Convention Signed To Raise Mine Safety Standards Worldwide

Jan. 16, 2001
President Clinton signed the International Labor Organization's\r\nConvention 176 concerning safety and health in mines.

President Clinton signed the International Labor Organization''s (ILO) Convention 176 concerning safety and health in mines.

Negotiated by representative of government, labor and industry from the United States and other nations, Convention 176 is based on the principles of the U.S. Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977.

"Ratification of Convention 176 signals U.S. commitment to safety and health protection for workers in one of the world''s most dangerous occupations," said Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman. "Without changing any existing U.S. law or regulations, Convention 176 also enhances the ability of the U.S. mining industry to compete on a more level playing field in the global economy."

Under recent U.S. mine safety laws, fatal mine accidents have declined significantly. U.S. mining deaths dropped from 425 in 1970 to 236 by 1980, 122 in 1990, and 85 last year, according to the Department of Labor.

Clinton signed the ILO convention on Jan. 5, making the United States the 16 ILO member nation to ratify it.

Convention 176 specifies responsibilities for government, employers and workers.

Ratifying states are to formulate, carry out and review mine safety and health policy, including designating a competent authority to monitor and regulate safety and health in mines.

Employers are responsible for ensuring adequate underground ventilation; preventing fires and explosions; providing emergency response, evacuation plans and training; and conducting accident investigations.

Workers are required to comply with safety and health measures under the Convention. They have the right to report accidents and dangerous conditions and must be allowed to exercise safety and health rights without discrimination or retaliation.

"Experience under U.S. mine safety law has shown that most mining deaths are preventable," said Herman. "Convention 176 reflects that experience and helps to strengthen labor standards worldwide."

by Virginia Sutcliffe

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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