The State Department of Public Works has revealed that poor maintenance of the scaffolding structure at Bajuun Towers in Pangani was the primary cause of its collapse on Saturday.

Principal Secretary Joel Arumonyang noted that the scaffold used by construction workers was constructed from aged wooden planks. Over time, exposure to weather conditions weakened the structure, rendering it unstable and incapable of supporting the weight of the workers, equipment, and materials.

“As the construction progressed, the scaffold collapsed from the 10th floor, extending all the way down, and landed on the neighboring property, taking down the workers with it,” said the PS.

On the day of the incident, the PS highlighted in a statement that “the construction workers were without personal protective equipment, particularly lacking helmets and safety harnesses.”

“Unfortunately, this led to the loss of 4 lives, with 8 others currently recuperating at Kenyatta National Teaching and Referral Hospital and Pangani Hospital. One person who was missing has been accounted for in safe condition,” Arumonyang said on Sunday.

PS Arumonyang said the incident occurred as workers were plastering the external walls of the 15th, 16th, and 17th floors of the 17-floor construction project.

The PS announced that an immediate multi-agency inspection and assessment of the site will be carried out, with appropriate action taken against any parties found responsible.

Following Saturday’s incident, the state department emphasized that construction workers operating at elevated heights must adhere to platforms and scaffolds that comply with approved safety and design standards.

Regulations pertaining to safety of works at height should be strictly adhered to and the consultants involved in the supervision of such works should ensure the temporary works used by contractors are approved,” said the PS.

Arumonyang emphasized that contractors are responsible for ensuring that construction workers adhere to safety standards. Additionally, the PS cautioned that developers and contractors carry the primary responsibility for creating a healthy and safe working environment for their workers.