Labour accidents in Cyprus are on the rise and some workers are high risk, according to Ministry of Labour data which shows the seriousness of the problem.
Total work-related accidents in 2017 were 2,070 while in 2018 they increased to 2,156, up by 4.15%. Most of the reported accidents concerned food delivery workers – 25.93%. One was fatal last year.
Other high risk jobs are in the manufacturing sector with 16.70%, followed by those in construction with 14.38% and wholesale and retail with 12.89%.
Two fatal labour accidents took place last year, one in the land and pipeline transport, one in electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning, one in the food industry and two in the production of other non-metallic mineral products.
As for workers under the age of 18, eight were injured in the accommodation and catering sector last year. Also in 2018, 142 additional accidents were reported (8 incurred to self-employed persons, three to out-of-work persons and 131 on their way to or from work).
The Ministry also reported a total of 23 hazardous workplace incidents in 2018. These involved 6 cases of collapse or overturning or failure of part of lifting equipment, 6 fire/explosion, 3 contact with overhead power lines, 3 leakage of flammable or other substances, 3 collapse of buildings / structures, 1 scaffold collapse and 1 electrical short-circuit.
In addition, 15 legal cases were completed in 2018 concerning 70 labour law violations relating to safety and health at the workplace. Fines imposed on defendants totalled €88,600 in 2018, compared to €92,250 in 2017 when a total of 14 court cases were completed.
In addition, a defendant in a labour accident case in 2018 was sentenced to two consecutive three-month and two-month prison sentences, with a two-year suspension. And a total of 27 new criminal prosecution files were drafted and forwarded to the Legal Service for approval.
Work-related health cases before court last year included one concerning myasthenia, another of diabetic lower limb neuropathy, of chronic neuropathy and various other health effects from inhalation of ammonia.