Stricter safety measures must be taken to prevent residents from being injured in and around construction sites, officials have said following the injury of a toddler who fell into a manhole outside of an Al Sadd hotel last week.
The three-year-old Jordanian boy was apparently playing with his brother when he fell into an 8-meter (26-foot) hole outside of the hotel his family was dining in, Arabic daily Al Sharq reports.
CMC member Hassan Abbas said accidents like this could be avoided by implementing strict rules, the Peninsula reports:
“Such accidents have happened many times, before two months, a 12 years old child fell in an open hole. Government should intervene and stop this kind of negligence. Construction sites should be covered must put warning signals and construction companies should be informed that any negligence would be a punishable offence,” said Abbas.
Mohamed Nawayisa, the father of the child, who was in intensive care at Hamad Hospital last week, told Al Sharq that he saw his son falling and worked with hotel staff to extract him.
The Peninsula translates:
“It took 20 minutes for us. Ambulance arrived within five minutes, his heart beat was low when we reached the hospital, it took 20 minutes for him to breathe normal. What happened to my child shouldn’t happen to another, there should be proper action taken to cover such holes.”
Safety for workers
Safety for construction workers themselves has also been in the spotlight, especially in the run-up to the 2022 World Cup.
Just this month, a worker was seriously injured when a building collapsed in Madinat Khalifa.
The number of fatalities per 100,000 workers in Qatar is four to five – double the rate seen in the European Union.
And Qatar’s National Health Strategy 2011-16 recognizes that “although occupational health legislation exists in Qatar to safeguard the health of workers, many employers do not seem to be in full compliance with some of its provisions.”
Meanwhile, international trade unions have blamed Qatar’s violation of global standards in terms of workplace safety on the refusal to allow workers to unionize and continue to push the country on its treatment of migrant labor.
Credit: Photo by Dan A’vard