Safety audit of 45% of equipment at metro rail sites completed

About 45 per cent of the safety audit of equipment across Metro Rail sites in Chennai was completed on Friday, and all the cranes that have been checked so far met safety standards, according to officials of Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL).

The audits were conducted by the general consultant to CMRL, along with plant and machinery experts the contractors’ side, according to V. Somasundaram, chief general manager (construction), CMRL.

The checks were done in the presence of CMRL officials. “Parts of the elevated stretch from Koyambedu to St. Thomas Mount and sites in Washermanpet, May Day Park and Saidapet were covered,” Mr. Somasundaram said, adding that construction work had resumed at sites where the audit was completed on Friday.

CMRL initiated the safety audit following an accident at the Pachaiyappa’s College site on Wednesday that killed a worker and injured six persons. The accident was attributed to a “crane boom failure’. However, investigations are on to find out what really caused the crane boom to fail.

Ongoing construction work, particularly that along the underground stretch, is inside completely enclosed spaces. All that pedestrians and motorists can see at these sites of construction are cranes of different sizes moving their iron arm up and down. Each site, said Mr. Somasundaram, has about four to eight cranes depending on the area and nature of construction. Operators of cranes are usually trained by the manufacturers of the machines to familiarise them with the specific controls of the machine.

“Post-training, the manufacturer issues a licence to the operator and the Inspector of Factories also gives a certificate. The validity of such documents will be checked in the ongoing audit,” he said.

The six workers injured in the accident, who were undergoing treatment at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, were shifted to Apollo Hospitals on Friday, according to CMRL officials. Meanwhile, TP Chatram police said their hunt for the operator of the crane involved in Wednesday’s accident, who is absconding, is still on.

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