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Work Safety in Leather Industry3.1.2019


Since the first ages, the fur and skin of the animals have been used for dressing, and in time, the usage areas have been widening and it has been used in many sectors such as shoes, handbags, furniture, tools and wallets. Due to its widespread use, the leather industry remains important. While various land animals, aquatic animals, reptiles are hunting their skin, some animals can be grown for this purpose. The skins obtained from a wide variety of animals can be processed to cover clothing, shoes, bags / wallets, jewelry, upholstery and so on. raw materials for many sectors.
In the leather industry, leathers are used for the raw skin type (bovine / ovine-fur animal, reptile skin), the tanning agent used (mineral, vegetable, resin and aldehyde tanning agents). It is classified in different ways according to shoe, upholstery, lining etc.) The leather sector, which operates for a large number of sectors, also carries some risks. Therefore, as in all working areas, occupational safety is important in the leather sector. These risks affect people (employees, partners, customers, society), as well as the workplace (plant, equipment, production) as well as the environment. For this reason, attention should be paid to occupational safety and health and health of workers in the sector; It is important to ensure that both business owners do not have material and reputation losses. 



While the skin is obtained, the skins of a wide variety of animals are processed by different methods and accidents and diseases may occur at this stage.


Accidents: Due to the working on the wet and greasy ground during the processing of the skin, fractures, cracks, dislocations, sprains and crushes due to falls can be experienced. In addition, sharp blades used in the trimming step of the skin are cut; The machines used in leather processing can lead to shear, compression and rupture (amputation).There is also the possibility of fire as a result of the flammable properties of the chemicals used. For this reason, it is important to prevent accidents by taking necessary care during the storage, storage and use of chemicals.


Diseases: Diseases caused by infectious diseases and chemicals may occur when the skin is processed.While the upper skins of the animal skins are removed and processed, many microorganisms can be infected at the post. In particular, Aspergillus niger and Penicillus glaucum fungi can lead to infection. However, chlorinated phenols used against these fungi, especially pentochlorophenol can cause poisoning of workers.Major diseases that can be captured during tanning of leathers; Tetanus, Anthrax, Leptospira, Q Fever and Brucellosis.
Due to the chemicals used, eczema (dermatitis), contact dermatitis (skin reaction), dermatosis (skin diseases), mucous membrane inflammation in the throat and nose are seen in the tanning workers. Chromium salts, dyes, solvents, leather powders, arsenic etc. used by tanning workers during the process. chemicals are thought to have cancer. Chemicals such as adhesives, cleansers, solvents, benzene, etc., which are used in the manufacture of shoes, cause platelets such as thrombocytoponia (low platelet counts) and pancytoponia and peripheral neuritis (inflammation of the nerve endings), while the carcinogenic effect of benzene is also known Skin dust can cause drowning, asthma, lung infection.Workbenches are also important, and ergonomic worktops can cause back and muscle pain In the case of leather manufacturers working on nailing machines for a long time, Raynaud Syndrome (white finger disease) can be seen because these machines work with high levels of vibration. In addition, noisy environment may cause hearing loss, irritability, irritability, distractibility, arrhythmia, cramps and fatigue



-ISG within the framework of the employees´ opinions in accordance with the workplace policy in accordance with the legislation should be determined, written policies should be announced by continually improving policies.

- Within the scope of ICS, necessary annual plans should be made according to legal requirements and workplace needs, and OHS organization should be established. In this context, annual activity plans, human resources planning, training plans, action plans and so on. It should be prepared.

- Chemicals used in the sector should be examined in terms of the health and safety of the workers working in this sector, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) should be made in the workplace and regulations should be made accordingly.


Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) / English MSDS: Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is a document indicating the safety, health, fire, reactivity and possible environmental hazards of a chemical material. It is a legal obligation to be kept in workplaces in Turkish.All information regarding chemicals in these data sheets prepared by the supplier or manufacturer of chemicals must be included in the complete form. The form contains information on the potential risks of the chemical, as well as its use, storage, transport, and requirements for emergencies. The information required for MSDSs is as follows; Brief introduction of the manufacturer

- Information on the chemical composition

- Information about the dangers of chemicals

- First aid information and measures

- Accidental release measures

- Usage and Storage features

- Exposure controls and personal protection measures

- Physical and chemical properties of matter

- Reactivity of matter

- Toxicological information

- Ecological information

- Disposal information

- Transport information

- Regulatory information

-Other informations

- Health risks can be reduced by using oil adhesives instead of natural adhesives.
- In case of chemical vapors, chemical vapors may be separated from other personnel and appropriate local ventilation methods should be applied.
- Personal Protective Equipment should be ed as appropriate, employees glove, brush, shoes and so on. It must be provided.
- The ion of the work equipment should be paid attention, periodic inspection and maintenance should be paid attention. The requirements for their safe use must also be met.

-Sewing machines and sewing machines and their surroundings should be ergonomically designed / arranged.

-The breakers must be fixed at the appropriate height and equipped with flange flanges. For all machines that constitute a risk, they must be protected with suitable machine protectors to prevent bumps and injuries.

-Noise reduction measures should be taken.

-The working hours should be planned to be rotated between the employees, in order to shorten the exposure time of the employees since the machines are used.

- When using machines, double-hand control systems should be used to prevent injuries, machine stroke rates should be at a safe level.

- During transportation, loading / unloading operations, forklift, elevator etc. accident, malfunction, tipping, falling etc. Necessary measures should be taken against risks.

- In accordance with health and safety rules, standards and standards must be determined in the procurement of goods and services.

- Measures must be taken and grounded for static electricity against fire risk. No sparking hand tools should be used, ventilation aspirator motors should be closed type.

- In order to prevent the risks that may occur due to working in wet and humid environment, water accumulation should be prevented on the ground. In addition, hygiene rules must be observed for all sections.

- Training programs should be prepared and employees should be provided with the necessary training.

- Within the scope of occupational health supervision, the employees should be provided with their work and periodic examinations.


ISGIP PROJECT Due to the European Union candidacy process, projects have been developed and implemented by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, General Directorate of Occupational Health and Safety. One of the projects implemented in this context, the Occupational Health and Safety Improvement Project (ISGIP) was implemented in 2014. In particular, Textile, Leather, Furniture, Food Products and Beverage Manufacturing and Chemical Products Manufacturing sectors were determined as the most risky sectors and started to be applied in these sectors in the first place.

Risk assessments in EU countries are carried out under Directive 89/391 / EEC. Within the scope of the EU harmonization process in our country, the Occupational Health and Safety Law No. 6331 which was published in the Official Gazette dated 30.06.2012 and numbered 28389 and the secondary regulations came into force. OHS practices have been established, in particular as part of the International Labor Organization (ILO). Occupational health and safety management system standard has been prepared by ILO with OHS 2001 code and recommended to member countries. These standards are briefly mentioned below;

-BS 8800; Systematic planning, implementation, registration and documentation of OHS applications and external audit and certification.

-OHSAH 18000; The internationally accredited OHS practices include the auditing and certification of the companies by accredited external organizations and the renewal of the documents for certain periods of time.

-ILO OHS 2001; This standard, aimed at spreading ILO values, aims at reducing losses in terms of OHS by implementing OHS planning, implementation, registration and documentation. It does not include accreditation and certification issues.



  •  Ensures the systematic handling of occupational health and safety
  •  Prepares against risks and setbacks
  •  Improves occupational health and safety performance
  •  Ensures compliance with OSH legislation
  •  Increases profitability and competitiveness by providing more secure management of businesses
  •  Ensures businesses to be better in economic and social terms
  •  Useful for increasing employee satisfaction
  •  Increases reputation for customers and markets.



  • Business needs should be carefully evaluated
  • The system must comply with the operating structure and requirements.
  • Effective participation of all employees
  • Organization and resources should be provided by management
  • Integrate with the general management system
  • All employees should be trained in OHS studies
  • Preventive and protective measures should be taken
  • Necessary supervision and audits should be made and necessary improvements should be made according to the results
  • The risks that may arise in the long term as well as the current risk factors should be taken into consideration when conducting surveillance and inspection studies
  • The instructions in the scope of ISGSY should be clear and clear to the employees



  •  Istanbul - Tuzla Organized Leather Industry Zone
  •  Izmir Organized Leather Industry Zone
  •  Uşak Leather (Mixed) Industrial Zone
  •  Çorlu Organized Leather Industry Area
  •  Gerede
  •  Bursa
  •  Denizli Leather Specialized Organized Industrial Zone
  •  Manisa
  •  Bor (Niğde)
  •  Aydın- Karacasu
  •  Isparta - Yalvac
  •  Balikesir - Gonen


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