Turkey had the highest number of occupational fatalities in Europe in 2018: report

Turkey ranked first in Europe in the number of fatal workplace accidents in 2018, with 1,541 work-related deaths, Euronews Turkish reported, citing the European Statistical Office (Eurostat) and Turkey’s Social Security Institution (SGK) data.

According to the SGK, 430,985 workplace accidents took place and at least four Turkish workers lost their lives every day during the year.

There were 3,332 fatal accidents at work in the EU’s 27 member states in 2018, with one-fifth of those accidents occurring in the construction sector, the Eurostat data revealed.

According to Eurostat, France had the highest number of fatal work accidents among the 27 member states with 615 fatalities in 2018. However, the highest incidence rates were recorded in Romania and Luxembourg, with 4.33 and 4.22 fatal accidents per 100,000 persons employed, respectively.

Turkey has been suffering from low work safety standards for decades, and work-related fatalities have increased in recent years.

A total of 2,427 people died in workplace accidents in Turkey in 2020, according to a report prepared by the Health and Safety Labor Watch (İSİG). The number of occupational fatalities rose considerably in comparison to 2019, when 1,736 deaths were recorded.

The majority (83 percent) of occupational fatalities involved non-self-employed workers in the public and private sectors, while the remainder (17 percent) were self-employed farmworkers and shopkeepers. According to the report 22 children under the age of 14 died from work-related injuries, and 46 minors under the age 17 died.

Some of the main causes of work-related fatalities were crush syndrome, traffic-related incidents and falls, the İSİG report said.

According to a report released in November by Sezgin Tanrıkulu, human rights activist and Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy, at least 25,716 work-related fatalities have taken place in Turkey since the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002.

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