Khadim-e-Aala (Chief Minister) of Punjab Mr. Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has just announced that Lahore Metro Bus Project will be inaugurated on 10th February 2013. Indeed it’s a great project that will enable residents of Lahore to travel using air-conditioned buses at a fast speed, as the buses would run in the especially designated fenced corridor. This mega project is first of its kind in Pakistan. I congratulate Shahbaz Sharif on this remarkable work.
Unfortunately improper safety precautions during the 10 month long construction phase once again put a lot of stress on the residents and visitors to Lahore. Punjab government didn’t take a single good initiative in implementing HSE (health, safety and environment) measures. The scaffolders were working at heights without any safety harnesses. Welders were doing their job without wearing gloves, and general labours were doing their works without wearing any safety gear at all. I could not understand that how Khadim-e-Aala could digest these highly dangerous practices. He himself visited the construction sites always without wearing a helmet, safety vests and safety shoes. There was never a single Protection/Safety Officer with his team during a single site visit. This is just because unfortunately we have no value of a human life in Pakistan. Many drivers and riders had accidents because of no barricades available on the sides of deep excavated roads.
In Australia, where I live and work, there is a high level of safety implemented throughout the construction period. There are dedicated traffic controllers (not Police) who wear highly visible vests and guide the traffic with hand held traffic signs. On the construction sites, no one can enter without attending the necessary safety briefing and signing the attendance. Without the presence of Protection Officer no visit can be arranged. Even Australian Prime Minister has to wear the safety vest, safety shoes and helmet. No worker is allowed to do his work without wearing the required safety gear. This is because there is a high value of human life in this country.
If one gets a chance of attending an indoor seminar or conference in any area of Australia, he would notice that the first speaker talks about safe exits and safety procedures prior to any other discussion. He/she informs the audience how to exit in case of a fire or emergency.
I really appreciate these things. It does not cost too much as compared with the huge amounts required for the delivery of a construction project, but use of safety gauges saves thousands of lives.