470,000 lack workplace safety in Turkey
Çelik noted that the government plans to amend the existing law in order to give companies that have not yet acquired a specialist extra time to comply.
The number of hazardous workplaces in Turkey, especially those related to industries such as mining and construction, stands at 680,000, of which 470,000 do not employ occupational safety specialists despite a recent law enacted to combat industrial accidents, Labor and Social Security Minister Faruk Çelik stated on Monday.
According to Çelik, companies without safety specialists are obliged to pay a TL 11,000 fine each month in accordance with the new law enacted in January that obligates them to have specialists in order to reduce the frequency of worksite accidents. However, he added, there are currently 470,000 workplaces that have not signed a contract with any occupational safety specialist and are therefore currently responsible for the retroactive payment of these fines.
Çelik noted that the government plans to amend the existing law in order to give companies that have not yet acquired a specialist extra time to comply, indicating that companies will be exempt from paying these fines if they recruit a specialist immediately. However, if they still fail to hire a specialist, they will continue to be fined each month until they comply with the law and will be charged interest on the retroactive payments.
Referring to a mine explosion that resulted in three injured workers in Edirne province last week, Çelik stressed that the same mining site was shut down last July due to poor safety standards. Nonetheless, he added, the owner of the business began operating again and employed the same three workers after the incident despite a prohibition. Çelik added that company owners who do not feel adequate responsibility to observe safety standards damage the image of all company owners in the country.
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