Turkish mine safety roadmap agreed by stakeholders

Turkish mine safety roadmap agreed by stakeholders

Turkish mine safety roadmap agreed by stakeholders

Mine safety has been under the spotlight since May, when the deadliest industrial accident in Turkey's history hit the western town of Soma. DHA Photo

The Turkish government, workers’ and employers’ representatives and other relevant stakeholders have agreed on the main elements of a roadmap on improving work health and safety in mines at a two-day meeting hosted by the Labor Ministry in Ankara, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO).

The ministry, the ILO, social partners and other stakeholders discussed how risk assessments, compliance with national legislation and labor inspections can be tightened to increase safety in mines at the “National Tripartite Meeting on Improving Occupational Safety and Health in Mining” on Oct. 16 and 17.

On May 13, 301 coal miners were killed in a disaster in the western town of Soma, the worst industrial disaster in Turkey’s history, which brought working conditions at mines across the country into the spotlight.

“As we all know, preparing legislation in every field is not sufficient. Having a legislative infrastructure with high standards is only one of the means to ensure improvements in occupational health and safety and reduce occupational accidents and diseases,” said Labor Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Serhat Ayrım, pointing to the need to have a broadly accepted health and safety culture and awareness of the importance of health and safety for workers in all workplaces.  

The meeting also discussed measures to facilitate the implementation of the ILO Safety and Health in Mines Convention, 1995 (No. 176), for which Turkey has started ratification procedures following the tragic events in Soma in May.