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Handbook on safety and health for sandstone mine workers released

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24 March, 2016A new publication on “Safety and health for sandstone mine workers” has been released by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and IndustriALL Global Union. It aims to strengthen the capacity of informal sandstone mine workers to understand and improve workplace safety and prevent child labour.

The publication comprehensively covers safety and health issues in sandstone mines with the objective to educate workers on safe methods of work and use social dialogue to improve their working conditions.

The handbook underlines that workers have the right to demand a safe workplace, while it is the responsibility of employers to ensure safe working conditions. It includes pictorial illustrations of the existing hazardous and unsafe conditions and provides details of how safe working conditions can be achieved through wearing protective equipment and adherence to standard procedures in mine operations.

The publication, which is available in Hindi and in English languages, narrates how children, who accompany their migrant parents to their workplaces, are affected by exposure to dust, susceptibility to injuries, exposure to noise and heat. It points out the lack of social security for migrant mine workers and how the consequent debt trap restricts them of the mobility, while also creating prohibitive conditions for the family and children to seek alternative skills and employment.

With the view to break the cycle of generations being lost in quarrying, the book highlights hazards of quarry life on children and provides information about national and international instruments, which can be used by workers to prevent child labour in sandstone mines.   

The handbook will be distributed among sandstone mine workers and local unions will use it to spread awareness and train workers on occupational safety and health issues in the Bundi region of Rajasthan, India.