What good is a whole legal arsenal if it is emptied of its substance?

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What good is a whole legal arsenal if it is emptied of its substance?

The day before yesterday, nearly 28 employees perished in a clandestine textile factory located in the basement of a villa which is not far from the center of the city of Detroit. The causes and circumstances of this drama remain unclear, but it is by no means the first such drama and it will certainly not be the last. Indeed, the victims of Tangier only further extend the long list of workers who have been killed in their workplaces and in the supposedly clandestine factories on which the competent authorities will continue to turn a blind eye until let the irreparable happen. According to official statistics, the construction sector, for example, records an average of 40,000 work accidents annually and 2,000 declared deaths. Has it become so dangerous to go to work in Morocco? What about the safety measures taken in the workplace? Are employees sufficiently protected in their physical and moral integrity? And what about the responsibilities of public authorities, labor inspectors and employers? “In view of the law, Morocco has a sufficient arsenal to support and promote the principles of prevention in matters of health and safety in companies. Indeed, we have a theoretical conception of what should be the practices in the matter. Efforts have also been made in terms of training and awareness, without forgetting all the initiatives taken at the level of the Ministry of Employment, ”said Hassan Laajaj, prefectural director in charge of labor inspection. Indeed, the legal texts dealing with health and safety at work are abundant and diverse. Some date from the time of the Protectorate while others are more recent (law n ° 65 – 99 of December 2003, decree of the Minister of Employment and Vocational Training n ° 93-08 of 6 joumada I 1429 ( May 12, 2008), Constitution of 2011 (articles 31 and 71) … At the international level, Morocco has not ceased, since it joined the International Labor Organization, to ratify international conventions relating to health and safety at work, and work to bring its legislation into line with global standards (ILO Convention 155 on Occupational Safety and Health and the Working Environment (1950), Convention No. 161 on occupational health services (1958) and Convention No. 187 on the promotional framework for occupational safety and health (2006)). However, our interlocutor considers that taking account of occupational risks and prevention of occupational accidents is still struggling to infiltrate the business world “There are several constraints that limit the effectiveness of the body of health and safety legislation. First, there is the mentality of some entrepreneurs who see measures to protect the health and safety of employees as additional burdens or rather as one of their last worries after taxes, market constraints and issues. financial and administrative, “he told us. And he added:” Then there is a certain resistance on the part of employees to support safety and health measures. Some find these measures burdensome and tiring, rather they believe in fate and believe that any eventual drama is predestined and inevitable. In short, there is an absence of a culture of safety and health at the employer and among the employees ”. The ineffectiveness of the legal arsenal also lies, according to Hassan Laajaj, in the slowness of repressive measures against offenders. gives the feeling that nothing is moving, ”he told us. And to clarify: “We must also add to this table the weakness of the supervision of labor inspectors who work in the field of health and safety and the lack of interest, in general, for this profession”. What about the responsibility of these labor inspectors in accidents and deaths caused in the workplace? ”It should be noted that contractors who work outside the framework of the law often refuse to cooperate with them. Sometimes they even refuse to let them into unauthorized companies that do not follow security measures. These people even ignore the instructions and guidelines given by labor inspectors. In short, these are individuals who seek their own profit to the detriment of the health and safety of their employees. Indeed, these people believe that misfortunes only happen to others and not to them ”, explained our source. And to note: “But, often, the situation changes after the occurrence of a tragedy with the death of a man. This change in behavior can also be seen with regard to insurance policies ”. For Hassan Laajaj, the first person responsible for employee safety is the employer. Indeed, the latter has an obligation of a general nature. He is required, according to article 24 of the Labor Code, to take all measures to preserve the safety, health and dignity of employees, in the performance of the tasks they perform under his direction (…). The employer has, in fact, the obligation to inform the worker about the legal provisions and the protective measures put in place concerning the preservation of health and safety against possible risks. He must take all appropriate measures to ensure the safety and protect the health of his employees. It should also be stressed that the employer must assume the criminal responsibility which rests on the head of the company or his employees with a delegation of power. Violations of the Labor Code are punished by fines which may be combined with the temporary closure of the establishment. The employer is also civilly liable for damage to others caused by his fault or by the fault of the persons for whom he is responsible. Work accidents and occupational diseases are covered according to a special compensation system which provides for partial and lump-sum compensation.