Ukrainian Mines becoming even more dangerous


After one of the many accidents in Ukrainian mines

The State Industrial Inspectorate has seen a sharp increase in the number of safety infringements on mines.

Due to falling prices for coal and reluctance to modernize, the number of infringements has risen by over 10% since the beginning of the year.  It should be noted that at private mines which, unlike those owned by the State, are making a profit, the number of infringements is rising faster.  The situation at State-owned mines is worsening despite a sharp increase in State subsidies.

The Inspectorate has carried out a check which found that over the first four months of 2013 there were 117.6 thousand infringements of safety regulations at Ukrainian mines, this constituting an increase of 10.9% over the same period last year.  Then the increase from the previous year was on 1.2%.

While the number of infringements is rising in both State-owned and private mines, the increase at private mines is higher than the average for the industry.

Four mines within the Systems Capital Management holding (owned by billionaire Rinat Akhmetov) altogether saw a 21.8% increase in the number of infringements (52.4 thousand). 

These included increase of 1.39 thousand instances (+36%) at the Komsomolets Donbassa Mine; and an increase of 25.5% (38 thousand infringements found) at Rovenkiantratsyt and Sverdlovantratsyt

65.4 thousand infringements were recorded at State mines.

Legislation allows mines to rectify the infringements with fines imposed only if they’re not rectified.

The overall amount of fines is not more than one to one and a half million UAH per year.

The Systems Capital Management spokesperson stated that their priority was to reduce the number of injuries, and claimed that over the last 5 months this figure was 283 cases again 329 for the analogous period last year, and that the number of fatal accidents had fallen from 13 to 9.

Mykhailo Volynets, head of the Independent Miners Union says that the obsolescence level of mining equipment, etc has reached 85% and that the situation is worsening by the year. He adds that neither state nor private mines can work properly and their products cannot compete with that reaching the market from kopanki, or illegal mines. 

From a report at Kommersant Ukraine

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