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Cup safety woes admitted after Kiwi killed

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/06/2017 Matt Slater

The Qatari organisers of 2022 World Cup have provided the first details from the investigation into the death of a New Zealand worker in January, confirming that safety issues have been identified.

Zac Cox, a rope-access technician who had been living in Britain, was installing a catwalk system in the roof of the Khalifa International Stadium, the first of eight World Cup venues the Qataris aim to complete by the end of 2020, when the incident occurred.

The 40-year-old's lifeline became snagged when a lever hoist failed and one end of the catwalk dropped, leaving it hanging. Overloaded, his lifeline snapped and he fell 39 metres.

Cox, who was born in Christchurch, was treated at the scene and then transported to hospital, where he died of multiple chest and head injuries.

These details are contained in the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy's second annual workers' welfare progress report - a 53-page document which details the scale of the World Cup-related building project in the small but wealthy Gulf state.

The report explains that a "joint accident investigation team", led by the site's main contractor Midmac-Six Construct, a Belgian-Qatari joint venture, completed its report within a fortnight of the incident.

An ongoing investigation by the local authorities continues to limit the amount of information the organisers can release but there is a key admission in the workers' welfare report.

"The (investigation) team had raised concerns with the method of installation of the raised catwalk system," it says.

"This required further investigation regarding the method itself and the supervision skills of the specialist contractor staff. A number of corrective and preventative actions were promptly put in place by (Midmac-Six Construct) on the stadium.

"Furthermore, the (Supreme Committee) implemented checks and additional controls across all stadium sites to prevent recurrence of the incident."

The report also contains details of the death of a Nepalese worker at the Al Wakrah stadium in November - he was hit by a water tanker - and five non-work related fatalities.

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