NAIROBI, DEC 22 — Kenya Railways has condoled with families of the two employees who died while working at a construction site on the Standard Gauge Railway project.
A culvert under construction at the Maai Mahiu section of the Nairobi – Naivasha SGR project collapsed on December 18, killing two employees and injuring several others.
In a statement on Friday, Kenya Railways managing director Atanas Maina relayed his “heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones of the departed and injured employees”, saying the collapse “was a terrible tragedy for Kenya Railways”.
He said the contractor will cater for the funeral expenses and hospital bills for the affected.
The managing director has attributed the cause of the incident to “abnormally strong wind” which caused the enforcement bars of the culvert under construction to collapse, adding that further investigations are on- going to ascertain the actual cause of the incident.
Meanwhile, Maina has refuted claims that the workers did not have helmets and other protective gear while working on the culvert hence the fatalities, saying that Kenya Railways has since construction of Phase 1 of the project, strictly ensured the contractor abides to labour laws and safety procedures in all matters.
“It is worth noting that Kenya Railways has continually and strictly ensured that the contractor abides with the set-out labour laws in the engagements with their employees. Standard safety procedures have been laid down and the supervising consultant for the SGR project ensures that these are followed to the letter. Adjustments are made periodically to continue improving the safety of the employee,” he said.
“In light of this accident, the contractor will conduct a safety compliance check at all our sub-section offices to ensure that every section is adhering to the laid down safety procedures. The contractor will also initiate the compensation and claim process with the insurance providers”, the MD said.
To effectively manage the aftermath issues, Maina has directed the SGR contractor to make adjustments to reorganize the working shifts, and offer paid leave to the affected in a bid to allow time for healing process.
“Besides ensuring that the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway project is of the highest quality, the safety of our employees is and always will be our number one priority. Our goal is to fully understand what happened and how we can prevent a similar tragedy from occurring in the future,” he said.