A dramatic scene unfolded last week in HCM City when three young workers fell from the Giga Mall construction site on Phạm Văn Đồng Boulevard (Hiệp Bình Chánh Ward, Thủ Đức District) and were seriously injured, raising concerns about safety at high-rise construction sites.— Photo plo.vn
HCM CITY — A dramatic scene unfolded last week in HCM City when three young workers fell from the Giga Mall construction site on Phạm Văn Đồng Boulevard (Hiệp Bình Chánh Ward, Thủ Đức District) and were seriously injured, raising concerns about safety at high-rise construction sites.
The dangerous situation is a consequence of State management authorities’ labour safety shortcomings and the failure of investors, supervisors and contractors to follow regulations.
According to Sài Gòn Đầu Tư Tài Chính (Saigon Investment and Finance) newspaper, the accident happened at the construction site for Khang Gia Land Investment and Trade Company’s “supermarket, entertainment, movie” project.
The company hired the Thuận Việt Construction-Trading Co Ltd to build the development.
Thuận Việt company further outsourced some of the labours, signing a contract with Toàn Hưng Construction Service Ltd and a group of freelance construction workers.
At 9:00 on the morning of September 24, workers heard a disturbance and looked up to see three of their colleagues falling from the building. The three victims – Phan Khắc Tiến, 32, Phan Minh Tới, 29 and Nguyễn Minh Duy, 31 – were all freelance workers from the central coastal province of Bình Định. They were moved to Thủ Đức District General Hospital for treatment.
A representative of the contractor, Nguyễn Đình Trương, said it was likely an accident. “One person slipped, pulling the others,” he said.
This is the latest in a string of recent construction accidents in the city.
On September 11, two workers died at the Saigon Homes trade and apartment centre on Hương Lộ 2 Road (Bình Trị Đông A Ward, Bình Tân District) when the scaffolding they were using to transport bricks to the 10th floor of the building collapsed. They were Hà Văn Khoa, 58 and Nguyễn Thị Nhung, 59.
On September 19, onlookers panicked as a 20 metre crane from a Gia Định Automobile Company construction site fell onto Văn Đồng Boulevard (Gò Vấp District). Fortunately, there were no injuries.
The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs’ Labour Safety Department put HCM City on a list of 10 cities and provinces with the most deaths due to workplace accidents.
In 2017, HCM City reported a total of 1,492 work-related accidents, causing 123 deaths and 306 serious injuries.
According to the labour ministry, the city now has more than 400,000 enterprises and factories with a combined 4.5 million workers.
As the largest economic area in the country, the workplace safety issue is becoming a hot topic.
Experts from the labour ministry and other relevant agencies agreed that carelessness from investors and workers was to blame for most construction accidents.
There are labour safety procedures and work safety methods in place to prevent dangerous work environments, but they are not always followed properly. In theory, properly permitted construction projects must account for the quality of the plans, labourers, materials, technical equipment and construction processes.
Construction sites should have labour safety departments to proactively conduct safety checks in all of the aforementioned categories.
Many construction projects in HCM City follow a different model: investors conduct safety checks only after a workplace accident has already occurred.
Nguyễn Ngọc Hải, director of the HCM City Science Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, said accidents in the construction sector account for 67 per cent of total work-related accidents, with falling and electrical shocks being the primary causes of injury.
Hải said contractors often sign short-term deals with small sub-contractors who lack technical experience. Since sub-contractors do not need to set up long-term safety practices, they often manage to skirt regulations designed to keep workers safe. Additionally, some workers are not educated in personal protection and therefore fail to use the protective equipment they are given.
Oversight agencies will continue to inspect businesses that have had accidents to prevent similar incidents. Enterprises that violate safety rules will be punished. Inspectors will transfer investigative reports to the police in serious case.
Local authorities and labour inspectors share the responsibility of examining construction sites and enforcing safety regulations.
Police of Thanh Xuân District in Hà Nội on Saturday decided to launch an official investigation into an accident at a building site in Lê Văn Lương Street, which killed one woman and injured another.
Earlier, they announced that workers at the construction site made mistakes in operating the suspended platform.
About 6pm on Thursday, some workers were assigned to install glass outside the fifth, sixth and seventh floors of the building. When they were set to finish their working day, they operated the suspended platform, which was at the 16th floor, to come down and pick them up.
The suspended platform is used to help workers move up and down the exterior of the building.
Because of mistakes in operation, part of the suspended platform fell down. A single mum, Dương Thị Hằng, 31, from Bắc Ninh Province, died after being crashed by the platform. The accident also injured Nguyễn Hùng Cường, 62, from Hà Nội.
Construction of the building for mall and rental offices on Lê Văn Lương Street was granted a licence by the city’s Construction Department for 16 floors and two basements. Its investor is Sao Mai Import, Export and Investment Ltd Company based in Ba Đình District. DHP Hà Nội Technology Development Joint Stock Company based in Hoàng Mai District is a subcontractor responsible for the building’s glass installation. — VNS