The first semester leaves a devastating balance with 394 work deaths, 60 more than last year

60 workers died more in the first half of the year compared to the same period of the previous one. 60 more deaths to add a total of 394 people who lost their lives in work accidents in the first half of the year in Spain, according to provisional figures from the Ministry of Labor. The devastating increase in fatalities, of 18%, is explained in part by the 21 deaths from the shipwreck of the Galician fishing vessel Vila de Pitanxo in the waters of Newfoundland. But not only. There is also a large increase in construction casualties, for example.

Of the total of 394 fatalities, 320 people died in accidents during their working day, 15.5% more than in the first half of last year, and another 74 did so due to accidents 'in itinere', as claims are known going to or coming from work, which is also considered an occupational accident. This last figure has increased by 30% compared to 2021.

According to Labor data, 353 deceased people were salaried, that is, they were employed by others, and another 41 fatalities were self-employed, self-employed.

Between January and June, accidents with sick leave also increased by 18% compared to the same period in 2021, to a total of 310,211 claims: 273,300 occurred in the workplace (20% more) and 36,911 'in itinere ', with an increase of 6.4%.

“Yesterday, Tuesday, at least three workers died, a construction worker due to a fall from a scaffolding in Rentería, a driver due to an accident with his truck in Elgoibar and an employee of a livestock farm in the Murcian town of Fuente Álamo due to heat stroke. We cannot continue like this”, warned this Wednesday Mariano Sanz, Secretary of Occupational Health and Environmental Sustainability of the CCOO.

“We have been warning about it for many months: workplace accidents are out of control and this is largely a product of the deterioration of preventive systems in companies and the lack of implementation of active public policies in terms of safety and health in the workplace. work”, warned Sanz.

Worrying accident rate in construction

The Ministry of Labor warns in the statistics itself that the 21 victims of Vila de Pitanxo mark the statistics of occupational deaths, especially in certain data, such as the 250% increase in occupational deaths due to "Drowning in a liquid" and the 123 .1% of victims in the agricultural sector.

But, beyond the tragedy in Newfoundland, the increase in fatalities, the 60 more deaths up to a total of almost 400 fatalities, is also explained by the increase in accidents in other sectors.

There is a total of 126 people who died until June in accidents due to "heart attacks, strokes and other strictly natural causes", 19 more than last year. Another 59 victims died due to “being trapped, being crushed, suffering an amputation”, 15 more workers, which represents an increase of 34% compared to the same period in 2021.

If we look at the sectors of activity, looking at the incidence rate (which calculates deaths per 100,000 workers to avoid fluctuations due to increased employment), mortality increases in all but the services sector. With a rise in deaths of 3% in industry, 32% in construction and 131% in the agricultural sector (marked by the collapse in Newfoundland, as noted).

In absolute numbers, the labor victims of the construction already reach 70 until June, 19 people more than in the first half of last year.

“This bleeding must be stopped”

CCOO has released a statement demanding action from the Government to stop this increase in work deaths, which it regrets does not have "so much public repercussion" and not "such a determined reaction to try to contain its escalation" as other problems, such as the escalation of inflation.

"We are assessing the adoption of more intense measures to place this serious problem among the main political priorities and to demand that all the necessary measures are adopted to stop this bleeding," Mariano Sanz has indicated.

The trade unionist recalls that the available data still does not contain information on the possible effects of the heat waves that have marked this summer, causing deaths such as that of José Antonio González, the Madrid cleaning worker who died of heat stroke in July.

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