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Post-Dockyard Rd collapse,BMC to set up safety dept

The department will look into safety and health of civic employees and BMC-owned properties.

Written by Sharvari Patwa | Mumbai | Published: November 4, 2013 1:17:12 am

Following the recent collapse of a civic building on Dockyard Road,which claimed 61 lives,the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is now planning to set up a safety department. The department will look into safety and health of civic employees and BMC-owned properties. It is expected to have a team of 18 officers. The proposal to set up the department is expected to be tabled in the civic body’s statutory standing committee in the next few days.

“The new department will look into work-related health and safety hazards of employees and properties owned by BMC,” said Rajiv Jalota,Additional Municipal Commissioner,adding that the department will ensure that safety guidelines are implemented and followed.

“At present,there is no one consolidated department to undertake such a responsibility,” he said.

The BMC currently has a safety officer,who is in charge of imparting training and safety guidelines for solid waste management and sewerage workers of

the BMC.

The full-fledged department will widen the scope of safety and health of BMC employees,across departments. P R Masurkar,safety officer of BMC,said: “The department will ensure the implementation of safety guidelines for employees of BMC,especially from sewerage department and solid waste department,who have to deal with hazardous gases,” he said.

The safety officers will be responsible for observing,identifying and inspecting hidden hazards with respect to BMC services and its buildings. Housekeeping of the civic-owned structures will also be a prime task of the officers. For example,a safety officer will be responsible for ensuring that BMC offices and properties are in proper condition and fit for employees to work in.

“The safety officers will also overlook other departments and over 100 BMC installations,including pumping stations,water treatment plant,25 garages of BMC and other infrastructure projects. For example,in case of a BMC building,the safety officer will ensure that a proper structural audit of the building has been conducted and the lives of employees are safe. The officer will also ensure that proper fire audits and safety measures are in place to avoid fire-related incidents,” said Masurkar.

In case of projects and establishments,which involve risk to residents in the vicinity,the officer will ensure their safety,too. “At sites such as the Bhandup treatment plant,one needs to ensure safety of nearby residents in case of chlorine and other hazardous gas leaks,” said Masurkar.

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