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Fatal Construction Accidents: Safety Concerns and Subcontractor Issues in Lochem

Feb 22, 2024 at 4:38 PM Update: 8 minutes ago

Fatal accidents in the construction sector such as in Lochem occur more often. Many construction sites have subcontractors who use migrant workers. This often leads to miscommunication on the ground. In addition, there are staff around who are not properly trained.

According to director Hans Crombeen of FNV Bouw, little has changed in recent years. “We see that a lot of subcontractors are still used on construction sites. This sometimes involves fifteen to twenty layers. Large construction companies do something to give safety instructions to their staff, but this does not apply to all people who are hired.”

Crombeen says that crane operators have been complaining about unsafe situations for years. “It mainly concerns the person who is on the ground and has to give instructions. The communication and training of those employees is downright poor. That is a really big problem.”

FNV Bouw has been advocating certification for people at the bottom for some time. So far without success. “A crane operator must have the correct certificates, but the one on the ground does not. Anyone can do that work, you don’t need any papers.”

A Pole and a Belgian were killed in an accident with a bridge in Lochem, Gelderland, on Wednesday, the Labor Inspectorate reported. In the town, part of a bridge under construction collapsed. Two people were also injured.

The Labor Inspectorate has started a criminal investigation. That is common in these types of situations. Detectives from the special investigation service of the inspectorate have started the investigation. They do this under the guidance of the Public Prosecution Service.

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Cameraman captures the moment just after the bridge collapsed in Lochem

In 2022, 40 workplace deaths occurred

Figures from the Labor Inspectorate show that in 2022, approximately 2,317 people were injured in workplace accidents. In addition, forty people died. This concerns 27 victims per 100,000 jobs. The most accidents per 100,000 jobs occurred in the water utilities and waste management, construction, agriculture, forestry and fishing and manufacturing sectors. The number of accidents per 100,000 jobs increased in all sectors. The inspectorate says that there are no new figures for 2023 yet.

“But what we do see is that the problems in the construction sector stand out,” says a spokesperson. “We check in all kinds of sectors whether people are working healthily and safely. We also check for illegal employment, for example. And many subcontractors are active on construction sites.”

The Labor Inspectorate tries to combat abuses by actively carrying out inspections. “We also receive ten thousand reports every year from all kinds of sectors. This can concern unsafe working at heights, but also about underpayment,” says the spokesperson.

Image: ANP

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2024-02-22 15:38:14

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