A total of 77 workplace accidents and eight deaths have been recorded this year, while two more injuries on construction sites were confirmed to BIRN this week.
Between January and August 2020, 77 workplace accidents have taken place in Kosovo, with eight resulting in death and 69 in injury. These numbers were provided to BIRN by Agim Millaku, the Deputy Chief Inspector for Occupational Safety at the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare.
Millaku stated that inadequate training and equipment were often to blame for the accidents. “Reasons that accidents occur include not taking preventative measures, not training workers for safe work, improper instructions for employees to work safely, inadequate and unsafe equipment, and bad habits,” he said.
Milaku told BIRN that most workplace accidents occurred in the construction sector. He added that inspections had been conducted following all 77 accidents, and that 4,364 inspections had been completed throughout the year.
However, Jusuf Azemi, the chairman of the Independent Private Sector Trade Union, told BIRN that the Labour Inspectorate was unable to complete its duties properly with the number of inspectors it currently has.
“The Labour Inspectorate cannot do its job with 45 inspectors nationwide, and the price is being paid by workers when they get injured or die at the workplace,” Azemi said.
“Let’s be real, with 45 active inspectors, they cannot finish more than 20 per cent of their duties,” Azemi added. “We have demanded that we should have at least 100 inspectors to do the job properly. With this number of inspectors, we cannot do anything.”
The total of eight deaths is equal to the figure provided by the Labour Inspectorate for the first six months of 2019. Between January and July last year, eight workers lost their lives in workplace accidents.
With 77 workplace accidents recorded so far, an average of just over two workplace accidents have taken place per week in Kosovo in 2020.
Two workplace accidents have been confirmed to BIRN already this week. On Monday, a construction worker suffered injuries after falling from a building at a construction site on Fehmi Agani street in Prishtina, while on Wednesday another construction worker fell from the third floor of a building in Fushe Kosove.
Kosovo Police told BIRN that competent departments are dealing with the case in Prishtina, while the Kosovo Prosecution has been notified of the incident in Fushe Kosove.
28 August 2020 - 11:31
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