World Bulletin/News Desk
A new Turkish workplace safety law has targeted the worryingly high rate of accidents in the workplace, but the law's requirement for the provision of basic workplace safety training urgently needs enforcement, Turkish Tradesmen's and Artisans' Confederation (TESK) Chairman Bendevi Palandöken said in a written statement on Monday.
“The importance of taking precautions in the workplace should be obvious when there is an average of 147 workplace accidents in our country every day and we see around 1,500 deaths in workplaces every year,” said Palandöken.
A labor law which came into effect at the beginning of 2013 mandated that Turkey's factories, construction sites and mines must have Labor Ministry-appointed inspectors to assess workplace dangers and provide training, but Palandöken said that so far, his union and most workplaces aren't up to speed with the law.
“As the new labor law came into effect at the beginning of the year, we need to quickly take care of workplace priorities, including providing education on procedures for emergencies, fires and giving first aid.”
Turkish workplace rights group One Hope Association reported that 878 people died in workplace accidents last year, while the state-run Social Security Institution (SGK) stated in a report early in 2013 that a total of 12,286 workers died in accidents while on the job in Turkey between 2000 and 2012.
Official estimates are widely believed to under-represent total workplace deaths because just under 40 percent of all workers in Turkey are not registered with the government.
Palandöken warned that workers need help from the Labor Ministry in getting safety experts and medical training in workplaces, especially those with less than 50 employees.
The labor law requires workplaces of all sizes to have a government provided safety inspector and a registered doctor who can access the workplace in case of an emergency.
The law requires workplaces deemed “low risk” to have a Labor Ministry inspection every six years, those at “medium risk” to undergo one every four years and those rated “high risk” to be inspected every two years.Last Mod: 28 Mayıs 2013, 10:04