Occupational Health and Safety in Mines Directive was Discussed in İTÜ
May 18, 2015

A panel discussion on “Occupational Health and Safety in Mines Directive” was organized with the collaboration of İTÜ Faculty of Mines, İTÜ Faculty of Mines Foundation and Turkish Mining Development Foundation.

The program held on the anniversary of the Soma disaster that grieved all our country in 2014, in Faculty of Mines İhsan Ketin Conference Hall started with the observation of a moment of silence in memory of the miners we lost in the accidents in Soma and Ermenek. In the panel discussion held under the moderation of Department of Mining Engineering faculty member Prof. Gündüz Ökten, Department of Mining Engineering faculty member Prof. Cengiz Kuzu, Prof. Mustafa Topaloğlu JSD, Ministry of Labor and Social Security Labor Inspector Mustafa Akbal, Occupational Health and Safety Class A Specialists Burhan Erdim and İnci Türkarslan participated as speakers.

‘The directive is not suitable to our country’s internal dynamics’

Prof. Mustafa Topaloğlu said that the changes made to the legislation are important, however Turkey’s internal dynamics were not considered when it was being prepared. Topaloğlu said that the directive may lead to problems during execution for occupational health and safety and said:

“The directive released on 6 May 2015 compels personal accident insurance for employees of production and production preparation departments of mining enterprises. The mining enterprise will undergo inspection every six months. It includes termination of activity for 1.5 months and afterwards the cancellation of the license in case of having deficiencies in the risk evaluation report made for the enterprise and the failure to eliminate these deficiencies. I think the cancellation of license article has a high probability of being rejected by court decision.”

Inspection and personal accident insurance

Prof. Cengiz Kuzu underlined the fact that the new directive brings obligations to the employer and the engineer. Kuzu said, “The directive established in accordance with law no. 6331 is based on risk evaluation. It mandates employer, operational safety specialist, workplace doctor and employee representative.” Kuzu expressed that personal accident insurance in occupational safety is belated and said that in Germany mine workers are considered under insurance cover as soon as they leave their home. Kuzu emphasized the necessity of internal and external inspection and importance of personal accident insurance.

Occupational safety specialist must be an engineer

Occupational Health and Safety Class A Specialist and Trainer İnci Türkarslan mentioned duty and authority areas of occupational safety specialists in mines. Türkaslan expressed that recently populist approaches are seen in receiving occupational safety specialist certificates and that this is wrong and said that a picture conducive to creating jobs is produced. Türkaslan expressed that operational safety specialists in mines should have especially engineering training and criticized, “The number of operational safety specialists was 1,071 in 2011 but reached 150 thousand in 2015. This field became commercialized and the quality dropped.”

Germany should be taken as a model

Occupational Health and Safety Class A Specialist Burhan Erdim talked about the regulations in legislation and their reflection in execution. Ministry of Labor and Social Security Labor Inspection Council İstanbul Group Presidency Labor Inspector Mustafa Akbal mentioned the malfunctions in legislation and its application to work fields. Akbal noted that the current system’s deficiencies can no longer be sustained and that the system in Germany can be taken as a model.