Dear All,
Under construction building collapsed in Channai yesterday night claiming more than 10 death of labours and many are injured. Rescue operation is still on and the death toll is apprehended to go up.
Collapse of under construction building, this is not a first incidence.
We HR professionals should discuss on:
1. Why such kind of incidences do take place?
2. Who are responsible for it?
3. What should be done to prevent such incidences? and;
4. What should be the role of HR professionals in preventing such incidences?

From India, Mumbai

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Dear Mr. Keshav Korgaonkar

Appreciating such a posting with concern.... Let me put down my thoughts with a whole heart condolences and prayers to the deceased soles... May God give strength to their family to sustain…

1. Why such kind of incidences do take place?

Lack of QC check.

Stringent Completion targets. Look out for only results.

Tremendous Workplace Stress.

Safety being neglected or never considered as value/priority.

Cost of non-compliance is much cheaper than cost of compliance.

2. Who are responsible for it?

Management. Law enforcing agencies. Government as a whole.

3. What should be done to prevent such incidences? and;

Stringent law enforcement should take place.

Regular rigorous monitoring from law enforcing agencies to such construction sites and doing auditing. Set the feeling of non-compliance cost is 10 times bigger than compliance.

4. What should be the role of HR professionals in preventing such incidences?

HR professionals can do a lot. I have seen many companies where HR made difference in their overall Safety culture.

1. Acting as key training and capability building aid for the organization

2. Set rules in place at the time of recruiting person. Does your company’s appointment letter say “Safety is a condition of employment?

3. Does your annual appraisal system measure safety performance of individual with significant amount of rating? Say 10-20% depending upon role, being 20% mandatorily for all the top management staffs? Etc…..

A lot like this HR can do… Initiate something in your organization… At least with those initiatives, if you can save a person’s life, indirectly even, it’s a much divine act…

From India

Dear Mr. Keshav

Greetings of the day. Let the departed soul in the collapsed building under construction Rest in Peace. The Major points are already given by Mr. Dipil. I am also trying to give some reply.

1. Why such kind of incidences do take place?

Improper QA/QC check. Not following the approved plan and making the deviation and violating the approved plan.

2. Who are responsible for it?

The Management not following the quality check and soil test before commencement of work to know the strength of the soil to withstand the building being constructed. The Government not having proper check on the locality and giving approval for construction where the lake was available. The public, who are becoming the prey for running behind the cheap cost own house in the nearer city location.

3. What should be done to prevent such incidences?

The Government must follow strict compliance instead of extracting money from the contractors. The government officials must concentrate in qualitative work, instead of asking for water test report, improper cleaning of toilet, canteen white wash, etc., they can seek the details regarding the tensile strength of the reinforcement bar, concrete test report, blocks strength test report, construction water test report, etc. Further they should not get compromise on the quality by asking some favour for their home or office or extract money from the employer.

4. What should be the role of HR professionals in preventing such incidences?

HR can impart training to all the workmen, engineers and other employees about the safety in construction activities, quality work culture, rescue action plan, disaster management, fire accident prevention. etc.

Periodical review of the trained employees on their knowledge will enhance the awareness on safety aspect as well as quality aspect and if required, the employees can be imparted with more training programme till they acquire the required knowledge level and its implementation part.

From India, Kumbakonam
Dear Mr. Keshav Korgaonkar,
Very unfortunate incident which took away the life of 10 employees.
In my openion the answsers for your questions as below;
1. Why such kind of incidences do take place?
I strongly belive the major contributing factors resulted in this incident are ''the business owner may tried to increase the profit margin by not providing required safety precautions.Also this could be as a result of involvement of incompetent engineers who designed the building which covers failure to check the soil nature etc etc..........
2. Who are responsible for it?
Well,this can only be ruled out once the proper investigations carried out.
3. What should be done to prevent such incidences?
Enforcing or restructering law where safety remains number one priority.A similar systems of UK's HSE.
Encourage the employees to speak up without the fear for the lack of safety system.

From Azerbaijan, Baku
Dear Friends ,

Thanks for the nice discussion and very good comments:

1. Why such things happen?

Law is lenient on the perpetrators that include the authority who approved the construction.

Lack of monitoring of violations and corrupt officials.Govt is always reactive and not proactive.


Authority who approved should be removed from the job. The Contractor, Engineer , Architect involved should be should be blacklisted and banned from constrution , and any other activity. The act is not due to in-efficiency but due to diabolical intentions.

3. Consumers should be more careful in checking the approvals and design and engineering aspects and about the people involved.

4. In India , there is a practice of ratifying the violations with fine , rather than

declaring it unsafe and demolishe the buildings that have violated the rules.

5. I would put it on the officials , who are educated and the public trust them and not the politicians.

It is really pathetic, we per force risk our lives to make our livelyhood.

Compensations should be recovered from the erring officials , and people involved and not from public acoount.


Iyer R N

From India, Madras
Dear friends,

This is a second such incident happened in Chennai. It was about 15-20 years ago a 6 storey building under construction collapsed like a pack of cards in Ram Nagar, in Perambur area, Chennai. The neighbour happened to my sister-in-law's complex where they still live in. But the site of scene remains now a silent spectator, now cleaned up serving as a parking space for the neighbourhood, as still the court cases going on. Now the second incident, the third one of the same developers, another complex by the side to follow suit (the TN govt. now cardoned off these complexes suspending all activities there). There is nothing wrong in the laws, they are there to follow and flout & flaunt. Officials overlook provisions of law as unscrupulous builders squander the hard earned money of the prospective owners risking their lives. We never learn lessons from the past time and again. Now the victims rose to 44 as of today all of them poor construction workers, till more bodies to be unearthed. All erring officials, developers and those responsible should be charged with 'culpable murder'. The Govts. should not stop only by announcing ex-gratia amounts to the victims' kith & kin but should enforce law strictly without yielding to pull and pressure and money/muscle power. Let us hope there wouldn't be such opportunity to discuss like this any more. May God grant them eternal peace to the departed souls and care to the next of deceased.

From India, Bangalore
This particular incident is due to the following factors, prima facie.
1. Structural defect which brought down the building.
2. Building is built on lake bed and soil conditions are not checked for SBC.
3. Build Soil, it seems. They ought to have gone for Pile Foundation.
4. The Designers had not analysed the site conditions properly.
5. The developer is naive and he was from Banking sector and ignored the technical aspects.
6. The Plan approving dept - No proper checks
7. Use of sub-standard materials.
8. Compromise on Reinforcement steel.
Safety is secondary in this incident. Main reason is design flaw.

From India, Lucknow
It is quite heart burning to see the huge causality at Chennai building collapse. It is a common phenomena that the workers engaged for construction live in and around the building under construction. At the time of construction, all are in. Now, who are the other people other than workers that are trapped in the present collapse. It is seen that the building came down heavily due to heavy rains. If it is so, it is unfortunate that workers might have tried for shelter. Here the role of supervisory/management is to see that they are all out from the construction sight when is down-poring. What is intended that everybody should also think about some precautionary measures to avoid such disastrous accidents. Also, it is feared that they might have not become the members of "The Building And Other Construction Workers Act, 1996", which gives the workers certain statutory benefits. It is only intended to say that workers requirement/welfare is overlooked. I do not mean that it has priority, but only to say workers are neglected lot. Pl. look from this angle also.
From India, Nellore
Dear Friends,
What to say, there is yet another incident in Chennai taking the toll, 11 lives as a 20 ft.compound wall under construction collapsed on them, the dwellers camped by the side leaving only one survivor in the wee hours of 5th. The neglect of humans, human sacrifice yet again. Now, for some time the drama will start to suspend all construction activities under the guise of reviewing & reassessing en-masse. And the authorities thereafter make hay to give restart permission filling up their wallet, addition of some more black money in the hands of officials and politicians. God also cannot save this country if it goes on like this.

From India, Bangalore
Latest news is the low quality of Ready Mix Concrete used in the 12 storied building collapse. It was also rumored that they got permission for 5 story but constructed 12 floors. Let the fact finding report come out.

Most of the workers families were there as the day was the wage disbursing day (Saturday). As you know, civil workers along with their families flock the construction sites to get the payment as most of the male workers run towards TASMAC after securing their wages. Wives and children wait there to capture the hard earned money from the drunkards. This is one case why most innocents were in the troubled structure.

No insurance coverage for the people who invested their hard earned money in the 94 dwelling units they booked. Tough life for the investors as well as the toiling community. The developers have nexus with all enforcing authorities. People memory is short and the culprits will go scot-free after some drama of investigation, blah, blah.

In my opinion, the structure collapsed due to structural defect but not because of natural calamity. There is nexus between Builders lobby with Banks/Approving Authorities/Lawyers. Always, common man affected.


From India, Lucknow

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