OWING to tragic ‘kite-flying’ incidents, the Punjab government recently made it a rule for people to have a U-shaped safety wire, commonly known as the antenna, installed on their motorcycles to protect themselves from lethal stray kite strings. The current government has directed its various departments to ensure compliance within their respective domains.

A Karachi-based company that has a small unit in Rahim Yar Khan, received a memo from the District Labour Office, asking it to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to all its employees under “Section 3 of the Punjab Occupational Safety and Health Act, 2019”. The memo has threatened the company that in case of non-compliance, it will face the imposition of a fine worth Rs100,000.

Incidentally, Section 3 of the act does not mention the requirement of the PPEs other than a helmet and a safety rod. And, since the use of helmets by riders is a legal requirement, most riders already have their helmets.

As the ground reality stands, the thing to do for the government is to strictly implement the ban on the manufacturing of metal strings that are used in kite-flying, and punish the violators instead of chasing the motorcyclists and their employers.

Parvez Rahim
Karachi

Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2024

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