SERIOUS accidents in the workplace across the Balearics increased by 11.39 percent over last year with 79 incidents recorded in 2006 rising to 88 in 2007 .

According to the Balearic Constructors Association, overall statistics for mishaps (both major and minor) in the industry grew by 1.85 percent in 2007 with respect to the previous year. No less than 8'683 were registered last year, up from 2006 when 8'525 were recorded.

A separate analysis of minor injuries which represents the vast majority of the accident rate in the Islands revealed a total of 8'590 in 2007, an increase of 1.82 percent over the last 12 months.

Another type of accident - the life-threatening category and rated as the most serious of all after fatal incidents - provided one of only two sets of figures which had seen a downturn in 2007. There was fortunately only one accident fitting this description last year whereas there were three the year before, reflecting a decrease of 66 percent. The number of fatal accidents has also been on the wane although to a lesser extent. In 2006, there were seven recorded in this category but only four in 2007. The figures for the Balearics in this category reflect a welcome downturn of 42 percent.

Looking at the individual Islands, Majorca recorded the greatest amount of accidents in the construction industry in 2007 - 6'941 (minor); 75 (serious): one in the life-threatening category and all four fatal accidents recorded in the Balearics. Association director Manuel Gómez said yesterday that the accident rate “continues to be a problem” even if figures are now more moderate. He would like all member companies to adopt accident prevention measures recommended by the Safety Advisory Board and ideally, each firm should be ready for spot checks by inspectors to ensure everything possible is done to guard against accidents in the workplace.