At the end of August 2007 the Spanish Government approved further legislation aimed at both reducing the number of accidents at work and promoting stability of employment in the Spanish construction sector.

The construction sector in Spain employs 2.6 million workers (13% of the country’s active population) and accounts for a full 12% of Spain’s gross domestic product. Accidents at work are a big problem in Spain with almost 1,000 fatal and 1 million non-fatal accidents every year.

The new legislation includes a requirement that 30% of the workforce of sub-contracted companies must be on openended contracts by 2010 (workers are mainly engaged on temporary contracts at present). The increase is set in three stages with a target of 10% during the first 18 months, increasing to 20% during the second 18-month period.

A register (which must be available for review by labour inspectors, site management and trade unions) must also be kept on each construction site stating the number of sub-contractors operating on the site. The legislation also imposes strict requirements for the training of workers who face occupational risks and requires that companies keep records of the training undertaken.