Aqaba incident reveals legislative and regulatory gaps

Concerning occupational safety — Workers’ House

aqaba leak gas
A picture shows a view of a snapped cable hanging from a crane at the site of a toxic gas explosion in Jordan's Red Sea port of Aqaba on June 28, 2022. A chlorine gas explosion killed 13 people and injured more than 250, authorities said, when a tank that fell from a crane released a poisonous yellow cloud at Jordan's Aqaba port. (Photo: AFP)
AMMAN — Workers’ House for Studies issued a report on Tuesday on safety and health in the workplace, in which it indicated that the Aqaba Port incident revealed legislative and regulatory gaps in the field of occupational safety and health. اضافة اعلان

According to the report, a copy of which was sent to Jordan News, these gaps point to the inability of official bodies to impose control over most institutions and work sites, or the failure of employers to provide decent and safe working conditions and environment at work sites.

The report said that figures issued by the Social Security Corporation indicate that an average of 14,000 work accidents occur annually, causing injuries, and include about 200 deaths, at a rate of one work injury every 37 minutes and one death every two days.

Injuries caused by people falling account for the highest percentage of work injuries, followed by those caused by falling objects, then injuries caused by manual labor tools, in addition to dust, gas emissions and chemical substances.

The report said that these figures do not reflect the actual number of work injuries in Jordan, which is certainly higher than that for several reasons. Most workers in the informal economy, who are estimated to constitute approximately 48 percent of the total labor force in the Kingdom, are not covered by social security, and their injuries are not reported.

The agricultural sector, whose workers are still not covered by social security insurance, is considered globally to have the highest rates of work injuries.

The report said that more than half a million workers are not covered by any type of insurance.

At legislative level, the report indicated that although the Labor Law has devoted a special chapter to the issue of occupational safety and health, and issued a number of regulations and instructions, there is still need for more comprehensive and detailed technical texts, especially in the sectors most exposed to work accidents.

The report underlined the importance of having a national strategy for occupational safety and health to reduce work accidents and injuries, and to ensure full coordination among all concerned parties. It added that 4 percent of GDP is lost as a result of the cost of injuries, disabilities, and related deaths in the form of treatment, compensation and absenteeism.

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