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Occupational safety and health

Government, workers' and employers' representatives agreed on the main elements of a roadmap on OSH in mines

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MoLSS), International Labour Organization (ILO), social partners and other relevant stakeholders discussed how risk assessments, compliance with national legislation, labour inspection and the social partners can contribute to increased safety and health in mines in a national tripartite meeting held in Ankara.

Press release | 17 October 2014
ANKARA (ILO News) – Government, workers’ and employers’ representatives and other relevant stakeholders agreed on the main elements of a roadmap on how to improve occupational safety and health (OSH) in mines at the “National Tripartite Meeting on Improving Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) in Mining” on 16-17 October 2014 hosted by the MoLSS and facilitated by the ILO.

In the context of the building of a safety and health culture, the significance of life-long learning, improved generalized knowledge of OSH and targeted OSH training, specifically for miners was a frequent theme in the discussions and there was a shared view that further collaboration between the government and employers’ and workers’ organizations was an important element in this context.

“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 of OSH and reduce occupational accidents and diseases,” said Serhat Ayrım, Deputy Undersecretary of the MoLSS, pointing to the need to have a broadly owned health and safety culture and awareness on the importance of safety and health for workers at any workplace.

“I hope this meeting will play a crucial role in preventing occupational accidents and diseases in Turkey,” noted the Deputy Undersecretary, emphasizing the need to ensure effective implementation of legislation and the building of a preventative safety and health culture.

The meeting also discussed measures to facilitate the implementation of the ILO Safety and Health in Mines Convention, 1995 (No. 176) for which the Government has started the ratification procedures in an effort to seriously consider lessons learned from the tragic events in Soma 13 May 2014 in the way forward.

Echoing views also expressed by OSH DG Kasım Özer of the MoLSS, Nancy Leppink, Chief of the Labour Administration, Labour Inspection and OSH Branch underlined “Creating an OSH culture is a process starting from early childhood and in the family”.

It was also agreed that the research institution TEPAV would carry out further research on the possible impact of these arrangements on OSH in Turkey in the context of a discussion on the prevalence of subcontracting arrangements in Turkey.

“I think that we are now entering a new phase of our joint efforts and I am convinced that our meeting today will remain as a milestone in our tripartite cooperation,” stated Heinz Koller, ILO Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia.