Kakinada oil mill violated norms: Report

Samdani MN

In a shocking development, the factories department found several violations by the management of the oil mill at Peddapuram in Kakinada district where seven workers died following inhalation of poisonous gases while cleaning the oil tanker last week.
Incidentally, this is not the first incident in Kakinada district to occur in the recent past. As many as 13 lives were lost in a span of just seven months in Kakinada district alone. Surprisingly, the state government has not taken action against any official of the factories department despite repeated accidents claiming lives of the workers. In fact, the negligence of the department was thoroughly exposed in its own inquiries and investigations.

According to sources, the deputy chief inspector of factories of Kakinada, Radhakrishna, is reported to have submitted a detailed inspection report to the state government following the accident in the edible oil tanker. The report said the management failed to secure a licence from the inspector of factories (Rajahmundry) for manufacturing process as per section 6 and rule (4)-(1) and 6 of Factories Act, 1948. The report also pointed out that the management failed to secure permission in writing from the director of factories for installation of oil storage tanks-11, destoner and slever-2, oil filling machinery-3, and sesame washing machines-2 as per section 6 and rule 3 (1) (b). “The management failed to put up a notice board near the oil tankers cautioning the workers not to enter the tanks without permission and without wearing personal protection gear as per section 108 (3),” the report said.

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The management failed to provide manhole cover of adequate size to the bottom of the edible oil storage tank located at the west side of the factory premises.
It also failed to take measures to remove toxic gases or fumes that are likely to be present inside the edible oil tank before allowing the workers inside.

“Surprisingly, the department found several lapses after the mishap. I am unable to understand as to what the department was doing when the management was handling such hazardous operations right under its nose,” wondered an industrial safety expert. “State government should first come out of the dangerous influence of Ease of Doing and take stringent action against the erring managements in case of mishaps. The managements are taking the incidents lightly only due to the backing of the government,” fumed CPI(M) state secretary V Srinivasa Rao.

This article has been republished from The Times of India