Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Inspect all industrial units using hazardous materials: Guj HC to govt

Ahmedabad:The Gujarat high court on Wednesday directed the state government to have an inspection carried out of all industrial units across the state that produce or use hazardous materials like polyacrylate.
A bench of acting chief justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and justice J B Pardiwala asked the government to submit a report after conducting a detailed survey on safety measures taken in each industrial unit that uses or produces hazardous material like polyacrylate. The government will also examine facilities created by the industrial unit owners to protect workers from health hazards as per labour and industrial safety laws.
These directions were issued by HC during a suo motu proceeding on the basis of a letter complaining about gross violation of labour and industrial safety laws that led to the death of a worker due to pneumothorax in Choral Pharma Chem, which is located near Kadi in Mehsana district.
Following this complaint, HC directed the National Institute of Occupational health (NIOH) to examine all 81 workers of the company to find out whether any of them was impacted due to exposure to ethylene dichloride. The NIOH inspection highlighted that 17 workers were severely affected.
The court asked the company to complete installation of automated plants by December end so as to ensure that no worker is directly exposed to hazardous materials. HC also directed the company to pay salary to those workers who have been affected, though the workers would not come to work for the next six months. NIOH would examine them after six months, and the company will continue to pay salary to those who do not recover even by then.
The bench has, however, refused to direct the company to pay compensation to workers, and observed that there could be a separate civil suit for that.

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