Workplace Safety Watch – September 2018

Construction
On 28 September, 3 construction workers, S Sonachalam (62), S Mathi (30) and K Sudalai (55) died and another worker C Murugaprabhakar (38) got seriously injured when boulders and gravel fell on them as they were finishing the de-silting of a 70 feet well in Alangulam, Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu.

Chhotu Kumar (25) a construction worker died when a roof collapsed while he was working in an under construction house in Kirari, New Delhi. The police have registered a case and booked contactor Praveen under IPC Sections 288 (negligent conduct with respect to pulling down or repair buildings) and 304A (causing death by negligence). However, no arrests have been made so far.

Migrant construction worker Bhikhari Mahto (35) died after he fell into a cement mixer while cleaning the mixer plant in Mundka, New Delhi on 16 September 2018. According to the police no safety equipment were provided to the worker. A case has been registered under IPC sections 287 (negligent conduct with respect to machinery) and 304A (causing death by negligence).

On 10 September, 2 construction workers Hari Govindan (48) and Praveen (18) slipped and fell to death from the 10th floor of under-construction government quarters for PWD staff at Todd Hunter in Saidapet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The workers were installing a temporary shaft on the 10th floor while standing on an iron plate that gave away leading to their fall. The workers were wearing helmet but failed to fasten their safety belts. They initially fell on the safety nets put up on the 8th and the 6th floor but the nets tore apart. Police has registered a case of negligence and arrested 3 people, site supervisor Jayprakash, the person in charge at the site, Arivualagan and sub-contractor Sukumar.

Sanitation

Sarfaraz, Pankaj, Raja, Umesh and Vishal aged between 22 and 30 years died due to asphyxiation while cleaning a sewer in the posh DLF Apartments in Moti Nagar, Delhi on September 10th. Dead workers were employed in the housekeeping section of the DLF Resident Welfare Association which forced them to enter the manhole without any safety gear. Three Delhi civic bodies – Delhi Jal Board, East Delhi Municipal Corporation and the Labour Department have absolved themselves of any responsibility in the matter. However, Delhi government has ordered a police probe in the matter.

Luvkush Prasad and his son Praveen Kumar succumbed to death while cleaning the water tank of a pickle factory in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh on September 17th. Their neighbour Hriday Nath Dubey who went to check on them also succumbed to asphyxiation. Traces of carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulphide were found during the Magisterial inquiry. The pickle factory had constructed the water tanker in the residential area in violation of the norms. A FIR has been registered agaisnt the owners of criminal negligence and culpable homicide.

Maravadi Pandit (38) and Mansur Ansari (56) natives of Jharkhand who were working at a printing factory in Erode, Kerala died of asphyxiation while cleaning a septic tank with effluents 3 ft deep on September 10th. The workers were not provided masks or any other safety equipment by their employer. The inspector of factories has initiated a probe in the matter.

Manufacturing

Wajid (25), a migrant workers from Bihar died at a plastic factory in Noida Special Economic Zone on 27 September 2018, while he was cleaning a machine with blades and his colleague unknowingly switched it on. No FIR has been filed in the case.

Mithu Mandal (32) and Ranjit Biswas (38) succumbed to burn injuries caused due to explosion at the cracker factory in the Nadia, West Bengal on 16 September 2018.

Three workers G Purnamba (35), G Yesumariyamma (35) and A Venkateswarlu (50) died while 8 others were grievously injured when an under-construction granite polishing unit collapsed on in Prakasham, Andhra Pradesh on September 27th. No FIR has been filed in the matter.

Six workers Bal Govind, Ravi, Lokendra, Kamalvur, Vikrant and Chetram died due to explosion in the methane boilder tank which they were repairing at the Mohit Petro Chemical Factory in Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh on September 27th. The workers were employed on contract to weld the faulty tanker. Police has registered a case of criminal negligence against the owners of the factory.

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