Number of Fatal Workplace Accidents Remains High in Kosovo

BIRN research shows 145 workers have died at work in Kosovo since 2011, and responsible institutions are still struggling to take appropriate measures.

On November 4 last year, Florim Shala died while building roads in Mitrovica. Even now, Florim’s wife, Valentina Shala, remains unsure of the exact cause of her husband’s death.

“He was working in Mitrovica. The concrete mixer truck killed him. One of its parts fell on his head and drowned him,” Valentina recalled with tears in her eyes on the TV show broadcast on Monday in KallxoPernime.

This tragic accident, along with many others, has left families devastated and struggling financially. Despite the alarming number of deaths, critics say institutions have not done enough to prevent such tragic cases.

Krenar Jenini, a 21-year-old who was working to pay for his studies, died at his workplace on February 24, 2019.  His father, Emin Jenini, received a call from his brother informing him of the accident. 

Emini recounts the recordings he saw, which showed how his son died from an accident at a private business. 

“It was February 24. I was working that day, when my brother called me on the phone and told me that Krenar had been injured. Together with my brother we went to Prishtina and found out that he unfortunately had passed away,” he said.

Since Krenar’s death, another 46 deaths have been registered in Kosovo.

The lack of safety training from institutions is a contributing factor to the number of workplace deaths in Kosovo, experts say. 

Research entitled “Handling cases of workers’ rights by the Labour and Judicial Inspectorate,” conducted by BIRN found that 145 workers died as a result of accidents at work from 2011 to mid-2022. Despite some actions by institutions, the number of deaths has continued to increase.

The Law on Health and Safety at Work regulates workplace safety in Kosovo, but the report by BIRN found challenges and problems in reducing the number of accidents at work. 

The number of workplace deaths increased yearly from 2016 to 2019, with a slight decrease in 2019. In 2020 and 2021, the number of deaths remained relatively low. But the first half of 2022 saw a significant number of fatal accidents at the workplace.

03/05/2023 - 13:38

03 May 2023 - 13:38

Prishtina Insight is a digital and print magazine published by BIRN Kosovo, an independent, non-governmental organisation. To find out more about the organization please visit the official website. Copyright © 2016 BIRN Kosovo.