China Henan resumes SWASCO works in L/stone
Livingstone, Jun 13/14———Livingstone District Commissioner, Omar Musanje, has lifted the suspension of China Henan International Corporation, whose works were suspended following an occupational accident where two people died and one sustained injuries.
China Henan International Corporation, a company contracted by the Southern Water and Sewerage Company (SWASCO), was ordered to halt civil works by Labour and Social Security Minister, Fackson Shamenda, last month until safety measures were put in place by the contractor.
Mr Musanje inspected the accident site in Livingstone on Thursday and was satisfied with the safety measures put in place by the contractor to protect workers.
“China Henan has reached a stage where they have put in place all the recommendations that were given to them by the Ministry of Labour and National Council for Construction and we feel now that the works should continue,” he said.
Mr Musanje said it was important to safeguard the people on site and expressed confidence that with the measures in place, the workers would still be safe even in the event that trench walls collapsed.
“It is not government’s position to continue suspending works. What we just want is for safety measures to be adhered to. We want to see this project completed on time and at the same time we want to ensure contractors follow the law of the land. The law is very clear; we need to protect people as they are working. This is why we had to come in as government,” he said.
The District Commissioner urged China Henan to continue with the works using the Factories Act Chapter 441 of the Laws of Zambia and warned that resuming works did not give them a leeway to disregard safety measures at any stage of the works yet to be done.
Mr Musanje warned all contractors in Livingstone to prioritise safety measures for their workers failure to which government would intervene in their operations.
And China Henan Site Agent, Frank Zhang, pledged to abide by the Zambian labour laws.
Meanwhile, the consultant on site, Oliver Kamangula, said measures were put in place according to recommendations from the Ministry of Labour and National Council for Construction.
“We have put in some necessary measures according to the regulations. Initially we were using the benching method but we are now using scaffolds and timber to protect trenches in the event that they collapse. This way, we are able to safeguard the workers on site until we lay the pipes,” he said
Mr Kamangula said only 50 metres were remaining out of the six kilometre-length of pipes to be installed.
He was confident that the project would be completed on time although the safety measures put in place would slow down the pace at which the workers would be working.
The Southern Water and Sewerage Company contracted China Henan International Corporation to conduct civil works which include digging of trenches for laying of water pipes on Airport Road in Livingstone.
Chishimba Mukuka, 30, and Morris Namambo, 28, died on May 14, 2014 when walls of a trench collapsed on them while Obvious Mukoya, 25, escaped with injuries.
Works were halted when investigations conducted by the Ministry of Labour revealed negligence and failure by the contractor to abide by safety and health regulations stipulated in the Factories Act.