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Thursday, October 5, 2023
HomeOpinionDiaryEnsure industrial safety and security of building workers

Ensure industrial safety and security of building workers

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With monsoon rains starting in the right time and high-speed wind blowing across, the security of the working class in buildings is under high risk. At present, the National Building Code (NBC) regulates safety in construction activity and if any structure fails to comply with the codes, its builder will be penalised and in certain cases, the approval can get cancelled or the building may get demolished.

Public bodies like municipal councils are responsible to control the rapid development with limited resources, which brings in the need for technologies and ensure safety and security of the workers’ employed in the construction sector. The enforcement of welfare facilities for workers as per BOWC norms are not followed and Employees State Insurance (ESI) is often not considered too.

A large proportion of the Indian workforce remains outside the existing health and safety laws. There is no requirement to report accidents and ill health in many construction sectors. Hence, there are serious concerns that official statistics are seriously under-reported. Serious issues such as a blatant disregard of laws and workers unaware of their rights aside, the rise of unauthorised and illegal structures across the country can’t be ignored. The absence of sensible urban planning and lack of space have led to the continued spurt of such constructions.

Systematic hazard identification process through workplace inspection, incident reporting, consultation, and feedback from employees should be in place in industries. Risk management is a fundamental principle that should not be ignored. Health records of all the workers should be maintained and periodical screening of workers should be done by qualified and experienced medical professionals must be taken care of. Industrial safety and security of building workers must be ensured at all cost.

Employing migrant workers in hazardous conditions without proper equipment and protective gear continues in the city despite the stringent rules put in place by the local bodies and the Labour Department. Fall protection accessories while working in high-rises are still a dream for manual labourers as they manage with just a pair of ropes or some ladders. In the slippery ground during the rainy season, accidents are bound to happen. Contract labourers are made to work hard and take up highly risky jobs. Fall protection accessories while working in high-rises are still a dream for manual labourers as they manage with just a pair of ropes or some ladders.

Facilities such as bolt-on cable systems with cable fall arrester, track systems with a climbing trolley or top-mounted self-retracting lifelines are seemingly luxury items for even big companies. Cleaning of deep dug wells and the repairing of broken water pipelines in deep trenches still top the lists of risky jobs given to manual labourers without taking proper safety measures. If they agree to such works at the lowest labour cost, they will get more such opportunities. The question about personal security is just the last option then.

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)
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