Occupational Health and Safety Practices among Small-Scale Mining Workers in Ghana

  • Sabastian Samuel Kwesi
  • Emmanuel Dartey
  • Richard Amankwah Kuffour
  • Denis Yar Dekugmen
  • Rama Osei-Bonsu
  • Derrick Kwabena Mintah
  • Beatrice Akoto Serwaa
  • Afia Agyeman Beniako
Keywords: Health, Safety, Practices, Small-Scale, Mining


Small-scale mining is a benchmark for poverty reduction in developing countries. It contributes immensely to national income for countries with mineral reserves and mining activities. Despite the contribution of small-scale mining to Ghana, the industry pays little attention to health and safety practices among miners. This study investigated occupational health and safety practices among small-scale miners using a descriptive survey design. A total of 295 participants were selected from small-scale mining firms in the Wassa Amenfi (West, East, and Central) District. Data were gathered from the study participants using a structured questionnaire. Results of the study revealed that 78.98% (233) of the respondents were aware of available regulations regarding workers’ safety. Safety measures adopted by the various mining companies were; safety training (35.00%), the use of PPE (33.00%), regular monitoring (28.00%) and prompt reporting of incidents (4.00%). Miners were exposed to various types of hazards and injuries sustained among miners included cuts, fractures, sprains, broken arms, and entrapment. The commonly used PPE were safety boots (37.00%) whilst the overall coat was the least (8.00%) used among miners. Regardless of improvement in occupational health and safety practices in recent times, occupational health and safety should be given the needed social, legal, and moral attention in the mining industry by the government and other stakeholders. Further research should be conducted in the area of vulnerability of women in the mining sector.


Abbasi, S. (2018). Defining Safety Hazards & Risks in Mining Industry: A Case-Study in the United States. Asian Journal of Applied Science and Technology (AJAST), 2(2), 1071-1078.
Acquah, E. & Nouban, F. (2020). Occupational health and safety management in small-scale mining: focus on female workers in Ghana. Academic Research International, 11(3), 10-15.
Agyarko, K. Dartey, E. Kuffour, R. A. & Sarkodie, P. A. (2014). Assessment of Trace Elements Levels in Sediment and Water in Some Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) Localities in Ghana. Current World Environment, 9(1), 7-16. http://dx.doi.org/10.12944/CWE.9.1.02
Amponsah-Tawiah, K., & Dartey-Baah, K. (2011). The Mining Industry in Ghana: A Blessing or a Curse. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 2(12), 62-69.
Antoci, A., Russu, P., & Ticci, E. (2019). Mining and Local Economies: Dilemma between Environmental Protection and Job Opportunities. Sustainability, 11, 6244.
Asiedu, J. (2013). Technical Report on Reclamation of Small Scale Surface Mined Lands in Ghana: A Landscape Perspective. American Journal of Environmental Protection, 1(2), 28-33.
Bagah, D. A., Angko, W. & Tanyeh, J.P. (2016). Environmental Degradation and Small Scale Mining Nexus: Emerging Trends and Challenges in Northern Ghana. Developing Country Studies, 6, 38-45.
Brewster, R. (2013). Chinese involvement and accidents and injuries in small-scale gold mining in Ghana. In Proceedings of University of Michigan Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program Spring Research Symposium, Ann Arbor, MI, USA, 24 April 2013.
Chu, Z.-Q., Sasanipour, J., Saeedi, M., Baghban, A., & Mansoori, H. (2017). Modeling of wax deposition produced in the pipelines using the PSO-ANFIS approach. Petroleum Science and Technology, 1974-1981.
G’afurovich, K.O., Adburashidovich, U.O & Ogli, B.A.O. (2020). Small torch progress in prospects gold mining in improving countries. The American Journal of Interdisciplinary Innovations and Research, 2(9), 65-72.
Ghana Mineral Commission (2019). Statistical overview of Ghana’s mining industry. Accra, Ghana Minerals Commission.
Henstschel, T., Hruschka, F. & Priester, M. (2002). Global report on artisanal & small-scale mining. Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development, 70.
İnan, U.H., Gül, S., & Yılma, H. (2017). A multiple attribute decision model to compare the firms’ occupational health and safety management perspectives. Saf Sci, 91, 221–31. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2016.08.018
International Labour Organization. Report (ILO) (2015). Safe work. Global estimates of fatal work-related diseases and occupational accidents. Geneva, Switzerland: International Labour Organization.
Kyeremateng-Amoah, E. & Clarke, E.E. (2015). Injuries among artisanal and small-scale gold miners in Ghana. International journal of environment research and public health, 12, 10886-10896.
Long, R.N., Sun, K., & Neitzel, R. L. (2015). Injury Risk Factors in a Small-Scale Gold Mining Community in Ghana’s Upper East Region. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 12, 8744-8761. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120808744
Lu, J.L. (2012). Occupational health and safety in small scale mining: focus on women workers in the Philippines. Journal of International Women’s Studies, 13(3).
Mudyazhezha, S. & Kanhukamwe, R. (2014). Environmental Monitoring of the Effects of Conventional and Artisanal Gold Mining on Water Quality in Ngwabalozi River, Southern Zimbabwe. International Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 4(10), 13 – 18.
Nyambe, J.M. & Amunkete, T. (2009). Small-scale mining and its impact on poverty in Namibia: a case study of miners in the Erongo Region. Windhoek, Namibia: Namibian Economic Policy Research Unit.
Ofosu, G., Dittmann, A., Sarpong, D., & Botchie, D. (2020). Socioeconomic and environmental implications of Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) on agriculture and livelihoods. Environ. Sci. Policy, 106, 210–220. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2020.02.005
Owusu-Boateng, G. & Kumi-Aboagye, E. (2013). An assessment of the status of pollution of the Lake Amponsah in the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai District, Ghana. American Journal Science and Industrial Research, 4(5), 499-511.
Smith, N.M., Ali, S., Bofinger, C. & Nina, C. (2016). Human health and safety in artisanal and small-scale mining: an integrated approach to risk mitigation. Journal of Cleaner Production, 129, 43-52.
Stemn, E., Bofinger, C., Cliff, D. & Hassall, E.M. (2018). Failure to learn from safety incidents: status, challenges, and opportunities. Safety Science, 101, 313-325.
UNEP (2019). Global chemicals outlook II: the evolving chemicals economy: status and trends relevant for sustainability. Available at http://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.50.11822/28186/GCOII_Partl.pdf
Yi, W., Chan, P.C.A., Wang, X. & Wang, Jun. (2016). Development of an early-warning system for site work in hot and humid environments: a case study. Automation in Construction, 62, 101-113.
How to Cite
Kwesi, S. S., Dartey, E., Kuffour, R. A., Dekugmen, D. Y., Osei-Bonsu, R., Mintah, D. K., Serwaa, B. A., & Beniako, A. A. (2024). Occupational Health and Safety Practices among Small-Scale Mining Workers in Ghana. European Journal of Science, Innovation and Technology, 4(2), 26-39. Retrieved from https://ejsit-journal.com/index.php/ejsit/article/view/396