Workplace Safety Watch – January 2020

Sanitation

On 31 Dec., Arunkumar Patel (43), Manoj Goswami (41) died in Goregaon (east) opposite Hub mall due to asphyxiation in an eight-feet-deep MTNL duct that had three-feet sewage water in it. Arunkumar had entered the duct to place his tools and upon his failing to return, Manoj followed to check on him. An investigation is underway as to who assigned them the task.

On 25 Jan., Siddappa (17), a Scheduled Caste boy died of asphyxiation in Bangalore after he entered to clean a manhole Rs. 600/-. in the premises of Sri. SSBS Jain Sangh Trust. Marianna (50), the labour contractor who entered to check on Siddappa in the sewage chamber, also died after being put on a ventilator for three days. The police delayed in filing a case under IPC 304 Part II, against the trust. It was also found later that the police identified Siddappa as a 20-year-old in the FIR. Many workers and activists held protests and demonstrations to condemn manual scavenging deaths and the apathy of the authorities.

Construction

On 05 Jan., Sukhlal (36), Sunita (35), their daughter Pooja (1), and Uma (30), Kamlesh (40) and Raheesh (35) died and six were injured when an under-construction wall collapsed on them in Jhansi district in Uttar Pradesh. The families of the deceased are to be provided with an ex-gratia of Rs. 3 lakhs and the injured with Rs. 50,000/- by the person who was getting the wall constructed in addition to monetary help by the district administrator.

On 9 Jan., Phool Dev (25) who worked as a helper and a guard died in a fire at the ground, first and second floor printing press in Patparganj Industrial Area. A case of causing death by negligence has been registered by the DCP.

On 11 Jan., 8 people died in an explosion at a chemical factory in Boisar, Maharashtra. The blast took place due to the testing of some chemicals in the factory. The blast is said to have been so loud that it was heard within a 15 km radius and also resulted in shattering of a few neighbouring window panes. The Maharashtra Chief Minister has announced an assistance of Rs. 5 lakh to the families of the deceased.

On 12 Jan., Jaywant Hadal (38) and Ganesh Vayde died succumbing to their head injuries upon tumbling down a 15 feet steep hillock at Jivdani Temple in Virar, Maharashtra. They were employed by the Jivdani trust to work on a funicular rail project to ease access for visitors to the temple that is 1500 feet above sea level. An accidental death case has been registered by the Virar police.

On 13 Jan., Vinod Kumar Saroj (26) and Mohd Saleem (30) died during demolition of a house in the process of which they were trapped under the debris of a wall that collapsed on them.

On 15 Jan., Gulam (40) died at a construction site when the scaffolding they were standing on collapsed and they fell from a height of 20 feet in Nolambpur.

On 16 Jan., Narasimhamurthy (34) died after slipping and falling 35 feet down a pillar at a metro construction site in Bayanapalya, Bengaluru. His father has filed a complaint against the private agency and Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) for not providing Narasimhamurthy with any safety gear.

On 24 Jan., Antaryami Guru, helper of a truck, died while transporting construction materials when the 10,000 square feet roof of a building at Biju Patnaik International airport caved in and crushed him, soon after it was cast. The building was constructed to link two terminals of the airport. The owner of the construction company Dilip Khatoi has been arrested and an inquiry is being carried out.

Manufacturing

On 3 Jan., Ayub Ghanchi (45) and Dayashankar Rajput (35) died and ten were injured when a boiler exploded in PI Industries Limited factory in Bharuch district of Gujarat.

On 7 Jan., Temraj (20) died upon being trapped and crushed between two wagons at Bhilai Steel Plant in Raipur. Around six workers have fallen prey to fatalities in the same plant over the last few days ranging from burns to inhalation of toxic gases. The management has promised a job to a family member of the deceased.

On 22 Jan., and Pankaj Chauriwar (25) and Chen Gang (31) died after the roof of a manganese mine caved in on them, 400 feet below ground level in Gumgaon, Nagpur. They were employees of Manganese Ore India Limited who had assigned a contract to China Coal C3 in India for a shaft sinking project. A case for causing death due to negligence has been registered against the assistant manager of Manganese Ore India Limited, Prashant Gehrawal and Chinese company’s safety personnel Vijay Kumar Swarajsingh and others.

Others

On 30 Dec., Sagar Mashalkar (20), Sagar Parandekar (19) and Raju Parandekar (35), hired by Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation’s private contractor, died due to electrocution while fixing street lights at Hijenwadi, Pune. It occurred when after fixing lights, the roller ladder came in contact with a live overhead supply wire, started moving and the workers rushed to stop it to prevent any accident. The Hijenwadi police is carrying out a detailed probe into the incident.

On 1 Jan., migrant workers Dawarka Prasad (33), Dharam Singh (25), Rajnish Kumar (28) and Amit died of asphyxiation in Sector 69, Chandigarh. They were workers in a Kansal-based catering agency and were called to work for a New Year’s Eve party after which they were asked to sleep in a room outside the house. The workers were found dead in the morning allegedly due to sleeping with coal-brazier (angithi) in the room to keep themselves warm leading to carbon monoxide poisoning. However, the families of the deceased are suspecting foul play. An inquiry under Section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) has been initiated by the police.

On 16 Jan., Nazir Ahmad Ghania, a PDD worker, died after getting electrocuted while fixing a transmission line in south Kashmir district of Kulgam.

On 19 Jan., Geeta Devi, an anganwadi worker, on her way to administer polio vaccine to children in three remote villages of Kullu slipped on the snowy path and fell to death in a deep gorge. These villages can only be reached after a dangerous 22 km trek from Niharni village. The villagers blame BJP MLA Surender Shourie for not having repaired the trail even after several pleas by the villagers. Recently, 40 villagers had sent a signed letter putting forth this demand.

On 18 Jan., Derangula Srinivas Rao (45), Karuchanla Maula Ali (22) and Sekhar (48) died on coming in contact with a live wire at a petrol station in Guntur district of Vijaywada. It occurred when they were working towards changing an electric bulb while on an iron ladder. A case under section 174 of CrPC has been registered as further investigation goes on.

On 22 Jan., Sajith S (42), a railway employee died on being run over by a train near a coach factory close to Kochuveli railway station.

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