394 workers killed in workplace accidents in Turkey in Q1

Three hundred ninety-four workers died in workplace accidents across Turkey in the first three months of 2018, according to a monthly study released by a nongovernmental organization focused on worker health and safety issues.

According to a report by the Hürriyet Daily News, 144 workers were killed in January, 128 in February and 122 in March, stated a study by the Workers Health and Work Safety Assembly (İSİGM) published on Friday. The study was based on data from media reports as well as information from the relatives and colleagues of workers. In March, a 15-year-old boy, six women and eight immigrants were killed at work, the study said.

The deaths mostly occurred in the construction, agriculture, transport, trade, metal and mining industries, and only 1 percent of those killed were registered with a union, it added.

On Jan. 6, the 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 the 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 diseases 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 that 400 workers have been killed so far in work accidents at the multi-billion dollar project’s site, operated by the Istanbul Grand Airport (IGA).

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