Investigation of an accident at Minsk Tractor Works (MTZ). Who will be punished?

    A work accident happened to a hand-molding core maker at foundry No. 2 of MTZ, OJSC in April this year. The worker suffered a ruptured left eye and many other injuries. The investigation was carried out by the Department of State Labour Inspection.

    It turned out that the accident was caused due to failure of the head and specialists of MTZ, OJSC to fulfill their labour protection duties. The technological equipment (paint-delivery tank) was kept out of order, and a person who had not been adequately trained was allowed to work.

    Which of the MTZ officials violated the occupational health and safety policy?

    • The power engineer of the second foundry did not ensure the maintenance of the equipment in good condition, while being responsible for this. The design of the spray tank did not meet the requirements of regulatory legal acts, the requirements of the passport and structural documentation;
    • The master of the core section of foundry No. 2 admitted to work a person who had not been adequately trained and had not passed the knowledge test for working with vessels under pressure;

    The managers violated clauses 97 and 99 of the Interindustry general rules on labour protection, approved by Resolution of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Belarus No. 70 dated June 03, 2003, and local legal acts of Minsk Tractor Works, Open Joint-Stock Company.

    Order of the Ministry of Industry No. 279 instructs the state to bring to disciplinary responsibility the director general of MTZ, OJSC V.M. Vovk “for improper organization of work to create safe working conditions, as a result of which an injury occurred”. The director general, in turn, needs to punish officials whose duties include ensuring the implementation of legal acts on labour protection, violations of which led to a serious industrial injury.

    Members of the Free Metalworkers’ Union (SPM) at MTZ, OJSC report that the issues concerning labour protection at the enterprise, despite this egregious case, have not been resolved.