Kfar Saba carpentry shop worker killed, in 21st work-related fatality this year
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Kfar Saba carpentry shop worker killed, in 21st work-related fatality this year

Online activist group warns of ‘disturbing’ rise in deaths of laborers and construction workers in recent years

Illustrative: A Magen David Adom ambulance seen outside the Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem on December 13, 2018. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)
Illustrative: A Magen David Adom ambulance seen outside the Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem on December 13, 2018. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

A worker who was badly injured in a Kfar Saba carpentry shop last week succumbed to his injuries on Sunday, according to an online monitoring and activist group.

The group, called “Combating Accidents in the Workplace,” said the 41-year-old man was injured when a pile of wooden pallets fell on him at the Oranim Carpentry shop on Thursday. He was taken to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva with serious injuries, and the group said doctors on Sunday announced his death.

According to the group, his death was the 21st work-related fatality on construction sites in Israel since the beginning of the year. The number was up from 2018, when 18 workers were killed at construction sites during the same period.

In a Facebook post on Sunday, the group said the number of construction worker deaths has jumped a “disturbing” 60 percent since 2017. It said 70 workers were killed in 2018, compared to 52 the previous year.

“This disturbing trend points to a deterioration in the safety standards for laborers and construction workers,” activists said in the post, calling on the incoming government and the Histadrut labor union to improve safety standards nationwide.

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

Last year, the Histadrut brokered a deal with the government to improve safety conditions for construction workers that included making the European standard for scaffolding obligatory, regulating cranes, and increasing other standards.

However, the rate of deadly work accidents in Israel’s construction industry remains more than double the average in the European Union, according to workers’ rights organization Kav LaOved.

On Sunday, a construction worker was injured when he was hit by a piece of falling scaffolding at a work site in Ra’anana. According to reports, the 25-year-old worker from Hebron was rushed to Beilinson hospital in serious condition.

Police have opened an investigation into the incident.

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