Surjit Kumar Dhal, Ahmedabad, Aug 12: Poor quality or no safety gear is one of the main reasons for injuries suffered by automobile sector’s supply chain workers, says a report compiled by alumni of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA).The report, titled ‘Crushed’, released by IIMA Director Errol D’Souza last week, is based on experiences of over 1,300 workers injured in industrial accidents at various units in Gurugram, Haryana.
“Around 47 per cent of the total injured workers lacked or had poor quality safety gear. There was lack of regular provision of safety gears for workers in auto sector supply chains,” said the report compiled by Safe In India Foundation (SII), an NGO formed by three ex-students of IIMA”The accidents resulted in permanent disabilities in many, who lost hands or fingers, and it will impact their earning capabilities in future,” it said.Around 65 per cent of workers injured in the industrial accidents were below the age of 30 years, it noted.Nearly 83 per cent of machines surveyed by the NGO had no or malfunctioning safety sensors and no automatic safety control system, the report said.As the NGO is based in Gurugram, the study was conducted on workers of automobile industries in that area.”But this is a national issue as auto brands are national and similar factors prevail in the supply chain factories across the country,” it said.The factory conditions are similar in rest of the country, specially in auto sector hubs which use a large number of power presses and injection moulding machines – two “most accident-prone machines”, it said. “Our organisation comes across thousands of workers who have lost their hands and fingers in auto sector supply chain. The reality is obviously far worse,” the report said.
“While big auto companies appear to have their health and safety policies in place, it is the suppliers to these companies who need to strengthen their safety practices,” SII’s co-founder and CEO Sandeep Sachdeva said after the release of the report.He said the NGO shared its key findings confidentially with some leading automobile companies in the country to discuss and take constructive action to prevent such mishaps.”None of them has objected to the report’s findings and all have accepted there is need for action,” he claimed.The other two co-founders of the NGO are Ravi Gulati and Prabhat Agarwal.