LAHORE: The working class has urged provincial and federal governments to ensure implementation of safety and health laws in all industrial and commercial establishments through revival of the independent labour inspection machinery.
Provision of other rights of workers in the light of ILO Convention No 81, ratified by the Pakistan government, should also be ensured, said a resolution unanimously adopted by representatives of All Pakistan Wapda Hydro-Electric Workers Union at a meeting held in connection with the World Safety Day at the Labour Hall here on Wednesday.
More than 200 workers of the electricity department sacrificed their lives every year performing duties on lines and grids.
The number of workers who lost their limb or became disabled was much more. In recent such accidents, three workers lost their lives at Balwal grid station while another two died at Muzaffargarh Thermal Power Station in a day due to electric shock, said the resolution.
Stressing the need for observance of safety rules in accordance with the electricity regulations, provision of standard safety equipment at work place and provision of quality professional training and education to workers, the resolution demanded that causes of accidents should be investigated, responsibility be fixed and preventive measures be enforced to minimize chances of such accidents in the future.
The dependents of victims, especially widows and orphan children, should be fully taken care of by proving them pension at increased rates and provision of employment. The compensation should be increased to at least Rs3 million.
The resolution also urged the federal government to transfer workers welfare funds to the provincial boards so that the secured workers could get sanctioned death and marriage grants.
The government should also increase the old-age benefits, especially pension, commensurate with price hike for industrial and commercial workers and allow them to continue availing medical facilities under Social Security Scheme after retirement.
Trade union leader Khurshid Ahmed said it was unfortunate that owing to unsafe working conditions, the number of accidents on account of electric shock had been on the rise.
These accidents were mainly due to non-observance of safety regulations, lack of standard safety equipment and professional training of young labour force besides poor supervision by the officers concerned, he said.
He urged the federal and provincial governments to enact a special law to protect dignity of the female population.