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File image of a construction site. Migue Fernandéz
Malaga cuts the number of fatal accidents at work by almost half in one year
Health and safety

Malaga cuts the number of fatal accidents at work by almost half in one year

In the province, which includes the Costa del Sol, some 17 people lost their lives in a work-related incident last year, with 16 of them being men

Irene Quirante

Malaga

Wednesday, 28 February 2024, 20:38

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Occupational accidents claimed the lives of 17 people in Malaga province, including the Costa del Sol, last year, according to data from the Department of Employment, Enterprise and Self-Employment of the Junta de Andalucía. This data is never good news, but it is worth noting that the number of fatalities has almost halved compared to the previous year, when 30 fatalities were recorded.

Malaga had a particularly black 2022, with the highest number of deaths at work in the last decade. According to the annual reports of the regional ministry of Labour and Social Economy, there had not been so many fatal accidents at work since 2007, when there were 44 accidents resulting in death.

Fatal workplace accidents fell by almost half in 2023, although it is worth noting that the year began with alarming figures: 12 of the 17 victims died in incidents in the first four months of the year. According to the data, four workers lost their lives in January, while in February and March there were two more fatalities, followed by another four losses in April. From May onwards, fortunately, the grim figures dipped.

The statistics also show that men were once again the most affected by these accidents in Malaga. Of the total number of victims, 16 were men, with one woman.

Similarly, most of these incidents occurred during the working day, when the injured parties were at their place of work. In two other cases, the deaths occurred 'in itinere', i.e. during the journey from home to the workplace or vice versa.

Tragedies by sector

In terms of sectors, it was in the services sector that most tragedies occurred (with nine), followed by construction and, in last place, agriculture. Malaga city recorded the highest number of deaths in the province, with four victims in the first ten months of the year. Tragedy also struck other municipalities in the region, with Antequera, Arriate, Atajate, Benalmádena, Cañete La Real, Estepona (with two fatalities), Marbella, Nerja and Vélez-Málaga (also with two victims) being the other places where there were fatal accidents.

However cold the figures may be when talking about lives, the fact is that in 2023 the trend of recent years was broken; in 2022 there were 30 deaths in the workplace in Malaga. According to sources from the regional ministry of Employment, Enterprise and Self-Employment of the Junta, this is related to the agreement signed in August with the signing of a new Shock Plan against Workplace Accidents, to which 2.2 million euros have been allocated. This received the unanimous backing of the Andalusian Confederation of Employers and the CCOO and UGT trade unions.

Trade union sources, however, point rather to "chance" in trying to explain this reduction in fatal accidents at work. The secretary for occupational health at UGT Malaga, Vicente Sandoval, pointed out that, apart from some training courses promoted by the regional administration, the rest of the corrective measures have not yet been implemented.

"Obviously we welcome the fact that deaths have been reduced by almost half, but there is still a lot to do and we also note that we are finding it increasingly difficult to be informed of cases as they occur," Sandoval said.

Andalucía

Malaga continues to rank among the Andalusian provinces with the highest number of accidents at work. In 2023, it was second only to Seville, with 27,818 accidents at work from January to December. In this period, Malaga recorded 22,133 workplace accidents, although most of them were of a minor nature. According to the latest statistics from the regional ministry of Employment, a total of 260 cases were classified as serious.

The majority occurred when the victims were at work, with 18,171 accidents (180 were serious). Those recorded 'in itinere' amounted to 3,962 and, although they were also mostly minor accidents, these were higher than those that had occurred at the same time in the previous year. One of them was fatal, while in 2022 there were up to seven fatalities on the outward or return journey to work in the province.

In terms of fatal accidents in Andalucía, Malaga is also in second place alongside Cordoba, as both suffered the deaths of 17 workers in 2023. According to trade union sources, these black figures were only surpassed in the region by Seville, with 25 deaths. In Andalucía, 116 people died as a result of accidents at work last year, 32 fewer than in the previous year.

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