Safety at work environment
THIS is apropos of Amir Aqil’s letter (Sept 15). I agree with most of the views expressed by the writer and I have a few comments to add.
We all know that safety standards in our country are extremely poor and on top of it we are reluctant to be safety-conscious ourselves. We do not believe in wearing personal protection apparel such as helmets, safety shoes, gloves, etc., during work.
We are least bothered about demanding from owners our right to have a safe working environment. We are so desperate in protecting our jobs that most of us take unnecessary risks to get the job done.
While everybody is sad and badly affected by the Karachi incident, what good can be achieved from this is that owners and workers both are made aware of the hazards involved in their work and how they can minimise the risks.
Frequent fire drills are a must. In developed countries these drills are carried out on top priority in a regularly planned manner and as surprises.
Honest inspectors from the labour department should ensure that these drills are carried out in all industrial and commercial units and a proper record of these activities is maintained.
Another good that has come to light is that a few senior politicians have felt the pain and guilt which was shown by their resignation and by their comments against their party.
The province’s chief executive was not dressed for the occasion while visiting the fire site, his designer suit and tie were like rubbing salt on the wounds of those who were grieved.
Stiff and unfair competition from unscrupulous rivals is one more reason why honest factory owners want to save as much as they can, and one way of doing it is to compromise on safety measures.
As for annual visits to factories by labour directors and electric inspectors, they are interested only in enriching themselves and don’t consider the possibility that their negligence can put lives at risk.
Even if — in the case of the recent tragedy — they are asked to explain why they did not point out lack of safety measures in the factory, they are sure to reply that when they visited the factory, they did not observe any major deviation from the rules and they can’t be held responsible for violations of the rules after their visits.
I FEEL the deepest grief over the fire incident which happened at the garment factory at Baldia town, Karachi, where about 259 innocent people lost their lives.
In order to show sympathy with the affected families and to mitigate their financial constraints, Indus College and Indus University offer 100 per cent scholarship to the children of all those who died in the incident at their Site campus in the first year, second year, DAE at the college level, and undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in business, textile, technology and education at the university level.
In this regard, advertisements are being published in various newspapers for the information of all affected families.