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March 10, 2010

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Scaffolding faulted in elevator accident

THE improper setting up of the scaffold, the use of unqualified steel and the construction company's lax management led to an accident that killed four workers who were demolishing an elevator last April, the city's work safety watchdog said yesterday.

Four workers from the Dehong construction company fell from an unstable scaffold, the Shanghai Administration of Work Safety said after an investigation.

According to a note on the administration's Website, Dehong asked unqualified staff to manage and carry out the demolishment project and failed to draw up a construction plan, factors that indirectly led to the accident.

On January 16, nine other workers were injured in a similar accident. They fell from a 20-meter high scaffold they were setting up for the construction of an elevator, and three of them were buried by the collapsed scaffold. Luckily, they survived.

The scaffold was set up improperly, and its supporting pole was distorted, resulting in the collapse, said the note.

However, the construction company, which hired unqualified workers - five of the nine holding no certificates to work on the project - and continued construction despite learning that the scaffold was improperly erected, was also partly responsible for the accident.

"Such incidents occurring in elevators are rare in Shanghai," said Li Bin, an official with the administration.

The note said both companies involved in the accidents failed to make out construction plans and supervise the construction procedures, and allowed practice against regulations.


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