At least 1,155 people have lost their lives in workplace accidents in Turkey in the first half of 2021, according to a report released by the country’s Workers’ Health and Work Safety Assembly (İSİG) on July 14.
The report compiled the data from local and international news outlets, occupational safety specialists, workplace doctors and unions.
The İSİG dedicated the report to the iconic leader of Turkey's Independent Miners' Union, Tahir Çetin, and union member Ali Faik İnter who died in a car crash while returning from a protest in Ankara on July 8.
The month of June saw the death of 173 workers, including six child workers under the age of 18, the İSİG said.
There were seven refugees/migrants among the workers who lost their lives, including five Syrians and two Afghans.
The construction and agriculture sectors saw the highest number of fatalities.
The most common cause of work-related deaths was falling from heights (19 percent), followed by being crushed under heavy equipment (18 percent), traffic accidents (14 percent), the coronavirus disease (9 percent) and suffering from heart attack (8 percent).
Istanbul became the province that had the most occupational homicides, with 14 deaths. It was followed by the southeastern province of Gaziantep (11 deaths), the Mediterranean province of Antalya (8 deaths) and Ankara (6 deaths).
Turkey ranks first in Europe in the number of fatal work accidents that occur annually, according to data from the European Union statistical agency Eurostat and Turkish Social Security Institution (SGK).
Turkey has been criticized for its failure to prevent workplace accidents and its poor workplace safety record.
Turkish Law on Workplace Safety and Health was passed in 2012, but labor authorities are widely criticized for not conducting the necessary inspections and taking sufficient precautions to protect workers.