BNP initiates ratification of ILO Convention "On Occupational Safety and Health in Mines"
The Belarusian Independent Trade Union (BNP) has put forward the initiative to ratify the ILO (International Labour Organization) Convention No. 176 "On Occupational Safety and Health in Mines". In the near future, the BNP will send personal appeals to each of the 110 Deputies of the House of Representatives of the Belarusian Parliament asking them to bring the bill on ratification of this Convention for consideration at the next parliamentary session.
The BNP believes that ratification and subsequent implementation of the ILO Convention No. 176 will increase the level of miners' protection against industrial risks. Reaching this objective, the BNP leaders believe, should promote the progress in the policy on occupational safety and health in mines, the regulatory support of this policy, introduction of preventive and protective measures in mines, and enhancement of employers' responsibilities for ensuring safety and health of their workers.
"We urge our Deputies to follow the example of our brotherly Ukraine and to ratify the ILO Convention No. 176. We hope that every MP will tell us about his or her personal actions to address the issue," Nikolai Zimin, Chairman of the BNP, told the Praca-by.info.
Responding to the question about practical benefits for Belarusian miners from ratification of the Convention, the union leader, said:
"Then, we'll be able to introduce the norms enshrined in the Convention into our national legislation that will allow to harmonize our labour safety laws with European ones, and, eventually, contribute to better miners' working conditions."
Nikolai Zimin said that the scope of the Convention covers all types of mines. The term "mine" includes all the surface or underground sites, where the activities of exploration of mineral deposits are undertaken, which result in mechanical disturbance of the soil, extraction thereof (except for oil and gas), and preparation, including grinding, milling, concentration or washing, of the extracted minerals.
The trade union leader has emphasized that the BNP is ready to cooperate with all the interested parties – the MPs and the "Belkhimprofsoyuz" Trade Union, which is a member of the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus (FPB) – in order to achieve the goal.
Currently, the ILO Convention No. 176 "On Occupational Safety and Health in Mines", adopted on June 22, 1995, has been ratified by 25 countries, including Armenia, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden, South Africa, USA and Ukraine.