In Ukraine, the mining industry is a major contributor to the economy. However, it is among the most hazardous industrial sectors which still causes a high level of severe work accidents including fatal cases and occupational respiratory diseases. In March 2017, eight miners were killed and more than twenty were seriously injured in an explosion at the Stepova coal mine in Western Ukraine. Moreover, the mining industry was deeply affected by the armed conflict which started in late 2013. As many enterprises suffer the lack of financing, there is an urgent need to secure the mine work safety. The current situation requires a special and priority attention.
Against this background, the ILO implements a technical assistance project to support Ukraine’s national effort to improve the safety and health conditions in the mining work. The project is funded by the Government of Canada.
The overall objective of the project is to reduce work accidents and occupational diseases in the mining industry of Ukraine through a systematic development of modern OSH policies supported by an enhanced capacity of social partners. The project aims to achieve this objective by (i) assisting the development and implementation of modern OSH policies in accordance with the international labour standards and EU directives, (ii) strengthening the capacity of social partners to implement practical OSH management measures at the workplace level, and (iii) promoting a safety and preventative culture through effective knowledge-sharing on tools and good practice on OSH.
At the initial workshop to discuss the first steps of the project, all the ILO tripartite partners welcomed the project as “it is important and timely for Ukraine,” and expressed their support in all project activities. They shared the common view that “There is an urgent need to improve individual and collective protection. We have high hopes that the project will contribute to improving OSH in the mining industry in Ukraine.”