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Dubai Appeals court acquits builder of manslaughter

The acquittal followed the death of a contracting worker at a construction site in Dubai's Business Bay this April

A worker on an unnamed contracting company died following a fight at a construction site in Dubai's Business Bay in April [representational image].
A worker on an unnamed contracting company died following a fight at a construction site in Dubai's Business Bay in April [representational image].

A builder who fell on and killed a construction worker while trying to break up a fight at a Dubai construction site this April has been acquitted of manslaughter in Dubai, local media reported.

According to The Gulf Today, the workplace fight saw a 34 year-old mechanic punch a construction worker on “various parts on his body”, with a builder intervening to stop the fight but inadvertently falling on the now deceased victim – a worker of an unnamed contracting company.

The event in question reportedly took place on the 25th floor of a construction side in Dubai’s Business Bay area on 3 April.

Suffering “sustained respiratory and circulatory system complications” from the impact, the worker died, with both the builder and the mechanic – who claimed he was acting in self-defence – denying manslaughter, the Sharjah-based news outlet added.

READ: Middle East construction supply chains must unite for fire safety

However, Dubai’s Criminal Court’s jury convicted both of manslaughter and jailed the pair for three years, plus deportation.

On appeal, Dubai’s Appeals Court reportedly pronounced the builder innocent and rejected the mechanic’s self-defense pleas.

READ: Improving safety on UAE construction sites

“The builder stepped in trying to take the deceased aside,” The Gulf Today added. “He was pulling the deceased away when the latter lost equilibrium and fell on the cemented floor.”

The issue of construction site safety has taken centre-stage over the past year, with the Middle East witnessing major advancements in safety standards over the past decade.

Abu Dhabi Municipality, for example, issued 67 offences and 53 warnings during a three-day inspection campaign against contractors and consultants for failing to comply with safety rules, as reported by Construction Week in June.

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Construction Week - Issue 753
Nov 09, 2019