Introduction Large and small scale mining in Kenya has been in practice for 100 years. This includes mining of minerals like soda ash, gold, flourspar, gemstones, quarrying. As an occupation with varied risks, regulations have been used to ensure the health, safety and welfare of workers. There have been various regulations governing some aspects of mining including health and safety. Such laws included Mining Act CAP 306 and 1951 for the Factories Act CAP 514 whose purpose was to make provision for health, safety and welfare of persons employed in factories and other places.
Methods A systematic review was conducted after setting the research questions. Online databases and sources were identified to conduct the review. The articles under review were limited to provisions on health and safety in mining laws. Online sources used included law reports database, Extractives Baraza, Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Mining Website.
Results Health and safety Laws and Regulations in mines were repealed on enactment of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 2007. The current Mining Act of 2016 recognises small scale mining as a legal mining activity. However, there are no specific regulations on the health and safety provisions for this group of workers. Kenya has not ratified a number of International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions on health and safety.
Conclusion Kenya has taken notable steps in ensuring mining industry has regulations that govern its operations. Having artisanal and small scale mines recognised as a legal activity are indicative of these steps among others. The findings also indicate the need to have rules that are specific to the industry.
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