LAHORE: The Lahore Development Authority (LDA) on Tuesday informed the Lahore High Court (LHC) that a comprehensive health, safety and environment (HSE) plan for project staff and general public was in place at the Orange Line Metro Train construction sites.
In a report submitted in the court, the LDA said a four-member team from the National Engineering Services Pakistan (NESPAK) was helping the authority and its civil contractors implement the HSE plan, under supervision of the deputy project manager.
The LDA report said the team was visiting the construction site, engaging with project staff and observing their operations on a daily basis. If it observed non compliance with safety standard operating procedures (SOPs), the team was authorised to suspend construction work to prevent any untoward situation from arising, the report added. It said the team was required to inform the supervisors about the violation and to hold discussions with project staff concerned to educate them about standard procedure and its benefits.
The LDA report said that site visits were undertaken regularly to ensure compliance with directives on use of personal protective equipment such as safety shoes, helmets, jackets and gloves. It said safety of workers engaged in construction activity above ground level was particularly important. It said staff was required to ensure use of safety harness, proper platform with access (through ladders) and toe boards in this regard.
The report said that wherever drilling was to be undertaken for pile work the staff was required to ensure that the holes were covered and barricaded properly.
It said steel-corrugated sheets were being used to barricade trenches along the construction site. Proper lights were installed along the route to ensure safety of workers and passers by during night time, it added. The report said flash lights were being used to alert passers by about dangerous points along the route.
The report said the team was required to thoroughly inspect electrical equipment to prevent the possibility of an electric short circuit. It said staff was required to follow guidelines on proper handling and storage of chemicals. It said under the guidelines the contractor was required to install safety signboards and provide fire-fighting equipment at the chemical sheds.
The report said the project contractor, the City Traffic Police and the Civil Defense Department were collaborating for traffic management along the route. Diversion and safety sign boards were installed along the route to avoid untoward incidents. It said the contractor was advised to ensure availability of trained driver with licences for operating heavy equipment.
The report said provision of first aid boxes at construction site had been ensured. Rescue 1122 facilities were also available at all sites. It said firefighting equipment was available at the camp offices and steel yards.
The contractor was required to ensure provision of drinking water, food and other basic amenities for workers. It said project staff was required to store oxygen and welding cylinders in vertical positions at enclosed rooms and prevent their exposure to sunlight.
It said the contractor was required to consult the electricity supply company for planning before starting work near high voltage transmission lines.
The report said that environmental monitoring was undertaken jointly by the contractors, the LDA and the NESPAK in accordance with the requirements for the environment impact assessment (EIA). The contractors were required to develop their waste management plan, it said. On prevention of dust pollution, it mentioned sprinkling of water at the construction sites.
The report said separate emergency management plans were required for each of the four packages of the project.
The LDA has submitted the report on a petition filed following the death of seven workers in a wall collapse accident near a construction site.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, petitioner’s counsel Advocate Azhar Siddique said the measures mentioned in the report remained on paper. He said none of these had been implemented. He said lack of implementation of safety measures had resulted in death of 25 people in construction-related accidents.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 1st, 2016.