TARIM ORMAN-IS holds training to combat rising work-related deaths in forestry

Responding to the high number of work-related fatalities in the forestry sector, the Civil Servants’ Union of Agriculture, Forestry, Husbandry and Environment Sectors (TARIM ORMAN-IS) held an occupational health and safety (OHS) training to 45 rural forest workers on 18 July in a forest village in Northern Turkey. 

Said to be the first in a series of trainings, the initiative is funded by Union to Union to train rural forest workers on basic first aid response and how to protect themselves from COVID-19. It is TARIM ORMAN-IS's “health is a human right” campaign to raise awareness on the high rate of fatalities in the forestry sector due to unsafe working conditions which was worsened by COVID-19. The union said that Turkey is one the leading countries with a high number of fatalities in the forestry sector. 

BWI Global Director for Wood and Forestry Coen van der Veer lauded the initiative. “BWI and its affiliates have dedicated much of our resources to ensure that health and safety standards are duly observed in the forestry sector. This series of trainings is yet another example of the crucial role unions play in the employment, health and lives of workers.” 

Van der Veer also called the attention of the Turkish authorities. "The state is the main employer in the Turkish forestry sector. Thus, we call on the government to take more responsibility in protecting the health and lives of forestry workers. If the number of deaths continue to rise without a proper response from the Turkish authorities, we might call on international institutions to probe the root causes of these unfortunate, yet avoidable work-related deaths.” 

TARIM ORMAN-IS distributed PPEs, face masks, vests and raincoats to the training participants. It also held a short ceremony to commemorate the workers who lost their lives in the forestry sector.