Their life hangs by a thread

It’s been 10 years since the Workplace Safety Act went into effect, but work-related killings continue to rise. In a statement on World Health Day at Work, MMO President Yener said: “Working life needs to be revamped.”


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The loss of jobs and income, inequalities, poverty and all the health and social problems that result from this are increasingly invading the working population.

The physical and mental health of workers is affected in the triangle of low wages-unemployment-precarious work in the rush of hikes in everything, especially basic food, rent, heating and transport.

Today is the World Day for Health and Safety at Work, proclaimed by the International Labor Organization (ILO) in 2003 to prevent occupational diseases and accidents at work.

The 2022 theme for the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, which is celebrated each year by the ILO with a different theme, has been determined as “the importance of participation and social dialogue in creating of a positive safety and health culture”.

Turkey is deteriorating day by day in terms of labor rights and guarantees. According to data from the ISIG Assembly, 347 workers lost their lives in occupational homicides in the first three months of this year.

While Law No. 6331 on Occupational Health and Safety, enacted in 2012, has been debated in parliament, government and relevant ministries; He said that “after the law, there will be a decrease in work accidents and occupational diseases”. However, official statistics show that since 2012, in addition to a decrease in the number of work-related accidents and fatalities, there has always been an increase.


Yunus Yener, chairman of TMMOB’s Chamber of Mechanical Engineers (MMO), said the increases stem from capital’s ambition to make maximum profit and government policies aimed at supporting capital.

Making a statement on World Day for Safety and Health at Work, Yener said there were more fatalities in OHS Assembly data compared to SGK data, and said: “According to SGK data, death cases increased by 165% in 2020 compared to 2012, and by 276% according to OHS Assembly data.”

According to Yener, the main reasons for these increases in occupational accidents and homicides are liberalization-privatization, de-unionization, flexible-precarious work, undeclared employment policies, the weight of working conditions and the insufficient measures against the latest Covid-19. epidemic.

Yener said, “The Occupational Health and Safety Act has been amended eight times since its enactment,” and included the following statements in his statement:

“Although ISIG is related to medicine, engineering and social sciences, responsibilities in law are mainly assigned to specialists and doctors. Training services for occupational physicians, engineers, technical staff, nurses and other health personnel have been marketed through outsourcing. With the permission of private educational institutions, the function of professional engineering organizations has been excluded. Full-time occupational safety engineering was excluded, experts were made dependent on employers, and employers’ liability for work accidents was removed. With the creation of hundreds of educational establishments and thousands of Joint Health and Safety Units (OSGB), this almost led to the discharge of educational establishments and the OSGB.

In Yener’s statement, it was stated that “occupational health, occupational safety and all work life legislation should be reorganized in accordance with the principles of publicism and the social state” and “otherwise, the rights of tens of millions of workers to work and live humanely will be usurped.”


Ünal Demirtaş, spokesperson for the CHP group of the Parliamentary Committee on Health, Family, Labor and Social Affairs, recalled that Turkey still ranks first in Europe and third in the world in terms of work accident. Noting that the number of workers who have lost their lives in work accidents in 20 years has approached 30,000, Demirtaş said: “The annual average number of workers who are injured in work accidents and who receive work compensation ‘temporary disability is 75,000. Even in the civil war, so many people do not lose their lives, few are injured. EUROSTAT. According to statistics, while 2 workers per 100,000 workers lose their lives on average in European countries as a result of accidents at work, 8.2 workers per 100,000 workers die in our country. »

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