Visitors Should Wear Safety Helmet Entering Construction Site! Surprisingly Workers at Site Don’t Wear Them?
Mangaluru: This is like a sign posted at the entrance of a bank stating that “Mobile phones should be shut off and never used inside the Bank”- but when you are are the counter, you’ll notice that a bunch of bank clerks/officers are chatting on the mobile phones; Also you may have seen signs posted at the shops/offices entrance asking you to “Remove Your Footwear before Entering the shop/Office”- but you’ll notice the shop employees or office staff wearing their footwear? So it seems like the rule is only for certain people!
And here is yet another example, where at a construction site of a new market at Kadri, Mangaluru, undertaken by Bimal Infra Construction Pvt Ltd, a signboard reads “Visitors Are Required To Wear Safety Helmet Before Entering The Site-Contact: Security Office” – but when you walk into the construction site, neither the Security Person nor the Supervisors/Engineers/Workers wear Safety Helmets? So what’s the use in posting a safety Warning Sign, when the company who posted the sign doesn’t follow it up with their staff and labourers?
Just look around at the construction sites in the City- apart from a few construction companies who strictly follow safety guidelines, including wearing of safety helmets/safety shoes, whereas the majority of the construction sites the safety guidelines are not followed. A question mark hangs over the safety of construction workers while the city witnesses a construction boom. Safety guidelines for construction work are being flouted with impunity. Most workers at construction sites work under hazardous conditions. Though safety equipment such as helmets, safety shoes are mandatory while working on these projects, hardly any employer in the city adheres to the norms. Labourers who work at heights are required to wear safety belts and those engaged in welding need to protect their eyes.
With a number of multi-storey buildings and construction of various roads under progress, the need for implementing these guidelines is being felt all the more. Even though there have been quite a few accidents where workers have been injuries or lost their due to improper safety standards, still the lives of the workers is being put in danger with rules not being implemented by the construction companies, nor followed up by the builders. A number of accidents have taken place because these rules are being flouted. The authorities must ensure that the guidelines are followed, but hardly anyone cares about the safety of these poor workers.
According to Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service Act, 1996, any employer found not following these safety guidelines could be penalized, but no one cares since the administrative authorities and the construction companies/builders are hand-in-hand. A civil engineer speaking to Team Mangalorean said that the lack of coordination among various departments and a shortage of adequate manpower were the main hurdles to the proper implementation of the safety guidelines. Another major area of concern was workers not enrolling themselves at the labour office, which results in their being deprived of compensation in the case of accidents. The family of a registered worker, who dies in an accident at the workplace, is entitled to Rs 50,000. There is a proposal to raise the compensation amount to Rs 1 lakh but (for their families) to claim the money the workers need to register themselves with us- but unfortunately, hardly anyone registers themselves.
Safety should always be made a very important issue in all industrial activities, especially construction sites. It is after all, not a run-of-the-mill office job and requires some precautionary measures. The more prepared the Labourers/workers are, the less chance for accidents and injuries at a construction site. The head is the only organ of the human body that is totally encased in bone. This by decree of nature states the importance of protecting a very vital functioning component of our body, the brain. Hard hats or Safety helmet act as the first line of defence against head injury, but they only work when they are worn correctly. Thus, it’s safe to say safety Helmet save lives and reduce the risk of brain injury.
Most head injuries can be avoided if the proper head protection is selected, used and maintained. As anyone who has visited a construction site can attest upon entering a job site that some workers don’t quite follow signs that require them to put on a safety helmet or hard hats. This can be for any number of reasons such as comfort level mismatch, or simple neglect or disregard for safety helmet due to misinformation. According to reports published in several journals, there’s a stern mention of most instances where head injuries occurred, and employers did not actually require workers to wear head protection. Henceforth, wherever plausible, an employer should consider it feasible to implement engineering or administrative controls to minimize or eliminate exposure to the problem. If the employer feels a dearth of quality available options they can always buy safety helmet online.
Lastly, verified and highly reliable statistical data entailing occupational accidents shows that the most common causes of head injuries are impacts from falling objects and impacts against sharp and hard items. Injuries caused by such mechanical incidents may brutally affect the skin on the head, skull, brain, and neck or even the spinal cord at times. Always wear a safety helmet to ensure full protection and remember, in extreme cases, these injuries may lead to permanent disability or even death causing irreparable loss and agony to you and your loved ones.
This report is for the kind consideration of MCC Commissioner Ajith Kumar Shanady, MCC Health and Environment Engineers and the Management of Bimal Infra Construction Pvt Ltd, to see that Safety Norms, including wearing of Safety Helmets, are followed at the construction site of the New Kadri Market, Mangaluru. Thanking You in anticipation, Yours sincerely, A Concerned Citizen of Team Mangalorean!