Turkey Mining Disaster – Life after work?Category: Health & Safety | Bryan Richards | Published on: May 16, 2014 | Updated: Dec 12, 2016 Read more: Health & Safety
Turkey Mining Disaster
Turkey’s worst ever Mining Disaster has claimed at least 282 lives. Trade unions are holding a one day strike and thousands have taken to the streets in cities across the country.
An explosion soon after midday on Tuesday 13th May sent carbon monoxide gas into the mine’s tunnels and galleries, while 787 miners were underground, some 2km (1.2 miles) below the surface and 4km from the mine entrance. Many of them died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Up to 150 miners remain missing but there is little hope of finding them alive.
Deep cast mining has claimed the lives of thousands of workers around the world over the years. The Turkish mining industry has a poor safety record: 1,308 fatal accidents since 2000, 263 died in a 1992 disaster, 13,000 miners were involved in accidents in 2013 and 10.4 % of all work related accidents were related to mining.
This tragedy highlights that for many workers, there is no life after work. For others there may be a poor quality of life in retirement due to injury and ill health suffered during a working life.
Today in the United Kingdom we have a much better workplace health and safety record, but we have reached this position through learning from our workplace disasters of the past. This includes our own worst mining disaster, the Senghenydd Colliery Disaster which killed 439 miners and one rescuer in 1913.
Most of us expect to return home safely at the end of each working day and have a decent quality of life in retirement.
In the United Kingdom, many do not meet this expectation, even today.
The latest annual workplace injury statistics from the Health and Safety Executive show that for the United Kingdom:
An estimated 646,000 workers had an accident at work in 2012/13. 231,000 of these injuries led to over 3 days absence from work and 175 000 to over 7 days absence.
148 workers were fatally injured in 2012/13 – a rate of fatal injury of 0.5 deaths per 100,000 workers. This is less than half the number killed 20 years ago.
An estimated 1.1 million people who worked in 2011/12 were suffering from a work-related illness, of which 452,000 were new cases which started in the year.
Around 80% of the new work-related conditions in 2011/12 were musculoskeletal disorders or stress, depression or anxiety.
Key Management Action
From the facts it can be seen that there is still room for improvement in how employers look after workers, particularly with respect to ill health.
Irrespective of health and safety legal requirements, working conditions that result in more people returning home safely and in good health at the end of each day and after they retire is a worthy goal. Achieving this goal is not merely complying with the law, it helps to improve morale, work productivity and your company reputation. Most importantly, you have prevented the harm caused to workers and the consequences to their families from a fatality or serious injury.
How Arinite can help
Arinite recognises the wider benefits of ensuring that the workplace risks of injury and ill health are effectively managed.
When you work with us, we will not just ensure that you are complying with the law. We will go one step further to help you provide a safe and healthy working environment that you and your employees will be proud of.
As part of our innovative ideas, we have recently developed a gold standard in our audit and inspection reports. This is to recognise employers that have made that extra effort to achieve a standard of health and safety management that is well above the norm. Would you not want your organisation to be in this position?Contact us
Arinite clients appreciate we provide practical, no-nonsense advice about what you need to do to establish and maintain a safe and healthy working environment. My team of Health and Safety Consultants take pride in keeping health and safety simple for our clients.
If you need to call upon our expertise in Health and Safety Consulting, or just for informal Health and Safety advice, please call me on: mobile 0780 361 2948, office 0207 947 9581, or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bryan Richards 29th April 2014
Arinite Ltd, Warnford Court, 29 Throgmorton Street, London EC2N 2AT