SAFETY AND HEALTH IN THE MINING INDUSTRY OF PAKISTAN
By: Sar Zameen Afghani
1.TRADE UNION IN MINING INDUSTRY OF PAKISTAN
It is fact that trade union in the mining industry of Pakistan is quite unorganized, through trade union in the coal mining industry focus their energies on collective bargaining with employers and their organization (including the management of state-owned enterprises), as well as consultation and negotiation with public authorities, they also have a verity of additional functions, such as the training of union representative who are involved in union administration, grievance procedures and information activities. The need to ensure that increasing interest in the coal mines themselves is balanced with industry-wide and economy wide union policy remains a permanent challenge for trade union. In this contest, qualified and experienced union leadership and staff and high-quality training program for the existence of strong and autonomous trade union movement, and one that represent coal mine works, interests.
That contractual Lebour force should be regulated through law. The Government of Pakistan should make law so as to register Coal Mining holder and make them liable to provide safety and pay various benefits to mine workers. Only registered mine holder should work in mining Industry.
Enforcement of law and safety of mine should be brought under ONE DEPARTMENT. Actually employers are diverting to contract system because of being responsible for law Enforcing Department.
Appropriate legislation should be establishment to ensure suitable and effective protection for mine workers with respect to work that is arduous, dangerous and harmful to health, and necessary step should be taken to combat all forms of pollution connected with the mining industry.
2. PROPOSALS FOR THE FORTH-COMING LAW ON OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY & HEALTH AT WORK PLACE
A wide range of approaches can be noted, the verity of which is best illustrated by some random examples.
The United States occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) was enacted “to assure so far as is possible every man and women in the National safe and healthful working conditions”.
The Government of Canada promotes “fair, safe, healthy, stable, cooper-jurisdiction”. Some regional entities in the country go even further. As a result, the corporate motto for Province of Ontario is “an environment that will make Ontario workplaces the safest in the world”.
An other similar statement, expanded to include the general public, has been issued by the United Kingdom’s Safety and Health Executive (HES) whose mission is to ensure that “risk to people’s safety and health from work activities, including risk to the public, are properly controlled”.
Finland tasks the mission statement further when the Government includes and the Netherlands uses an even wider interpretation in its statement, which includes the obligation to tackle abuse and to provide politically relevant information.
The Swedish Work Environment Act encapsulates its country mission” to prevent ill health and accidents at work and generally to achieves a good working environment”.
New Zealand’s Occupational safety and health services has mission statement” Together to zero” which means that every prevention measure taken is a step nearer towards eliminating workplace-related deaths. This strategy will then result in the decrease and occupational diseases as well.
The above examples lead to a significant number of conclusions: thus, mission statements tend to be adopted more and more as a key element of strategy.
3. NEW RISKS IN THE WORLD OF WORK
Work related mental health problems dare on the rise as indicated in a recent publication of the World health Organization (WHO) and the ILO. This study shows that the costs of stress are increasing in the most countries analyzed, and condition is an increasingly wide spread pathology. Stress and new stress-inducting factor, as well as aggression mental health at the work place. We must include the solution of these new risks in our OHS legislation.
4. SUCCESSFUL HEALTH AND SAFETY MANAGEMENT
The publication successful health and safety management by United Kingdom’s HES (substantially revised in 1997) is aimed at directors and managers of enterprises, as well safety and health professionals and workers representative. It describes the principles and management parties, which provide the basis of effective OSH management, sets out the issues to be addressed, and can be used for developing improvement programs. In the case of policy, the key messages are effective OSH policies contribute to successful business performance by:
Supporting human resource development.
Minimizing financials losses arising from avoidable unplanned events.
Recognizing that accidents, ill health and incidents result from failing in management control and are not necessarily the fault of individual employees.
Recognizing that the development of an OSH presentation culture is necessary to achieve adequate control over risk.
Ensuring a systematic approach to the identification of risks and the allocation of resources to control over them; and
Supporting quality initiatives aimed at continuous improvement.
Effective safety and health polices can have an impact on:
Corporate strategy and social responsibility in terms of the company’s image or its environmental impact policy:
Financing, for example in loss-control and cost-reduction strategies, insurance and investment decision:
Human resources in terms of recruitment, training, development and structuring of the organization to promote a positive safety and healthy culture:
Marketing, product design and product liability to comply with safety and health standards and legal requirements.
Manufacturing and operating policy in respect of design selection, construction and maintenance of premises, plant, equipment and substances, procurement policies, including the selection of contractors: and
The information management system.
5. OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY & HEALTH LAW RELATING TO MINES.
In Pakistan, there is a need for appropriate legislation in this respect and for the implementation of such legislation. Such legislation should aim at minimizing hazards and anticipation problems. This must include the control and recording of all mining activates. In drawing up such legislation there should be tripartite consolations and there should be full cooperation between the government employers and works in its implementation. Such legislation should mark adequate provision for the training of mine workers in safety and health matters. In formulating this legislation, all parties should recognize that there in no inherent conflict between safety and health legislation and high level of productivity. The mines Act 1923, coal Mines regulations 1926 and rules therefore should be amended. Appropriate legislation should be established to ensure with respect to work that is arduous, dangerous and harmful to health.
6. KEY ELEMENTS OF MAJOR HAZARD CONTROL LEGISLATION.
ILO convention No. 174, together with its associated recommendation No. 181 represents not only highly practical documents but also a summation of the experience of many countries which have sought to legislate on this subject. The provide ready template for use by any national administration wishing to do the same.
Within the EU, Council Directive 96/82/EC on the control of major accidents hazards involving dangerous substances is transposed into national legislation. In both the convention and the directive, the key element is the obligation of the employer or operator to submit a safety report.
Identifying major hazard installations
The national legislation will have defined, by substance, size, quantity, throughput, process and /or location, installation that fall within the definition of major hazards, as well as a system for identifying them and requiring their notification. Lebour inspectorates will need to remain alert to the possibility that installation, previously below the threshold of limits, may gradually increase production or storage, or that there may be processes or storage below the limits which, in the event of failure, could interact and thus call for a specialist assessment and, possibly exceptional treatment.
The Safety Report
The safety report is the key element in the control of major hazards. The employer or operator must demonstrate that they have identified and assessed all relevant risks and have taken all the necessary steps to reduce these risks to a level as low as reasonable.
National legislation usually requires the submission of a detailed report following a significant accident or incident. In the event of an escape of toxic gases, the competent authority may be the only external agency suitably equipped and resource to carry out the requisite tests. The competent authorities have a crucial involvement in the aftermath of an accident, ensuring that affected areas are rehabilitated safety.
7. IMPLEMENTATION AND INSPECTION
An inspection and implementation service with sufficient and properly trained personnel should be set up by the government in order to check on the strict application of the law and safety regulations. There should be an effective monitoring and controlling system to implement safety laws.