The Seventh International Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Conference organized by General Directorate of Occupational Health and Safety in the name of Ministry of Labor and Social Security held on 4-7 May 2014 in İstanbul Haliç Congress Centre was fulfilled with participation of guests from 45 different countries; scientist pioneering in their fields, academicians, experts, bureaucrats and occupational health and safety professionals active in the sector. This year’s theme of the conference that has been organized since 2001 was determined as “Improving Occupational Health and Safety at Workplaces” and in this context occupational health and safety was investigated in technical, social and economical dimensions.

4152 registered participant attended the conference during 3 days. The Conference Scientific Committee evaluated 347 papers, 147 of which were orally presented and 86 papers were presented as posters. Significant interpretations were made in featured subjects in occupational health and safety during 165 presentations made in 38 sessions carried out simultaneously.

On May 4th, 190 attendees participated in the training courses under 6 different topics. Primarily it was seen that, the participants also supported the idea of including training courses like the ones carried out and succeeded in 19. World Occupational Health and Safety Congress in similar organizations. Secondly, the conference hosted meetings of international organizations such as ICOH, WHO, CC/SEENWH, ENETOSH and OIC-OSHNET.

Furthermore, on May 6th, exchange of views was made on the route map on the topics in the draft statement to form a basis for the G-20 Leaders Summit declaration and for formation of safer and healthier work places in the sub-group meeting titled “Formation of Safe Work places” carried out with 16 participants representing the G-20 countries with the participation of Labor and Employment ministers.

Conference was followed by 104 press members from 85 press associations during 3 days.

In the exhibition area, with the participation of 89 companies from 19 countries, continuously developing engineering solutions depending on technological developments in the sector, personal protective equipment and services in the occupational health and safety area were introduced during the conference. There were over 3000 participants in the exhibition. At the last day of the conference, there were field trips to 10 different companies in order to see the good practice examples in occupational health and safety area. 275 people have attended to field trips which were coordinated after the closing session.

Hereby we are presenting the opinions and suggestions developed as a result of the evaluations and discussions during the conference to the attention of the public offer;

  • Conference enabled the knowledge and experience exchange between representatives of the international organizations in the OHS area and experts and competent people in charge from developed and developing countries, and also undertook a facilitating role in collaboration opportunities for the future.
  • İstanbul Declaration has a historical importance in improvement of occupational health and safety in the world; it should be adopted and disseminated.
  • It will contribute to prioritization of occupational health and safety in national and international level and allocation of enough manpower and economical resources in this area, improvement of the working area and improvement of health and safety of the employee.
  • Dealing with the occupational health and safety issues with management system approach is an effective method for overcoming the problems. Occupational Health and Safety Act No. 6331 prepared in accordance with Framework Directive 89/391/EEC and ILO Conventions No. 155 and 161 is also supported by the Management System approach.
  • The international organizations, whose mission of establishment includes prevention of occupational accidents and diseases, should lead the law makers in determining the strategies and targets for the improvement of work life.
  • In implementation of occupational health and safety policy; it is important that law makers and social stakeholders not only make policies but also take active role in the field, guide to good practices and be role models.
  • Since occupational health and safety is an essential part of national health policies; field studies are expected to be conducted with the cooperation of Ministry of Labor and Social Security and the Ministry of Health carried out with the common sense.
  • The necessity of formation of a global information network thought to be an effective tool for sharing the studies regarding occupational health and safety, good practices and current developments among countries. With this information network and present co-operations it is aimed to set a higher standard in occupational health and safety in the world
  • International standards should be established in order to improve the qualifications of the occupational health and safety educations and educators.
  • Despite the presence of special hazards specific to the agricultural sector, since the solution practices are scarce, it is necessary to disseminate studies in this area and define the minimum criteria.
  • Occupational health and safety in public and service sector should not be ignored since its role and importance in work life is increasing currently and concerns more employees than any other sector.
  • In order to improve occupational health and safety in work places a social safety culture should be cultivated.