Friday, 26 December 2014

Feeling really really guilty

Along with most people I know, I was really amused by a clip of Pakistani building workers driving piles by bouncing up and down in time to a suitable Bollywood tune.  I linked it as an example of ingenuity, in a post which actually featured a colleague's use of a team of workers to do a structural 'Excitation Test' on a Gulf building site.

What I forgot was that the funny clip is in reality the mask for horrific practices on building sites in developing countries.  I think more people ought to know.  Architects in particular should do what they can to eliminate these barbaric ways that people are used and used up.
The 'human mule' in the first image is carrying billets of timber upwards of 100Kg, from a stockpile to the saw, in a timber mill.  Unless he gets it just right, he can break his back.

Women are employed because they are cheap, and use the traditional skill of carrying heavy loads on their heads.  They tend to smile for the camera.  Which makes you forget that the piecework quotas they are on, demand very long days and often involve young family members.

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