By Sarah Keane • 28 February 2021 • 17:04
EMPLOYER faces up to four years in jail after trying to cover up a fatal work-place accident in Mallorca
A businessman from Son Ferriol faces up to four years in prison as he answers charges of reckless homicide and against worker’s rights at a Palma court this week, after attempting to cover up a fatal work-place incident and pressure the victim’s widow into changing her story repeatedly.
The court heard that on October 27, 2017, the employer gathered several employees to clear furniture out of a first floor office building, but as the stairs was narrow, he instructed staff to lift the objects out of the window onto a crate, which had been placed on a forklift. As the workers moved a cast iron wood stove that weighed 45 kilos, the victim had to lean out of the window, and as a result, plummeted 4 metres.
Rather than calling emergency services, the employer put the man in the back of his car and drove him to the nearby hospital, where he never mentioned a work-place accident. In fact, he persistently claimed it had been a domestic accident. Doctors at the Son Llàtzer hospital confirmed that the man had damaged his spinal cord and he died on August 23, 2018 as a result of his injuries.
“The same day of the accident he came to tell me that I could not say that he was a worker, but that it was a domestic accident. He pressured me many times”, the widow at the trial, whose complaint led the National Police to investigate what happened.
A labour inspector, a technician from the occupational risk prevention company and an official from the Ministry of Labour who investigated the incident were clear in their assessment. “That work did not have a risk assessment”, “the method was not adequate”, “you cannot lower an object like that through a window in that way”, and “he was not wearing any anti-fall equipment”, they told the court. A forensic doctor also confirmed that the transfer of the worker to the hospital in the back seat of a car “was not adequate” and could have aggravated the injuries suffered.
The widow of the victim has requested that the prosecution ask for a four year custodial sentence for the employer, along with €700,000 in compensation.
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Former teacher and health services manager with a Degree in English, Sarah moved to Spain from Southern Ireland with her husband, who runs his own car rental business, in 2019. She is now enjoying a completely different pace and quality of life on the Costa Blanca South, with wonderful Spanish and expat friends in Cabo Roig. Sarah began working with Euro Weekly News in 2020 and loves nothing more than bringing all the latest national and international news to her local community.
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