Hadash activists held protests in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Nazareth and Sakhnin on Friday over the deaths of 67 construction workers in 2020 under the banners, “Tycoons and building contractors live in palaces while workers get coffins” and “One does not build over the bodies of working people.”
Hadash, a socialist party, held the protests with members of the Communist party.
Hadash MK Ofer Cassif (Joint List) noted that although far fewer construction projects were undergone in 2020 than in previous years, the number of deaths due to construction accidents was nevertheless similar to that of 2019. He said, "We demand a comprehensive reform founded on the basis of a National Authority for Work Safety being created."
Crane operators and builders working on scaffolds complained in the past that contractors pressure site managers to push ahead to finish projects on time at the expense of safety measures and construction quality. While the Labor and Welfare Ministry is meant to supervise building sites, it lacks the manpower to offer constant inspections of all building sites across the country.
Even an attempt to introduce a new type of safe scaffolding into the industry was rejected, a 2018 Knesset study revealed. The result is that most of the scaffolds used in Israel today are one or two decades old. In 2001 half of the inspected building sites in the nation had unsafe scaffolds, Haaretz reported.