The Olympics began on Friday, but did you know that eleven construction workers were killed while building the properties being used for the Olympic games?
The rush to complete the Olympic sites required 23 hour shifts (max by law is 10 hours) and a lax on safety. "It's a shocking number of deaths. The Brazilian construction industry has a bad record when it comes to health and safety, but when you have a fixed deadline to deliver projects, as is the case with the Olympics, things get even worse," said Cynthia Lopes, a public prosecutor at the state of Rio de Janeiro's labor courts.
As a comparison, eight construction workers died preparing for the World Cup in 2014, zero deaths preparing the 2012 London Olympics, and six deaths preparing for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Robson Leite, the Superintendent at the Ministry of Labor in Rio said," These are deaths that could have easily been avoided. The preparation for the Olympics has been a scandal when it comes to the health and safety of workers."
An audit of the construction showed that shifts were more than double what they should be, there was a lack of safety equipment, and 600 of the workers were hired informally. "These employees have no official papers and are overworked. They are pulling 23 hour shifts. This greatly increases the risk of accidents. This situation is a ticking time bomb," said Hercules Terra, and auditor for the Ministry of Labor.
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