AROUND 60 percent of companies on the islands do not comply with the Prevention of Accidents at Work Law according to the General Workers Trade Union (UGT). They demanded the creation of a specific Public Prosecutor's Office to pursue cases where the law is not respected. The law came into force 10 years ago. However, the leader of the UGT, Lorenzo Bravo, and the secretary of Union Action, Manuel Pelarda, said during a press conference that the law had not stopped accidents in the workplace nor had it stopped the Balearics from being the Spanish “leader” of the league table for accidents at work. So the number of accidents at work for every 1'000 workers has not varied much in this decade. In 1996 it was 78.35 and in 2005 78.87 - although there have been rises and falls during this period, the highest being 102.85 and the lowest 75.24. During the period 1996-2005 there have been 254'107 accidents at work requiring time off, which is an increase of 47.55 percent from the introduction of the law until now said Pelarda. He added that the greatest rises had been on Minorca (194.8 percent) and Ibiza (72.9 percent), while on Majorca it was 39.9 percent. He said that, as a consequence of these accidents, in the last 10 years 5.6 million working days and 28 million working hours had been lost.
He said that the companies were responsible for the failure of these figures to improve because of their failure to comply with a law which is “impeccable” and is one of the most advanced in Europe. He also criticised the administration which, in his opinion, had not applied the law strictly enough.