The Abu Dhabi Court of Misdemeanour has convicted a company of causing the death of two men by not providing the necessary safety equipment.
A third worker was injured in the accident and the company will pay Dh10,000 (about N430,000) in addition to the Dh400,000 (about N17m) per worker in blood money.
Initially, the Public Prosecution had referred the company and two of its subcontractors to court for neglect which allegedly led to the death of the two 21-year-old workers as well as the injury of a 30-year-old employee.
The two had inhaled poisonous gases while performing maintenance in a 10-metre-deep water tank belonging to the defendant. The men became short of oxygen while they became exposed to emissions of hydrogen sulphide and methane which are both toxic.
Investigation proved that the company did not provide safety equipment such as gas masks and oxygen tanks which could have protected the workers against the poisonous substances.
The company however denied being responsible for the deaths and stated that it had not asked the workers to clean the container but that they did it of their own free will.
The court acquitted the company’s subcontractors of any responsibility over the deaths.
The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department stated that the law protects workers’ financial and moral rights in all sectors and that all employers must provide full safety to their employees as they perform their tasks. Meanwhile, any physical affliction caused to the worker which can be traced back to a shortcoming on the company’s part will be the employer’s responsibility. [GN]