Concerned at the poor working conditions of contractual mine workers, the Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS) is working on a strategy to safeguard their lives and streamline supervision to meet safety standards, an official today said.
"This is part of an ambitious plan to augment mining production as well as 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 of contractual workers," Sanjibon Ray, Deputy Director General, DGMS, said.
Speaking at a session on Mines Safety organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry's Safety Symposium and Exposition here today, Ray said that the recommendations would be placed during the 12th National Safety Conference on Mines in November.
"We are in talks with all stakeholders before we finalise the recommendations," he said adding that about one lakh 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," Ray said.
"The prime factor leading to accidents in mines is fatigue and poor living conditions. They dont get proper drinking water, hygienic food, and medical facilities," Ray said, adding that the DGMS would recommend defined codes to safeguard precious human lives.
Ray said that statistics reveal that the percentage of involvement of contractual workers in fatal accident is increasing.
"Fatality rate is more in case of contractual workers than the regular employees. The rate of accident in case of contractual workers was 2.47 times more than regular workers during the period 2010-2016," Ray said.
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