Transnet employee falls to death while working on Mpumalanga bridge

By Faeza
22 June 2016


Transnet Limited's largest division, Transnet Freight Rail (TRF), has launched an investigation into the death of an employee who fell to his death while on duty on a bridge in Mpumalanga.

The deceased, whose name will be released once his relatives have been informed, died at the Matsulu Rail Bridge near Mbombela on Tuesday morning.

"[The] employee was fatally injured at 10:50 on 21 June 2016 whilst carrying out repair work on the rail track at Matsulu Rail Bridge, Kaapmuiden. [He] was 43 years old and had two months and twenty one days service," they said in a statement.

"This comes after the employee who was on duty slipped and fell from the bridge into the river and died on the scene."

Unsafe procedures

TFR said inspectors from the department of labour had visited the scene. The company had also launched a line investigation, which would be followed by a board of enquiry, spokesperson Mike Asefovitz said.

He said it seemed unsafe procedures were to blame for the employee's death.

"He was employed at the Nelspruit Depot as an infrastructure worker and leaves behind a wife and three children. Transnet Freight Rail extends its deepest sympathy to the family and friends on this tragic loss."

An official, who spoke to African Eye News on the scene on Tuesday, said the accident was shocking.

"I still can't believe that one of us is no more, even before lunch time. It's only been two months since he was declared a permanent employee and we were so happy about that.

"We are all at risk because we are working at the same bridge where our colleague died. We also asked the company to provide us with the working equipment needed but they told us we have to finish our three-month probation," he said.