2 construction workers fall to their deaths from 40th floor of Tel Aviv building

East Jerusalem residents fall from mechanical platform in Bavli neighborhood; watchdog demands government take action on worker safety

Ghazi Abu Sbeitan and Ahmad Ziyad al-Sayyad (Courtesy)
Ghazi Abu Sbeitan and Ahmad Ziyad al-Sayyad (Courtesy)

Two men fell to their deaths on Wednesday from the 40th floor of an apartment building under construction in Tel Aviv.

The two men were named as East Jerusalem residents Ghazi Abu Sbeitan and Ahmad Ziyad al-Sayyad.

The two, in their 30s, were working at the site of a luxury apartment complex on Harav Nissim Street in the Bavli neighborhood.

The circumstances surrounding the fall were not immediately clear but it appeared the accident occurred when a mechanical platform on the side of the building collapsed.

The Haaretz daily said it was the third time in recent years that construction workers had been killed when mechanical scaffolding platforms collapsed. Two men died at a site in the central city of Rosh Ha’ayin in 2018, and a worker was killed in a similar incident at a site in Tel Aviv last year.

There have been no prosecutions in relation to any of those deaths.

The Bavli Park building where two workers fell to their deaths on February 9, 2022 (Israel Police)

Deaths of construction workers in Israel are a frequent occurrence, largely because of poorly enforced safety codes.

Hadas Tagri, head of the Group Against Construction and Industrial Accidents, told Haaretz that ministers needed to take action and legislate to ensure worker safety.

“For many months we have been warning the economy minister [Orna Barbivai] and her deputy Yair Golan about the precarious safety situation of the workers, at construction sites and in general, detailing a series of steps that must be taken to promote their safety,” Tagri said.

“We have repeatedly urged the minister for reform to expand responsibility for safety at construction sites, to promote the establishment of a national safety authority, and to present goals and a detailed work plan to promote workers’ safety in 2022, before more workers are harmed,” she added.

According to a tally by the newspaper, seven construction workers have been killed this year in workplace incidents.

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