THE Workers Commissions (CCOO) trade union yesterday called upon the Balearic Government to immediately impose “exemplary” penalties on all the companies on the islands which fail to comply with the Prevention of Accidents at Work Law and urged the Balearic Ministry of Labour and Training to abandon their “expectant” attitude in the face of the rise in the number of accidents at work registered in the islands. This was announced yesterday by the CCOO's secretary for Health at Work and the Environment, Jose Lopez Muñoz, who has formulated a series of proposals for the council for Health at Work with a view to minimising accidents. He said he considered the rise in accidents was caused by the proliferation of short term contracts, given that workers with long term contracts suffer much fewer accidents. Lopez refuted the accusation by the Balearic Minister of Labour, Cristobal Huguet, that the trade unionists were “prophets of doom”, and said that the Balearics had one of the highest incidences of accidents at work in Europe, and while in the whole of Spain there had been a slight fall in 2005, the Balearics had had an increase of 4.4 percent.He said that these results put the Balearic Ministry's policies of prevention of risks in the workplace, and the companies, in “a very bad light” and said that the main groups suffering accidents at work are young people between 16 and 30 years old and immigrant workers, all of them with short term contracts. Because of this, Lopez “demanded” that the authorities crack down on companies who don't comply with the law.