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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

Men 'caused death of Dubai construction worker crushed by road barrier'

Dubai Court of Misdemeanours was told that the barriers were not safely secured when one toppled over the sleeping worker

Four employees accidentally caused the death of a construction worker who was crushed to death under a concrete road barrier in Dubai, a court heard.

On February 2, the 34-year-old Bangladeshi worker was sleeping behind the barrier on a construction site near Al Yalayis Road in Jebel Ali when, at around 10pm, a vehicle crashed into the 1,300kg concrete barrier, causing it to collapse on top of the man, killing him.

One of his colleagues told police that he went looking for the man after he wouldn’t answer his calls. He found him crushed beneath the barrier and called his 47-year-old Indian supervisor, who in turn called police.

The Bangladeshi colleague said, in court records, that he saw markings on the barrier that led him to believe a car had crashed into it before driving away.

He said the onus was on the company to track the vehicles that entered the construction site.

“I don't know how the driver of the vehicle which hit the barrier was not identified. The vehicles that have access to the site are known but there is no list of them and the timings they enter the site. There should have been an employee to keep record of that,” said the labourer, 30.

His supervisor said the workers have a dedicated room where they can take their breaks and he did not know why the deceased chose to take a nap outside that room.

“The room is about 500 meters away from where the accident happened, and we have documents to prove that,” he said.

The supervisor said that following the accident, they questioned all the drivers of the vehicles that work on site but were unable to discern which one was involved in the accident.

Police also carried out an investigation and were unable to identify the vehicle, he said.

“There are 12 water tankers and three cranes that have access to the site but there isn't a record of which ones entered the site that day, especially since it was a Friday,” said the supervisor.

Dubai Municipality’s safety engineer said that the barrier should have been tightly connected to the other barriers creating a chain that would prevent any of them falling, which was not the case.

The Ethiopian safety supervisor, 45 was home when he received a call about the accident. He said he went straight to the site to find police already there.

A supervisor, the Ethiopian safety supervisor, and two Indian engineers, aged 55 and 38, were all charged, at Dubai Court of Misdemeanours, with accidentally causing the man’s death by failing to ensure the barrier was properly secured and by allowing a worker to rest in an unsafe area.

Each of them denied all charges and will appear in court again on June 4.