Iran Economy NewsWhy Iran Is One of The Most Dangerous Places...

Why Iran Is One of The Most Dangerous Places to Work


Every day, families of the disadvantaged workers across Iran are taken aback by shocking news about incidents that involves their loved ones losing their lives, getting injured or being disabled. A few recent examples:

April 27, 2023: A construction worker from Mahabad named Mohammad-Amin Ashna died in an accident due to the lack of safety measures at a site in Bandar Abbas.

April 18, 2023: While climbing from a metal scaffolding of a building, a 22-year-old construction worker in Karaj fell from down due to lack of safety equipment and passed away.

April 18, 2023: A worker died in the city of Saddeh, Isfahan province.

Also on April 18: A worker in Ilam, western Iran, died after falling from height while working. The CEO of Ilam Municipality’s fire department and safety services told the official IRNA news agency: “The owner of this building did not provide any protection for the floors of this complex and the elevator shaft did not have any protection either.”

March 28, 2023: three workers employed at a box production factory located in the industrial town of Babol, northern Iran, lost their lives in a gas explosion.

These incidents profoundly affect the families of the victims, as it deprives them not only of the love and care, but also of the breadwinners of the households. Sometimes such incidents lead to entire families falling apart and the avalanche of social tragedy continues down like in a domino effect at the cost of the fate of so many.

For years, the regime in Iran has failed to provide accurate statistics on occupational accidents. In 2016, Masoud Ghali Pasha, Head of forensic medicine in Tehran, stated that in the first six months of that year, 2,170 people lost their lives due to work-related accidents, and 154,000 people were injured while working at their job.

Ali Hossein Ra’yaitifard, the deputy Ministry of Labor, claimed that 800 workers die every year due to work-related accidents in the country. He also stated that 13,000 workers have suffered from limb amputations and severe injuries.

However, data on work-related accidents, provided by the director of the clinical examination office of the Forensic Medicine Organization show that “the number of people who referred to the forensic medicine in 2021 due to accidents caused by work was close to 28,000 cases.

Other statistics suggest the deaths of 1,500 workers per year due to accidents at work, although the number of deaths due to occupational diseases is eight times that number.

According to the head of Motahari Hospital in Tehran, across Iran, about 300,000 people suffer from burns every year and about 100,000 of them are workers. This happens while almost all people who happen to expose themselves to dangerous work, especially workers, have severe financial problems and cannot afford the initial treatment costs, let alone the costly medical care of a special hospital for burn accidents.

The actual stats are far from the officially announced date, but still, under the rule of the mullahs, Iran holds the world record in terms of labor accidents.

Most labor accidents occur in the construction sector where many workers are uninsured. Nonetheless, labor accidents for uninsured workers are not recorded at all and workshops with less than 10 workers are not covered by the labor law and therefore accidents in these workshops are not included in official reports.

Globally, lack of training, lack of supervision, poor safety measures and health equipment are considered important factors of work accidents. But in Iran, another important factor is involved in creating labor accidents, and that is the low level of wages.

Workers have to work more hours nonstop, sometimes several shifts, to earn enough money to compensate for the soaring prices of basic food items coupled with the never-ending upward trend of inflation. Therefore, instead of eight hours a day, the worker has to work between 15 and 18 hours which leads to fatigue and lack of concentration increases the individual’s vulnerability to human error that can turn deadly for the victim and the affected environment.

Also, unemployment and job insecurity has forced many workers to engage in any dangerous activity and people risk their lives by working with equipment or in places without appropriate safety measures.

More than 90% of the contracts of temporary workers don’t include clauses to protect the worker. This causes constant concern and stress among workers who, in fear of being fired, must submit to hard and unsafe work in workshops and factories without safety standards.

In addition to human losses, according to the International Labor Organization, in Iran, work accidents cost over $8.5 billion every year. But for the regime, neither the lives of workers nor the economic costs imposed are of any importance.

According to an ILO report, investing in prevention, safety and occupational health in economic enterprises will preserve the life and health of workers, as it does increase the return of investment by the rising job safety and work ethic.

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