Occupational Health and Safety Code numbered 6331 ( the ”Code”) came into effect on 30 June 2012 after being published in the Official Gazette numbered 29717. The purpose of the Code is to provide occupational health and safety at work places and to regulate the duties, powers, responsibilities, rights and obligations of the employers and the employees to improve the current health and safety conditions.
In order to achieve this purpose, article 6/1 of the Code provides the obligation to employ work place doctors (in Turkish “İşyeri Hekimi”) and health and safety specialists (in Turkish “İş Sağlığı ve Güvenliği Uzmanı”).
- WHO ARE WORKPLACE DOCTORS AND OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY SPECIALISTS?
Article 3 of the Code defines the work place doctors and health and safety specialists.
Accordingly, work place doctor is a doctor who has been authorized by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to carry out his/her duties at the area of occupational health and safety and who has a certificate of workplace doctor.
On the other hand, occupational health and safety specialist is a specialist who has been authorized by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to carry out his/her duties at the area of occupational health and safety and who has a certificate of occupational safety specialist.
- WHAT WAS THE SCOPE OF OBLIGATION OF EMPLOYING WORKPLACE DOCTORS AND OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY SPECIALISTS (“Obligation”)? AND WHAT WILL CHANGE AS OF 1 JULY 2016?
Article 38 of the Code regulates the effective date of the Obligation for the workplaces. According to the said article, the Obligation has come into effect for the workplaces employing more than 50 (fifty) employees as of 1 January 2013. As of 1 January 2014, the workplaces in the dangerous class (in Turkish “tehlikeli sınıftaki işyerleri”) and in the highest dangerous class (in Turkish “çok tehlikeli sınıftaki işyerleri”) employing less than 50 (fifty) employees have been included into the scope of the Obligation.
Now as of 1 July 2016, all the workplaces employing less than 50 (fifty) employees regardless of their danger class will also become liable for employing workplace doctors and occupational health and safety specialists.
The workplaces may buy this service from a Common Health and Safety Unit (in Turkish, “Ortak Sağlık ve Güvenlik Birimi” or “OSGB”) instead of employing workplace doctors and occupational health and safety specialists.
As per the recent data provided, there are totally 28,942 (twentyeight thousand nine hundred forty two) workplace doctors and 98,094 (ninetyeight thousand ninety four) health and safety specialists in Turkey.
- ADMINISTRATIVE FINES
As of 1 July 2016, as per the Code, the employers who do not employ occupational health and safety specialists and work place doctors or who do not buy these services from an OSGB shall be fined to an administrative fine in the amount of TRY 6,511 (six thousand five hundred eleven Turkish Lira) for each, which will be TRY 13,022 (thirteen thousand twenty two Turkish Lira) in total for one month. This fine shall be repeated for every month that the breach continues.
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