Occupational Safety and Health

Uruguay ratifies the Safety and Health in Mines Convention, 1995 (No. 176)

Uruguay has ratified 15 occupational safety and health Conventions

News | 05 June 2014
Today, the Government of Uruguay deposited with the International Labour Office the instrument of ratification of the Safety and Health in Mines Convention, 1995 (No. 176).

Dr. Loustaunau, Vice Minister of Labour of Uruguay, delivered the instrument to the Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Mr Guy Ryder.

The Vice Minister of Labour Dr. Loustaunau stated: “In depositing this instrument, Uruguay reiterates its policy of commitment to international labour standards and the supervisory system. It goes without saying that the ratification process of Convention No. 176 was preceded by consultations, in which the three parties agreed that given the new mining reality in our country it was vital to adopt this international Convention. Our country continuously does its utmost to ensure the safety and health of our workers, but we are also aware that by taking this step we are providing ourselves with a new instrument that will contribute towards formalizing our economy.”

In welcoming Uruguay’s ratification of Convention No. 176, Mr Ryder stated: “I wish to particularly congratulate the Government of Uruguay for the ratification of Convention No. 176 and its commitment to tripartism and social dialogue. The major accidents which occur year after year in different countries and which cost the lives of far too many people sadly remind us how dangerous this sector is and the importance of the effective implementation of this Convention. By ratifying Convention No. 176, the Government of Uruguay demonstrates its commitment to ensuring the sustained and continuous improvement of the safety and health of mineworkers in the country, particularly in view of the forthcoming development of the large-scale Aratirí mining project. It is my hope that this ratification will encourage other countries to do the same in the near future, with a view to preventing mining accidents.”

Mining is carried out in some form in nearly every country in the world. Workers in the mining sector face a constantly changing combination of workplace circumstances and, despite considerable efforts in many countries, the rate of deaths, injuries and diseases among the world’s mineworkers means that mining remains one of the most hazardous occupations.
Convention No. 176 aims to prevent occupational injuries, diseases and deaths in mining by applying the principles of the Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981 (No. 155) to the specific risks and hazards of this sector. It requires governments to adopt and review a policy on safety and health in mines, employers to take measures to eliminate or minimize the risks to safety and health in mines under their control, and sets out the right of workers to a safe and healthy working environment, as well as their duties.

Uruguay has ratified 15 occupational safety and health (OSH) Conventions and the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations has taken note, with interest, of the intense activity on the part of the sectoral tripartite Committees dealing with OSH. An ILO Mission, at the request of the Government, took place in July 2013.

The ratification by Uruguay of this Convention brings to 109 the total number of Conventions ratified by the country.