Construction Worker Falls to His Death in Israel for 17th Time This Year

The worker, Munir Salah, is a West Bank Palestinian. 2018 is seeing a 30 percent increase in construction deaths compared to the same time last year

The site in Bnei Brak where the accident took place, May 30, 2018

A worker was killed on a building site in Bnei Brak on Wednesday. The worker, Munir Salah, 30, of the village of Azbat Salman near Qalqilyah, fell from a height of about eight meters.

The construction company, Yesh Lee Or, did not respond to Haaretz’s queries.

Salah is the 17th worker to die in a building accident this year – a 30-percent increase compared to the same time last year, during which 13 people were killed. Five construction workers were killed in May.

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The Labor Ministry said its officials visited the site and it has started to inquire into the circumstances of Salah’s death. The ministry said Yesh Lee Or Construction Company is known to the ministry’s safety inspectors from previous enforcement drives. The ministry said it had taken steps against another site run by the company last month. The contractor was summoned for a police interview after failing to report operating the site to the ministry.

Also, on two other sites the company is responsible for, in Ramat Gan and Bnei Brak, severe safety deficiencies were found, the ministry said.

“We call again on Bnei Brak’s city engineer to respond to the ministry’s call and exercise his authority on his city’s building sites to reduce the number of injured people,” a ministry official said.

Hadas Tagari, head of the Coalition to Prevent Construction Accidents, said after Salah’s death that “there is an extreme disregard for safety in Bnei Brak, many building sites are dangerous and many sites haven’t been reported to the Occupational Safety Institute. They constitute a serious threat to the residents of the renovated buildings, to passers by and to the workers. The Bnei Brak municipality has consistently renounced its responsibility for ensuring the safety on the city’s construction sites.”

The Kav LaOved NGO criticized the local governments’ handling of construction accidents: “The Labor Ministry boasts of its measures to reduce building accidents. In reality the number of inspectors hasn’t increased and all the ministry does is impose fines.”