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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Turkey mine disaster shows importance of EU Health and Safety at work rules

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LONDON’S Green MEP Jean Lambert called for a full and transparent investigation into the mining accident that has taken at least 280 lives in Soma, Turkey, with many still missing.

Lambert is a member of the European Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs committee and said it highlights the importance of health and safety regulations to protect working conditions and save lives.

She said: “This is an appalling tragedy which is devastating for so many families in Soma.

“People in Turkey are right to be angry – a full, transparent and independent investigation is needed to get to the root of what happened, and what must be done to stop it ever happening again.

“Such terrible workplace tragedies are not down to fate – they are down to negligence. Private mining companies must be made to put safety first – they should not be praised for cutting costs while people risk their lives to make a living.

“Turkey’s ruling party voted down a parliamentary inquiry into earlier accidents at mines in the region, and there are questions to be answered about how seriously they have taken health and safety issues at work.

“This shows the importance of so-called EU ‘red tape’ which some UK parties wish to roll back – it saves lives and ensures everyone is entitled to decent working conditions.

“We should be working to raise working conditions internationally, not roll them back in Europe.”