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İşyeri Tehlikeleri


More than 1,500 shipyard workers in Turkey recently went on strike to demand better wages and working conditions. They serve in over twenty shipbreaking facilities across Izmir. These workers deserve our respect and compassion because they are in a dangerous industry that presents many health hazards. Unfortunately, shipbreaking is not well known to many people outside the maritime community.

Let's bring attention to just a few of the occupational hazards faced by shipbreaking workers. It can be important to know about these even if you do not work in the maritime industry. People can face these same hazards in construction, demolition, manufacturing, petrochemical, and other industries.

When a ship is dismantled, especially if it is an older ship built before the 1970s, it could contain asbestos. This is an insulating material used on boilers, turbines, piping and other machinery. If asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can cause mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other serious illnesses.

Ships contain other hazardous substances that can be carcinogenic. This includes mercury in instrumentation. It includes PCBs in electrical equipment. It includes heavy fuels, solvents, and other chemical compounds that can carry serious health risks. This is especially true if people are working in confined spaces without proper respiratory protection.

There are other hazards, ranging from welding to cutting (with torches). Whatever industry you work in, please use proper equipment. This could include respiratory protection, eye protection, hard hats, hearing protection. or disposable coveralls that should not be re-used after exposure. Please be careful out there and don't be embarrassed or discouraged to ask for proper protective equipment.

Good Luck - Kendinize Iyi Bakin

Avukat Timur Akpinar

(718) 224-9824


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