Bescom launches awareness drive on workers' safety

Bescom launches awareness drive on workers' safety

The Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) has launched a safety awareness month that will be observed throughout January, highlighting workers’ safety.
The ‘awareness’ campaign, launched on Friday, comes two days after a lineman was electrocuted on duty in the City.

Addressing the gathering, Amita Prasad, Principal Secretary, Energy Department, said that as many as 1,400 workers were electrocuted in the last three years in the State. Last year alone, 400 deaths were reported by all escoms. She emphasised the need to follow safety measures to protect workers’ lives.

Hanumanthaiah, a Bescom lineman in the City, called upon his colleagues to ensure they wore all the safety gear given to them.

“We are given safety gear, but many a times we do not use them. Training is also given on the importance of safety and precaution,” Hanumanthaiah said.

Calling for an organised approach in dealing with the problem, Mescom Managing Director M Govindappa urged the employees concerned to make a list of all accidents that have occurred in the year by mentioning the exact reason.

“This way, one can ascertain the exact reason for the accident. If there are 400 accidents, the reasons could be many. If we keep tabs on every accident and their causes, then we will be able to take precautions to ensure such incidents do not recur,” he said.

When it comes to the lineman, even 99-per cent precaution is not enough as that one per cent could still cause casualty, Govindappa said.

Shiva Reddy, president of the engineers’ association, said that if any lineman did not follow the safety directions, he should be sent on leave for the day. “This way, we would at least ensure that the person does not lose his life,” he said. He also called for strict action by superiors in case of violation of the safety standards.

Staff shortage

Speaking about the staff shortage, Amita Prasad said there was an immediate requirement of 5,000 ground staff. According to Bescom officials, as many as 29,000 posts are vacant. Of these, 70 per cent are that of linemen.

Demand, supply

The Energy department has asked the MDs of all escoms to make a list of the demand and supply of power for the next few months in order to meet the requirement.

“As of today, there is no shortage. We are trying to supply power 24/7 and are also prepared to buy power. If the Raichur-Solapur connection takes shape by February- March, it will further ease the situation,” Amita Prasad added.

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