On the eve in Karaganda, the Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan, a member of the Republican Trilateral Commission on Social Partnership and Regulation of Social and Labor Relations Satybaldy Dauletalin took part in the meeting of the Regional Trilateral Commission chaired by Akim of the Karaganda region Ermaganbet Bulekpayev. The meeting began with a minute of silence in memory of the miners who died on August 17 in the  «Kazakhstanskaya» mine of the Coal Department of  JSC «ArcelorMittal Temirtau».

The main issue on the agenda is the progress of the implementation of the plan on the gradual renewal of fixed assets at the enterprises of the mining and metallurgical industry, considering the introduction of advanced technologies. However, the main topic of discussion was the safety problems at JSC «ArcelorMittal Temirtau», which arose because of unresolved issues on the modernization of production facilities and equipment of mines.

“As you all know, the issue of ensuring the production of works with modern equipment, spare parts, and materials was one of the main requirements of mining collectives. Due to the untimely updating of equipment, the highest level of injuries and the presence of production facilities with harmful working conditions is observed at the enterprises of the mining and metallurgical complex of the region” said Akim of the region Ermaganbet Bulekpayev.

Reports of representatives of the Department of Industry and Industrial and Innovative Development of the Akimat of the Karaganda region Kairat Shormanbayev and the Department of State Control and Supervision in the Mining Industry of the Department of Industrial Safety Yerbolat Shortanbayev only confirmed that measures to ensure safe working conditions at mining enterprises in the region are not being implemented to the full extent.

According to the information voiced by the speakers, over the seven months of this year, as a result of inspections of enterprises, more than 1300 violations of industrial safety were detected, including at «ArcelorMittal Temirtau».

In turn, the representative of the management of JSC «ArcelorMittal Temirtau», the technical director of the enterprise Andrey Bely, answered the questions of the meeting participants about the untimely renewal of mines with modern equipment, reported on the acquisition of «25 modern tunneling combines that ensure the safety of workers, 11 of them are already in operation. By the end of this year, the remaining combines will be brought to work».

It should be noted that the data of the representative of «ArcelorMittal Temirtau» did not coincide with the information voiced by the Department of Industry and Industrial and Innovative Development of the Akimat of the Karaganda region – there were 9 working combines.

The Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan Satybaldy Dauletalin drew attention to this.

“Why are there different data on the commissioning of new combines? Apparently, the top managers of «ArcelorMittal Temirtau» are not doing very well not only with mathematics. In the mine, the workers told me that these 25 combines are not suitable for coal mining in the layers of the Karaganda coal basin. The miners note that the combines do not correspond to the specifics of our mines. Another question is about the installation of positioning systems. They are now installed at the «Kazakhstanskaya» and «Kuzembayev» mines. The question arises: why such positioning systems are not installed simultaneously at all mines, given that the positioning system is one of the most important in ensuring the safety of miners” said Satybaldy Dauletalin.

Continuing the topic, the Head of the FTURK noted that foreign specialists, whose competence includes the issue of modernization of Kazakhstan’s mines, do not know the realities and do not involve domestic specialists in solving issues of modernization of production.

In his speech, Satybaldy Dauletalin clearly outlined the position of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the comprehensive solution of security issues in the mining industry as a whole. According to him, over the past decade, there has been a significant expansion of the range of problems in the coal industry, which includes environmental and social problems. The solution to these problems is inextricably linked with the concept of sustainable development of the industry and each enterprise. It is necessary to continue to increase production in such a way that it makes economic sense with a responsible attitude to the environment, occupational safety, and social issues. To solve this problem, it is necessary to adopt a program for the sustainable development of the coal industry in Kazakhstan.

“It’s time for the employer to understand that human life is not worth ten annual salaries, it is priceless! According to the reports of «ArcelorMittal Temirtau», in 2021 investments in Kazakhstani assets amounted to about 212 million dollars, but it is unclear what share of these investments was directed to the pre—degassing of coal seams required by law, and which was aimed at improving labor safety. At the same time, one of the main reasons for the tragedies is the disregard of industrial safety requirements by a foreign investor. For the adequate development of the coal industry in Kazakhstan, it is necessary to take more serious measures and sanctions against companies that systematically violate safety requirements” the Chairman of the FTURK believes.

As noted by Satybaldy Dauletalin, the results of measures to bring to justice those responsible for previous tragedies at «ArcelorMittal Temirtau» enterprises have not yet been announced.


“For unknown reasons, the investigation was delayed, and it is not clear whether foreign leaders who allowed the occurrence of accidents that caused the death of people will be brought to criminal responsibility. We do not demand blood, we demand justice, we demand that they understand that both material and criminal responsibility must be borne for a person’s life” the Head of the FTURK stressed.

Satybaldy Dauletalin emphasized that the tragedy of August 17 at the «Kazakhstanskaya» mine forces us to pay attention again to the adoption of necessary measures, the decisions of which the Federation of Trade Unions has been seeking for several years.

The first. The degree of depreciation of fixed assets of most enterprises is at a critical level. Immediately start updating mining equipment and ensure uninterrupted material and technical supply. Second. To develop a system of electronic interaction of coal companies with supervisory authorities in the field of development of digital control systems for dispatching positioning of personnel in mine workings, detection of personnel in case of accidents, contributing to improving the safety of mining operations, reducing accidents and injuries in the coal industry, as well as maintaining the combat readiness of paramilitary mine rescue, emergency rescue units. The third. To introduce a system of state remote monitoring of the state of industrial safety, providing for automated collection, recording, generalization, systematization, and evaluation of information on the values of technological process parameters to determine the state of industrial safety” the Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan said.

With the fourth point, he outlined the need to exclude the linking of wages from production in the payment systems for hazardous industries. The priority should be occupational safety, and not the unrestrained pursuit of planned production indicators.

Fifth. A serious problem today is the lack of staff numbers. It is necessary that the number standards must be agreed with the representatives of the company’s employees. Responsibility for non-compliance with approved standards should be tightened. In addition, it is a matter of concern that the key positions on which the safe work of our fellow citizens depends are occupied by foreigners who do not sufficiently delve into the real needs of production. Sixth. It is necessary to strengthen the measures of state control and supervision and eliminate the existing restrictions provided for by the Labor and Business Codes in the activities of the State labor inspectorate. It is also necessary to increase the staffing of state inspectors and transfer the State labor Inspectorate from local executive bodies to the direct subordination of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population in accordance with the recommendations and standards of the International Labor Organization. Seventh. It is necessary to ratify the Convention No. 176 of the International Labor Organization “On Occupational Safety and Health in Mines” and the annex to it “A set of practical rules on labor protection in underground coal workings”. The ratification and implementation of Convention No. 176 of the International Labor Organization would be an important step in solving the problem of improving the level of occupational safety and health at mines and reducing the number of deaths resulting from accidents at mines” Satybaldy Dauletalin expressed specific proposals of the FTURK.

In general, in his opinion, it is necessary to move from responding to accidents at work and occupational diseases that have already occurred to prevention, and effective prevention of their causes.

“This should become not just a declarative appeal; it should be spelled out in detail. In other words, it is necessary to form an advanced modernized model of occupational safety management. The solution to all these problems should be urgent since it is a matter of preserving the lives of millions of workers in our country” concluded Satybaldy Dauletalin.

According to the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan, 170 miners have died at «ArcelorMittal Temirtau» coal mines since 1994.

Media Center of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan