Kolkata, Aug 9 (IANS) The Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS) is working on a strategy to improve occupational safety and the health of contractual workers, a top official said here on Thursday.
“This is part of an ambitious plan to augment mining production as well as to reduce accidents, including fatalities. Currently, we are in the process of preparing a set of recommendations as a strategy to improve the occupational safety and health (OHS) of contractual workers,” DGMS Deputy Director Genera Sanjibon Ray said.
The recommendations will be placed during the 12th National Safety Conference in Mines scheduled for November.
“We are in talks with all stakeholders before we finalise the recommendations,” Ray said at a mines safety session on the second day of the CII Safety Symposium and Exposition.
About 100,000 contractual workers are engaged in mining activities.
“The prime areas of concern include lack of adequate training and safety awareness of the contractual workforce – something which is one of the contributory factors in creating unsafe and accident-prone situations in mines,” he said.
Ray averred that the living condition of the contractual workforce in the mining sites needs vast improvement, including judicious space management while deploying transportation machinery in mining sites.
“The main factor leading to accidents in mines is fatigue and poor living conditions. They don’t get proper drinking water, hygienic food, and medical facilities,” he said.
“Accident statistics reveal that the percentage of involvement of contractual workers in fatal accident is increasing. Data reveal that fatality rate is more in case of contractual workers than the regular employees. The rate of accident in case of contractor was 2.47 times more than regular worker during the period 2010-2016.”