Israeli construction worker killed in Haifa scaffolding collapse

Israeli construction worker killed in Haifa scaffolding collapse

Man, said to be in his 30s, pulled from rubble, pronounced dead at scene; police investigating

An Israeli construction worker plunged to his death on Monday after scaffolding at a building site in northern Israel collapsed.

Emergency workers were searching the wreckage to ensure no additional workers were trapped.

The man, who was not identified but was said to have been in his 30s, was standing on the scaffolding at the time of the collapse, reports said. He was pulled from the rubble by medics and pronounced dead at the scene.

The incident took place in the Neve Shaanan neighborhood of Haifa.

Police have opened an investigation.

Deaths of construction workers in Israel are a near-weekly occurrence, largely because of poorly enforced safety codes. Over 20 construction workers have been killed in accidents since the beginning of the year, according to activists monitoring the phenomenon.

According to the Worker’s Hotline organization, 35 construction workers were killed on the job in 2017. The 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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