x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Court orders blood money payment for Dubai labourer killed in machinery

Dubai Misdemeanours Court also sentences one man to six months in prison when a Nepalese man got his head stuck in a brick making machine.

DUBAI // A labourer was killed when his head was crushed by a brick-making machine, a court heard today.

Tulasi Prasad, 28, from Nepal, got his head stuck in the machine after reaching inside to fix some wires. His skull was crushed and his spinal cord broken when a colleague turned the machine on, not realising he was there.

Prosecutors told the Misdemeanours Court that it was MM, 22, a Bangladeshi, who flipped the switch on May 3 last year.

"Seconds before I turned on the machine, Tulasi was about two meters away from it," recalled the worker. He said he then left the machine briefly and when he returned he noticed his colleague's body sticking out from it, dripping blood across the floor.

"I was so horrified by what I saw that I fainted," added the worker.

The men were working for Royal Concrete Products, a manufacturer and supplier of concrete masonry and filler based in Al Quoz. Shortly before the death their supervisor SS, 25, from India, had asked Mr Prasad and MM to change the brick mould in the machine.

"They did so successfully," said the supervisor. However, when he went to check on them later he found one man dead and the other unconscious.

Supervisor BB, 27, from India, was also called to investigate. "I went to check on the matter and found out that [MM] turned on the machine while Mr Prasad was inside."

All three men, along with the company's head of safety ST, 53, from India, denied charges of mistakenly causing the death of the worker.

The safety head said the accident was the fault of the dead man. "His job was to mix concrete but not to fix the brick moulding machine, and he knew this," said the safety head.

The court acquitted BB but convicted the other three.

MM and ST were ordered to jointly pay the blood money of Dh200,000 to the family of Mr Prasad.

MM was also sentenced to six months in prison to be followed by deportation and fined Dh2,000. ST was sentenced to a three-month suspended jail term and fined Dh5,000.

SS was sentenced to a six-month suspended jail term and fined Dh5,000.

salamir@thenational.ae