Alarming rise in cases of workplace casualties
India ranks second when it comes to workplace accidents and illnesses. In fact, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) reports that globally, every 15 seconds, 153 workers meet with an accident at the workplace.
Apart from that, on an average everyday around 6300 people, worldwide, die from occupational accidents or work-related diseases.
From these staggering statistics, one can identify that human loss has been immense due to unsafe work environments.
To classify these incidents, there are primarily three types of hazards, workplace fatal, non-fatal and physical injuries, and occupational diseases. Out of which workplace accidents take the top spot.
The Tragic Incident of Dombivali Factory Blast
In May 2016, the chemical factory owned by Probace enterprises exploded at Dombivali East in Mumbai MIDC area. The incident caused the death of 12 people and injured around 201. The impact of the explosion affected the people at the nearby residents and shops.
The mysterious blast resulted in the shattering of glasses and rooftops in a two-kilometre radius from the factory. Resulting in many reported cases of trauma victims, the incident noted prominent injuries due to the cuts from the shattered glass pieces.
With the cause for the accident still being investigated, the loss of people remains uncompensated. The injuries and deaths left people with deep scars both physically and financially.
Framework for Safety in Indian Workplace
In the past 50 years, India has witnessed an immense growth in the manufacturing, industrial and technological fields. With the upscale in business, the number of dangerous incidents in workplace is bound to increase unless stricter, more refined laws and implementations are followed.
Although the Indian Constitution contains a system for occupational health and safety, it only applies to certain restricted industries. It still keeps a huge part of the workforce outside the scope. According to international studies, many workers employed in smaller factories and industries in India are not provided with any legal and healthcare protection in the instance of an accident on the job.
Ways to Prevent and Protect Against Workplace Hazards
The rising workplace accidents can be mitigated by consciously taking measures. Some of the safety pre-requisites are as follows:
- Employee responsibility of being alert and aware of volatile surroundings
- Proper safety equipment for operating tools and heavy instruments
- Reduction in stress and distraction in workplace through appropriate and timely breaks
- Proper and regular maintenance checks on heavy machinery
- Organising safety classes in workplace
- Precautionary measures through healthcare aid and insurance policies for workers
- Ease of accessibility to emergency exits and paths in case immediate evacuation is required
- Coverage for risks in special environments involving chemical and other combustible processes
- Accountability through reports sent to higher authorities even of the smallest inconsistency concerning safety
While accidents by definition cannot be avoided, proper precaution can save lives and savings of the people. Safeguarding the interests of the employees, employers can protect their workforce with the appropriate insurance plans that cover accidents and diseases at the work place.