Brazil's works ministry has expressed concerns about safety which may affect the construction of the Olympic velodrome

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) — Labor security concerns, identified by Brazil’s works ministry, have affected construction of the Rio Olympics’ tennis and cycling venues, the ministry said Thursday.

The ministry said it had established “the absence of collective protection” and risk of falls to laborers as well as “a lack of secure access” at the velodrome.

Other problems included a potentially hazardous “accumulation of material” at the site and problems with excavation and underpinning.

Furthermore, there was no technical report on the stability of slopes at the site, the ministry said.

The city hall responded, indicating that work was required specifically on the escape ramp at the area being excavated at the velodrome, in order to comply with the ministry’s demand.

But it added that, although that would require a partial halt in work at the venue, “in the other areas, work is going on as normal.”

Recent days have seen work at the velodrome sped up after builders fell behind schedule for next year’s event.

The International Olympic Committee identified the installation as an area for some concern during its February visit to Rio, which will, in August of next year, stage South America’s first-ever Games.

Work at the tennis venue came to a standstill, meanwhile, after the ministry identified a “lack of protection against falls” and cracks on some of the courts as well as near elevators and stairs.

The city hall said it would install guardrails by Friday in a bid to ensure the interruptions do not impact the venue’s timetable ahead of the Games, August 5-21.