Improving Occupational Health and Safety in Turkey through compliance with International Labour Standards

The objective of this project is to facilitate the improvement of OSH in Turkey in line with international commitments made, in particular in the areas of mining and construction, in consultation with the tripartite constituents.

The Guides: 1- The Guides: 1- dy in Turkey on 13 May 2014 the ILO, the Turkish Government and social partners engaged in consultations with the ILO on possible modalities for improving OSH in Turkey, in particular in mining and construction. These consultations were also pursued in the context of a National Tripartite Meeting, organized by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MoLSS) in cooperation with the ILO, 16-17 October 2014 and resulted in an agreement that the ILO would provide technical assistance over to facilitate, in tripartite consultation, the improvement of OSH in line with relevant international labour standards and comments made by the supervisory bodies of the ILO. Against this background the ILO set up a one year Technical assistance project on OSH at the ILO Office for Turkey as of January 2015 and manned by a CTA and a National Programme Officer.

This project aims at developing a practical roadmap on efforts required to improve OSH conditions in Turkey and to ensure an improved compliance with international commitments made in this respect with due account taken of the Third National Policy and Action plan on OSH adopted 22 December 2014. To ensure sustainable change, work under this proposal will also comprise the development of a comprehensive technical cooperation project to strengthen the national OSH system in line with ILO Conventions, improve enforcement mechanism through labour inspection and mainstream a preventative safety and health and workplace compliance culture in Turkey.


Over the past decade, Turkey has been engaged in a process of reform of its national OSH system, harmonizing it with international and regional standards regarding national as well as enterprise level requirements for prevention and risk assessment reflected, inter alia, in the ILO Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981 (No. 155) ratified by Turkey in 2005. Turkey also ratified the Occupational Health Services Convention, 1985 (No. 161) in 2005 and has been a party to the Labour Inspection Convention, 1945 (No. 81) since 1951. Most recently, in 2014, Turkey ratified the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 2006 (No. 187). This reform process has involved a reshaping of national OSH legislation and has included the adoption of a new stand-alone OSH Act (No. 6331 of 20 June 2012). This Act, which is generally applicable across all sectors, attributes central importance to prevention and risk assessment and is aimed at continuous improvement of national OSH conditions for all workers. Since its adoption a number of related OSH regulations have been revised or updated.

Last year’s workplace accidents, including, in particular, the fire in an underground mine in Soma in which 301 miners perished, caused increased focus to be placed on the state of occupational safety and health in Turkey. It gave a new impetus to the need to step up the national efforts to improve OSH, in particular in the areas of mining and construction. As part of these efforts Turkey ratified the Safety and Health in Construction Convention, 1988, (No. 167) and the Safety and Health in Mining Convention, 1995 (No. 176) on 23 March 2015.


Technical assistance (activities carriedout and initiated)
  • Celebrating the World OSH Day 28 April 2015 with the members of the National OSH Council and invited specialists to discuss how best to promote a preventative safety and health culture in Turkey, in particular in the areas of construction and mining.
  • Creating a benchmark for progress related to the renewed efforts to improve OSH by mapping the current national OSH system in Turkey in a National Profile on OSH in line with the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Recommendation, 2006 (No. 197).
  • Commissioning a major study from the research institution TEPAV in Turkey on “Contractual arrangements in the mining sectorin Turkey: Forms, Extent, drivers, legal context, and impact on OSH.” The outcome of this study will be discussed in the tripartite meeting scheduled for the beginning of July 2015 and be launched in a public event in early September.
  • Holding a first workshop on recording and notification of occupational accidents and diseases, to be followed up by a subsequent meeting at the end of the year as well as analyses and studies.
  • Establishing a dialogue with the judiciary in order to further the rights of workers and their possibilities to exercise it.
  • Commissioning studies on the compliance in national law and practice of Conventions Nos. 167 and 176.
  • Engaging in a dialogue with the national tripartite constituents on the prioritization of actions to be taken in the context of the national and international guidance provided. Target areas identified so far, labour inspection and training of workers.
Preparation of TC project proposal
  • Draft EU Project Fiche developed in the context of the EU IPA II project title Human Resources Development Sectoral Operational Programme (HRD SOP) on “Improving Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) and workplace conditions in Turkey, in particular in the mining and construction sectors”.


a) Technical assistance: (Jan-Oct 2015): Workshops, meetings, launch events and studies.
b) Preparation of TC project proposal and identification of donor (Aug 2015 - Jan 2016).

Survey Report:  Survey Report On How Occupational Safety Experts Carry Out Their Roles And Responsibilities Published

Infographics:  Survey on how Occupational Safety Experts Carry out their Roles and Responsibilities

The Guides: 1-   The Guide On “Building A Preventative Safety And Health Culture In Mines” Published

The Guides: 2-   The Guide On “Building A Preventative Safety And Health Culture In Construction” Published