64 healthcare workers among 294 work-related deaths in November: report

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Turkey saw 294 workplace deaths in November, including the loss of 64 healthcare workers, according to a monthly report from Turkey’s Health and Safety Labor Watch (İSİG).

Turkey’s labor watchdog, which defines workplace deaths as murder because it considers them avoidable, drafted the report based on relevant news reports in local and national media outlets and information gathered from coworkers and families of victims as well as work safety experts, workplace doctors, and labor unions.

At least 2,032 people died in work-related accidents in Turkey in the first 11 months of 2020, with the highest number of work-related deaths occurring in November, the İSİG report on Tuesday showed.

Among those who died in November were 21 women, three child laborers and four migrant workers that included two Syrians, one Uzbek and one Ukrainian national.

The largest number of worker deaths in November occurred in the healthcare sector, at 22 percent of the total, with COVID-19 infections the most common cause of death, at 54 percent.

The report also said 21 percent of the workers who died in November were in the commercial sector, while 12 percent were in agriculture.

Those who died in November included 248 paid employees and 46 independent contractors.

The largest number of workers died in the provinces of İstanbul, Ankara, Bursa, Adana, Aydın and Kocaeli.

November was followed by April and August with 223 and 218 workplace deaths, respectively.

For decades, Turkey has been suffering from low work safety standards, with workplace accidents a near daily occurrence. Turkey’s worst-ever work accident was a mining disaster that occurred on May 13, 2014 in the western district of Soma, claiming the lives of 301 coal miners.

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