Aug 10 (Reuters) - Chile is taking another look at health in
safety in its mines after two workers died on a mining
construction project in July and a giant sinkhole more recently
opened up near a copper mine.
Chile President Gabriel Boric said on Wednesday he wants to
ratify an International Labor Organization (ILO) convention on
health and safety in mines. The rules were issued in 1995 and
first adopted by Botswana, Finland, Spain and Sweden. Brazil
adopted the rules, known as convention 176, in 2006 and Peru in
Trade associations and legislators have requested government
support for convention 176, which includes guarantees for
workers, while requiring the state to adopt certain legislative
"Although accident rates have decreased in the last 10
years, we still have a lot to do," Boric said during a speech
commemorating Chile's Miner Day.
The president said that there were 20 accidental deaths in
the mining industry last year and wants to reach a goal of zero.
In July, two workers died in separate accidents at different
construction projects for state-owned Codelco, the
world's largest copper producer.
Chile's mining regulator Sernageomin found "deficiencies" in
both cases, noting that the deaths could have been prevented,
bringing attention to compliance with industry safety standards
in Chile, the world's No.1 copper producer.
Ratifying the convention would mean stricter safety
measures, more government oversight and allow workers to file
lawsuits to the ILO.
Boric also mentioned the recent sinkhole that occurred near
a copper mine in northern Chile that is still being
"What if that sinkhole happened in a town? What if it
happened in a work site?" Boric said. "What would we be
lamenting today? It could perfectly have happened."
(Report by Fabián Andrés Cambero; Writing by Alexander
Villegas; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)