MUSCAT: People living around construction sites where safety is not a priority have called on Muscat Municipality to take action to prevent accidents that could cause serious injuries or even prove fatal.

Recently, a cement mixer rolled down from a mountain slope in Darsait where construction is being undertaken, damaging things in its path before falling on a parked car.

Jyothi Devikaran, who lives near the site said, “It smashed an electrical box and damaged a small wall. It fell on a parked pick-up truck, damaging its engine. It was afternoon and hence not many people were around. Had it been evening, children who play at the spot would have been badly hurt or worse.”

Those living in Ruwi, Al Khuwayr, Azaiba, Seeb and Darsait where a lot of projects are underway, have said that safety measures have not been taken at all sites. In some places where construction is over, heavy machinery still lies around, posing a big threat.

“The sites have heavy machinery like cranes and excavators and deep trenches. Hydraulic arms of the cranes left extended even after work hours loom dangerously over passing vehicles and pedestrians,” Shazad Chandio, an Azaiba resident said.

Javeria Usman, another resident of the area complained that some sites are not fenced off. “I have seen children venturing into these sites in the evenings to play. There are no barriers or fences to prevent unauthorised entry,” he said.

“Accidents occur at construction sites and many people sustain injuries ranging from minor to severe. In some cases, the injuries are fatal and are caused due to human error and lack of proper supervision,” Adel al Musalmy, HSE advisor, PDO, told Muscat Daily.

“Poorly maintained vehicles and lack of proper roads, combined with uneven ground or debris, overloading or insecure loading, too can lead to accidents.”

He added, “To avoid site injuries, there should be a safe system of work deployed before the start of the project. Risk assessment should be conducted by competent professionals and identified risks eliminated or reduced to minimum with proper control measures. These measures include providing instructions, training, enough supervision and providing workers with personal protective equipment (PPE).”

An official from Muscat Municipality said that all construction companies are always instructed to fence the project site. “People should not cross into these areas and workers are always advised to give safety top priority,” he said.

SOURCE: Muscat Daily