Probe into Free State worker deaths

2011-02-02 21:06
Bloemfontein - Investigations into the deaths of a construction worker and a farm labourer in the Free State will start this week, the provincial labour department said on Wednesday.

Provincial labour spokesperson Wisane Mavasa said the formal investigations into the death of a worker at the construction site of the new Mantsopa Hospital in Ladybrand would start on Thursday.

Labour inspectors would be investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of Joseph Tshabalala, 35, a construction worker who was killed on site while working inside a 3m trench.

He was taking measurements of the soil levels when excavated sand fell on him.

The probe was to check if the employer followed the regulations in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act at the time of the incident.

A report with recommendations would be forwarded to the department's chief inspector for consideration and recommendations to the national director of public prosecutions.

Mavasa said inspectors were also inquiring why a Hoopstad farmer did not report the death of one his workers, Shadrack Malaku, 28, to the department of labour, immediately after the incident as required by law.

A preliminary report indicates that Malaku died while trying to clear out a jammed conveyor in a silo. He was subsequently conveyed into a pit, where he was covered by the raw product from the silo resulting in his death.

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