Work and Safety in India: Mukesh Rathod, an L&T professional gives an overview

Work and Safety in India: Mukesh Rathod, an L&T professional gives an overview
In 2003, The International Labour Organization (ILO), a subset of the United Nations (UN) working towards establishing appropriate work standards and provide social justice for workers, started to recognize 28th April as the World Day for Safety and Health at Work in a bid to address critical cases of workplace accidents and diseases at work.
This day is dedicated towards creating awareness regarding the importance of ensuring the safety of employees at their respective organizations, and how enterprises can take the pertinent steps towards the same. The World Day for Safety and Health at Work is a part of ILO’s Global Strategy on Occupational Safety and Health, a policy which was detailed during the Conclusions of the International Labour Conference which took place in 2003.

A report by UN stated that the following are the some of the reasons which can result in “new and emerging occupational risks”
• Modern technology such as biotechnology and nanotechnology
• Working circumstances comprising of professions in informal economies, increased number of tasks, and deficient working conditions especially with regards to migration

• New forms of enrollments such as self-employment, and outsourcing
India’s scenario when it comes to workplace safety is not commendable. A 2017 article by The Times of India reported that around 48,000 workers die in the country with 24.2% of them taking place in the construction.

Therefore, to get some clarity, Medikabazaar spoke to Mr. Mukesh Rathod, OHC Manager at Larsen & Toubro (L&T), a multinational conglomerate company based in Mumbai, India.
Work like construction and mining are hazardous by their very nature. However, for the ones working in corporate offices don’t always realize the importance of safety at workplace.
“Safety is a multidisciplinary science,” said Mr. Rathod.
He continued, “Employees in offices are generally associated with the key tasks of planning and Quality Assurance. The identification of danger areas and planning the safety mechanisms at the initial stage is of the utmost importance.”

“If there is one mistake then it can lead to serious problems. So people in offices have to understand their roles and responsibilities towards safety,” he added.
Mr. Rathod then outlined the certain parameters deployed by L&T to assess whether a workplace is safe or not.
“We have to see both leading and lagging parameters,” said Mr. Rathod.

Mr. Mukesh Rathod

“Leading parameters comprise of training, awareness sessions, audits, inspection, RSC management, line managers and workers involvement in mechanism, and inspection.”
He added, “Lagging parameters comprise of any incidents of accidents.”
Mr. Rathod went on to state that the safety standards of any organization is based on the effectiveness of their Environmental Health and Safety Management System (EHSMS), an application which assists companies in compiling all the Environment Health Safety (EHS) management elements in one consolidated system.
Regardless of the negative numbers of the news report mentioned above, Mr. Rathod, a veteran in occupational health industry for 26 years, says that there is reason for hope for a better future for workplace safety in India.
“Many Indian industries are adopting international safety standards and are continually improving them,” he said.
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