Construction

Turkey clamps down on contractors over workplace safety

Government announces new regulation to punish contractors jeopardising life and property

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The Turkish government has announced new measures to penalise contractors who flout safety rules, in the wake of several accidents on construction sites in the country.

The Environment and Urban Planning Ministry announced new regulations on December 27 to bring the industry under control, it was reported.

The ministry will ban contractors endangering life and property. It will also audit the technical and financial competence of contractors, classify them, and impose harsher punishments.

Licenses for contractors who have been given administrative fines three times will be cancelled, the new regulation stipulates. In case of an annulled license, the contractor will be barred from taking on new projects until the end of his punishment. Partners, business associates, or employees of the contractor will also not be able to obtain licenses during this period.

“Our ministry has begun studies to take the contractor sector under control. The published communiqué is the first step in the Contractor Law,” a ministry official told Hurriyet Daily News.

“The ones that violates the law and victimize citizens will be banned from the job,” the source added.

The year 2014 has raised alarm regarding workplace safety after a spate of fatal accidents in the mining and construction sectors. In May, 301 people were killed in an explosion at a coal mine in Soma, with the incident believed to be the worst mining disaster in the country’s history.

Ten construction workers died in September after an elevator collapsed on a construction site, while five more were killed in accidents across the country on September 14, Turkish media reported. According to the Istanbul Council for Workers’ health and Work Safety, as of September 2014, at least 272 construction workers have lost their lives since the start of the year.

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