KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly in the wake of the 2012 Baldia factory fire that claimed the lives of over a hundred workers has passed the occupational and health safety bill that entails better provision of work environment and caters to the social and psychological needs of workers. Fire incidents and breakdowns in industrial units are quite common in Pakistan, yet what add to the damage and fatalities are the lack of safety measures and the absence of necessary equipment in factories.
For instance, many industrial units with hundreds of workers operate without any emergency exits or fire extinguishers on their premises. Also, many are located in non-commercial areas surrounded by residential housings which increases the danger manifold, as it becomes very difficult for rescue teams to evacuate the narrowly aligned units while rescuing the trapped.
Alongside the passing of the bill, a body must be formed to check upon and take strict action against all those factories which fail to implement the rules and regulations of workers’ safety. Implementation must also be extended to rural and far-flung areas where the environmental conditions of such units might be slightly different, but face identical dangers and hazards.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 19th, 2017.