AP govt to act against officers ignoring industrial mishaps

VIJAYAWADA: The AP government is collecting data of past three years related to information on number of industrial accidents, details of units involved, number of persons dead or injured, among others. Based on an analysis of this data, the government intends to overhaul the factories’ department to improve industrial safety in Andhra Pradesh.

Of late, the state has been witnessing a series of industrial mishaps, claiming several lives. As there has been no let-up in these accidents, top brass of factories’ department has prepared a format for collecting information pertaining to industrial units that have suffered mishaps, their timing, intensity and impact.

In the aftermath of the accident at LG Polymers in Visakhapatnam on May 7, 2020, state government had constituted a high power committee with experts, which came up with a series of suggestions. Industries not complying with the suggested safety norms scrupulously is said to be one of the reasons for recurring industrial mishaps in Andhra Pradesh. The accidents have been happening even though third-party safety audits are also in progress, especially at all hazardous industrial units in the state.

Given the backdrop, state government wants a thorough overhaul of the department to correct administrative lapses and punish erring officers right up to the top level. It has been unnerved given the repeated mishaps in some industrial units within a gap of a few days, affecting hundreds of people and claiming four lives at Achyuthapuram of Anakapalli district and Kakinada. So much so, an entire industrial unit has been ordered closed until it complies with safety norms.

Section 40 of Factories Act, 1948, pertains to safety of buildings and machinery. It clearly says in case the use of a building, machinery or plant in a factory involves imminent danger to human life or safety, that portion cannot be used until repaired or altered. In case that is not possible, the entire unit has to be closed.

Factory department authorities are failing in applying the latter part of this rule. They are ordering closure or issuing prohibitory orders only for the affected part of machinery or premises, allegedly for financial favour.

Sources privy to developments in the factories department said, “State government has taken a serious view of recurring industrial mishaps despite initiation of a series steps. It has called for details of these mishaps to fix responsibility and take erring officials to task.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
Next Story