The rate of fatal and non-fatal accidents of the workers engaged in electricity, mining, engineering, textile, construction and chemical and other industrial and commercial industries and agriculture sector have been rising every year on account of prevalence of outdated safety laws promulgated years ago alike Factories Act, 1934 and Boiler Act, 1910, Mining Act, 1923 and Electricity Act 1910 and absence of effective independent labour inspection machinery as required under the principles of ILO Convention No. 81 ratified by the Government of Pakistan.
That is reason that non-fatal accident of the workers in Pakistan have almost raised from 2.1% in the year 2007-8 to 4.1% in the year 2012-13 which are still on the rise. More than 250 members of line staff working on electricity lines became victim of fatal accidents and far more became permanently disabled. ILO report highlighted that the largest accident of coal mines workers took place in Balochistan and 12 person in road accidents die every day and the high number of textile workers suffer from asthma and tuberculosis due to unsafe working conditions. Therefore, the government should take emergent measures to ensure safe working conditions for the workers and welfare of their families and safer working environment at workplace.
These views were expressed Wednesday in a seminar held at Bakhtiar Labour Hall, Lahore under the aegis of All Pakistan Hydroelectric Workers Union which was participated by the hundred of trade union representatives and workers and addressed by veteran trade union leader Khurshid Ahmed and Mujahid Islam Billa Chief Engineer, representative of Lesco and Engineer Muhammad Tufail Sheikh international safety expert and union representative Haji Muhammad Younus, Syed Sajid Kazmi, Rana Muhammad Akram, Maqsood Ahmed and others on the eve of "Safety Day" being observed by holding special safety meetings and conferences. The widows of martyred workers and their families were also present which were honoured for sacrifices of their martyred bread winners.
Khurshid Ahmed expressed concern over the apathy of the government and said that despite holding Rs173 billion in Federal Revenue Board in the Workers Welfare Fund and billions of rupees of deposits in Employees Social Security Institution and Old Age Employees Benefit Institution are lying un-utilised. He demanded the government not only amend the outdated Safety Laws, but also ensure provision of standard safety equipment and training and observance of Safety Regulation strictly and develop Research Information in Safety.