Two wall collapses, two sites, two dead

Basic health and safety still ignored 48 hours after first tragedy

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By  Conrad Egbert Published  May 14, 2005

Two Separate investigations are underway into how two construction workers were killed last week on separate construction sites in Dubai. In the first incident at Dubai Health Care City (DHCC), an Indian worker was believed to have been working underneath an unsupported concrete retaining wall at a Bauer site, when part of it collapsed, crushing him to death. In the second incident which took place at Dubai Media City (DMC), another worker was also killed by a collapsing wall. Both tragedies are understood to have been caused by unsupported concrete retaining walls. Five other workers are believed to have been injured at the DMC site. When Construction Week visited the Bauer site 48 hours after the first accident, it was clear that basic health and safety measures were still being ignored despite the fatal accident that took place 48 hours earlier. One safety expert who was shown our pictures of the scene said he was “appalled”. He said: “If you look at the picture closely, you can see there is no railing to stop the man at the top from falling, and he and the others do not have harnesses to protect them if the cage tilts and they fall out.” Construction Week’s pictures reveal that the contractor had driven the steel sections from ground level and then excavated down to drill and install sloping anchors. Bauer site engineer Fazli Raziq Shah said: “I wasn’t there when the accident happened. I was on my rounds and was visiting another site at the time. “I believe the accident was due to the man’s own mistake. The other workers with him said that he had either dug too much underneath the wall or in the wrong place. “The concrete slab came loose and fell on him, crushing him to death instantaneously.” Contacted earlier this week, Bauer spokesperson Samir Eiyad said that the company “was not taking responsibility for the accident”. Eiyad said the part of the project where the man was working was controlled by sub-contractor Al Jasmi. When Al Jasmi was contacted, a spokesperson claimed the man was employed by yet another agency.

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