“The Occupational Health and Safety Panel in Construction Sector” was held on 4-10 May Occupational Health and Safety Week with slogan “Work safely before it’s too late”.
The panel was held in The Court of Accounts Conference Hall on Wednesday 10th of May 2017, with the cooperation of The Ministry of Labor and Social Security of TRNC, The Ministry of Public Works and Communications Construction Councilman and ITU North Cyprus.
During the opening of the panel, The Ministry of Labor director Yusuf ÖNDEROL, Cyprus Turkish Building Contractors Union head Cafer GÜRCAFER, ITU North Cyprus Vice Rector Assoc. Prof. Serdar KUM and Minister of Labor and Social Security H. Ersan SANER made speeches.
In his opening speech, The Ministry of Labor director Yusuf ÖNDEROL spoke of occupational accidents being high in the country with 50 percent of these accidents occurring in the construction sector. ÖNDEROL raised the fact that in 2011-2016, 1243 occupational accidents occurred and 267 of them were in the construction sector, which constitutes 21 percent of the accidents. In addition, 44 fatal occupational accidents occurred with 21 of them being in construction sector, constituting a vast majority at 47 percent.
Cyprus Turkish Building Contractors Union head Cafer GÜRCAFER reported that it has been 3 years that the Occupational Health and Safety Panels are organizing, and these topics have come to the fore. He said social sensitivity and awareness are important in order to prevent occupational accidents.
ITU North Cyprus Vice Rector Assoc. Prof. Serdar KUM discussed the work the university has been doing and further stated the importance of all partners’ collaboration to each other in order to prevent work-related accidents. Mr. KUM expressed his belief regarding the informativeness of the panel in relation to prevention of work related accidents, determining these accidents and keeping them under control. Finally, Mr. KUM completed his talk with the slogan “See, recognize, prevent and stay safe”.
Ministry of Labor and Social Security H. Ersan SANER talked about what could be done every year between May 4 and May 10 regarding occupational health and safety. Minister Mr. SANER added that not only universities’ views will be included in these panels but also stated that another similar and more extensive panel will be organized in October. With his own words, Mr. SANER argued that “The most important thing is to increase every workers’ physical, mental and social well-being and prosperity” and also added that “occupations must match workers’ physical and biological capacities and the main goal should be to appropriate the suitability of jobs to workers and workers to jobs”.
Mr. SANER further stated his opinions on inspections that are being made in the country and even though there are insufficient personnel at the Department of Labor, frequent inspections have been carried out on construction sectors.
Invited guests that visited the Work Health and Safety panel included Work Inspection Supervisor, Önder Academy Deputy General Manager A-Class Work Safety Expert Özlem ÖZKILIÇ, Istanbul Technical University Assoc. Prof. Dr. Gürkan Emre GÜRCANLI, Civil Engineer and Work Safety Expert Enis Can KARAVEZİROĞLU and Turkish Airlines pilot Mehmet Sencer DOLAKSIZ visited ITU North Cyprus’ Continuing Education Center and met ITU North Cyprus Rector Prof. Dr. Ercan KAHYA.