Steel beam falls at construction site, killing 2 workers

TOKYO —

Two workers were killed and one injured after they were hit by a large steel beam that fell on them at the construction site for an apartment complex in Tokyo’s Edogawa Ward on Friday.

According to police, the accident occurred shortly before 7 p.m. NTV reported that the steel beam fell unexpectedly and crushed thee construction workers, killing two men, aged 29 and 30, and injuring another worker, 42.

According to officials from the Tokyo fire department, the beam was approximately 4 meters long and weighed about 42 kilograms and had been wire bundled with 200 other rods at the time. Somehow, the wire binding the beams became disconnected and one fell onto the three men.

Japan Today

  • 2

    smithinjapan

    Geez... both dead were very young men. And only the day before yesterday (I think) a passerby was killed in another example of lax safety measures. Come on, people! Accidents DO happen, of course, but it seems preventable ones are becoming more frequent. It's not clear how the bundle became loose in this case, but obviously it should NOT have been lose and the beam shouldn't have fallen. RIP.

  • 12

    SwissToni

    Why were people underneath a load during a lift?

  • -4

    tinawatanabe

    Maybe not enough manpower...

  • 2

    Ali Khan

    These are heavy load work and some times rushes, overtimes and the exhausted conditions can make the situation worse and then such tragedy happens, workers safety is for more important then anything else

  • 3

    letsberealistic

    Let's hope standards improve before the Olympics construction gets into full swing. Be interesting to see if they can beat Londons impressive safety record which was the best in history.

  • -4

    Americanhonor

    Japans Safety standards in construction are at the top end of the world... This is a freak accident of sorts. Nothing to do with olympic facility construction though and you have to remember jspanese apartment complex buildings are high rise, and complex nothing in London compares.

  • 8

    igloobuyer

    AmericanhonorAUG. 23, 2014 - 07:23PM JST Japans Safety standards in construction are at the top end of the world... This is a freak accident of sorts. Nothing to do with olympic facility construction though and you have to remember jspanese apartment complex buildings are high rise, and complex nothing in London compares.

    Really? According to the ILO Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health & Safety; "in the United States, construction represents 5 to 6% of the workforce but ACCOUNTS for 15% of work-related fatalities—more than any other sector. The construction sector in Japan is 10% of the workforce but has 42% of the work-related deaths; in Sweden, the numbers are 6% and 13%, respectively."

    Doesn't seem a very high standard of safety to me.

  • 0

    poppler

    @igloobuyer

    I'm not claiming that Japan has better safety records than the US (because I don't know) but your stats don't prove anything. Your stats compares construction worker death rates to other sectors in that same country. The other sectors in the US, such as cops, soldiers, convenience store workers, etc., have much higher fatality rates than their Japanese counterparts. That's going to lower the the overall representation for construction workers. Do you have any stats comparing construction worker fatality rates between various countries?

  • 2

    NeoJamal

    What happened to the age old Japanese construction site motto that's spelled out on the girder: SAFETY FIRST?

  • 4

    inakaRob

    I am 100% curious and honest. Does construction related accidents and deaths happen so much more often in Japan compared to the USA or is it just they lack of reporting of such incidents in the USA. Cause it sure seems like there are a ton of accidents in japan construction. When I did a internship with the army corp of engineers I got OSHA certified. I see a lot of construction and maintenance stuff in japan that would violate a ton of laws in the USA. Plenty of times I have seen safe work practices. Safety ropes for example. But then go two blocks down to a different construction site.... And no ropes. It's like without fail they always have hard hats on.... But then are standing on a slanted roof with no rope. And what's with the baggy pants? Surely that has to be a little unsafe, and can't possible serve a valid purpose.

  • 1

    Tessa

    I see a lot of construction and maintenance stuff in japan that would violate a ton of laws in the USA.

    Not only in the USA. A European engineer who was in charge of a project in Japan told me that he had to send notices to the construction companies warning them of unsafe work practices (he even included photos of workers dangling from buildings without safety harnesses, etc). And personally I've witnessed many things, such as rickety scaffolding, and work equipment left outside and unsupervised even in neighborhoods with young families, etc.

    And what's with the baggy pants?

    Apparently they do serve a purpose. Workers say that they are able to "feel" their way around through the side flaps, which comes in handy when they are on scaffolding. to the western sensibility they look kind of dangerous, though (imagine if they catch on something).

  • 1

    Disillusioned

    weighed about 42 kilograms and had been wire bundled

    Yep! Only true professionals rely on fencing wire! Professional idiots that is! I've driven cranes, forklifts been a doggy and workplace health and safety officer. So many of these industrial accidents in Japan just seem to be so stupid! The other day there was a huge steel fence slab fell into the footpath killing a pedestrian and six months or so ago there were a couple of workers killed when a wall collapsed on them after being hit by a crane. Yeah, accidents happens, but incidents occur! Obviously, this bundle was insufficiently bundled and these workers were standing too close. It was only a 45k beam, but it was enough to kill them. It must have fallen onto their heads and crushed their skulls like melons!

    Famous last words: "Stick a bit of fencing wire around it mate! She'll be right!"

  • 1

    Novenachama

    I don't know anything about the construction industry except that it is probably one of the most hazardous to workers and would also assume that their standards are reviewed annually and changes and improvements made in the variety of construction and work processes. Anyone involved in the construction industry would know that construction safety is an important part of the industry and that this would mean that you should be doing all you can to make sure that they don't occur. The next best thing to completely eliminating accidents is reducing them, or at least reducing the risk of them occurring. To achieve this goal you would have to first understand what the main causes of accidents and deaths are in the construction sites because providing a solution to a problem is not impossible without first knowing the causes of a problem.

  • 3

    wtfjapan

    ive worked on construction site throughout Japan, and worksite safety here is back in the dark age compared to other countries

  • -1

    rickyvee

    @igloobuyer

    i'd like to see you back that up with a link.

  • 0

    surfer21

    Safety standards are a joke in japan! In Australia the safety standards are very strict which causes costs to rise but workers in general have a reasonably safe workplace. In japan i usually see no safety googles when grinding etc, no ear plugs, cutting with oxy and using no goggles, etc etc....which i expect in SE asia but was surprised to see here. It is hilarious when i see the work safety for olympics signs around tokyo

  • -1

    igloobuyer

    rickyveeAUG. 25, 2014 - 11:05AM JST @igloobuyer i'd like to see you back that up with a link.

    You have an Internet connection, don't you? Just copy and past the quote into Google and tada! The magic of the Internet is revealed and you have arrived in the 21 first century.

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