PUNE: The Pune regional industrial zone (Pune and Satara districts) seems to be getting "safer". The number of factories that flouted industrial safety norms in Pune has come down by 10 per cent in 2003, according to the directorate of industrial safety & health (DIS&H), government of Maharashtra. "The number is expected to go down even further this year," R.R.Waghmare, joint director, industrial safety and health, told TNN. According to him, of the 4,500-odd factories in Pune region, action for contravening the Factories Act of 1948 had to be initiated only in 60 cases last year — mostly for falls from heights as workers were not given adequate protection while climbing.
"Pune industries, however, are relatively safer," he said. This is because of the initiatives taken by companies in the region by regularly training their employees in various safety measures like fire-fighting, regular monitoring of plant and machinery, safety campaigns, awareness programmes and better co-ordination between the industry and DIS&H. Waghmare was speaking on the sidelines of a workshop on industrial safety organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry in Pune on Tuesday. Earlier, delivering a keynote address at the workshop, he urged Pune industries to not wait for a legislation to take all the necessary safety measures/precautions. For instance, for years, the printing industry had been using the chemical ethylene glycol monoethyl ether (popularly known as the cellosolve solvent), for processing the plates on the RotoGrav machines, without any knowledge of its harmful effects. It was discovered a few years ago that the chemical can cause impotence (reduced sperm count) if absorbed into the body through the skin, he said. Industrial safety does not just include safety of man or machine, but also safety of public at large, Waghmare added. He further advised industries in the city to first study all the potential hazard-/risk-prone areas in their...
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