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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Qatar Rail contractor killed on the job; investigation launched

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Juanito Pardillo
Juanito Pardillo

With reporting from Lesley Walker

A Filipino expat working as a contractor for Qatar Rail has died while working on Doha Metro construction, the company has confirmed.

Juanito Pardillo, who described himself as a heavy equipment mechanic and fire suppression/lube technician on his Facebook page, was killed on Feb. 28.

Qatar Rail declined to provide any details about the incident that took his life, saying in a statement that a full investigation is underway and “until this is complete it would not be appropriate to comment further.”

It added:

“Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family at this most difficult of times.

Qatar Rail and its contractors operate to the highest standard of health and safety on our sites and measures its safety performance against other major projects across the world. Any incident is one too many, but overall our safety record is a good one.”

Red Line

Pardillo appeared to be working on the Red Line South, which runs from Al Wakrah in the south to Msheireb station.

The project is led by a joint venture headed by QDVC – itself a partnership comprised of the Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co. and Vinci Construction – Al Darwish Engineering and GS Engineering & Contracting.

A Qatar Rail spokesperson was unable to immediately say if this was the first fatality during construction of the Doha Metro.

As of last year, some 18,500 people were employed on the project.

Doha Metro Green Line
Doha Metro Green Line

Human rights experts have previously said that large multinational companies constructing high-profile projects in Qatar typically adopt stringent safety standards.

However, smaller companies working on less prominent sites have a comparatively dismal safety record.

Qatar Rail – along with Qatar Foundation and the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, which is overseeing construction of the stadiums and training facilities for the 2022 World Cup – is generally regarded as having higher working and living standards for employees that the country’s broader construction sector.

During a December 2013 media tour of Qatar Rail’s facilities, officials showed reporters classrooms and construction site mock-ups used to teach new hires about workplace safety.

Before starting work, new laborers must receive four hours of safety training in their native language and pass a test, officials said at the time.

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