No health, safety audits on Tongaat mall site

2014-02-14 07:25
Rescue workers at the site of a collapsed mall construction site in Tongaat. (Giordano Stolley, Sapa)

Rescue workers at the site of a collapsed mall construction site in Tongaat. (Giordano Stolley, Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Durban - No health and safety audits were carried out in the four months preceding the Tongaat Mall's collapse, a commission of inquiry heard in Durban on Thursday.

Two people were killed and 29 injured when the building collapsed on 19 November, while it was still under construction.

Ismaiel van Zyl, a safety consultant appointed by the contractor Gralio Precast, told the commission that he had never signed off on any scaffolding or supports to be removed.

On the day before the accident, when he inspected the site, no one was working on the football pitch-sized portion of the mall that ultimately collapsed.

He said he had not signed off on any scaffolding or supports to be removed at any stage during the time he worked there.

"The Monday that I was there, there was no stripping going on."

When pressed by the labour department's occupational health and safety manager Phumudzo Maphaha, he said he had not given any consent for the formworks, props or scaffolding to be removed on the next day - the day the accident happened.

The inquiry heard previously that some of the formworks were being removed on the day the slab collapsed.

Formworks are the temporary or permanent moulds into which the concrete is poured.

Van Zyl told the commission his safety folder had disappeared on the day of the accident. It emerged that the book had been taken by one of the supervisors from Gralio without Van Zyl's knowledge.

Safety posts

In further evidence it emerged that the building site foreman had been assigned six safety posts, when the law only allowed for a person to hold a maximum of two such posts.

Van Zyl said he was not aware of any health and safety audits having been carried out or submitted to the labour department in the four months that he had been appointed as a consultant to the project.

Thursday's sitting of the inquiry heard that the structural engineer had only been present at two of the 10 inspections to check post-tensioning cables of the concrete slabs.

Rishen Naidoo of Freyssinet Posten said he was responsible for checking the post-tensioning cables.

Only two of his reports indicated that structural engineer Andre Ballack was on site when he did his inspections.

Ballack only signed one of the reports while Naidoo noted on another that Ballack was present.

Engineer not on site

Asked if this was irregular, Naidoo said: "Irrespective of whether the engineer is on site I have to do my inspection."

Naidoo said his inspection had to take place prior to concrete being poured.

On one occasion he had been asked by his immediate superior to inspect a slab to ensure that reinforcing steel had been correctly laid.

Naidoo said on that occasion, on 7 October, he noticed that five cables were missing and that some bars had been laid incorrectly.

The person responsible for putting the steel bars and cables into place had either not finished his work or "he was incompetent on this particular slab".

Naidoo said when he worked with other clients the structural engineer would usually be on site when he conducted his inspections.

He said he was aware that the eThekwini metro municipality had obtained a court order to stop construction on the site.

"But then I was told that everything was sorted and the work continued."

- SAPA
Read more on:    durban  |  tongaat mall collapse
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Wine
 

You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!

You might not know what a Tsunami Flip is, but just watching this will turn your eyes into saucers. Check out this first-ever MTB Tsunami Flip in contest here.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
Mountain unicycling – say WHAT?
Top tips to ensure you’re running right
Stand-up paddle boarding a great workout

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Pushing too hard and doing too much may have left you feeling drained and overwhelmed. You may need time out to recharge and reset...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.