Friday, February 03, 2006
I took the above picture four months ago. This building is currently under construction in the CBD area. The picture's not very clear because it was taken by my phone's camera, but you can clearly see that there are workers hanging on flimsy scaffolding outside the 6th floor level of the building. The scaffolding on the most part is just a steel skeleton with very narrow wooden planks for the workers to stand on. None of the workers are wearing any safety equipment. No hard hats. They're not even wearing work coveralls.
Yesterday around noon the scaffolding collapsed on one side of the building and a worker fell from around the fifth floor level. I'm not sure if the worker died but it's a nasty fall and most likely killed him.
Who's responsible for occupational safety and worker health in Oman? Is it the Ministry of Manpower? Whoever it is who's responsible why can't they make it mandatory for companies to look after the safety of their workers. Most of these companies know all about the safety requirements but don't enforce them unless they project is for a party that requires. For example PDO and most of the oil companies are very strict about HSE. Someone needs to take charge and make one standard for all.