Seven to face 15 years in deaths of 3 workers at third bridge site
ZONGULDAK – Doğan News Agency
Seven people are facing prison terms of up to 15 years on charges of reckless homicide in an accident which killed three workers during the construction of a viaduct for Istanbul’s third bridge on April 5, 2014, according to the indictment.
The accident was “predictable and preventable, and happened as a result of imprudence and carelessness,” according to an expert’s report.
“In the first place, the underqualified scaffolding is the primary factor.
Secondly, had the workers been provided with safety belts and tied to lifelines, they would have been poised in the air,” the ten-point report said.
M. C., the primary employer and project coordinator, was indicted for not assigning a health and safety coordinator, along with sub-employers N. K., the subcontractor employee, Ö. V., the site chief, G. K., the occupational safety specialist and S. U., a U. firm authority, while G. K., the occupational safety specialist and R. K., a U. firm worker were charged as accessories.
Ünal Demirtaş, the lawyer of Lütfü and Yaşar Bulut, two workers killed in the accident, demanded the severest punishment for the defendants, adding that last year some 1850 workers lost their lives in occupational accidents in Turkey.
“It is highly thought-provoking that the project coordinator did not assign a health safety coordinator and did not prepare a health safety plan, lifelines, or make the necessary inspections. The reason we face worker deaths is because occupational safety and worker health are pushed to the background,” said Demirtaş.
The workers fell from a height of 50 meters when part of the concrete on the viaduct for North Marmara Motorway, which will connect to Istanbul’s third bridge, collapsed on April 5, 2014, marking the first deadly accident in the construction.