x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Worker to blame for his death, company tells Abu Dhabi court

Company appeals conviction over death of labourer - saying worker was 'on a break' at the time.

ABU DHABI // A company convicted of causing the death of a labourer due to inadequate safety measures appealed to a court yesterday saying that the worker was “on a break” at the time of death and ignored orders not to return.

The dead worker, a Bangladeshi in his 40s, had been asked along with his co-workers to leave the worksite and take a break following a problem with a power connection.

However, he ignored the order and returned to switch off an electrical panel which gave him a fatal electric shock.

“He’s not even an electrician so he had no business to go to the panel,” I K, the company’s administrative manager, told the Appeals Court yesterday.

“Everyone was asked to leave the site, but he walked away during the break and re-entered.”

But Chief Justice Dr Khairi Al Kabbash said that safety measures should include supervision.

“This is where the company’s error is. Why wasn’t anyone monitoring the workers to prevent the victim from walking back in?”

The company’s lawyer replied that the workers were not on duty when the accident occurred, but were on a break.

“All the workers who were there testified that all safety measures were taken,” he added.

After the original trial at the First Instance Court the company and one of its supervisors, H K, were sentenced to pay Dh1,500 each in fines and blood money of Dh200,000.

The company has already paid its fine and Dh250,000 – Dh50,000 more than it was legally required to.

“When the case was still at the First Instance Court the victim’s family wanted some money as soon as possible, so we sent the embassy Dh50,000 to give the family,” explained I K.

“Then when the verdict was issued we paid the blood money too.”

He asked the court to acquit both the company and the supervisor and asked that the dead man be apportioned 90 per cent responsibility for the accident.

The case was adjourned.