NEWS

Safety rules ignored in cleaner?s fatal fall

A window cleaner who fell to his death while working at a government building did not have social insurance and safety rules had not been followed, the Labor Inspectorate confirmed on Tuesday without giving details about what action would be taken against the contractor that employed the father of four.

Asiz Emad, an Egyptian immigrant, died on December 19 died after losing his balance and falling from the third floor of the Labor Ministry?s general administration building. His death only came to light when Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) MP Michalis Kritsotakis tabled a question in Parliament on December 23 about the incident.

In its first official statement on the subject, the Labor Inspectorate, which is responsible for ensuring labor laws and safety regulations are adhered to, said yesterday that in Emad?s case, the rules had not been followed.

?According to initial information, the deceased fell from the third floor to the ground due to the lack of safety measures? which indicates a breach in health and safety regulations,? the inspectorate said. It also confirmed that Emad?s social security contributions were not being paid by the contractor employing him. The Labor Inspectorate did not name the company involved but said that it had notified it to give its version of events. Legal action will be launched after that.

?The responsibility of the contractor is great and it needs to be punished swiftly and strictly,? said New Democracy MP Yiannis Vroutsis, who is the party?s labor and social insurance spokesman. ?But the responsibilities of the Labor Ministry are also great.?

The Attica Union of Cleaners (PEKOP) is demanding that the government explain why Emad was working on a Sunday when the contract with the ministry stipulated the cleaning would take place on weekdays. PEKOP also wants to know why no record was kept of the cleaners? presence in the building and why Emad had no social insurance.