High Court: Unsafe Workplaces Must be Designated Immediately

In response to a petition submitted to the High Court of Justice by Kav LaOved – Worker’s Hotline – starting last month any safety order imposed by the government against a construction site, factory or farm deemed unsafe for employees or the general public and for which it was ordered closed must be disseminated in real-time.

Until two years ago, the government kept these orders out of sight. And even when they began publishing them, it would do so only two months after initially imposing the order.

A safety order is imposed for safety violations that endanger a person’s well-being or health, and imposing them requires the cessation of work either in a certain area within a worksite or in the workplace as a whole, until the danger is removed. This seems like a given. What’s more common sense than the government informing workers and the public about safety hazards it has identified? Still, until the court’s decision last month this was not the case.

In its petition to the High Court, Kav LaOved demanded that such safety orders be published immediately, in order to warn both workers and the general public against dangerous conditions found at worksites. The organization wrote: “As part of our campaign for greater safety in the construction sector, we submitted a petition to the High Court of Justice two years ago, which demanded real-time publication that would enable monitoring of safety hazards in workplaces for which the orders were issued. We succeeded, and in addition to the construction sector, the publication will include factories, agricultural worksites, as well as injunctions regarding elevators in residential buildings.”

Kav LaOved is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization committed to the defense of workers’ rights and the enforcement of labor laws designed to protect every worker in Israel, irrespective of nationality, religion, gender, and legal status. Since its establishment in 1991, Kav LaOved has helped thousands of workers from all sectors of the population realize and uphold their rights.

Related: Posts on Work Accidents