Occupational fatalities among coal mine workers in Zonguldak, Turkey, 1994-2003

ArticleinOccupational Medicine 56(2):144-6 · April 2006with13 Reads
Impact Factor: 1.02 · DOI: 10.1093/occmed/kqj023 · Source: PubMed

Fatal underground coal mine injuries are a worldwide problem. Zonguldak holds 95% of all Turkey's coal reserves. To investigate fatalities in the underground coal-mining industry in the Zonguldak province. Retrospective study of fatal underground coal-mining accidents from 1994 to 2003 through evaluation of industry records. There were 164 deaths available for analysis. The median age was 36 years (range: 14-56 years). Eighty-one fatalities (49%) were due to subsidence, 33 (20%) were due to underground railway accidents and 18 (11%) were due to gas poisoning. Asphyxia was the most common cause of death (99, 60%). The majority of fatalities (144, 87%) occurred instantaneously at the scene of the incident. The remainder (20, 13%) occurred on the way to the hospital or in the emergency room or the intensive care unit. The underground coal-mining industry in Turkey requires strategies to improve safety and reduce the number of fatalities occurring. These strategies should focus on improved underground safety through engineering measures.

    • "Mining accidents may have a variety of causes, including leakage of poisonous gases (such as hydrogen sulfide) or explosive natural gases, especially firedamp or methane, or gas outburst or gas explosion, dust explosions, collapsing of minestopes, mining-induced seismicity, flooding, or common mechanical errors from improperly used or malfunctioning mining equipment (safety lamps or electrical equipment). The improper use of explosives underground can also cause methane and coal-dust explosions (Terazawa et al. 1985; Kucuker 2006). Thousands of miners die from mining accidents each year, especially in the processes of coal and hard rock mining. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In underground constructions, a good ventilation design not only delivers fresh air to establish good working environment, but also provides a scientific and reliable basis to prevent disasters. In emergency cases, unexpected closure of the main airways may occur, providing the workers with alternative airways is substantial. This is important not only to sustain personnel lives, but also to prevent the mine ventilation system from damage. In this research, alternate solutions were introduced in case of failure in the underground construction to keep a pre-assigned fixed quantity in a working place for mine ventilation network. Eight different collapse scenarios were proposed to study their effect on the air quantity distribution among the branches in the ventilation circuit. From these scenarios, it is found that providing a sufficient air quantity in the working places could be achieved through modification of the network topology and adjusting the values of the regulators pressure. It is also indicated that the distance between the collapse and working places has a great effect on the amount of air delivered to it. A reduction in the power consumption could be done by re-arrange the installed regulators and decreasing the number of nodes and branches inside the network. A relationship representing the effect of changing the network topology on the total network power consumption was deduced through regression analysis. It is found that the total network power is quadratic dependent on the number of regulators and number of branches while it is directly dependent on the regulator power.
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    • "The mining industry has the highest incidence of occupational deaths among all industries. Common causes of occupational deaths include rock falls, fires, explosions, methane intoxication , and electrocution [6]. While occupational mortality rates decreased in developed countries, incidence rates remain at high levels in developing countries like Turkey [7] (Table 2). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background In this study, our aim was to evaluate the fatal occupational accidents that occurred in Zonguldak coal mines between the years 2005–2008. Material/Methods We retrospectively evaluated 42 fatal coal mine occupational accidents in Zonguldak (Turkey) between the years 2005–2008. The forensic records of autopsies referred to the chief prosecutors’ office during 2005–2008 were reviewed retrospectively. There were 42 cases. The cases were evaluated with respect to age, mechanism of injury, body region of wound, cause of death, and legality of the mine. Results Ages of the deceased ranged between 17 and 52 (median: 32.9 yrs). Deaths were mostly in the 21–30 (35.8%), and 31–40 (30.9%) age groups. Only 1 case was younger than 18 years of age. Review of occupational fatalities has revealed that fatal accidents occurred mostly (76.2%) in the private, and fewer (23.8%) in the public mining enterprises. Crime scene investigation findings have demonstrated that of all occupational deaths (total n=42), 27 (64.3%) were due to subsidence, followed by methane gas poisoning (n=6, 14.2%), tram crash (n=3, 7.1%), log falls (n=2, 4.8%), electrocution (n=2, 4.8%), and methane explosion (n=2, 4.8%). Conclusions Despite laws and regulations concerning mining and because of problems in their implementation, Turkey leads the world in work-related accidents, occupational injuries, and deaths. Evaluation of autopsy findings of deaths in fatal occupational accidents occurring in coal mines is quite important in planning to decrease rates of occupational fatalities.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Medical science monitor: international medical journal of experimental and clinical research
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    • "Nonetheless , there are still significant mining risks such as flooding , fall of ground, underground fires, handling and use of cyanide, storage of and exposure to radiation materials, and other airborne pollution that need to be addressed. These have been responsible for a continuing series of environmental and health disasters, which cause great human tragedies and loss of life and undermine social or economic stability and sustainability2345. Mining remains one of the most hazardous environmental occupations worldwide with underground coal and gold mines characterized by high accident rates even in relatively efficient mining operations [6– 8]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The performance of a proposed compact radial basis function was compared with the sigmoid basis function and the gaussian-radial basis function neural networks in 3D wireless sensor routing topology control, in underground mine rescue operation. Optimised errors among other parameters were examined in addition to scalability and time efficiency. To make the routing path efficient in emergency situations, the sensor sequence and deployment as well as transmission range were carefully considered. In times of danger and unsafe situations, data-mule robot with Through The Earth (TTE) radio would be used to carry water, food, equipments, and so forth to miners underground and return with information. Using Matlab, the optimised vectors with high survival rate and fault tolerant, based on rock type, were generated as inputs for the neural networks. Particle swarm optimisation with adaptive mutation was used to train the neurons. Computer simulation results showed that the neural network learning algorithm minimized the error between the neural network output and the desired output such that final error values were either the same as the error goal or less than the error goal. Thus, the proposed algorithm shows high reliability and superior performance.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks
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