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Egyptian worker crushed to death after falling into cement mixer in Kuwait Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Egyptian worker crushed to death after falling into cement mixer in Kuwait

The incident occurred at a cement factory in Kuwait's industrial district [Getty]

Date of publication: 13 September, 2019

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The death of an Egyptian construction worker after falling into an industrial cement mixer demonstrates the precarious situation of foreign workers in the Gulf.
An Egyptian worker died on Thursday after falling into an industrial cement mixer in a factory in Kuwait, local media reported.

The fire department came immediately to the cement plant in Kuwait's Sulaibiya industrial area and managed to retrieve the worker's body from the six-metre-deep machine.

A security source told Kuwait's al-Rai newspaper that the body was handed over to the forensic team who were investigating the incident and the circumstances of his fall.

Like all Gulf countries, a large proportion of Kuwait's workforce are foreign labourers who lack many employment rights and safety provision.

Construction has been named the most dangerous sector in Kuwait, according to a 2016 report, with serious injuries or accidental deaths among construction workers comprising nearly half of all worker injuries in the country.

Companies' disregard for safety precautions and use of old and unsafe equipment, on top of an uptick in ambitious building projects, are to blame for the increased danger.

Furthermore, employees are reluctant to wear hard hats in Kuwait's unbearable heat.

Poor economic conditions and rapid population growth in Egypt have pushed many to find work abroad, mostly in the Gulf states.

However, workers are extremely restricted and often exploited once in the Kuwait. The kafala system ties workers to their employers, with employees unable to switch jobs without the permission of their employers. If they lose their job, they lose their visa and must leave immediately.

The rampant abuse of Filipino nationals, especially domestic workers, working in Kuwait led to a diplomatic crisis between the two countries after the body of a Filipino maid was found in an apartment freezer in the Gulf state earlier this month.

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