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The news of six coal miners who died in a mine sited in Balochistan after inhaling noxious methane gas was much anticipated, considering the negligent safety standards that govern this occupation.
Mishaps in the coal-mining sector of Pakistan are becoming way too common and it is about time for reformed labor protection policies.
It is no longer surprising to learn about miners suffocating to death or being killed in an explosion following a methane gas leakage which is kindled by the lanterns they use inside these dark, hollow mines, or from a fall that leaves them buried in the mine hundreds of feet below the surface with there being no chance of survival.
Miners across the globe deserve a far better workplace protection than they are currently subject to.
In most countries where labor protections matter even minimally, the use of open flames inside coal mines are strictly banned, ensuring mine owners and operators invest in proper lighting system. In addition, oxygen masks and secure torches are also required to be equipped with every miner.
All people entering mines have to go through trainings in emergency protocols and wear special protective gear while inside the mine.
These measures are the bare minimum and should be made mandatory for all mine operators in Pakistan as well.
After this, laws that hold operators accountable for every loss of life in the mines are vital.
This may surge the price of locally produced coal, but then no resource should ever be regarded as more valuable than human life.