Construction accidents should not be described as a “trend.” Sadly, in Brazil there seems to be a trend developing for fatal construction accidents in connection with the building of soccer stadiums for the upcoming World Cup.
While official pronouncements express sadness and regrets at the most recent death, that of a construction worker killed by a piece of falling iron from a crane, it appears that inadequate safety conditions remain at the construction site.
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Workers had gone on strike after the previous death in December of last year, demanding safer working conditions. With this death, it would appear that safety concerns have not been fully addressed.
The most recent fatal construction accident occurred in the Arena da Amazonia being built in Manaus, deep in the rainforest. He died as a crane that has been used for construction of the roof of the stadium was being disassembled.
According to CNN, six workers have died during the construction of the 12 stadiums that will be used for the World Cup games. This is the third death at the Manaus Stadium.
Given that work on the stadiums is behind schedule, the potential for safety matters to be sacrificed in order to save time appears to be a possibility.
It is unclear what, if any, conclusions have been made from the previous fatal accidents. The CNN story does not describe whether there is a Brazilian equivalent of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), but it would appear that closer supervision of construction sites and equipment would be warranted.
One deadly accident may be an accident; six deaths is a tragic trend.
Source: CNN, “Manaus World Cup stadium suffers third death,” Feb. 7, 2014