x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Two more deaths on building sites bring toll to 11 in less than a month

Labourers died in separate accidents on construction sites in Ajman and Sharjah over the weekend.

SHARJAH // Two labourers died in separate accidents on construction sites in Ajman and Sharjah over the weekend, bringing the number of such deaths in the Northern Emirates to 11 in less than a month. Mufadhalla Ammanullah, 30, a Bangladeshi, was crushed to death by falling construction material on Friday. An unidentified Egyptian worker died on Saturday after falling from the 10th floor of a building under construction in Ajman's Zahara area. He suffered multiple broken bones and a fractured skull.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Labour's Sharjah office said the department had made it clear to all contracting companies in the country that the safety of workers was paramount. "All companies need to adhere to all safety requirements, and the ministry is very strict with this," he said. "Non-compliance with these requirements is a major transgression, and is punishable by law." Col Saeed Humaid, the head of the stations division of Ajman police, said authorities had already ordered an investigation into the death in the Zahara area.

"We are investigating a likelihood of safety neglect at the work site," Col Humaid said. "We have already interrogated the site engineers and our team will put their findings in a report form this week." Sultan al Mualla, the director of Sharjah Municipality, denied that construction accidents in the emirate were a result of poor implementation of safety regulations, saying that the municipality had implemented safety policies, and that they were being enforced rigorously.

"The engineering department inspects security and safety systems and ensures their compliance with design standards," he said. The department issued licenses for building projects in Sharjah following inspections of the plans submitted by the contractor and the consultant, he said. The deaths come three weeks after four workers died when a construction cradle collapsed at the Ansar Mall in Sharjah. A collapsed cradle was also blamed for the death of three workers last week at a residential building under construction near the city's Sahara Mall.

Two more workers died last Thursday after their scaffolding collapsed in Dibba Husn in Fujairah. ykakande@thenational.ae