The 17 deaths at World Cup construction sites were documented by Building and Wood Workers’ International, a global trade union based in Switzerland.
At least 70 workers died during construction for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia; 13 before the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro; six before the 2008 Olympics in Beijing; and zero during the building of the Olympic Park at the 2012 Olympics in London, according to trade union officials and news accounts.
Ambet Yuson, the general secretary of the trade union, said Tuesday that it was concerned the death toll in Russia would rise as laborers work from increasing heights and rush to complete construction ahead of the World Cup.
“It should be a wake-up call,” Mr. Yuson said in a telephone interview from Geneva. “They are coming from the experience in Sochi. They should learn from that. If you go back to Sochi, most of the accidents and fatalities happened toward the end of construction. They should know better by this time.”
Mr. Yuson urged FIFA to use its leverage to put pressure on the Russian government so that construction companies “take this seriously.”
Officials for the…