Safety of workers

Five workers died of suffocation at a factory in Korangi Industrial Area on Sunday while they were cleaning a chemical tank.

Such tragic incidents don’t happen once in a blue moon, due to miserable working conditions for workers, such news keep emerging in media very often. In December last year, in two different incidents ten people died due to the same reason. At a pickle factory in Korangi seven workers including owner died of suffocation when they fell into a chemical tank. Similarly, three workers of an oil company died of suffocation while they were cleaning the tank.

But irony is despite of reporting of these incidents, heath and safety situation in the industries are not improving for the workers. In all the cases safety measures were ignored and workers were not provided any safety gadgets or masks before sending them into the chemical tank. With the advancement in the field of technology, machines are now available for cleaning chemical tanks which release poisonous gasses but just to save money; factory owners use their workers for this purpose.

Government also has failed to ensure an efficient labour inspection mechanism to address the problem. Workers are forced to work in highly unhygienic and dangerous conditions in the industrial sector. Pakistan has been granted the status of GSP plus, but if the working condition of labourers remained miserable International Labour Organization can put serious reservations over the issue.

Relevant government departments should conduct labour inspections in the industries in order to make sure working friendly conditions of workplace. This is the only way forward to halt frequent sad incidents and loss of workers lives.

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