Construction work on the Sh6 billion Kakamega Teaching and Referral Hospital has been suspended for a week after a protest by workers over safety concerns.
Dr Brenda Makokha, the project’s director, on Monday asked the main contractor, CRJE East Africa, to review all the safety issues raised by the workers and come up with a solution.
"This is a five-year project and we do not want the construction of the hospital to be delayed by disputes between workers and the management of the contractor. It’s unfortunate we have ended up losing one of the workers through an accident," Dr Makokha said.
The protest began after an employee slipped and fell to his death from the fourth floor on Saturday.
The workers later broke into the house of a Chinese supervisor and physically assaulted him following the incident.
Subsequently, police officers were on Monday deployed at the site to restore calm, with the employees boycotting work until their grievances are sorted out.
The workers said they do not have protective equipment such as helmets, gumboots, safety harnesses and reflector jackets.
They also complained of poor working environment.
"Our supervisors shout and hurl insults at us as we go about our duties, and that piles pressure on us," one of the workers said.
Dr Makokha asked the workers to avoid taking the law into their own hands, instead to forward their concerns to the management.
The project manager Peter Sheng promised to tackle the issues.
Dr Makokha added that the Chinese company will pay for the burial expenses of the worker from Shiatsala in Butere Sub-County.