Industrial safety dept pulled up for claiming workmen safety during pandemic was responsibility of revenue dept

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on July 20, 2021

Under the proposed regime, safety and health facilities for contract workers will be at par with permanent employees   -  The Hindu

Madras HC said it was disturbing that Inspector of Factories claims it had nothing to do with workmen safety during pandemic

The Madras High Court on Tuesday said that the Directorate of Industrial Safety and Health (DISH) cannot wash its hands off the working conditions at manufacturing facilities altogether by stating that the issue comes under the purview of the Revenue and Disaster Management Department.

Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy in an order on a batch of petitions, including that of workers belonging to major automobile majors in Oragadam, on safety measures in place during the pandemic, said the petitions may have lost all meaning as they were relevant during the period when the strict lockdown was in force earlier this year when the second surge of the pandemic swept across the State.

However, the petitioners point out something which is a disturbing factor as the Inspector of Factories claims that since the matter pertains to the Disaster Management Act, it would be officials from the Department of Revenue who would be responsible for ensuring the safety of workmen in factories and the Inspector of Factories would have nothing to do with it, the Order said.

Such a stand cannot be appreciated. Whatever may be the consequences of the Disaster Management Act coming into play, it is inconceivable that the Factory Inspector or any person in the office of DISH would wash their hands off the working conditions at manufacturing facilities altogether.

The writ petitions W.P.Nos.11949 of 2021 and 11960 of 2021 are disposed of without going into the merits of the matter since the lockdown conditions have now been relaxed. WMP Nos.12713 and 12723 of 2021 are closed. There will be no order as to costs, the order said.

Published on July 20, 2021

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