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    At least 23 killed and dozens injured as fire consumes Punjab fireworks factory in India

    September 9, 2019

    At least 23 people were killed and dozens injured, some of them seriously, when a powerful blast took place inside a three-storey firecracker factory in Batala town of Punjab on September 4.

    According to eyewitnesses, the blast took place around 3:30 and people came out of their homes when they heard a loud noise.

    The blast was so powerful that it also damaged four nearby buildings which include a Gurudwara, a computer centre and a car garage.

    Located on the Samadh road, the illegal factory was being run in a residential area.The explosion was heard kilometers away, local residents said.

    Some factory workers are still believed to be trapped inside the building rubble. “The immediate priority before the district administration was to rescue the people and to provide medical aid to the people who have been injured” Deputy Commissioner, Gurdaspur Vipul Ujjawal said.

    The factory was also in news in 2017 when one person was killed in a blast. Some local residents claimed that several complaints have been filed with the district administration in the past, asking that the factory be closed down.

    Source : India Today

    Link : https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/was-threatened-with-rape-amity-student-releases-video-alleges-she-was-sexually-harassed-by-injured-student-1596317-2019-09-06

    MPs raise issue of coverage for workers with mental illnesses (Singapore)

    September 5, 2019

    Mental health issues arising from the workplace should be included in the list of occupational diseases covered under the Work Injury Compensation Act, said labour MP Melvin Yong (Tanjong Pagar GRC).

    He suggested that the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) consider expanding the list, which would provide an avenue for employees to claim compensation for such issues, or at least initiate more studies on the effect of workplace mental health issues.

    “Mental health issues arising from work are a real and an ever-present danger at the workplace,” he said yesterday.

    “We can (quibble) about how to label such mental health issues – whether it is an occupational phenomenon or a work-related disease. What is clear, however, is that we need to protect our workers who may be suffering in silence.”

    He was among several MPs who raised the issue of coverage for mental illnesses during the debate on the Work Injury Compensation Bill.

    Nominated MP Anthea Ong suggested providing migrant workers with easy access to counselling services, and a case management rehabilitation programme to help prepare injured workers to return to work in a sustainable manner.

    Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad said mental illnesses are covered under the Work Injury Compensation Act as long as they are linked to a work accident.

    He added that in the past five years, three cases of psychological injury arising from work-related accidents were compensated under the Act. All were related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

    A total of 13 MPs spoke in support of the Bill, though they raised concerns as well.

    Nominated MP Douglas Foo and Ms Jessica Tan (East Coast GRC) said some provisions like having standardised insurance terms set by MOM will probably lead to higher costs for businesses.

    Mr Foo, who is president of the Singapore Manufacturing Federation and chairman of Sakae Holdings, said standardised insurance coverage, the taking over of all claims processing by insurers and the higher compensation limits may increase insurance premiums.

    “Employers will need to factor this increase into their total business cost. This is especially important in the context of today’s challenging business climate,” he said.

    Mr Zaqy said the work injury compensation insurance market is competitive with 31 insurers operating, so it will be difficult for any insurer to unilaterally raise premiums.

    Average premiums paid per employee insured declined 12 per cent from 2015 to last year despite compensation limits being raised by 20 per cent in January 2016, he said.

    The vast majority of companies already insure all their employees even though they do not need to do so, and only around 25,000 to 30,000 more employees will need to be covered, so companies would not face significantly higher premium costs as a result of the expanded coverage, he added.

    MPs also raised the issue of coverage for self-employed people, and called for more efforts in educating workers – especially low-wage foreign workers – about their rights to compensation.

    (By Joanna Seow)

    Source : https://www.straitstimes.com/politics/mps-raise-issue-of-coverage-for-workers-with-mental-illnesses

    13 feared killed, 58 other injured in explosion at chemical factory in Maharashtra, India

    September 1, 2019
    At least 13 people were killed and 58 others injured in chain explosions of nitrogen gas cylinders at a chemical factory in Maharashtra’s Dhule district today morning, the police said.

    A leaking chemical from a barrel triggered fire which led to serial explosions in the factory at about 9:45 am.

    At least 100 workers were present in the factory at the time of the incident, he added.

    The deafening sound of explosions caused panic in the vicinity prompting many people to rush out of their houses.

    Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has expressed grief over the loss of lives in the explosion and announced Rs. 5 lakh compensation to the families of those killed.

    The factory, Rumit Chemsynth Pvt Ltd, manufactures a chemical used for making medicines.

    Police initially suspected the boiler of the company had exploded, but have found it to be intact.

    The injured have been admitted at the Dhule civil hospital and Shirpur Cottage Hospital.

    At least 13 people were killed and 58 others injured in chain explosions of nitrogen gas cylinders at a chemical factory in Maharashtra’s Dhule district today morning, the police said.

    A leaking chemical from a barrel triggered fire which led to serial explosions in the factory at about 9:45 am, a senior police officer told news agency PTI.

    At least 100 workers were present in the factory at the time of the incident, he added.

    The officer said the rescue operation at the spot is still going on while the blaze has been brought under control.

    Teams of fire brigade, police, State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) are conducting the relief and rescue operations.

    The deafening sound of explosions caused panic in the vicinity prompting many people to rush out of their houses.

    Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has expressed grief over the loss of lives in the explosion and announced Rs. 5 lakh compensation to the families of those killed.

    The factory, Rumit Chemsynth Pvt Ltd, manufactures a chemical used for making medicines.

    The officer said that presence of a number of nitrogen gas cylinders and barrels containing chemicals in the factory increased the severity of the blasts.

    Police initially suspected the boiler of the company had exploded, but have found it to be intact.

    The injured have been admitted at the Dhule civil hospital and Shirpur Cottage Hospital.

    A contingent of Riot Control Police has been deployed at the spot along with local police personnel.

    Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Devendra Fadnavis and took stock of the situation.

    “Anguished to learn about the loss of lives due to explosion at a chemical factory in Maharashtra. Have spoken to Devendra Fadnavis and the state govt is doing everything possible to assist people in need. My condolences with the bereaved families. May injured recover soon,” he tweeted.

    Source : NDTV

    2 killed, 13 injured in ship breaking yard in Chattogram, Bangladesh

    September 1, 2019

    At least two workers were killed and thirteen others got injured in an accident at a ship-breaking yard in Chattogram, Bangladesh on Saturday.

    The deceased were identified as Aminul Islam (50) and Tushar Chakma (23). The accident took place at an old ship at a shipbreaking yard name “Jiri Subeder” at Sonaichhari coastal area of Sitakunda of the district.

    The injured are Nasir uddin (30), Md Sharif (30), Ramdoyal (40), Bimol (25), Dononjoy (Tripura (25), Suron Tripura (22), Anik Tripura (20), Srabon (23), Sonjoy (25), Rahi Tripura (22), Jagdish (25), Roton (30) and Faruque (35)

    Tiblu Kumar Majumdar, Sub-Inspector (Investigation) of Sitakunda police station confirmed the incident.

    The injured were admitted to Chattogram Medical College Hospital and a private hospital.

    (OSHE internal Source)

    Study: Personal Protective Equipment Most Critical to Safety (Seafarers)

    August 28, 2019

    BY THE MARITIME EXECUTIVE 2019-08-26

    A new article published in Risk Analysis: An International Journal investigates the causes of seafarer injuries and accidents and finds that injury reduction campaigns focused on personal protective equipment (PPE) would be most effective at reducing risks to workers.

    The study, “Quantitative risk assessment of seafarers’ nonfatal injuries due to occupational accidents based on Bayesian Network modeling,” was conducted by a team of Singapore -based researchers.

    A survey was designed to test the following potential risk factors: gender, age, experience, nationality, ship type, position, time in position, tour duration, change of ship, familiarity, training, adequate rest, distraction, job risk awareness, job risk assessment, risk communication, procedure design, shortcut, housekeeping, defective equipment/tools, PPE availability, PPE training, PPE usage, reasons not using PPE, shore visit frequency, maintenance, accident feedback loop and injury during latest tour.

    The researchers collected 354 responses from seafarers in Singapore, China, South Korea and Vietnam. These countries were selected because of their high representation in the international seafaring market.

    The survey results indicated that 14 percent of seafarers suffered at least one injury during their latest tour of duty. The biggest influential risk factors were age, risk awareness, sea experience and PPE availability.

    Four percent reported not having received proper PPE training, and the injury rate among those respondents was as much as 33 percent higher. PPE availability was shown to have the greatest potential to decrease injury probability.

    In situations where PPE was readily available, seafarers identified that the equipment’s “impact on efficiency” was the top factor that could hinder the use of PPE, followed by “unavailable,” “uncomfortable” and “don’t feel necessary.”

    The “risk awareness” factor could be improved through training and “accident feedback loop,” but 18 percent of respondents reported that their company did not always share the accident lessons with the crew.

    link : https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/study-personal-protective-equipment-most-critical-to-safety

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