Kerala Factories' department forms special squads to monitor industrial safety

The Factories and Boilers Department has constituted special squads to monitor safety arrangements in industries and check chemical hazards.
The decision came in the wake of rising incidence of accidents caused by leakage of chemicals from industrial units.   Under the new system, three-member teams comprising the Factories and Boilers joint director, inspector and chemical inspector will assess safety arrangements in factories.  Earlier, the task was assigned to inspectors.
“The majority of the industrial accidents are caused by lack of proper safety measures. In every district, the respective squads will visit at least six factories on a weekly basis and prepare reports. Show-cause notice will be issued to industrial units that do not adhere to the norms stipulated in the safety manual. If they fail to rectify the shortcomings, the Department would serve stop memo,” said Factories and Boilers - Ernakulam inspector Nitheesh Devaraj.
As per data available with the Department, there are over 20,000 factories operating in Kerala, with Ernakulam district topping the list. However, only 15 factories in the district have been identified as hazardous units.

“Recently, three persons were killed and 14  others injured in a fire caused by leakage of carbon disulfide from a vehicle on the premises of Hindustan Insecticides Limited. If the workers were given proper training on safety, the accident could have been averted. We are planning to provide technical education to factory workers to ensure safe handling of  hazardous chemicals,” said Nitheesh.
However, the Department has not adopted any specific measures to ensure safe transportation of hazardous chemicals by road.  “The onus of monitoring transportation of chemicals is on the Motor Vehicles Department and the police. The major cause of road accidents involving tanker lorries is the use unfit vehicles,” said a senior officer on condition of anonymity.