For 27th time this year, worker killed on construction site
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For 27th time this year, worker killed on construction site

60-year-old laborer dies in Sdot Micha after he is hit by a heavy object

Illustrative: A worker on a rooftop at a construction site in Jerusalem, August 5, 2015 (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
Illustrative: A worker on a rooftop at a construction site in Jerusalem, August 5, 2015 (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

In the 27th such fatality this year, an Israeli construction worker was killed on Wednesday in central Israel after being struck with a heavy object.

A passerby found the man, 60, unconscious with severe injuries to his upper body in the central town of Sdot Micha.

Magen David Adom emergency medics arrived at the scene shortly thereafter, but were forced to declare the man dead.

Just two days before, a worker plunged to his death after scaffolding at a building site in northern Israel collapsed. The man, who was not identified but was said to have been in his 30s, was pulled from the rubble by medics and pronounced dead at the scene. The incident took place in the Neve Sha’anan neighborhood of Haifa.

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

According to the Worker’s Hotline organization, 35 construction workers were killed on the job in 2017. That figure rose to 38 in 2018.

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 workers.

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

While accidents on building sites are common in Israel, most of those employed in construction in the country are Palestinian or foreign workers and the issue is rarely at the center of the public consciousness.

Only half of all deaths at construction sites between 2011 and 2015 were investigated, according to research carried out by the Knesset Research and Information Center, and in over 50 percent of those cases probes were closed due to inconclusive evidence, Israel Radio reported in September.

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