Only last week, workers protested in Palma over the lack of safety at work, yesterday UGT general workers union secretary, Manuel Pelarda, said that over the past six years the number of work accidents in the Balearics has doubled and that last year, 17 of the 30'003 accidents in the region proved fatal, an increase of 11 per cent in comparison to 1999. Accompanied by the secretary general of UGT in the Balearics, Lorenzo Bravo, Pelarda stated “the problem is getting worse.” He said that while the local government has changed its attitude to the problem this year, which started with the deaths of two builders when a hotel annex collapsed in Arenal, there is still a long road to follow. Last year in Majorca alone, there were 24.408 work accidents, ten were fatal and 235 serious. There is also serious concerns about the sharp rise in Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera, islands “which do not have the necessary infrastructure to carry out regular inspections.” The UGT also stressed that the problem is not only in the construction industry, seven of the 17 fatal accidents last year, were in the service sector. Bravo said that the figures should speak for themselves, adding that there are many companies “neither applying the necessary health and safety precautions nor aware of the requirements.”

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