ILO Highlights the Importance of Data Collection on Occupational Safety and Health

OSH WORKSHOP ON DATA COLLECTIONILO hosted a workshop at its office in Ankara on 28 May 2015 to identify the main priorities and a future roadmap for the improvement of the collection and dissemination of data on occupational accidents and diseases in Turkey.

Aiming to initiate a constructive discussion among the relevant parties on ways to improve the structures and methodology of national systems for recording and notification of occupational accidents and diseases, the workshop paved the way for a mapping of the problems and to have an ongoing discussion of proposed actions to take regarding recording and notification of data, dissemination of data, data security as well as on to role of the ILO in this context.

“The structures and methodology of national systems for recording and notification of occupational accidents and diseases vary greatly, which makes it difficult to carry out international comparisons and analyses. It is thus essential to seek harmonization of the national system for data collection with international standards,” said Numan Özcan, ILO Turkey Office Director. Özcan also emphasized that the lack of reliable data on occupational diseases was one of the major problems to design longer term policies and prioritize the measures.

In his inaugural address the Director General for OSH Kasım Özer underscored the importance of data collection in this area all while referring to the difficulties related to the collection of reliable data, in particular on occupational diseases.

Catherine Brakenhielm, Chief Technical Advisor for OSH Project at ILO Turkey Office, made a presentation on “Improving the Collection and Dissemination of Data on Occupational Accidents and Diseases”. With reference to the guidance provided by the ILO supervisory mechanism in the context on Turkey’s application of the Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981 (No. 155), and its invitation to the Government to take measures to improve the system in this field, she pointed to the critical importance of the collection of data on occupational accidents and diseases in a system based on prevention on OSH.

The discussions and group work focused on issues related to the collection of data through the recording and notification systems, dissemination of data, data security and the expectations from the ILO. An important issue discussed at length was the obstacles in the system limiting the recording of occupational diseases and the need to pursue the discussion in this respect with the relevant partners including the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the Ministry of Health, the Social Security Institution, the Turkish Statistical Institute as well as the employer and workers organizations.

As a follow-up to this meeting an informal working group was constituted which would analyse the output of the meeting, suggest possible ways forward and report back to the participants in the context of a subsequent meeting to be held in six months.

The workshop was held within the scope of an ILO Turkey Office’s technical assistance project ”Turkey Works Safer” aimed at facilitating, in tripartite consultation, national efforts to improve occupational safety and health in compliance with International Labour Standards, in particular in the areas of mining and construction.