Wednesday, 24 February, 2021

Employers ignoring labourers safety, 87 die in 5 years in steel sector alone


By Mukunda Gaire, Kathmandu, Jan. 20: Use of safety equipment is mandatory for the laborers. Although Labour Act requires employers to ensure the safety of working place and that of the workers, most employers are found to have not implemented it thoroughly.

Safety of working place has been implemented strictly in many countries including those countries where Nepalis go for employment but in Nepal, many workers have to face injuries and even death due to lack of common safety equipment.

Binod Shrestha, Chairman of General Federation of Nepali Trade Unions (GEFONT), said that employers have taken the investment in occupational safety materials as an unnecessary expenditure which results in the increment of the accidents that even take worker's life.

Employers are reluctant to invest in normal safety equipment and there has been an increase in accidents that lead to workers' death, he said.

He added that the lack of effective monitoring and action of the government bodies with regard to the implementation of working place safety is too sluggish.

Laborers leader Shrestha claimed that though the accidents were less in the sector where the unions are organised, in sectors where unions are yet to be formed, a high number of accidents are reported.

Mohan Katuwal, Chairman of Federation of Grill and Steel Association Nepal, said that the status of Nepal’s laborers in terms of working place safety is pitiful.

They have met with accidents while working in Grill and Steel sector without gloves, belts and Sunglasses.  

Katuwal stressed the need for mandatory rules and the fine system for the effective implementation of laborers' safety. He said that the implementation of laborers’ safety would be effective if the provision are made mandatory for the registration and renewal of any industry.

According to the Federation of Grill and Steel Association Nepal, 87 Nepali laborers lost their lives in the last 5 years due to lack of common security materials. Similarly, the number of injured laborers is very high in the sector.  

Dipak KC, the Director and Information Officer at the Department of Labor and Occupational Safety, said that despite the lack of resources inspections have been continuing with an aim to reduce the numbers of accident due to lack of safety equipment. He informed that the department was working with 11 regional offices.

Federation of Contractors Association of Nepal (FCAN)’s Chairman Ravi Singh pointed out the need to allocate security costs for reducing accidents in the working place.

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