30th Annual Association of Researchers in Construction Management Conference, ARCOM 2014, Portsmouth, England, 1 - 03 September 2014, pp.351-360
Construction industry is at the top rankings in developed and developing countries in terms of occupational deaths and injuries. This shows that legal regulations themselves could not decrease occupational accidents. In decreasing such incidents, the perception of the society on workers, who are a part of occupational health and safety issue, has an important indicator. Therefore, in this study, it was aimed to present the perception of the society on the responsibility of workers for occupational health and safety through cartoons. For this objective, seven of cartoons exhibited in International Construction Accidents Cartoon Contest held in Turkey were examined through semiotic analysis methodology. As a result, occupational health and safety perspectives of different countries in terms of cultural and geographical background were exposed by means of cartoons from these countries. It was observed that workers in China and in Greece share the same problems such as lack of attention and responsibility, although these countries are quite far from each other geographically and culturally. Similarly, cartoons from Turkey and Russia emphasize the extremely dangerous nature of construction works. In addition, contrary to other countries, workers in Turkey and in Greece wear casual clothes instead of overalls. All of these findings clearly indicate that construction-based occupational health and safety perceptions of countries do not change significantly and that cultural and economic differences between countries do not seem to be an important driver in this regard. Consequently, these results can have a function in guiding workers and worker unions to revise and manage the general perception of the society about them.