Nearly 1.7 million workers have been involved in a workplace accident in Turkey from 2003 to 2017, while almost 17,000 have died at work over the same period, according to a report prepared by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chair Gamze Akkuş İlgezdi.
The construction sector ranks first in terms of the number of workers who have had accidents over this period, with 207,967 workers, while this figure amounts to 1.68 million for all the sectors, said the report, which was based on official figures, daily Birgün reported on May 1.
Turkey has been criticized for its poor workplace safety record and its failure to prevent workplace accidents. Labor authorities are widely criticized for failing to conduct the necessary inspections and take precautions to protect workers.
Following the construction sector, the metal manufacturing industry comes second as the most dangerous sector for workers, as 163,393 metal manufacturing workers were involved in a work accident over the last 14 years, the report said.
Accidents have beset Turkey’s mining industry in recent years, with the most devastating one killing 301 coal miners in the western district of Soma on May 13, 2014, the deadliest industrial accident in the country’s history. The miners were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning after an explosion at the Soma Coal Mine Company’s mine in the western province of Manisa.
Construction sector most fatal
In the construction sector 5,121 workers have lost their lives in the last 14 years. The next most fatal sector is mining, where 2,565 have their lost lives, followed by the transport sector, with 1,651 fatalities.
İlgezdi’s report also cites the number of workers who will not be able to work again due to their workplace related accidents. Between 2003 and 2017, the number of workers who received an “incapacity report” was recorded at 30,681.