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Times of Oman - 04.05.2015

Muscat: Three workers were killed after a wall fell on them while they were renovating a well in Nakhal area on Saturday, according to the Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulance (PACDA). 

The bodies of the three men were retrieved on Sunday. 

Onsite training 
Commenting on the latest accident at work site, a safety expert said that onsite training of workers, giving them protective gears and quality equipment as well as their regular upgrade are some of the measures that should be taken to avert accidents.

Safety measures 
Besides advising companies not to compromise on the safety measures at work sites, the PACDA officials urged people on Twitter against overcrowding sites where rescue operations are under progress. 

Last week, two expatriate workers died in a mountain cliff collapse in Qurum. 

Stressing the importance of safety, Mark Pudwell, business development and training manager, 
Competence HR, said, "Worksite safety is a hugely relevant issue throughout the world but particularly in this region where a vast numbers of construction and development projects are being carried out by international corporations as well as local construction companies. A majority of these companies use semi and unskilled expatriate workers as they are readily available and cheap to hire."

Urging the companies to adhere to the highest levels of safety norms, Mark said, "All (construction) companies must adopt an ethical approach to business which must include the health and safety of all its employees regardless of pay grade, ethnicity or education. Strict laws and regulations regarding standards of construction and safety are designed to safeguard clients and employees but these are often only as effective as their monitoring and control by the authorities."

Mark added, "Many companies and government departments in Oman insist upon the highest standards of safety as part of their brief to prospective construction partners but not all are as thorough in their scrutiny of construction companies' methodologies and safety records but sadly there are far too many who choose to ignore the safety of their employees in the interest of making a few more dollars."

 "It is every construction worker's basic right to be protected in his or her workplace, whether it's an inherently dangerous one or not and our government departments and our more ethical companies must encourage those less scrupulous construction companies to adhere to the law. Full onsite training by a competent person and appropriate quality protective equipment must be given to all those involved in this industry. The training and equipment must be regularly audited and updates made where applicable," he added.
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