Posted by: nedpelger | February 17, 2010

Construction Supervisor Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for Building Collapse

Last June, I wrote about Why Chinese Buildings are Falling Down? That post showed the some powerful photos of a toppled building.

I later wrote about Contractors Arrested for Lacking Common Sense and tried to explain what actually happened in the collapse. I went on to speculate that the authorities would probably never get to a clear understanding of what occurred.

I was wrong. Today an article announced that 6 people were sentenced in a Shanghai court to prison for 3 to 5 years.

It was interesting to see that the  manager of the building’s real estate developer and the person in charge of construction were both sentenced to five years in jail. While the project manager and safety manager, who were deemed directly responsible for the collapse, received four years in jail.

The on site construction supervisor received a three year sentence, partly for dodging checks by the building inspectors.

To my sensibility, it’s appropriate to hold those with higher authority to a higher level of responsibility, even though they probably weren’t involved in the details. We have the tendency to be lenient on everyone involved in a failure, not wanting to do the unpleasant work of holding people accountable for both their tasks and their management.

Remember, this construction and design work we do has dangers: for the public and for us.

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