APROPOS the editorial ‘Boiler explosion’ (Dec 24), such accidents happen too frequently in industrial units all over the country. There is no doubt that the horrible memories of the recent incident will soon fade away until another accident happens.
Such fatal and lethal accidents hardly take place in developed countries because of strict adherence to safety rules and regulations by all industrial units. Moreover, they respect and value human life and never compromise on the standard of manufacturing of such delicate equipment.
Steam-generating boilers, which fall under the category of pressure boilers, need special technique, expertise and skill to be manufactured followed by standards laid down by international organisations for the manufacturing of pressure vessels.
Unfortunately, in Pakistan, many people have set up boiler manufacturing companies without having the basic knowledge of handling this sensitive and delicate industrial equipment. Besides, many owners opt for these cheaply fabricated boilers to save money, risking the life of poor workers who operate this highly dangerous paraphernalia.
As per the law of the country, these pressure vessels must be inspected by relevant boiler inspectors every year to certify the safety level of these pieces of equipment. Regrettably, the law is never implemented in its true spirit just like various other laws.
Boilers of much higher operating pressures function at seagoing vessels and giant industrial units around the world. They are carefully inspected and surveyed by surveyors from top organisations. Hence, we hardly come across the news of boiler explosions over there.
The government needs to restructure the department that inspects and certifies these boilers for safe operation. All manufacturers not following the internationally-recognised and accepted standards of pressure vessels manufacturing should be heavily fined, and their machinery should be confiscated.
Also, strict punishment should be given to the boiler inspectors found guilty of professional negligence.
Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2021