Ministry says workers at Eastleigh building had no protective gear

Red Cross staff at the site where a 17-storey building’s scaffolds collapsed on Saturday in Eastleigh, Nairobi. [Courtesy]

The Ministry of Lands has said four construction workers who died after a building’s scaffolds collapsed in Eastleigh, Nairobi, had no protective gears.

The 17-storey building’s scaffolds collapsed on Saturday afternoon killing four workers who were on site and leaving others with serious injuries.

In a statement Sunday, Ministry of Lands, Principal Secretary Joel Arumonyang said the platform where the workers were operating from was weak and did not meet the approved safety and design standards.

“The workers were operating from a timber platform supported by a scaffold made of old wooden planks and due to the weather element the structure had become weak and unsound hence could no longer support the weight of the workers, equipment and materials,” he said.

At the same time, Arumonyang urged constructors and personnel working on construction sites to work on platforms and scaffolds that are strong enough to sustain the weight.

He challenged the contractors to also provide healthy and safe working conditions for the workers and ensure their works are approved by state regulators.

“A multi-agency inspection and assessment of the site will be conducted forthwith and action taken on any parties found culpable in the witnessed casualties,” Arumonyang added.

The PS acknowledged the rescue team led by the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS), police and emergency response units from the national disaster management unit for their swift action during the Eastleigh incident.

The scaffolds of the building identified as Kuja B Estate on Muratina Road collapsed when the workers on site. The injured were evacuated to Kenyatta Hospital and other medical facilities.

"Kuja B Estate building scaffolds collapse. A multi-agency search and rescue operation is ongoing. Fifteen casualties have been evacuated to Kenyatta Hspital and other facilities. Four fatalities were reported. KRCS Nairobi to set up a PSS and Tracing desk. More updates to follow," Kenya Red Cross said.