New, strong laws needed for occupational safety: Experts

There is a strong need for stronger laws for Occupational Safety & Health Standards in the Infrastructure and Industry Sectors, agreed the officials and experts at an event organised by Indo-Amerian Chamber of Commerce in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.

“If employers start accepting and treating their employees as their family members, it will make them think more about their safety. This will not only lead to a happy employer-employee relationship but also enhance the productivity,” said Mr Swami Prasad Maurya, Hon’ble Minister of Labour and Service Planning, Government of Uttar Pradesh.

In his welcome address, Mr Ashish Wig, Chairman, NIC Infrastructure Committee, Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, highlighted the occupational safety hazards in the infrastructure industry, which employs more people than the farming sector.

Dr Lalit Bhasin, Executive Vice-President, IACC, said that there are not enough laws and training to assure quality occupational safety and health standards in India and there is an urgent need to act on it at the earliest.

“The last occupational safety-related Act came into being about 20 years ago. Since then the work atmosphere has changed a lot and we need to review and draft fresh laws for the safety of the workers,” said Dr Avneesh Singh, Director General, Factory Advice Services and Labour Institute (DGFASLI).

Mr Patrick Santillo, Minister Counsellor for Commercial Affairs, US-FCS, US Embassy said, “To move forward in the direction of drafting new laws in India, we should not merely think as professionals but as a layman such as father, mother, son and daughter. This will help us in coming up with laws that will be more beneficial for the employees.”

Mr Santillo suggested that India may look at the US occupational safety laws for reference.

The event was attended by Mr Sanjay Mehta, Regional President, IACC; Mr Anurag Srivastava, Deputy Director, Factories, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, Mr MN Siddique, Ex-Director of Factories, UP; Mr MR Rajput, Director, DGFASLI-RLI, Faridabad, Mr MS Tiwari, General Manager (Fire & Safety) Hindalco Industries Limited, Renukoot, among other key officials and experts on the issue.

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