There have been more deaths from what may have been unauthorised construction work sites – a problem common in many parts of the world.
In the latest episode, two workers in Dubai have been killed and another was seriously injured when scaffolding collapsed at a construction site in in the Al Quoz industrial area.
According to a report on Construction Week Online, the workers were not killed not by scaffolding or by a fall, but were rather crushed by a crown-shaped decoration made of concrete which fell from the roof.
Officials from Dubai Municipality say they suspect the maintenance company involved (not named in the report) may not have had permits for the work.
Worse, there are allegations that the scaffolding had not been properly installed when it was erected for the maintenance operation on the roof of the building.
Colonel Ail Ghanem, Director of the Bur Dubai Police station, says that four labourers responsible for health and safety at the camp were arrested in connection with the incident. Those proceedings are on hold pending the results of an investigation into the cause of the accident.
The latest incident is one of many which highlight ongoing problems associated with illegal and unauthorised construction not just in Dubai but also throughout many parts of the world.
In January, illegal work is suspected to have been behind the collapse of three buildings – one twenty storeys high – in Rio de Janeiro, killing at least five people and injuring many others.
In India, where the High Court of Delhi in February declared unauthorised construction to be a ‘menace’ which was ‘eating into our city’, buildings at around a dozen unauthorised construction sites were ripped down in April.
As well, the latest drama also highlights the dangers associated with scaffolding.
Indeed, scaffolding is currently a subject of special attention in a safety blitz which is sweeping Dubai’s neighbour, Abu Dhabi, with engineer Abdul Aziz Zurub, director of the Health Safety and the Environment Division of the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City urging builders to pay specific attention to ensuring that scaffolding was properly installed and erected, that employees working at heights had appropriate training and experience, and to take special heed of the dangers of working with scaffolding in adverse weather conditions.
Also, in Dubai itself, a number of fatalities at a construction site in Dubailand last January were linked to scaffolding.