Some 22 building sites in Luxembourg were shut down by safety inspectors since 1 June as part of a crackdown on dangerous practices in the construction sector.
The run-up to the sector’s collective holidays is the riskiest time of the year as firms are in a hurry to complete construction projects, sometimes at the cost of health and safety.
That is why workplace standards body ITM has created an investigation taskforce known as the CCA (Contrôles, Chantiers et Autorisation) to police the sector and prevent deaths and serious injury occurring.
Since the CCA became operational on 1 June, its inspectors visited 164 businesses and 390 staff, over 123 temporary or mobile building sites, according to a government press release issued on Wednesday. They issued 119 warnings, of which 42 were related to failings in health and safety and 38 to the legal status of workers. As a result 22 building sites were shut down and 12 illegal workers were forced to stop working. Furthermore, two firms were fined €25,000 each.
5 deaths this year
Luxembourg’s growing demand for housing and office space has prompted a dramatic increase in activity in the construction sectors. Where construction firms have not respected health and safety regulations, sometimes this activity has come at the cost of human life. ITM reported seven days on construction sites in 2017 and five so far in 2018. The majority of deaths are caused by falls.
Construction is the highest risk sector for accidents in Luxembourg. Earlier in July Paperjam reported employment minister Nicolas Schmit saying that foreign or detached workers were often the highest risk of accidents. He estimated some 12,000 such workers come to Luxembourg each year for work, some for as little as 24 hours. Half of that number work in the construction sector, he said.