Crane operator in MPL accident worked 16 hours at the time of accident: Report

Photo: Maldives Ports Limited

Malé, Maldives –  A report passed by Parliament today has revealed that the Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) crane operator involved in the freak accident at the MPL site, which resulted in a worker passing away due to serious injuries after a turf carpet roll fell on him while on duty, was already working for 16 hours at a stretch, at the time of the accident.

The report revealed that the crane operator was not supposed to work that day, and that there was no one at MPL who was monitoring whether he took appropriate rest during the 16 hours he worked.

The incident, which took place on the 5th of February, along with another incident involving a MPL employee on the 7th of January- which also resulted in the death of the involved worker, has been investigated by the State Owned Enterprises (SOE) Committee after complaints were submitted to Parliament.

The report also identified the following issues at the MPL Port, in addition to the worker working for more than 16 hours:

  • At the time of the incident, the signal man guiding the vehicle operator was absent
  • Not announced in writing that in the absence of a signal man, workers are expected to fill in
  • No supervisor at site during the incident
  • No standard operating procedures established at the port
  • No risk assessment procedures set
  • No guidelines present for workers a the port

SOE’s extensive report, also includes multiple demands to both MPL and the government, with a notable demand being that all negligent parties involved in both cases should be investigated by the Maldives Police Service.

The Maldivian Parliament, has fulfilled this demand, and has now decided to request Maldives Police Service to launch an investigation into individuals that were negligent in both cases.

SOE also requested that MPL should conduct an internal investigation, and take action against the identified negligent employees. They added that MPL must take all necessary actions to prevent such an incident form happening in the future, and have given MPL a month to prepare safety guidelines and SOP’s for workers at the port.