According to a new mining report by the Chamber of Mining Engineers (MMO), 79 miners died, including two mining engineers, and 117 were injured in 86 mine accidents in Turkey over the last year.

The MMO, which prepared the mining report, is part of the Turkey Union of Chambers of Architects and Engineers (TMMOB).

MMO’s study pointed out that 62 of the occupational accidents happened in underground mines and 24 accidents occurred during surface production.

MMO president Mehmet Torun assessed that an average of 80.5 persons per year died in mining accidents during the past four years.

"Scientific data suggests that 99% of all work-related accidents could have been prevented. It is a well-known fact that occupational accidents are not fate, but can be prevented by applying engineering science and technology," said Torun.

Torun said technically inadequate, inexperienced and unspecialised persons and companies have contributed to an increased number of accidents, according to Turkish news agency

The MMO suggested that mining accidents can be prevented by ending privatisation and subcontracting processes.

Scientific and technical investments should be made and hindrances for unionisation of workers must be removed while control mechanisms should be strengthened in line with legal regulations.

Accordingly, staff must be supported by mining engineers in order to conduct the necessary audits by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources.

A national emergency plan and risk maps of the sector and audits should be conducted, while a law on occupational health and safety must be issued.