Meyersdal inquiry: Workers untrained, safety plans ignored

The commission is investigating the cause of a deadly house collapse in which 7 construction workers died.

FILE: Rescue workers on the scene of the Meyersdal Eco Estate collapse on 19 August 2014. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The commission of inquiry investigating the cause of a deadly house collapse in Meyersdal has found that the construction company contracted to build the house did not follow the law in terms of health and safety checks.

Commission chair Phumudzo Maphaha says investigations have revealed workers were not trained and safety plans were not drawn up or even followed.

Contractor Errol Romburgh refused to answer questions put to him on Wednesday, after three surviving construction workers testified that they were not trained.

Parts of the double storey house at the Meyersdal Eco Estate caved in August, killing seven construction workers.

Maphaha has told Romburgh that he and the construction company he heads are partly responsible for the August collapse.

"We believe that workers who died there were not informed of the hazards they were working under."

Maphaha also gave Romburgh the opportunity to answer questions or comment but the contractor refused and remained silent.

His attorney told the commission he is exercising his Constitutional rights.

A total of 17 construction workers who were on site at the time of the collapse are expected to give evidence at the commission.

The inquiry is expected to continue today with testimony from an engineer, the owner of the house and members of the Ekurhuleni City Planning Department.

The commission is expected to sit for eight days.