Building site fatalities on Dutch construction projects double in two years

The number of job-related deaths on building sites in the Netherlands has doubled in the past two years, according to the social affairs ministry inspectorate SZW.

In 2017, there were 20 fatalities, up from 16 in 2016, public broadcaster NOS reported on Thursday.

The increase is attributed to the fact that there are far more subcontractors – independent contractors known as zzp’ers in the Netherlands – working on Dutch building sites in addition to foreign workers who lack knowledge of the Dutch language and unqualified workers.

‘Previously there was always one major contractor with a safety coordinator, but nowadays there isn’t and this has led to big problems,’ the inspectorate said.

The building sector leads all others in terms at workplace fatalities. There were 162 deaths on construction sites over the past eight years and that represents 30% of the total.

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