Lengthy Jail Terms for Health and Safety Offenders in Turkey18 Feb 2019
Following the 2014 Soma mine tragedy which led to the death of 301 miners, the mine’s CEO, General Manager and Technical Manager have been sentenced to 15 years, 22 years and 18 years respectively for ‘negligence’. This was a lesser offence than the murder charge originally called for by the prosecutors. This may seem far removed from the events business but given that the fire safety arrangements in some venues in Turkey and other developing countries are often far below an acceptable standard a comparable tragedy at an event is foreseeable. Aside from the obvious moral imperative to prevent such a loss, event companies should be mindful that although a major tragedy may seem to be the obvious fault of the venue, in countries where the courts are not as independent as the UK, the authorities could seek to deflect blame on a visiting organiser. It is salutary that despite the prevailing poor standards of health and safety in Turkey they are quite capable of meting out very severe punishment for failings to make a point.