The fear of losing employment leads temporary workers to silence occupational accidents. This is one of the causes that Comisiones Obreras in the Canary Islands (CC OO) aims to explain the reduction in 4.75% of the labor accident rate of the Islands with respect to the previous year. The data until November show a decrease that is attributed to the decrease in 8.95% of accidents in the services sector, an area where historically more accidents occur. “We are concerned that in the Canary Islands about 87% are temporary contracts, many with a duration of less than three months. The workers avoid recording the incidents for fear of not achieving renewal,” says Carmen Marrero, secretary of Occupational Health and Environment of CC OO in the Islands.
Those affected by the tertiary sector resort to Social Security and not to the mutual “for not disturbing the company”, and the cases are registered as a common disease and do not enter statistics, says the union spokeswoman. In the rest of the sectors, on the contrary, the numbers of occupational accidents have grown. In construction, claims have increased by 2.08%, in the industrial sector the increase has been 2.04% and in the agricultural and fisheries sector 0.86%.
From January to November there were a total of 53,549 claims, of which 24 ended with deaths and 221 are in the category of serious or very serious. “The data is satisfactory if we compare them with the previous year, but they are still alarming,” explains Marrero.
The union points out that the malpractice of mutual societies is another possible reason to explain the reduction in the number of people affected. CC OO ensures that many workers turn to the union to report that company insurance refers them to health centers when they go to review injuries. Situation that are also excluded from statistics.
From the trade union central they say that it will be at the beginning of the year, with the December data “in hand”, when they will study in depth the causes of the reduction of the absolute figures and will be able to reach more specific conclusions.
The number of recognized occupational diseases has also grown in the Archipelago. Until November 590 were communicated and of these, so far, 259 have been recognized. A fact that the union considers positive since there are 40 more cases compared to last year. “In the Islands only 20% of the real occupational diseases that occur are recognized,” explains Víctor Toledo, coordinator of the CCOO Occupational Health Cabinet in the Canary Islands.
Security and health
Coinciding with the publication of these data, the union presented the guide yesterday in the capital of Gran CanariaOccupational Health in Collective Bargaining, a union tool that aims to help workers and businessmen integrate occupational health and safety issues into collective bargaining. “The objective is that the prevention of occupational risks has a leading role in the negotiation”, explains Marrero.
The union proposes thirteen thematic sections for those responsible to reflect on these issues and include them in future agreements. Greater and more concrete health surveillance with tests adapted to the different sectors, fostering a preventive culture through training or taking into account environmental issues that may impact workers’ conditions, are just some of the proposals that incorporates the text of CC OO.
The guide also contains specific contributions on the future of collective bargaining on topics such as: the incorporation of new technologies, location and devices, digital disconnection, teleworking, stress or healthy habits. “We offer articulation proposals that serve to negotiate the agreements, we face new realities and these have to be included in the agreements,” says Marrero. The text is available on the union websitewww.canarias.ccoo.es.