The foundries of Çukurova in Turkey

Ateş Alpar / Adana

When Çukurova’s famous and unbearably hot air descends mercilessly over Adana city, another source of heat is being generated in the noisy molten metal foundries.

The moment when workers empty the hot “firewater” into the melting furnace

Foundry workers, who are deprived of a tableland to shelter and hardly have time to breathe, are grappling both with the heat of the sun and the foundry.

Extracting the Silka sand

Foundry work has existed since 4000 BC. The foundry sector requires intense labour despite the development of industry and the progression of technology.

Caution and workplace signs for the workers

The alliance between the sun, the molten metal and the flaming ovens, affects the body as one force. This leads to many problems in the workforce. The homicide rate in foundries is higher than average, in part as a result of weak organisation and high levels of poverty in the sector. Workplace accidents are also common in the industry.

 Workers take Silka sand into the casting mold

The commission established by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and World Health Organisation (WHO) has laid out the following aims for workplace health: “maximizing the health capacities of workers”; “preventing the breakdown of workers’ health due to unfavourable workplace conditions”; “employing each worker in labour that is appropriate for their physical and mental capacities”; “ensuring accordance between the work and the worker and obtaining efficiency with minimal exhaustion”.

Break time for the workers

The gas, vapour and dust which arises from foundry work pollutes the air of the workplace.

The controlling of the molds

The polluted air prevents workers from getting sufficient oxygen. As a result, workers are adversely affected and workplace accidents may occur.

The reflections of the workers and workplace from the mirror

Some physical factors cause occupational diseases and conditions, such as hearing loss, neck pain, skin eruptions, paralysis, eye disorders, ambustion, silicosis, chronic bronchitis, and breathing difficulties.

The reflected vision of the workplace from the surface of the sink

A worker washing his hands and preparing for work

A worker resting at the end of an exhausting and hard day

End of the day. A worker getting ready to leave work

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The foundries of Çukurova in Turkey

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