Advancing Occupational Safety in Construction

 

North Cyprus News - Building - Construction Site
[File Photo]
The Construction Engineers Association (KTMMOB), in collaboration with the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Engineers and Architects (İMO), held an “Occupational Health and Safety Workshop” at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Nicosia, Kibris Postasi reports.

 The event featured speeches by prominent figures including Abdullah Ekinci, President of the Chamber of Construction Engineers, and Sezgi Çobanoğlu Ballı, Director of the Labour Department at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. Discussions covered key areas such as “Site Management” and “Occupational Health and Safety Services.”

 Ekinci stressed the need to prioritise worker support over capital in addressing occupational health and safety challenges, citing high rates of fatal work accidents.

It was noted that the ‘Occupational Health and Safety Law’ was adopted in 2008, but it was not fully implemented in the construction sector.

Ballı highlighted ongoing efforts to revise educational curricula and improve inspection effectiveness, with investigations into 400 workplace accidents conducted in 2023. Between January and March 2024, 80 construction sites were inspected, and 42 work accidents were investigate, he said.

Seran Aysal, President of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Engineers and Architects Union, emphasised the cultural aspect of workplace safety, urging greater awareness and education.

She said that the problem is a cultural one. “There are laws, but it requires intent. How often do we implement the existing ones, do we care enough about them?” Aysal asked, noting that the outcome of the workshop would tell them what to do in primary care.

Underlining that occupational health and safety should not be reduced only to protective equipment, Aysal noted that there are construction sites and workplaces which do adhere to proper health and safety standards , but progress is not sufficient.

Asım Akansoy, General Secretary of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), pointed to the lack of awareness the issue of health and safety. He  called for social consensus and political action to address deficiencies in occupational health and safety standards. The workshop concluded with the issuance of participation certificates and will publish a comprehensive report.

Kibris Postasi

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