Fatal traffic accidents in the Turkish construction industry

Mungen U., Gurcanli G.

SAFETY SCIENCE, vol.43, pp.299-322, 2005 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 43
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ssci.2005.06.002
  • Journal Name: SAFETY SCIENCE
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.299-322
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: No


Occupational safety as well as highway traffic safety has a poor performance record in Turkey. Especially in the construction industry figures are dramatic. Falls, contact with electricity and accidents involving heavy equipment are the three foremost causes of occupational fatalities in the construction sector. In Turkey, the majority of companies are small or middle sized contractors; and due to the nature of this industry it requires paying more attention to safety management practices. It should also be noted that the number of registered workers in the construction industry is low. Unfortunately, the occupational injury records according to the Social Insurance Institution General Directorate solely include casualties among registered workers. Additionally, official statistics only give the number of total injuries, fatalities or permanent incapacity cases classified according to the different industries. The first attempt to classify the construction injuries in Turkish construction industry came in 1993 [Mungen, U., 1993. Turkiye'de Insaat Is Kazalarinin Analizi ve Is Gilvenligi Sorunu, Yayinlanmamis Doktora Tezi, Istanbul Teknik Universitesi]. After this study, the Social Insurance Institution General Directorate archives were regularly visited and insurance claim records for construction injuries were separated. In the scope of this study, about 40,000 occupational accidents in all industries have been investigated. 4347 of these injuries occurred at construction sites, 1774 of them are fatal injury records. From the fatal cases 168 traffic accidents were taken into consideration and the analysis and classification of these accidents were done according to the way they happened, the type of construction site and the type of occupation of the victim. It should be stated that the study not only focused on highway work zones, but also on all types of construction work. The hazards for pedestrians, drivers, equipment operators and auxiliary personnel such as flaggers were identified and according to the results obtained, and taking into account the conditions of Turkish construction industry certain suggestions are made. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.