Aegean Mine Exporters' Association, within the scope of the European Union project "Developing Occupational Health and Safety-Oriented Activities to Prevent Work Accidents and Injuries in the Natural Stone Mining Sector", carried out a technical visit to the Carrara region in Italy, where marble enterprises are concentrated, on 8-11 November 2021.
Explaining that they continue to emphasize and implement the "Sustainable Mining" theme in all their activities, Aegean Mineral Exporters' Association President Mevlüt Kaya continued as follows:
“We took an important step for the sustainability of human resources with our project, which we carried out together with Dokuz Eylul University Mining Engineering Department, financed by the European Union and our country. Representatives of 15 of our companies organized a technical visit for 4 days to open and closed marble enterprises in Carrara, Italy, to see the OHS practices in the marble sector of EU countries. Our representatives received information about the topographic, geological and geotechnical features of the marble fields they visited. Very important data on occupational health and safety, which will form the basis of the EU project work, were recorded and observations were made.”
Kaya said, “On the first day of the visit, our delegation, at the seminar organized by the Tuscany Region Occupational Health and Safety institutions, the National Institute for the Prevention of Occupational Accidents (INAIL); Information was given about the procedures and regulations applied in occupational accidents in mining enterprises. On the third day, another seminar was organized at the Massa Carrara Chamber of Commerce, including presentations on Occupational Safety and Occupational Health in marble quarries and information from Italian Technical equipment companies.” said.
The delegation examined the occupational safety measures on site in Italy.
Mentioning that the delegation that went to Italy landed on the field on the second day, Mevlüt Kaya explained that the participants, wearing their occupational safety clothes, went first to the “Cava Gioia” mine, and then to the closed marble quarry, which includes the license areas called Fossalunga, Tecchione, Carbonera.
“Our delegation observed the machines working in the mine. Our participants were informed about the production method and practices related to occupational health and safety in the closed mine unlike the open pit mine. Finally, the open marble quarry, which includes two special license areas named “Querciola” and “Canal Grande”, was visited and our delegation was informed about the open pit working conditions, and all our participants examined the occupational safety measures on the spot.”
Increasing awareness of occupational health and safety in the natural stone industry
Kaya underlined that their aim with the project, which will last for 18 months, is to increase occupational health and safety awareness and development in the natural stone mining sector in Turkey in order to reduce occupational accidents and injuries.
“We aim to raise awareness about raising occupational health and safety in the natural stone mining sector to the level of European Union countries, and to develop a preventive health and safety culture in the natural stone mining sector. At the same time, another main goal is to increase university-industry cooperation in our sector. Human resources and sustainability are like two sides of the same coin in our industry. Both factors are very important for an inclusive and sustainable economy. With our project, we want to reduce occupational accidents and injuries, increase the reputation of the sector and develop new approaches in the natural stone mining sector in Turkey.”
To the organization of the marble quarries of the Italian Carrara region; 15 company representatives, 4 project personnel, the General Secretary of the Izmir Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who received consultancy services for the organization of the trip, Eren Alpar, Aegean Mineral Exporters' Association TIM Delegate Geology/Geophysics Eng. prof. Dr. Faruk Çalapkulu and Ali Rıza Oktay, Head of Mining, Metal and Forest Products Department of the Ministry of Commerce, participated.