The share of Iranian workers who work in the mines is a small gain that is often associated with death. Coal miners in Iran, although producing a great deal of wealth, have a low share of it. At the same time, they are always faced with the nightmare of death and injury.
Miners in Iran
About two million people work directly and indirectly in Iran’s mines. In Iran, there are about 5400 active mines with more than 91,000 workers, of which 90 are active coal mines with about 10,000 workers.
Causes of Mortality in Mines
Crumbling walls are one of the most common causes of death in mines. Of course, the electric sparks that cause a fire in the mine should also be considered to have caused many casualties; the Yurt Azadshahr mine is one of these mines.
Mines, while not having the same structure and durability, are constantly undergoing changes, and these changes increase the possibility of collapsing. And colliding with underground gas layers increases the factor of suffocating workers.
In some mines the pollutants must be measured, the employer does not pay attention to the safety of the mine, and this takes the lives of many workers. All of these can be prevented by increasing safety at work.
Most accidents result in deaths in small mines
Most of the fatalities in the mines in Iran are related to small mines, especially sand and coal mines, which are being extracted without the presence of observers.
Small mines often do not form technical protection committees, and there is no mechanism for controlling and monitoring small mines by the government, and without the least control, the strictest conditions are imposed on the miners.
The main cause of deaths in Iran’s mines
Ashraf Mansouri, an occupational safety and health expert on the deaths of mining workers, said: “When the Industry, Mining, and Trade Organization or Organization of Mining Engineering authorizes them during exploration, they only permit exploration and exploitation, and it is particularly silent on mining regulations and safety.”
One of the reasons for the lack of accurate statistics on the extent of work accidents in the mine is the resistance of intruders. Employers also prefer to keep statistics secret. With the privatization of the mines, influential people, they prefer to hide the statistics and news about the accidents.
Death of eight miners since the beginning of winter
Since the beginning of winter, the number of workers who have died in the country’s mines has risen to eight.
- On 6 January 2020, a mining worker in the city of Delijan died from the collision of the scaffold with high-voltage cables.
- On the same day also an accident at the “Kak Pasi” coal mine in the depot and collection unit of the Kalate Roodbar city killed a 36-year-old miner, naming Mr. Ibrahim Khibarian.
- On 9 January 2020, the coal mine tunnel number 20 of the “Hamkar” mine collapsed and a worker, Mojtaba Tagizadeh, was killed and four other workers were injured.
- An accident at the “Bernaki” coal mine, which occurred on 10 January, resulted in the lockout of two miners.
- On 12 January, a worker at the “Dastgaran” coal mine in Tabas stuck under the rubble and died of severe injuries.
- In the final days of January, a mining worker was killed in a tunnel accident in one of the “Asafij” coal mine tunnels in the city of Bahabad in Yazd province.
- On 31 January 2020, a coal mine worker in Kuhbanan County, Kerman, died because of crushing by a concrete mixer.
- On 4 February 2020, a stone worker was killed at a Qale-Zari copper mine in Khusuf city because of rockfall.
- On 8 February 2020, two workers at the Tashkouieh coal mine in Bafq city died because of gas suffocation.
Death of a mining worker in the autumn and the hiding of the government
The death toll for miners in the winter comes as 13 people died in the country’s mines in the fall.
But Iran’s rulers hiding the death toll of workers in the mines and reduces the number of killed in the mine.
While 21 people have been killed in mines of the country this past fall and mid-winter, Ali Mozafari, director of the inspectorate of the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare, has attended a seminar on safety in mining activities and the role of training for promotion of safety levels at the end of January and announced: “During this year, 10 workers died in mining units of the country, which is a 60% decline from the previous year’s mine accidents.”
According to forensic statistics, “During the three months of spring in 2019, 421 people were killed in work-related accidents, including 417 men and four women.”
According to the Construction Workers’ Trade Unions, more than 50% of work-related accidents happen to construction workers, which accounts for more than 250 deaths in the spring of 2019.
At the same time, given that work-related deaths in mines make up the second-highest rate of work-related accidents, the actual figures that never get published are much higher. The Iranian regime has been ranked 102 among the countries in the world in respect of occupational safety issues.