Safety First

2 mins read
photography of black power tool
Photo by Thijs van der Weide on

In an unfortunate incident, two young carpenters lost their lives as they were building the roof of a house in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Sunday. The duo was working on the roof of a house in their native village of Daharmuna when they fell off and later succumbed to injuries on the way to a hospital. While such incidents have taken place in the past too, the need for safeguarding the lives of the workforce like masons, carpenters and labourers becomes paramount. After snowfall, it has also been observed that labourers often fall from rooftops while clearing snow. The harsh weather conditions and the inherent risks associated with construction work underscore the importance of collective efforts from the government and the community to ensure the well-being of this crucial workforce. Government intervention is instrumental in establishing and enforcing robust safety regulations. The authorities must collaborate with industry experts, labor unions, and safety organizations to develop comprehensive guidelines tailored to the unique challenges faced by workers in Kashmir. These guidelines should encompass aspects such as proper training, mandatory safety gear and adherence to specified construction practices. The government should invest in training initiatives that cover essential safety protocols, emergency response procedures, and the proper use of safety equipment. These programs can be conducted in collaboration with vocational training institutes and industry associations to ensure relevance and effectiveness. Implementing these regulations in an unregulated sector is not an easy task but the authorities need to make a start somewhere. Moreover, the provision of adequate safety gear is non-negotiable. Hard hats, harnesses, safety goggles, and sturdy footwear should be mandatory on construction sites, particularly those involving work on rooftops and tall buildings or towers. The government must enforce strict regulations regarding the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and conduct regular inspections to ensure compliance. Construction companies and project managers must be held responsible for providing a safe working environment. This includes ensuring the structural integrity of scaffolding, guardrails, and other support structures used in elevated work. Regular site inspections by relevant authorities can serve as a deterrent against negligence. While government initiatives are crucial, the role of the community, including fellow workers and local residents, is equally significant. The sense of community in Kashmir can be leveraged to create a support system for laborers, masons, carpenters and others. Local leaders, community elders, and religious figures can advocate for safety measures and promote awareness within the community. Communities can organise workshops and awareness campaigns to educate workers about their rights, the importance of safety, and the available resources for assistance. Furthermore, fostering a culture of mutual aid within the community can provide a safety net for workers facing emergencies. Establishing a community fund to assist families in the event of a workplace accident or illness can offer financial relief and emotional support. The combination of regulatory frameworks, community support, and employer commitment can transform the narrative of construction work, making it a profession where every worker’s safety is prioritised and valued.

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