Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) practices are indispensable in the workplace

Cyprus International University (CIU) Industrial Engineering Program Coordinator and at the same time, Occupational Health and Safety Specialist Assist. Prof. Dr. Ayşe Tansu Tunçbilek, stating that the work-related death of 15-year-old Mahmut Gül has put the entire country into mourning, went on to state, “Occupational health and safety practices are indispensable in the workplace. The necessary importance is not given to this subject in our country”.

Stating that the creation of laws and regulations is insufficient, Tunçbilek continued, "In the implementation of vital OHS rules, inspections are essential”.

Reminding that the laws define 15–18-year-olds as ‘young individuals’, Assist. Prof. Dr. Tunçbilek added that the laws stipulate certain rules in relation to their working.

Speaking in relation to the working conditions of apprentices that will be taken on to jobs that are heavy, dangerous, or that have special requirements, Tunçbilek explained, “The children’s educational status, ages, and the work they will carry out are determined by obtaining the opinion of the ministry in charge, and is decided by the ministry”.

Explaining that in accordance with the characteristics of the place of work and the profession in question, practical training should be carried out under the supervision of a Technical Instructor (training expert), Tunçbilek pointed out that it is also important that the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Education conduct inspections.

Stating that applying OHS rules and performing risk analysis are factors that are necessary in every place of work, Tunçbilek added that in an effort to ensure society has knowledge in relation to OHS, classes in relation to OHS should be added to school curriculums.

Emphasizing that the OHS culture can only be implemented in the entire society via education, Tunçbilek concluded that it is important for the Ministry of National Education to put them into practice by working with the necessary stakeholders.