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Workers of Foreign Origin Involved in a Quarter of Workplace Accidents

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Workers of Foreign Origin Involved in a Quarter of Workplace Accidents

Photo: Ian Prince.

Workers of foreign origin only make up 12% of the Icelandic workforce and yet are involved in a quarter of work-related accidents in Iceland, RÚV reports.

Guðmundur Kjerúlf, the assistant manager of the Administration of Occupational Safety and Health’s PR department, says that foreign workers need better training and education in order to cut back on work-related accidents. “We need to explain things better to them,” he said. “We need to train them better. We need to ask ourselves about the kind of projects we’re assigning to them. They don’t know the language. They don’t know the culture. They don’t know the weather. So we need to give them more assistance.”

Additional findings on work-related accidents reported by the Administration of Occupational Safety and Health include that law enforcement is the profession with the highest rate of workplace accidents in Iceland, although work-related accidents in general have been on the increase since 2010 and serious on-the-job falls have also increased. Over the last decade, a worker has died after a serious fall every other year. Falls in the workplace have resulted in broken bones in 153 instances in the last two years. Just this summer, Occupational Safety has closed down several workplaces in which people were working at a great height without any sort of safety precautions in place in case they fall.

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