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Legislators in Russia's Kemerovo region on Wednesday approved a bill toughening the responsibility for violations of safety rules in the mining sector
Regional authorities expedited the approval of the document following the recent fatal accidents at two coalmines. Sergei Shatirov, who represents the province at the Federation Council upper house of the Russian parliament, told Itar-Tass that the document, drawn at the initiative of governor Aman Tuleyev, would considerably increase safety rules requirements during mining works. It sets up a regional safety system for the mines, with a panel of the regional administration acting as one decision-making center. The panel will draw a list of dangerous coalmines and coal faces, and will spell out the requirements regulating production and safety there. The document stipulates that a miner must be checked for drug- or alcohol intoxication. In case of even one violation of labor discipline the miner may be fired, with the employer having the right to register the fact in the miner's employment record book. Miners may refuse to work underground in case of danger. The document envisions a penalty "for late response to danger." "Its purpose is to fill in the blanks in federal legislation in the field of industrial safety. Experts say no new technical regulations in mining will be forthcoming in the next three years. Many standards and norms no longer meet the modern level of coal production," Shatirov said. The document is due to be submitted to governor Aman Tuleyev for signing. The regional legislators asked the Russian parliament to make the local law a pilot project when drawing technical regulations in the mining sector at the federal level. Meanwhile, inspectors from the regional department of the Rostekhnadzor Federal Service for Supervision of Environment, Technology and Nuclear Management suspended 14 breakage- and 39 development faces after checking 58 coal mines in the Kemerovo region. In three cases, inspectors suspended works through court. The administrations of the coalmines where violations were detected, have been ordered to take measures to eliminate them. The check was launched after a methane explosion at the Yubileinaya mine last Thursday, in which 38 people were killed. A total of 217 miners were underground at the moment of the accident. One hundred and seventy-nine workers were safely brought to the surface. Of the 39 miners in the epicenter of the explosion, just one survived. Rostekhnadzor officials said the cause of the accident would be ascertained in about two weeks. Governor Tuleyev said it might have been caused by a coal bed fault. It was the third accident at Yubileinaya and second at Yuzhkuzbassugol companies since the beginning of this year. On March 19, 110 miners were killed in a methane explosions at the Ulyanovskaya mine, in the largest coalmine accident in the region in the past 60 years. According to Rostekhnadzor's probe, it was caused by unsanctioned interference in the electronic safety system. Tuleyev said the system had been tampered with intentionally, in order to boost coal production. "The responsibility for the accident is borne by the mine owners - the Yuzhkuzbassugol company," Tuleyev said. More than 200 people have died at Yuzhkuzbassugol mines since the autumn of 1999. Yubileinaya is part of the Yuzhkuzbassugol company, the leading producer of coking coal. It brings together 24 companies, including 12 mines, two dressing factories and 16 specialized auxiliary enterprises. Meanwhile, Evraz Group, which owns a 50-percent stake in Yuzhkuzbassugol, reached a deal last week to buy out the remaining 50-percent stake from three company managers. Last Friday, director general of Yuzhkuzbassugol Georgy Lavrik confirmed the readiness of the Yuzhkuzbassugol managers to sell their stakes.
Print Legislators in Russia's Kemerovo region on Wednesday approved a bill toughening the responsibility for violations of safety rules in the mining sector Bookmark Legislators in Russia's Kemerovo region on Wednesday approved a bill toughening the responsibility for violations of safety rules in the mining sector

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