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Death inquiry delays building

Update: February, 24/2012 - 10:59

HA NOI — Ha Noi Police have suspended construction work on the Mulberry Lane building in the Mo Lao residential area of Ha Dong District, to investigate reasons for an accident, which left one worker dead and four others injured on Tuesday.

The injured victims have been receiving treatment at Military Hospital 103 suffering from multiple trauma injuries.

One of the injured workers Pham Van Trang said the five workers were mortaring the outside wall on the seventh floor when the scaffolding collapsed.

A representative from the China State Construction Engineering Corporation, the project's main contractor, said workers on the sixth floor of Block E had taken part of the scaffolding frame apart on their own initiative, causing the collapse. However, the police are still investigating the case.

Meanwhile, the Ha Noi Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs said in the end of 2010 when construction work on the project began, the company organised training courses on labour hygiene and safety for workers.

However, at that time the number of workers on the project was less than the present number of 4,000, and the department has been checking how many out of the 4,000 workers attended the courses.

Bach Quoc Viet, head of the department's Labour Safety Division, said the hardest part of construction projects' labour safety is ensuring workers' abilities. Most projects used untrained workers lacking professional skills and with low awareness of the dangers the work involves.

Supervision of the construction site should also be improved, as supervisors are apparently concentrated more on the project's progress rather than worker safety, said Viet.

After Ha Tay Province became part of Ha Noi in 2008, construction inspectors have had to manage a larger area with a low number of inspectors, he said. The number of construction inspectors in HCM City is three times higher than in Ha Noi.

The department would propose to the municipal People's Committee a project assigning district and commune authorities to join in managing labour safety standards, said Viet.

More than 50 per cent of construction accidents were caused by falling from large heights, according to Ha Noi Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs statistics. — VNS

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