Zero safety

Construction work is a common sight in Mumbai and so is the flouting of basic safety norms at such sites.

Written by Express News Service | Published: July 24, 2012 3:33:16 am

Construction work is a common sight in Mumbai and so is the flouting of basic safety norms at such sites. The recent accident on the Eastern Freeway construction site at Shanti Nagar,Wadala,brought to the fore gaps in safety measures. The lack of safety measures is also seen at the construction sites of other projects,such as the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro,Milan Subway rail overbridge and skywalks.

Project sites are not sufficiently barricaded. Vehicles are parked haphazardly under half-completed structures. Workers don’t wear the required safety gear such as harnesses,gloves and shoes while engaging in construction work on elevated structures. In some cases,labourers live their lives atop under-construction structures. They sleep on the partially-constructed elevated structures instead of going to labour camps.

In the case of the Wadala accident,vehicles were parked under the spot when labourers were launching 13 concrete segments between two piers of the Eastern Freeway. As a result,a car,a Maru cab and an oil tanker were crushed.

After the accident,the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) decided to be more stringent in enforcing security measures at construction sites. The authority,which used to refrain from putting barricades to ensure smooth traffic flow,has decided to cordon off areas where launching operations are on.

The MMRDA is planning to send an advisory to all contractors executing its projects to ensure that no vehicles are parked beneath structures,especially where launching work is underway.

On making safety gear compulsory for labourers,officials said the MMRDA and the contractors find it difficult to enforce the rule as workers often reject it saying the safety gear is too cumbersome.

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