They were unaware of dangerous chemicals

Lack of awareness on dangers of handling chemicals and laxity on the part of the factory are the two major reasons that caused the accident at a Peenya factory claiming the lives of three men on Thursday, say experts.

According to the fire officers, who fished out the bodies from the oil tanker, the accident could have been avoided had there been proper training for workers in handling chemicals.

Usually, people who get into such oil tanks wear oxygen masks to prevent asphyxiation. However, there were no masks at all in the factory, they told Deccan Herald.

The furnace oil was being lifted using a motor. On Wednesday, the motor was not working and the workers were asked to get into the tanker to lift oil. “This is inhuman. Without educating the workers, the factory officials put them to risk. They could have stopped the work until the motor was repaired, said Manjunath, uncle of Nagaraju and Krishna – the brothers who died in the accident.

The factory works in three shifts – 6 am to 2 pm, 2 pm to 10 pm and 10 pm to 6 am. On Wednesday, Nagaraju had worked in the afternoon shift between 2 pm and 10 pm and was again put on night shift between 10 pm and 6 am. This is a clear violation of labour laws, Manjunath said. He died in the accident in the early hours of Thursday.
When contacted, Pankaj Kumar Pandey, Labour Commissioner of Karnataka said officials from the labour department have already visited the spot. He said his department will come into the picture only if there are violation of labour laws.

B S Ramachandra, Director, Department of Factories, Boilers, Industrial Health and Safety termed the case unfortunate that three workers had to die because of the negligence of the company. He said the Joint Director of Factories, along with his team, visited the spot Thursday morning.

“We will take legal action against the company for not taking measures to ensure safety of the workers.”

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