Ensure safety norms are followed at worksites, orders High Court

Engineers and other supervisory staff will face legal action if they fail to ensure that safety protocols are strictly and effectively enforced during road and other construction works, the Kerala High Court has said.

The admonition came against the backdrop of a youth losing his life in a bike accident at a bridge under construction at Thripunithura in Ernakulam in the first week of June. It was reported that there were not enough warning signs on the stretch which resulted in the accident.

Though the responsibility of ensuring safety measures during road work is that of the contractor, engineers and other supervisory staff are obligated to make sure that they are also available at every worksite without exemption, directed Justice Devan Ramachandran.

The court issued the warning while considering a petition on the poor condition of roads in the State.

As the case came up, the Chief Engineer (Roads) filed a statement detailing the safety protocol. The official said that the responsibility of erecting safety barriers around excavations and openings and setting up scaffoldings, guard rails, barricades, and temporary stairs was that of the contractor. He also informed the court that a circular had been issued directing engineers and other supervisory authorities to make sure that the protocol was strictly followed.

The court felt that engineers must be held responsible if any life is lost for want of safety precautions. “The fear of law must be carried by them, and they should be told that such incidents will expose them to every penalty as per the fullest warrant of law,” the judge noted.

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Printable version | Aug 15, 2022 12:16:42 am |