The Telegraph
Thursday , May 29 , 2014
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Panel prod on factory death

Bihar Human Rights Commission has directed Bhojpur district magistrate (DM) and civil surgeon to appear before it in a case related to the death of a person working in an asbestos factory in Bihiya.

The commission acted on an email sent to it by one Gopal Krishna of Toxics Watch Alliance about operations of asbestos factory Ramco Industries in Bihiya where a worker Virendra Kumar Singh died in November 2013 due to lung-related disease and consequent contracted exposure from asbestos fibres.

Krishna has complained to the commission that each worker in the factory faces similar fate.

In the email, he added that according to a Supreme Court judgment of January 27, 1995, which was reiterated again on January 21, 2011, the state government and the union government have to comply with fresh International Labour Organisation (ILO) resolution of June 2006 on asbestos factories which says that health records of every worker has to be maintained for 40 years and thereafter 15 years after their retirement.

The judgment also stipulates compensation for such workers who suffer from asbestos-related diseases.

Krishna further submitted that in contempt of the Supreme Courtís orders, the Ramco Industries is not maintaining health record of every worker, not conducting membrane filter test to detect asbestos fibre, not insuring health coverage to every worker and that the company does not have qualified occupational health doctors to undertake these tasks.

BHRC member Neelmani said the commission took note of the incident and asked for responses from industries department principal secretary, pollution control board secretary, Bhojpur DM and civil surgeon.

The commission on Wednesday directed Bhojpur DM and civil surgeon to appear before it on July 9 along with the action taken report in this matter, Neelmani said.

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