Israel: Migrant construction workers are three times more likely to die in workplace accidents than locals

Author: Lee Yaron, Haaretz, Published on: 10 January 2019

"Migrant Construction Workers in Israel Three Times More Likely to Die in On-site Accidents Than Locals", 9 January 2019

Three times as many migrant workers died in construction accidents in Israel compared with Israeli and Palestinian workers, according to a groundbreaking new report by the Labor Ministry and the National Insurance Institute, based on data collated in 2017. The death rate from accidents among construction workers is 21.3 per 100,000 for migrant workers, compared with 7.8 for Israelis and West Bank Palestinians, according to the report. Labor Ministry figures show that migrant workers constitute 9 percent of construction workforce. Yet according to data collected by a coalition fighting construction accidents, in 2017, 19.4 percent of deaths were among migrant workers. One of the reasons for this discrepancy is that some accidents happen beyond the Green Line, where the ministry does not supervise construction sites... Hadas Tagari, who heads the accident-fighting coalition, suspects that the higher death rate among foreign workers compared with local ones could be based on language difficulties, different work habits, and the payment method which rewards speed over cautious performance. Tagari also says that migrant workers and Palestinians are hired to do the most hazardous jobs...

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