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Safety practices at construction sites

Bridge pier breakdown in Bangalore, is another eye opener for the need of maintaining safety practices at construction project sites.

Currently, building and infrastructure projects are being executed rapidly across states in India. When we consider the safety of these projects there are unique challenges where lots of safety research, analysis and risk management have to be established. The highest priority is on the safety of workers and the commuters travelling alongside the project are the main challenges.

In regard to infrastructure projects across the country to a horrific tragedy has taken place in Bangalore. A 28-year-old woman and her two-and-a-half-year-old son were killed, while her spouse and daughter sustained injuries. The incident happened due to the bridge pier breakdown.

Bridge pier breakdown in Bangalore
What caused the Bangalore bridge pier breakdown?

The cage in question, a circular column made of TMT bars, weighed 30-40 tonnes and was 16.5 metres tall. When the cage gave way, at least six labourers were working on top of it to remove the scaffolding and tie the guy-wires. As the labourers were removing the scaffolding, the cage encountered an imbalance and one of the guy wires gave away. The labourers jumped down to save themselves.

Bangalore bridge pier breakdown after effect;

Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited has decided to frame a standard operating procedure for tall pillars. In the meantime, they suspended work on piers taller than 12 metres on Central Silk Board-KR Puram-Kempegowda International Airport (Blue Line) corridor. Work on piers up to 12m will continue.Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited wants to come up with a fool-proof method to avoid such accidents.

BMRCL Focus on reinforcement

BMRCL is already in touch with a couple of safety consultants to avoid such incidents in future. They await an expert report based on which they will draft an SOP/revised framework for piers taller than 12m.

BMRCL initially formed an internal inquiry committee and asked the civil engineering department of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) to do an independent investigation. Initial investigation revealed that the reason for this tilt and fall was inefficient support to the reinforcement pillar. The in-field team took pictures and measurements of the supporting cable they had used to conduct the study.

But, Bengaluru police intervened and asked IISc to put their study on hold and asked IIT Hyderabad to take it up instead

The technical team along with the Bengaluru police reached the spot to carry out a detailed survey about raw materials being used in construction work to corroborate evidence on what caused the collapse of the Metro pillar.

The final report is awaited…

Safety practices the construction sites

This incident once again raised the question of safety guidelines in construction sites. General safety guidelines were not followed at the metro project construction site. Basic safety protocols such as signage for under construction were not used at the site. The final report of the incident is still due, but few safety measures should have been adopted.

It is the responsibility of construction contractors, project managers, workers and commuters to abide by basic safety guidelines. Below are a few safety measures that need to be adopted at project sites.

Although every project has unique characteristics, basic principles are universal. These common tricks for both construction contractors and commuters are not negotiable. Keeping these road construction safety tips in mind and continuously practising good safety habits can mitigate injuries and fatalities.

Keep watching this space for more updates on the Bangalore bridge pier breakdown story.


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