Occupational safety and health in North Cyprus: Evaluation of risk assessment

Research paper by Işıl Nurdan Işık, Emine Atasoylu

Indexed on: 21 Jan '17Published on: 15 Jan '17Published in: Safety Science


Publication date: April 2017 Source:Safety Science, Volume 94 Author(s): Işıl Nurdan Işık, Emine Atasoylu Surveillance data show that preventable occupational accidents persist in North Cyprus despite the occupational safety and health (OSH) law. The main objectives of this study were to determine employer awareness of this law, to find out to what extent the employers fulfilled their obligations to conduct risk assessments, and to measure the effectiveness of the law and the risk assessments taking place. Study methods included oral interviews and written surveys of employers of small and medium sized businesses. In most of the workplaces studied, employers did not pay attention to occupational safety. Seventy-five percent were unaware of an OSH law. Of those that knew of the law, 95% did not know what the law encompassed, and 87% of companies did not fulfill the risk assessment (RA) requirement or take preventive actions. Ninety-eight point nine percent reported that a government labor office inspector never visited their company for an OSH inspection. Companies that carried out risk assessments found the law sufficient and conducted satisfactory risk assessments. Areas that need attention include risk assessments of rare and unusual work tasks and those associated with temporary contract employees. Monitoring of the work environment and using risk assessments for future planning was not common practice. The lack of preventive inspections by government labor office inspectors appears to be the main reason why employers are not meeting the extremely important RA obligation. This study highlights the current practice around OSH law in North Cyprus and suggestions are made for future improvements.