Every two working days, an employee dies as a result of a workplace accident.
Trade union ACV commemorated these victims on Monday with a symbolic protest in which employees were laid on black beds in completely white overalls. The shortage of inspectors ensures that the number of accidents continues to rise, according to the ACV.
In 2018, a total of 139 people died due to a work-related accident. 80 people died in the workplace, while 59 people died in an accident commuting to or from work. Additionally, on average around 85 people daily sustained an injury in a workplace accident that rendered them permanently incapacitated for work.
"The only number that has gone down is for minor accidents, but that is probably due to underreporting. The number of serious accidents is not going down," said Herman Fonck of ACV, according to Belga.
Only 133 inspectors are currently responsible for checking safety at all jobs in the public and private sectors. "They can check every employer once every 26 years. In half of the cases, they find a violation of safety legislation," said Fonck.
Trade union ACV wants to introduce one practical rule in the short term: an employer must send a copy to the insurance company when reporting a workplace accident to an employee. Too often things go wrong with the declaration because there is a poor description of the accident.
The Brussels Times