Workplace Safety Watch – August 2018

Construction

On 19 August, 6 workers Jagjeet Singh, Manjeet Singh, Rameshwar Mukhia, Raghbir Singh, Ranbir Singh and Harpreet Singh died and 7 others were gravely injured when a 30 foot high wall of a under-construction rice sheller collapsed at Fatehgarh Sahib, Chandigarh, Punjab. The police have booked the owners of the sheller, Rajesh Kumar and Himanshu Bansal, and contractor Avtar Singh under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code.

Sumesh (30) a contract worker from Bihar died after falling from the roof of Platform no.4 of St. Thomas Mount railway station in Chennai, Tamil Nadu on 25 August. Sumesh was hired for removing the asbestos sheets from the roof through a contractor and not provided any safety equipment. Police has registered a case of accidental fall.

Sanitation

Onkur Ramesh (58), a sanitation worker with the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) died on 29 August when he was run over by a lorry, while on duty at Kattedan, Hyderabad, Telangana.

Manufacturing

On 1 August, 2 contract workers, Balasubramanian (38) and Jaishankar (27) of Sterlite were injured due to leakage of sulphuric acid during routine evacuation of acids at the sealed copper plant at Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu. Sterlite employs 200 contract workers for evacuating acids, inflammable materials and raw materials at the Tuticorin plant.

The police have registered a case against the contractor Premkumar and 2 supervisors Ilavarasan and Muthuram of a private company for negligence causing danger to life under IPC sections 285, 286, 287 and 337.

  1. Kannan (27) died in a fire that broke out in an illegal aluminium powder manufacturing unit in West Amathur, Virudhunagar, Tamil Nadu on 8 August. The small-scale unit was used for converting aluminium scrap into aluminium powder which is used in manufacturing of explosives. Owner of the factory Arun Shankar is on the run.

Others

On 3 August, 12 workers were killed and several others sustained severe burn injuries in a major blast at the Sri Vigneswara Stone Crushing Unit, a granite quarry at Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh. The quarry has been operating on lease for the last eight years and employs around 35 workers, mostly migrants from Bihar, Odisha and Chhattisgarh. the blast occurred after gelatine sticks used to blast granite, stored in a shack near the temporary shelters of workers, exploded. It has become difficult to ascertain the identity of the workers due to the severity of the burns.

Gopinath, Sub-Inspector, Alur; K Natarajan, Assistant Director, Mines; C Srinivasulu, Revenue Officer, Alur and Nagaraju, Tahsildar, Alur have been suspended for negligence and complicity in allowing illegal quarrying. Police has arrested the owner of the quarry Srinivasa Chowdary, unit manager B Ramesh, supervisor Mahabub Basha, labor contractors Kailash and Syamla Sahu and explosive in-charge B Narayanappa.

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