FOLLOWING THE incidents of construction labourers falling from buildings, leading to deaths and injuries, labour department officials have said that the appointment of retired officials from the Directorate of Industrial Health and Safety (DISH) was under consideration to carry out inspections at the sites engaging large numbers of labourers.
In the last two months, there have been three incidents of labourers falling from the buildings in Mumbai and Thane, resulting in the death of three and causing injuries to eight.
Officials said that the Maharashtra Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board does not have adequate staff to ensure that safety measures are in place at construction sites. “The work has been currently assigned to other officials as an additional task. So, it becomes difficult for them to keep regular checks of safety measures at such sites,” said an official.
The official added that a proposal has been moved before the board to appoint retired officials from the DISH. “They have the expertise in the field that can be utilised. It may not be possible to carry out inspections at all construction sites but we can ask them to inspect those sites that have a large number of labourers.”
The official said that the proposal was at an initial stage. “After getting an approval from the board, it will be fast-tracked.”
Another official said that the board has started distributing safety kits that include protective shoes, dust mask, hearing protection, safety helmet, safety hand gloves, reflective jacket and others to the registered workers. “Though providing safety kits is the primary responsibility of the contractor or developer, we have recently started distributing the same for the safety of workers. So far, we have distributed over 500 such kits to registered workers,” added the official.