Wednesday September 22, 2021

Piler demands enforcement of safety law for labourers

March 12, 2019

The Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler) has expressed serious concern and deep sorrow on the deaths of six workers on Saturday who fell off a trolley lift where they were installing glass panes at the 13th floor of an under-construction building in the Clifton area.

In a statement, Piler Executive Director Karamat Ali stated that private construction companies were not providing health and safety facilities to their workers and it was observed that labourers often worked in dangerous conditions.

According to Ali, there were reports that the incident on Saturday occurred due to the use of a substandard lift and trolley as its rope broke down at the 13th floor. It is a responsibility of the state to implement the labour laws and conduct regular labour inspections at the workplaces, Ali said. He demanded that all the persons responsible for the six deaths be arrested and given exemplary punishment through the relevant courts of law.

The failure of the construction company and its contractor to provide timely medical support to the six injured workers resulted in their deaths. It was reported that the local police rescued the workers who were lying injured and crying in a pool of blood. The police brought three bodies and the other three labourers in injured state to a hospital where they also succumbed to their injuries, Ali said.

The Piler executive director called it a severe degree of apathy on the part of the private sector companies towards the safety of their workers. Occupational health and safety is given a meagre importance by the construction companies, as a workers of which occupational fatalities take place, he said.

Ali lamented that even though the Sindh Occupational Health and Safety Act 2017 had been passed by the Sindh Assembly, it was yet to be implemented as its rules of business were not ready. He demanded that the government implement the law in its letter and spirit, provide immediate financial support to the families of the deceased workers according to the relevant laws and pursue the case against the construction company and the owner of the building.

Inquiry committee

Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Shalwani has constituted a committee to inquire into the falling of the trolley lift in the Boat Basin area in Clifton, which resulted in six deaths. The committee, which is headed by the deputy commissioner South, has been tasked with submitting a detailed report on the incident in two weeks.

The commissioner formed the committee on directives of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah who had asked Shalwani to hold an inquiry and submit a report to him on the tragic incident.