Thanks to Eid-Al-Adha and the tens of thousands of workers on holiday, this week was a relatively quiet one for August.

Two workers were injured last Tuesday (21.8), one seriously and one moderately, on two work sites one in Ashkelon and the other in Bnei Brak.

The first accident happened in an Ashkelon construction, when a 30-year-old worker fell 3 meters and was seriously injured. The site accommodates the building of “Views of Ashkelon” project by ‘AP Enterprises’ (or Arviv Pendjir). The contractor on site is ‘Yitzhak Ofer Building and Development Company’ whose other site in Givatayim was issued a work-stop order last March due to safety violations. The Safety Administration reported the Ashkelon accident took place during an unloading of metal window frames, and that the site was issued a 48-hour working halt order, as mandated by law in cases of fatal or severe injuries. Israeli Police reported they opened an investigation into the accident in collaboration with the Safety Administration.

The second accident that day happened in Bnei Brak, in a school building under renovation. A 26-year-old worker was moderately injured by a chainsaw. He was transferred to Sheba-Tel Hashomer hospital. Most work accidents in Israel’s construction sector are labelled as “moderate-injury accidents” since they are not immediately life threatening (even though they include such extremely debilitating injuries as loss of limbs). As we have stated in the past, work accidents that result in “moderate injuries” are not inspected by the Safety Administration nor by the Israeli Police. Kav LaOved filed a petition to the Supreme Court against this faulty policy earlier this year, requesting that the mandate to investigate accidents be expanded to include such accidents in order to ensure worker safety.

The injury of two workers in one week is a horrible thing, but in relation to the rest of the summer (especially August) which is usually the deadliest time each year, this week has been a “quiet” one. This was a result of Eid-Al-Adha and the fact many construction workers who took a vacation and certainly not thanks to any governmental effort to improve safety, or to the same authorities none of whom has deemed it important enough to increase inspections on construction site or to issue significant fines in order to truly deter criminal contractors.

We wish to all of the construction workers a happy holiday and a safe return to work, hoping they will be able to keep themselves safe.

Many thanks to ניצן צבי כהן for finding and delivering the information regarding the accidents.

Kav LaOved’s Project “Building Alliances for the Rights of Construction Workers” נרתמים- בטיחות לעובדי הבניין in cooperation with ארגון העובדים מען – WAC Maan نقابة معا العمالية and Social TV – הטלוויזיה החברתית is funded by the European Union in Israel.