Following a spate of tragic mine accidents that have killed 60 workers in the past five months, the government has vowed to take additional steps to increase the safety of workers, including tighter inspections of state and private mines.
More on mines
Read more about the Zonguldak tragedy and other Turkish mine disasters
Mine disasters in Europe
Poland
2000: Three miners killed in an accident at a mining operation in the southern city of Piekary Slaskie.
2002: Ten miners killed in the Jas-Mos coal mine in the southern city of Jastrzebie Zdroj.
2005: Two workers killed in an accident at the Pokoj coal mine in the southern city of Ruda Slaska. Three miners subsequently killed in a mine accident in the southern city of Zofiowka.
2006: Four more miners killed in the Pokoj coalmine.
2006: A methane explosion kills 23 people in the Halemba coal mine in Ruda Slaska.
2009: Twenty miners killed by a methane explosion in the Wujek-Slask coalmine in Ruda Slaska.
Romania
2008: Thirteen miners die after two explosions in a coalmine in Petrila, one of six coal-mining cities in the Jiu Valley region of Hunedoara County.
Russia
2007: A methane explosion causes a mine disaster in the Ulyanovskaya mine in the southern city of Kemerovo Oblast, killing at least 108 people in Russia’s deadliest such incident in more than a decade.
2007: A methane explosion in the Yubileinaya coalmine in the Kemerovo Oblast area of Siberia kills 38 and injures seven.
2010: The Raspadskaya mine explosion near Mezhdurechensk in Kemerovo Oblast kills 66 miners and injures 99; 24 people remain unaccounted for.
Ukraine
2001-2006: The Zasyadko coalmine in the eastern city of Donetsk witnesses several accidents: 55 miners are killed and 34 injured in 2001; 20 killed and two injured in 2002; and 13 killed and 62 injured in 2006.
2007: A Zasyadko coalmine accident kills 101 miners, making the disaster the worst such accident in Ukraine’s history.
2008: The Karl Marx Coal Mine collapse in the eastern city of Yenakiieve, caused by a gas-pipe explosion, kills 13 miners and injures 24.
Other European countries
There have been no mine accidents reported during the last 10 years in other European countries, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom.
“We’ll take hard measures, especially against the coal mines that do not obey the rules,” Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said in an interview with the private channel NTV on Thursday.
Yıldız did not disclose what other measures the government was planning to take, but said the blasts in mines in Bursa, Balıkesir and, most recently, in Zonguldak made implementing changes in the industry a matter of urgent concern.
Nineteen workers were killed in the Bursa explosion and 13 in Balıkesir. The 28 deaths in Zonguldak bring the fatality toll to 60.
“There are coal mines in Western countries but accidents do not happen there as often as we see here,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the would-be head of the main opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP, told reporters Thursday. “First, the risks should be identified and then the workers should be let to work. Otherwise, we cannot solve this problem.”
Kılıçdaroğlu questioned why the victims were all working for a subcontractor and asked whether they were registered with social security institutions.
The Cabinet is expected to meet next week for a routine session, during which it is likely the members will discuss the incident and how future accidents can be prevented.
Risks could be reduced to 2 percent
“Mining is a difficult sector, but 98 percent of accidents could be prevented if generally approved safeguards are taken,” Mehmet Torun, the head of the Chamber of Mining Engineers told NTV on Thursday. “The risk, in this case, could be reduced to 2 percent.”
A report by the chamber on work safety, posted on its website, touches on measures that could be taken to provide a better, more secure working environment for miners. “According to the current occupational-safety law, employers who employ a minimum of 50 workers are obliged to have a health-and-safety unit at the workplace, assigning a minimum of one or more physicians and other health personnel if needed, and employing an engineer or technical staff specializing in worker safety,” the report says, suggesting these criteria be expanded to workplaces of all sizes.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, 98 percent of workplaces in Turkey employ less than 50 workers, 70 percent of all workers are employed in a workplace with less than 50 workers and 63 percent of injuries on the job happen at workplaces with less than 50 workers, the chamber said on its website.
A lack of inspectors keeps the General Directorate of Mining Affairs from performing sufficient inspections of the country’s mines, the report added, saying that the quantity and quality of its engineering staff must be strengthened in order to ensure tighter inspections.
An increase in mine accidents, especially over the last five years, has made Turkey third in the world when it comes to workplace injuries, and first in Europe, the chamber noted. “At private mining companies, worker health and safety is seen as an expense factor,” it said. “Mining accidents have increased noticeably in the past few years. Especially injuries and deaths in underground coal mining take the lead in all sectors. This is why attention needs to be turned the mining sector, and steps should be taken to prevent these accidents.”
In contrast to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s description of the accidents as “fate,” the chamber said, “A majority of workplace injuries are preventable, and developed countries have managed to do so, but accidents are still seen as ‘fate’ in Turkey. The solution for this lies in the creation of an inspection mechanism that enforces the legislation. In addition, the legislation needs to be re-evaluated in light of recent problems. Causes for accidents need to be determined, and precautions taken according to this risk map.”
Economist Mustafa Sönmez also criticized Erdoğan’s description of the incident. “It was a very unfortunate statement,” he said. “It would have been better if he remained silent.”

Read the article on Hurriyet

Turkish government promises new action as tragic toll mounts in mines

Following a spate of tragic mine accidents that have killed 60 workers in the past five months, the government has vowed to take additional steps to increase the safety of workers, including tighter inspections of state and private mines.
More on mines
Read more about the Zonguldak tragedy and other Turkish mine disasters
Mine disasters in Europe
Poland
2000: Three miners killed in an accident at a mining operation in the southern city of Piekary Slaskie.
2002: Ten miners killed in the Jas-Mos coal mine in the southern city of Jastrzebie Zdroj.
2005: Two workers killed in an accident at the Pokoj coal mine in the southern city of Ruda Slaska. Three miners subsequently killed in a mine accident in the southern city of Zofiowka.
2006: Four more miners killed in the Pokoj coalmine.
2006: A methane explosion kills 23 people in the Halemba coal mine in Ruda Slaska.
2009: Twenty miners killed by a methane explosion in the Wujek-Slask coalmine in Ruda Slaska.
Romania
2008: Thirteen miners die after two explosions in a coalmine in Petrila, one of six coal-mining cities in the Jiu Valley region of Hunedoara County.
Russia
2007: A methane explosion causes a mine disaster in the Ulyanovskaya mine in the southern city of Kemerovo Oblast, killing at least 108 people in Russia’s deadliest such incident in more than a decade.
2007: A methane explosion in the Yubileinaya coalmine in the Kemerovo Oblast area of Siberia kills 38 and injures seven.
2010: The Raspadskaya mine explosion near Mezhdurechensk in Kemerovo Oblast kills 66 miners and injures 99; 24 people remain unaccounted for.
Ukraine
2001-2006: The Zasyadko coalmine in the eastern city of Donetsk witnesses several accidents: 55 miners are killed and 34 injured in 2001; 20 killed and two injured in 2002; and 13 killed and 62 injured in 2006.
2007: A Zasyadko coalmine accident kills 101 miners, making the disaster the worst such accident in Ukraine’s history.
2008: The Karl Marx Coal Mine collapse in the eastern city of Yenakiieve, caused by a gas-pipe explosion, kills 13 miners and injures 24.
Other European countries
There have been no mine accidents reported during the last 10 years in other European countries, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom.
“We’ll take hard measures, especially against the coal mines that do not obey the rules,” Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said in an interview with the private channel NTV on Thursday.
Yıldız did not disclose what other measures the government was planning to take, but said the blasts in mines in Bursa, Balıkesir and, most recently, in Zonguldak made implementing changes in the industry a matter of urgent concern.
Nineteen workers were killed in the Bursa explosion and 13 in Balıkesir. The 28 deaths in Zonguldak bring the fatality toll to 60.
“There are coal mines in Western countries but accidents do not happen there as often as we see here,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the would-be head of the main opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP, told reporters Thursday. “First, the risks should be identified and then the workers should be let to work. Otherwise, we cannot solve this problem.”
Kılıçdaroğlu questioned why the victims were all working for a subcontractor and asked whether they were registered with social security institutions.
The Cabinet is expected to meet next week for a routine session, during which it is likely the members will discuss the incident and how future accidents can be prevented.
Risks could be reduced to 2 percent
“Mining is a difficult sector, but 98 percent of accidents could be prevented if generally approved safeguards are taken,” Mehmet Torun, the head of the Chamber of Mining Engineers told NTV on Thursday. “The risk, in this case, could be reduced to 2 percent.”
A report by the chamber on work safety, posted on its website, touches on measures that could be taken to provide a better, more secure working environment for miners. “According to the current occupational-safety law, employers who employ a minimum of 50 workers are obliged to have a health-and-safety unit at the workplace, assigning a minimum of one or more physicians and other health personnel if needed, and employing an engineer or technical staff specializing in worker safety,” the report says, suggesting these criteria be expanded to workplaces of all sizes.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, 98 percent of workplaces in Turkey employ less than 50 workers, 70 percent of all workers are employed in a workplace with less than 50 workers and 63 percent of injuries on the job happen at workplaces with less than 50 workers, the chamber said on its website.
A lack of inspectors keeps the General Directorate of Mining Affairs from performing sufficient inspections of the country’s mines, the report added, saying that the quantity and quality of its engineering staff must be strengthened in order to ensure tighter inspections.
An increase in mine accidents, especially over the last five years, has made Turkey third in the world when it comes to workplace injuries, and first in Europe, the chamber noted. “At private mining companies, worker health and safety is seen as an expense factor,” it said. “Mining accidents have increased noticeably in the past few years. Especially injuries and deaths in underground coal mining take the lead in all sectors. This is why attention needs to be turned the mining sector, and steps should be taken to prevent these accidents.”
In contrast to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s description of the accidents as “fate,” the chamber said, “A majority of workplace injuries are preventable, and developed countries have managed to do so, but accidents are still seen as ‘fate’ in Turkey. The solution for this lies in the creation of an inspection mechanism that enforces the legislation. In addition, the legislation needs to be re-evaluated in light of recent problems. Causes for accidents need to be determined, and precautions taken according to this risk map.”
Economist Mustafa Sönmez also criticized Erdoğan’s description of the incident. “It was a very unfortunate statement,” he said. “It would have been better if he remained silent.”

Read the article on Hurriyet

Postat de pe data de 21 mai, 2010 in categoria România în lume. Poti urmari comentariile acestui articol prin RSS 2.0. Acest articol a fost vizualizat de 111 ori.

Publica un raspuns