Every year on 28th April, “world day for safety and health at work” is celebrated especially by International labour organisation to bring international attention towards the threat called unsafe and risky work environment, and to bring awareness on how promoting and creating a safe and healthy work culture can help reduce the number of work-related deaths and injuries.
Another important aim of this day is to pay tribute to those workers who died while serving humanity.
Every year hundreds and thousands of workers lose their lives in mishaps while earning their livelihood and many of the incidents happen due to negligence of employers who don’t ensure safety of their workers. Here are some of the glimpses:
On 26 April 2022, a 22 year old construction worker died on spot after he got electrocuted in Saniyangar West Bengal (The Hindu).
On 17 April 2022, five labourers die in mishap at fish processing factory in Managaluru. (The Hindu)
0n 14 April 2022, non local labourer died in work site accident in Budgam, Kashmir (Greater Kashmir)
0n 18 march 2022, four labourers died as land caves in at construction site in Kochi ( The Hindu)
Same way last year in Kashmir alone around dozen deaths were reported due to mishaps during harvesting walnut trees.
These glimpses show how unsafe our workers and labourers are. And Irony is that most of the deaths and accidents could have been prevented by ensuring proper safety and protection gear.
Since employers are unmindful of the protection and safety of workers they don’t give heed to it and they just give few bucks of money and offer few words of sympathy to the families of deceased which definitely won’t help them get their loved ones back.
Many PDD employees get serious injuries, or some lose their lives while fulfiling their duties. It is common to hear about incidents like an employee getting electrocuted, or falling from a pole while fixing the line.
Take Away: It is the responsibility of all of us to ensure safety of those who work for us and to speak up against the injustice done to them.
Workers should demand healthy and safe environment as it is their right (not employers' favour) and suspend work until the threats in their work environment are eliminated.
It is the responsibility of the mill owners and factory owners to ensure that workers don’t receive contaminated water or food and they should ensure that all the machines are in good and safe condition; and get the defective and risky ones corrected and replaced at the earliest so as to prevent any accident.
They should check if the building is safe for work or not, and make use of modern technological and safety aids that will enhance the productivity and ease burden of employees.
Employers should realise the worth and dignity of employees and understand the fact that they owe safety to their workers. It is their duty to ensure that workers and labourers leave after work safely.
We should be mindful of the way we treat the workers. They work for us, but they are not our slaves. In our homes we should ensure the safety of carpenters, masons and domestic helpers.
We should ensure their physical, psychological and economic security.
We should ensure they don't face any kind of sexual harassment. Workers also should not put their lives at stake for few bucks of money.
Above all law enforcement agencies should keep checking the factories and construction sites and ensure occupational safety and health is maintained and stringent legislation should not only be framed but acted upon as well so that workers work safely.
And if an untoward incident happens at work, employer should provide quality medical care and financial support to workers. Let's pay tribute to those doctors and nurses who died while treating people during pandemic and wars.
Let's pay tribute to those workers and labourers who lost their lives while serving us. Let's help those who became disabled due to work place mishaps.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.