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Three workers killed in Pakistan’s deadly mines

22 January, 2024On 19 January, three mine workers were killed from gas poisoning in Dukki mining area in Balochistan, Pakistan.

The miners were working deep in a coal mine when methane gas accumulated and due to a lack of proper safety mechanisms at the mine, workers could not be warned about the gas build-up. News reports state that the hazardous conditions inside the mine caused delays in the rescue effort, and it took several hours to recover the bodies. 

This is not an isolated case. Pakistan’s mines are fraught with unsafe working conditions. On 14 January, another coal miner lost his life due to a landslide in the mine. Last year over one hundred mine workers were killed in workplace incidents. The high number of fatalities at mining sites is a reflection of the poor implementation of safety measures.

IndustriALL’s affiliates in Pakistan, who organise mine workers, report that workers who are employed at unregistered mines are not given adequate job training and safety protocols are not followed at these mining sites. Additionally, no record is maintained of workers who are sent to work in underground mines making the rescue operations more challenging, as it becomes impossible to estimate the number of workers trapped inside.

IndustriALL has been consistently advocating for safe mines in Pakistan. Last year, IndustriALL organized job trainings for mine workers to ensure that they know safe mining practices. IndustriALL has also been actively campaigning for the ratification of ILO Convention C176, the safety in mines Convention.

IndustriALL’s South Asia regional secretary, Apoorva Kaiwar, says:

“IndustriALL strongly condemns the killings of mine workers due to lack of workplace safety. Both the Pakistan and Balochistan provincial government, along with employers, must take responsibility for ensuring safe working environments at mining sites. We also urge the Pakistani government to ratify ILO C176 immediately.”

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