Safety standards in workplaces

Muhammad Bilal Sarwar

Given the current practice of administrative blindness in watching the working conditions in the business premises, especially in the small and medium run enterprises, the incidences of non-compliance with safety precautions and laws accepted internationally, are not new for us. The business owners, whether carrying out small or large businesses, have only business interests to be accomplished at the cost of the poor workers that have also the concerns for earning the needed money for their essential subsistence at the benefit of being given employment by the so called generous employer. So, the owners do exploit their workers, who are in deplorable conditions. The case does not end up with this tyranny of workers by business owners. Surprisingly, there is a internationally accepted standard that the children below the age of 18, who are in the age of going to the educational institutions, should not be engaged in any employment activities by the organizations; besides, there must be safety precautions in the working places accepted internationally to be followed by the enterprises. But, all agreed standards are not taken care of. Visiting a small shop of gas welding in Daska, which is the Tehsil of the Sialkot district, my sight caught the young child below the age of maturity with the wretched condition of health and attire covering his feeble body, who assisted his autocrat like owner in his routine business activities, despite the fact that the inflaming gas sometimes touched his garb and the fume of the combusting flaming found a resting place in his both naked eyes without glasses which could protect his eyes from any physical injuries possibly inflicted during working in the dangerous working premises. However, his owner, by using burning gas rod, articulated some stuff made of hard metal. That raises some spectacle questions. First, is the owner not responsible for ensuring safety precautions in the work places? Second, who is answerable for enforcing accepted health safety laws there? Third, are the perpetrators brought in the courts to be condemned for their non compliance with the safety laws? Fourth and the last, are the people aware of the internationally accepted standards of safe working conditions without any health hazards required in the working premises? So, these matters must be taken into earnest consideration by every stakeholder.

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