116 injured in Haryana power press accidents over 8 yrs

Chandigarh: With no mechanism in place in Haryana’s labour department to check quality control of power presses, labourers working in automotive parts sector and other industrial units using power press systems continue to be at the receiving end.

According to information, from 2015 till date, 116 labourers have suffered serious injuries, including loss of limbs in industrial accidents while working on a power press system.
This came to the fore in response to a query by Congress MLA from NIT, Neeraj Sharma, during the first sitting of the winter session of the Haryana assembly. Sharma had asked the government if there was any mechanism in the labour department to check the quality of machinery installed by private entrepreneurs on the premises or if there were any guidelines or inspection systems to check the quality of machines.

Responding to a query, Anoop Dhanak, minister of state (MoS) for labour, said the labour welfare department of the state did not have any such mechanism. Dhanak said that quality control and inspection of machinery is the responsibility of entrepreneurs or owners or occupants of the industrial unit. He said that the unit owner is supposed to get everything examined once a year.

“It is provided that each power press shall be provided with a safety guard enclosing all sides of the tool and dye, to preclude the possibility of workers’ hand or fingers reaching the tool and dye area, which is a dangerous zone. It is the responsibility of the occupier of the factory to provide safety guard on each power press that can be a sensor guard, mechanical guard and interlock guard. During the inspection of a factory, if the inspecting officer finds that such safety guard is not provided on any power press, then action is taken as per provision of the Factories Act, 1948,’’ said Dhanak.

Sharma reiterated that he would press the case in the interest of labourers. “We have a large force of industrial workers in our constituency and they are largely the sufferers. We shall press for stringent laws on this account,’’ he said.

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