Managing Business
Occupational Health and Safety

The Law on Occupational Health and Safety No. 6331 (“Law No.6331”), governing the

health and safety standards to be adopted by employers in Turkey, has been published

in the Official Gazette No. 28339 dated 30 June 2012. This Article provides information

on the major novelties brought by Law No. 6331 and their implications on employers.


Scope and Effectiveness of Law No. 6331

The aim of Law No. 6331 is to regulate the duties, powers, responsibilities, rights and

obligations of employers and employees in order to ensure occupational health and

safety in workplaces and to improve existing health and safety conditions. This Law

covers all types of employment, work and workplaces that belong to public and private

sectors, owners and/or employers of subject workplaces and representatives/agents of

such employers, and all employees including apprentices, interns and trainees,

regardless of the fields of activity in which they are involved, other than a few explicitly

stated exceptions. These exceptions, as stated in Article 2 of Law No. 6331 are as

follows: (i) activities of the Turkish Armed Forces, police, gendarmerie and other law

enforcement forces, and the Undersecretariat of National Intelligence Organization,

excluding persons or employees serving at factories, maintenance centers, sewing/

tailoring workshops and similar workplaces, (ii) response and intervention activities of

disaster control and emergency response units, (iii) household services, (iv) persons

involved in the production of goods and services on their own behalf and account and

who do not employ any workers or other employees and (v) education, security and

vocational courses provided for convicts and detainees within the scope of rehabilitation.


For the purposes of this Article, the term “employee” includes any and all persons

working either in the private sector or in public authorities, within the scope of

Law No. 6331, regardless of their positions under their own organizational laws.


As to the effectiveness of Law No. 6331, although it has been published in the Official

Gazette on 30 June 2012 and some of its provisions which are generally related to

enforcement rules became effective at the time of its publication, the effectiveness of

most of the material provisions concerning the maintenance of occupational health

and safety (except the provisions relating to workplace doctors and occupational

health experts, as discussed in detail in the following sections), are postponed to

30 December 2012. Law No. 6331 will replace the relevant provisions of Labor Law

No. 48571 (the “Labor Law”) and become the general legislation governing

occupational health and safety in Turkey.


Finally, pursuant to Article 21 of Law No. 6331, a “National Occupational Health and

Safety Council” shall be established to make recommendations for the determination

of nationwide policies and strategies in connection with occupational health and safety matters.