THE number of fatal accidents at work doubled last year, compared with 2002, and 18 workers lost their lives.
But despite this poor record the number of accidents at work actually went down by 3.4 per cent.
According to the latest figures available, there were 24'467 accidents, 230 of them described as serious, 24'217 were not serious and 18 were mortal.
The figures were released yesterday by the ministry of labour.
The biggest improvement was seen in the services sector (tourism), where there were 14'277 accidents, more than 600 fewer than 2003.
There were 6'965 accidents in construction, 2'873 in industry and 350 in agriculture. Cristobal Huguet, the Balearic labour minister, described the figures as “positive” particularly in regard to the drop in accidents in the service sector and the building trade. The Balearic government had intensified its prevention and awareness campaigns in these two areas last year. But despite the general satisfaction for the figures, Huguet expressed his regret at the 18 fatal accidents. He explained that 16 accidents were traffic accidents and heart attacks while at work. The figures include accidents which occured while going to and from work as well as those at the workplace.
In Majorca the number of accidents which caused workers to take time off was 19'866, a reduction of nearly seven per cent. In 2002 there had been 23'814 accidents. In Minorca the number of accidents rose by 13.40 per cent to 1'820, chiefly because of a change in the method of calculating them.
The number of accidents also rose in Ibiza and Formentera, by 16 per cent compared to 2003. There were 2'779 accidents. Up to last year the trend had been for the number of accidents to drop, after peaking at 3'459 in the year 2001. The sector with the biggest percentage increase in the number of accidents was agriculture, where the number went up by more than nine per cent.
There was a major improvement in construction, where the number of accidents dropped by five percent to 6'965.