July claimed the lives of 182 workers, adding to a total of 1051 worker fatalities in Turkey during the first seven months of the year, according to the Occupational Health and Safety Council’s (İSİG) report. July became the month with the second-highest number of deaths at workplace recorded after February this year.
Of the workers who died in July, 22 were women, 10 were children, and eight were migrants/refugees. Six child workers aged 14 and under and four aged 15-17 also lost their lives. Most deaths occurred in Istanbul, Afyonkarahisar, and Antalya provinces.
Some 52 workers (%29) lost their lives in traffic accidents, and 35 (19%) died due to crushing incidents. Additionally, the numbers show 22 workers succumbed to electric shocks, while 17 fell from heights, underlining the urgent need for improved workplace safety measures.
Some 16 workers experienced fatal heart attacks or strokes, while 11 lost their lives to workplace violence. The grim tally also includes nine workers who lost their lives due to poisoning or drowning and six who resorted to suicide.
According to the report, the extreme heat across the country has also put workers in life-threatening situations. In Aegean İzmir province, a postal worker had a cerebral hemorrhage while making a delivery in the midday heat and was admitted to intensive care. In Mediterranean Osmaniye province, an energy worker also had a heart attack while working.
At the same time, several agricultural workers lost their lives by drowning in ponds and canals where they went to cool off.
The report also criticized the Hatay Governor's Office's announcement that there was no asbestos hazard in the demolition and rubble removal works that continue in the province affected heavily by the Feb. 6 earthquakes. The workers face serious health-threatening conditions in rubble removal sites as they often do not have access to safety equipment.
According to the İSİG, at least 1843 workers lost their lives in 2022 and at five workers died at work every day on average. The average death rate is still the same in 2023.