Workplace Safety Watch – Nov-Dec 2018

On 25 December, Madurai Veeran (35) died due to asphyxiation after a heap of soil buried him at a construction site in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, while 3 other workers Selvaraj(17), Selvam(40) and Kuppandi(42) survived injuries. The workers were digging a pit for construction of a house at the site owned by Senthil Kumar.
On 23 december, 3 workers Shravan Kumar Goremandal (27), Subhash Chavan (38), Rajendra Nisad (40) died and 8 were injured when an under-construction building collapsed at Motilal Nagar No.3 in Goregaon (West), Mumbai, Maharashtra. When the slab of the second floor was being placed, the entire building came crashing down. The structure was part of a chawl (tenement) of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA).
According to the MHADA, the houses owned by Haroon Noor Mohammed Dhukka were being refurbished to transfrom into a commercial structure while MHADA, which owns the land, said permission was not granted for the work. The police have arrested the contractor Shahnawaz Sayyed (40) and the supervisor of the construction company Shekhar Wadar (30),under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC.
On 19 December, 2 workers Deepchand (25) and Dhani (17) were buried alive under a mound of soil while working at an underbridge construction site in Hanumangarh, Rajasthan.
A daily-wage worker, Madivalappa Gowda (26) died as as a part of a mud wall collapsed while digging a storm water drain in RR Nagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka. 6 workers were engaged in excavation work to dig a storm water drain and connect an underground sewage pipe by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB). According to the police, the workers were not provided with any safety equipments nor were any mandated safeguards of shoring and strutting techniques, that prevents soil from sliding, were not in place during the work.
The contract for the work was given to KBS Company owned by Ravi Hosakerehalli, by BWSSB. 3 officials of BWSSB and a contractor were arrested under Section 304A of the Indian Penal Code (Death by negligence) against the engineers responsible by the police.
On 30 November, 2 workers Ahmed Shaikh (32) and Rajendra Kohl (45) working as carpenters, died after falling from the 10th floor at a commercial under-construction site of Shiv Shabari Developers in Chembur, Mumbai, Maharashtra. The workers were fixing window panes standing on a wooden plank attached to the scaffoldings, when they lost their balance leading to their fall. The workers were not wearing any safety gears.
The police have registered a case against the contractor Patel, under 304A (death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code.
On 3 December, Venugopal Reddy (45) suffocated to death inside a sump of an under-construction building in Peenya, Bengaluru, Karnataka. 3 workers went into the newly constructed sump to remove the centering sheets when Reddy due to lack of oxygen inside, lost consciousness and fainted. The other workers managed to climb up with the help of other workers.
The police have booked the owner of the building Shivamurthy and contractor Rangaswamy, charging them with criminal negligence for not providing safety equipment for the construction workers.
On 27 December, a female worker S Devi died after slipping from the 19th floor while cleaning the floor of a under-construction 26-storey residential complex in Thalambur, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu.
A construction worker, Arshad (24) was burnt by his employers Manish Tyagi and Ashok Tyag, for demanding his pending wages on November 26, in Badruddin Nagar, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. He has been working with the contractor Ashok Tyagi for 4 years, and was currently employed as a caretaker and stocktaker on a government school construction site.
According to the family, the police is refusing to lodge an FIR.
On 25 December a worker Devender (24) died and another worker Jitender (34) sustained serious injuries after a fire broke out at a helmet manufacturing factory in Swaroop Nagar, New Delhi. The workers were sleeping inside the factory unit after working hours when the fire broke out. The workers were involved in fixing helmet parts at Rs.6/piece.
The factory owned by the wife of a police officer in the special cell was running out of a rented premises. The police have registered a case against the wife and the son under IPC sections 304-(A) (causing death by negligence), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 285 (negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter).
On 16 December, a worker Ranjit Kumar Singh (45), was charred to death after a massive fire broke out at the chemical factory, Emmessar Biotech and Nutrition Ltd. It is a healthcare product manufacturing company in Taloja, Ghotgaon MIDC, Mumbai.
Powder packing and filtering work was under way when there was a blast in a filtration machine and a fire spread out due to chemical reaction of the different solvents that was stored in several drums on the premises.
Police have registered a case of accidental death.
On 28 December, a 37 year old worker M Ekambaram was crushed to death while cleaning a cement mixer in a cement manufacturing unit in Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu.
The worker working at a hollow block manufacturing unit was cleaning the inside of a giant mixer used to grind gravel stones, sand and other material used for cement production when the machine was switched on leading to his death.
On 16 December 6 workers Jagadish Pattanshetty (34), Shivananda Hosmath (43), Nagappa D (38) and Sharanabasappa Totadh (35) died and 5 others sustained fatal injuries, after a boiler explosion in the methanol production unit of Nirani Sugars Ltd at Kulalli, Bagalkot, Karnataka. A heavy explosion was caused by a non-functioning valve installed in the boiler that resulted in gas build up inside the methane production unit of the factory.
The sugar factory unit is part of the Nirani Group and is owned by the Nirani brothers, former BJP minister Murugesh Nirani and his brothers, Sangamesh and Hanumantha.
The police have registered cases against the owner and supervisor of the factory, under sections 336, 337(act endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (Causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), and 304 (Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of IPC for negligence although no arrests have been made so far.
On 13 December, 3 workers Rajkumar Bhunkar (26), Tilakram Yadav (18) and Vijay Bhunkar (20) died and 2 others Pradip and Raja Ram were critically injured, at an explosion at the Krishna Steel Company in Silvassa, Dadar and Nagar Haveli. The explosion occurred in the iron melting furnace of the steel manufacturing company owned by Pavan Kumar Agarwal. The police have registered a case under section 304 part II (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 337(act endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (Causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of Indian Penal code (IPC) against the owner. According to the police the safety measures and periodic investigation of the furnace were not undertaken by the owner.
On 13 December, 3 workers Farooq(22), Subash(26) and Gyan Darshan(25) died and 5 others Kuldeep, Janaki Ram, Ramakath, Narayanaswamy and Bahubali were severely injured, when numerous cartons stacked on heavyduty steel racks came crashing down at the warehouse of Holisol logistics Pvt. Ltd. in Seegehalli, Bengaluru Karnataka. The heavy-gauge steel racks not properly anchored to the ground were overloaded with cartons, that started titling leading to the fall of the rest of the stacks too.
The warehouse was built and owned by Manjunath, was leased to Holisol in July 2017. Police have registered a case of criminal negligence under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of IPC and have arrested the company’s business head Ajay Kanwar and site superintendent Amanullah.
On 5 December, 3 workers Jagjeet Singh (24), Sikander Singh (25) and Sadhu Singh (27) died after a major fire broke out at a foam factory in Ugoke village of Barnala district, Ludhiana, Punjab.
The factory has been operating for a long time without a No-objection Certificate (NoC) from fire brigade department and had no fire-fighting arrangements.
Police have registered a case against the 4 factory owners Varinder Kumar, Jatin Singla, Vijay Bansal and Dimple Dhawan under sections 304 (punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 285 (negligent conduct) of the Indian Penal Code.
On 9 December, 3 workers, Siyaram Yadav (54), Sahendendrakumar Ramsumerkumar (18) and Shaukat Saad (35) suffocated to death and 2 others Digvijay Pandey (23) and Narayan Dikhsit (45) were admitted to the hospital in a critical condition, after inhaling poisonous gases while cleaning a sludge tank at Laxcon Steels Limited, a steel factory, in Changodar Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) , Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The workers entered without any safety gear. A FIR of accidental death has been registered by the police.
On 2 December, 4 sanitation workers Kamlesh Jadav (24) Vinod Jadav (25), Manish Padhiyar (23) and Kiran Solanki (22) died of suffocation while cleaning a water tank in a frozen food processing unit owned by the Global Gourmet Private Limited in Vadodara, Gujarat. The workers employed by a private company, while cleaning a sewer line at the company premises went inside the water treatment tank of the the sewage plant where due to the lack of oxygen and poisonous gases they fell unconscious.
On 16 December, 3 workers Laxmikant Prasad (42), Ramadhar (35) and Ajay (33), asphyxiated to death after a gas leakage in an underground coal mine Bagdeva coal mines of South Eastern Coalfields Limited, subsidiary of Coal India in Korba district, Chattisgarh.
The workers were working in the underground mine without any safety apparatus to approach a new coal patch panel from the existing one, when a worker went inside a non-functional tunnel of the mine where oxygen level was low and poisonous gases were being emanated. The old non-functional panel which was closed earlier after exhaustion of the coal reserves, had to be crossed while approaching the new one. In order to rescue him, two other workers went inside the tunnel following which all 3 fell unconscious.
Two officials Senior Manager Radhelal Sinha and Deputy Manager (Mining) Omprakash Singh of the South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL) were suspended for alleged negligence based on the probe report of the Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS). A case has also been registered by the police.
On 27 December, J David (42) an electrician died after falling off from a crane during restoration work at Ekkal village of Thiruthuraipoondi, Tiruvarur, Tamil Nadu. The worker was engaged in replacing an electric pole which was being carried on the crane, when he lost his balance and fell.

On 5 November, 4 workers Rajesh Kumar (35), Ram Swarup (45), Rajendra (42) and Kaushal Kumar, (32) who worked as gangmen, were run over by the Kolkata-Amritsar Akal Takht Express while they were working on the tracks between Sandila and Umartali stations in the Hardoi disrict, Uttar Pardesh.
The 4 Gangmen were drilling on the track without any prior block which is required to be taken for repair or maintenance work in railways.

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