Four construction workers from the mainland died in two separate workplace accidents in 2020 after contractors violated occupational health and safety regulations last year, according to the Labour Affairs Bureau (DSAL).
Three workers died at the Galaxy Macau Phase 3 construction site in March, while the fourth perished at a sewage interception project near Ocean Gardens last month.
Lam Iok Cheong, who heads the bureau’s Occupational Health and Safety Department, told a press conference that her bureau ordered 15 work suspension notices last year. Six were issued after work accidents, while nine were issued to the contractors after DSAL officials found a “serious” lack of safety measures on construction sites.
Lam said that her bureau fined construction contractors a total of MOP 560,000 last year, involving 97 cases, for violating occupational health and safety rules on construction sites.
According to Lam, two workers died in two workplace accidents in 2019, while five workers died in five workplace accidents in 2018.
In the accident at the Galaxy Macau Phase 3 construction site, which occurred on 24 March, three workers died and four were injured. The seven male construction workers from the mainland were clearing debris in a lift shaft when part of the scaffolding there suddenly collapsed, trapping the workers.
In the sewage interception project’s accident in Avenida dos Jogos da Ásia Oriental, which occurred on 8 December, a male worker from the mainland died after being smothered by falling soil and rocks. The victim was working 2.5 metres underneath the road surface where he was shoring the two sides with wooden boards. According to Lam, the findings of an investigation into the accident at the Galaxy site show that the collapse was due to the overloaded scaffolding, adding that her bureau fined the contractor MOP 38,000 for violating occupational health and safety rules.
Lam also said that the investigation into the sewage interception project’s accident continues. However, she said that the preliminary findings show that the accident was also due to the contractor having violated occupational health and safety rules.
Lam said that while the number of work accidents each year has been decreasing over the past several years thanks to increased awareness of occupational health and safety, her bureau will not let its guard down in continuing with its duty to ensure the city’s workplace safety, considering that accidents on construction sites could result in deaths.
Lam noted that the decrease in the number of work accidents in the construction sector last year was possibly due to the fact that many projects were suspended early last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
(The Macau Post Daily/Macao News)
Photo by Macau Photo Agency