Statistics South Africa regarding occupation and cause of death in the combined years 2013–2015 were analyzed. Proportional mortality ratios (PMRs) were calculated to investigate excess mortality due to external causes of death by sex in miners and in manufacturing laborers. Results: Women miners died at a significantly younger age on average (44 years) than all women (60 years), women manufacturers (53 years), and male miners (55 yrs). There was a significantly increased proportion of deaths due to external causes in women miners (12.4%) compared to all women (4.8%) and women manufacturers (4.6%). Significantly increased PMRs were seen in car occupant accidents (467, 95% confidence interval (CI) 151–1447), firearm discharge (464, 95% CI 220–974), and contact with blunt objects (2220 95% CI 833–5915). Conclusion: This descriptive study showed excess deaths in women miners due to external causes. Road accidents, firearm discharge, and contact with blunt objects PMRs were significantly increased. Further research is required to confirm the underlying reasons for external causes of death and to develop recommendations to protect women miners.

Keywords: women miners, mortality, external causes of death, age, proportional mortality ratios