Construction worker dies after falling from roof in Tzur Yigal
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Construction worker dies after falling from roof in Tzur Yigal

14 people killed in workplace accidents in 2019, six of them at building sites, activists say

Illustrative: The scene of a construction site in Petah Tikvah, where three workers were seriously injured in a falling accident, on June 14, 2018. (Roy Alima/Flash90)
Illustrative: The scene of a construction site in Petah Tikvah, where three workers were seriously injured in a falling accident, on June 14, 2018. (Roy Alima/Flash90)

A Palestinian construction worker died in an accident at a building site in the central town of Kochav Yair/Tzur Yigal on Sunday, police said.

Majed Abdullah Salim, 58, from the village of Jayus near Qalqilya in the West Bank, fell from a roof at the Tzur Yigal industrial park in central Israel. He is the 14th person to die in work accidents in 2019, according to activists who run the Hebrew Facebook page, “Battling against work accident deaths.”

Salim was killed instantly, the group said. Of the 14 deaths in 2019, six have been at construction sites, it added.

Last year, a general strike was averted at the last moment, after the Histadrut labor federation reached a deal with the government to improve safety conditions for construction workers.

The focus of the planned strike had been the lack of safety regulations at building sites, following the deaths of several dozen construction workers.

Seventy workers were killed in 2018, exactly half at construction sites, compared to 52 who lost their lives in 2017, activists said.

The new measures adopted last year included making the European standard for scaffolding obligatory, regulating cranes, and increasing other safety standards.

The averted open-ended strike would have seen workers at government offices, local authorities, banks, emergency services, and airports walk off the job. Many organized employees in the private sector were also likely to participate if the labor action went ahead.

Haaretz reported last year that the rate of deadly work accidents in Israel’s construction industry is more than double the average in the European Union. The vast majority of laborers killed are either Palestinian or Israeli Arab.

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