177 workers killed in occupational accidents across Turkey in April

One hundred seventy-seven workers were documented to have died in occupational accidents across Turkey in April, according to a monthly study released by a nongovernmental organization focused on worker health and safety issues.

According to data compiled by the Workers Health and Work Safety Assembly (İSİGM), 177 laborers lost their lives in April, increasing the number of workers who died in industrial accidents in the first four months of 2018 to 575.

İSİGM stated that 129 of the 177 workers were contract laborers and 48 were farmers and artisans. Ten were women, four were children and eight were refugees or immigrants.

The İSİGM data showed that the highest number of occupational deaths occurred in the construction, commerce, transportation, municipal, energy and health sectors. Only one of the workers was a union member.

Most of the workplace deaths occurred in İstanbul. Traffic accidents, falling from heights and getting trapped under debris were mentioned as among the prime causes of the deaths.

On Jan. 6, 2018, İSİGM published a report saying that 2,006 workers died at work throughout 2017. That number marked an increase from 2016, when 1,970 workers were killed in Turkey. According to İSİGM, five workers were killed every 24 hours last year. Of the 2,006 workers who were killed on the job in 2017, 116 were women.

İSİGM is an NGO comprising workers, workers’ relatives, doctors, engineers, academics, journalists and lawyers who deal with labor issues. In its latest report, the group once again requested that thorough investigations be conducted to better prevent workplace disease and injuries.

On Feb. 14, Turkey’s Labor Ministry announced that 27 workers have been killed in the construction of İstanbul’s third airport since it began in May 2015. That announcement came only after unconfirmed reports claimed that 400 workers have been killed so far in work accidents at the multi-billion dollar project’s site, operated by the İstanbul Grand Airport (IGA).

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