IndustriALL Global Union along with its affiliates in India has urged the government to take steps to improve the occupational health and safety situation in the country. The Union in an online press conference held on Wednesday made this demand, said Sanjay Vadhavkar, IndustriALL Executive Committee Member in a release.
About 116 industrial accidents in chemical and mining industries across the country about 231 workers were killed between May 2020 to June 2021, according to the release. These statistics hardly shows the grave situation because they are based on a compilation of mainstream media reports and accidents reported by IndustriALL trade union affiliates.
Hence the actual number of accidents and fatalities might be much higher than expected. The release said, a large number of workers have also died due to coronavirus while some of them contracting the infection at their workplaces.
However, IndustriALL assistant general secretary Kemal Ozkan said they are highly under-reported and statistics revealed that their coverage also not completely presently.
The deployment of a large number of unexperienced precarious / contract workers, poor safety inspection system, weak implementation of safety protocol, among others have worsened the impact of the accidents said the speakers at the press conference. Mentioning that they said Industrial accidents in India are a serious concern.
“The government of India should form an expert commission to analyse the industrial accidents and identify the root causes and errors committed. The government and employers should bear their responsibility to protect the health of their workers and immediately address the safety crisis.
“The recently passed Occupational Health, Safety & Working Conditions Code, 2019 fall short of addressing the trade unions concerns,” INTUC president Sanjeeva Reddy said.
“The central and state governments should immediately strengthen safety inspection system, conduct an appropriate investigation, make the accident investigation reports public, hold a public consultation and involve trade unions in improving safety measures and protect workers’ lives at work,” Vadhavkar added.