Occupational Safety and Health

ILO Conventions on Safety and Health in Construction and Mining enter into force for Turkey

As part of the efforts to improve safety and health in the hazardous sectors of mining and construction, the Government is now bound to apply the Safety and Health in Construction Convention, 1988 (No. 167) and the Safety and Health in Mining Convention, 1995 (No. 176). The value added of these ILO Conventions include requirements to develop a coherent national policy on safety and health in mining, and to articulate more clearly and implement more effectively the rights and duties of employers and workers and their representatives in both these sectors.

Press release | 24 March 2016
ANKARA – As the ILO Conventions on Safety and Health in Construction and Mining enter into force for Turkey as of 23 March 2016, the provisions of both conventions indicate the firm commitment by the Government of Turkey to pursue and strengthen its efforts to develop and promote a safety and health culture in the country including in two of the most hazardous sectors: construction and mining.

The Government of Turkey became the twenty-seventh and thirtieth ILO member State to become bound by, respectively, Conventions Nos. 167 and 176.

Both these Conventions establish a clear framework of responsibilities, rights and obligations in the area of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH), at the national level as well as at the level of the enterprise, in the two sectors and also provide for detailed technical preventive and protective measures in light of the specific requirements of each sector. Convention No. 176 also includes a requirement to develop and carry out a coherent national policy on safety and health in mining, after consultations with the most representative organizations of employers and workers concerned.

Each year, mining and construction record among the highest rates of occupational accidents and fatalities, both at the international level as well as in Turkey. Internationally, the importance of protecting miners and construction workers led the ILO to complement the generally applicable Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981 (No. 155) by adopting Conventions Nos. 167 and 176.

Turkey has been committed to Convention No. 155 as well as the Occupational Health Services Convention, 1985 (No. 161) since 2005 and also the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 2006 (No. 187) since 2014.

Since the beginning of 2015 the ILO is providing technical assistance to support the tripartite constituents of Turkey in their efforts to improve occupational safety and health, in particular in the mining and construction sectors taking into account international labour standards and in the light of the strategic framework of the Third National Policy Document (2014-2018) and Action Plan. As part of the technical assistance provided a study on Contractual arrangements in Turkey’s Coal Mines was commissioned in order to get a better appreciation of the main drivers in this sector. The technical assistance provided by the ILO in 2015 also included the commissioning of a detailed examination of the national compliance with the requirements of Conventions No. 167 and 176.

The provisions of Convention Nos. 167 and 176 constitute hence a key step towards ensuring improved occupational safety and health conditions in mining and in construction and the ILO is engaged with the Government of Turkey to facilitate the effective implementation of these Conventions in the context of the development of a safety and health culture in the country.