“The data we received this week show that Labor Minister Haim Katz’s flagship project in the war on work accidents in the construction industry has been a resounding failure.” This was Gadeer Nicola, Kav LaOved’s Attorney, statement to Haaretz as she reviewed the data Kav Laoved recieved from the Ministry of Labor’s Safety Administration and the information exposed by Lee Yaron’s Ha’aretz article as both exposed a reality far bleaker than what the Labor Minister has been publically proclaiming for months.
In reality, it was discovered:
- Haim Katz, the Labor Minister proudly bragged that 44 million NIS worth of fines were imposed on construction contractors, in reality the sum is only 1.5 million NIS!
- Thousands of safety violations were found and yet only 53 fines were imposed!
- And how much did they actually collect from these 1.5 million NIS fines? Only 419,000 NIS – less than a third of the 1.5 million imposed!
At the start of 2018, safety inspectors were given the authority to issue fines to contractors found in violation of safety regulations. After months of refusing Kav LaOved’s request to release the data about these fines, it has become clear why the Ministry has been avoiding this request. Despite Haim Katz’s repeated promises to the contrary, it has become evident that he refuses to take even the most basic steps to necessary to remedy the epidemic of construction work accidents. He has failed to significantly increase the number of safety inspectors in the sector or actively impose and collect the very fines he claimed would finally force contractors in the sector to comply with safety regulations. This ongoing failure can be seen in the increase of fatalities in the sector as compared to last year.
Kav LaOved will continue to demand the Minister take immediate action to protect the basic right to safety at work in the construction sector.
is funded by the European Union in Israel.
[Main Image: CC-BY-SA-2.5, Wikimedia; and Erin Toledano-Farajov]