Construction Worker Killed After Falling From Crane in West Bank Settlement

Incident marks the tenth on-site death this year, after two-year high in workplace deaths recorded in 2019

Lee Yaron
Lee Yaron
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Construction site, Rosh Ha’ayin, january 26, 2020
Construction site, Rosh Ha’ayin, january 26, 2020Credit: Eyal Toueg
Lee Yaron
Lee Yaron

A 35-year-old construction worker died in the West Bank settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim on Tuesday after falling about 10 meters from the top of a crane.

Salah al-Nabulsi was the tenth person killed in a work accident so far this year.

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Though the Health Ministry has restricted most nonessential work due to the coronavirus, the construction industry was exempted, so building continues as usual.

Police said they have opened an investigation into al-Nabulsi’s death.

Moshe Hemed, a Magen David Adom medic, said that when the ambulance arrived, the man had stopped breathing and had no pulse. The medics pronounced him dead on the spot.

Indictments have been filed against six contractors and managers whose employees were injured on construction sites.

Last week, a 68-year-old construction worker from Umm al-Fahm was killed by a fall while at work in Ra’anana. The week before, a 35-year-old man from Kafr Kara was killed when a gas tank exploded while he was working in a yard in Caesarea. That accident also seriously wounded another worker and lightly wounded the homeowner.

The accident rate rose sharply in all industries from 2017 to 2019, but especially in construction. According to the Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services Ministry, the fatality rate in the construction industry rose from 10 out of every 100,000 workers in 2017 to 13.1 in 2019 – the highest death rate since 2012. Further, the number of work-accident deaths recorded in 2019 was the highest in two decades.

Hadas Tagari, who heads an organization that combats workplace accidents, said safety regulations don’t apply in West Bank settlements and that the ministry doesn’t supervise worker safety there.

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