Tragedy waiting to happen?

THE tragedy that struck a construction site in Ajman on Monday has once again put the focus on the construction and safety standards. Are they lax? Are enough safety measures being taken at construction sites in the country?

Are the workers exposed to greater dangers than they should be? The Ajman incident adds one more chapter to a series of accidents that have been reported in recent times.

If industry sources are to be believed, most of the recent construction site accidents could be attributed to lax safety measures. It would seem that some people, in a rush to complete their projects in time, may have looked the other way as far as ensuring safety is concerned.

At times, construction workers are seen perched high atop the sites, without wearing compulsory safety belts. Now, the onus of ensuring that they do wear the belts, or take the other necessary safety measures lies not on the workers but on the management. And, it's just one example to cite.

In Ajman, the workers who met their tragic end in concrete, are reported to have gone under the basement roof on their own, without the site supervisor's permission. Initial reports also hint that the company officials might have failed to strengthen the iron support pillars at the site, which were found weak enough to withstand the weight of the wet concrete and that the concrete was poured only at one spot, rather than distributing it evenly. While we'll know the details only after the investigation into the incident is completed, it is time to take more effective steps to avoid negligence and such tragedies at work sites. And such accidents bring bad publicity to the booming construction industry of the country.

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