NEW DELHI: As India returns to work post lockdown, there have been industrial accidents at least every two days, killing and maiming workers, polluting the surroundings with long-term health and environmental implications, said a report.
There have been over 30 industrial accidents in India, killing at least 75 workers and injuring over a hundred others since May, according to a report by IndustriALL Global Union.
The toxic gas leak at the LG Polymers plant in Andhra Pradesh on May 7 brought back memories of the Bhopal tragedy. The boiler explosion at Yashashvi Raasayan Pvt Ltd at Dahej, Gujarat, killed at least eight people and injured 40 workers.
Boiler explosions at Neyveli Lignite Corporation’s thermal power plant in Tamil Nadu on May 7, and again on July 1, killed at least 20 workers.
Widespread use of contract workers, lack of safety measures and inability to fix responsibility are some factors contributing to the accidents.
The accidents expose a pattern of systemic failures — industries halted without proper shutdowns and planning as maintenance and inspection were absent during lockdown.
Dr G Sanjeeva Reddy, President of INTUC and IndustriALL affiliate Indian National Metalworkers Federation, says, “The government should form an expert panel and involve unions in decision-making to avoid accidents.”
In a letter to the PM, IndustriALL underlined that such lapses fall within the category of Process Safety Management (PSM) failures and asked the government to immediately address the breakdown in safety controls.