According to Turkey's Health and Safety Labour Watch (İşçi Sağlığı ve İş Güvenliği Meclisi), at least 103 out of 220 workers who lost their lives in April, when the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread in Turkey, died because of the pandemic.
While the accurate number is arguably higher, bosses demanded that workers’ death and illness because of the pandemic should be considered neither as an occupational illness nor an occupational accident.
According to the official social media account of the Eskişehir Industrial Zone, the Social Security Institution (Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu) officially decided that workers’ death and illness because of the pandemic cannot be considered as an occupational illness or an occupational accident on 7th May 2020.
In this way, bosses washed their hands of the responsibility and avoided the possibility of compensation in case of death or permanent damage.
Rights provided with occupational accident and occupational illness