Complaint to the SHRC in regard to the deaths of 1 person and injury to 1 person during laying of underground drainage in Vyalikaval on March 8th , 2009
9th March, 2009
We would like to bring to your attention the death of 1 person and the grave injury to 1 person while laying pipes that occurred in Vyalikavala on 8th March, 2009, caused due to the sheer neglect and negligence of the BWSSB and the Contractor and violation of the statutory provisions of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act and Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Act, and in gross disregard and violation of the safety nowms laid down for work of this nature in the Building and Other Construction Workers’ (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996. The deceased was Kanakappa, aged about 35 years, s/o Yankappa, native of Hulimeshwar village, Lingsur taluk, Raichur district. The person who got injured was Manjunath, aged about 23 years, s/o Veerappa, native of Hulimeshwar village, Lingsur taluk, Raichur district.
Work to lay a new pipe at Vyalikaval (near Anjaneya temple, at swimming pool extension) has been happening for 3 days by the labourers employed by Contractor Jagadish. On 8th March, 2009, around 9.30am, 6 workers were continuing their work of laying a new pipe at Vyalikaval (near Anjaneya temple, at swimming pool extension). They were working under a contractor, Jagadish who had been awarded this contract by
. They had dug a 5 – 6 feet deep trench to lay the pipe. Two of the workers, Kanakappa and Manjunath had entered the trench, and were removing the mud as well as the concrete from the old pipe that had lain there in order to lay the new pipe. At around 1.00am, when they were excavating, the excavated concrete as well as mud caved in on them. Both of them were then rushed to Nursing home, and thereafter taken to K.C. General Hospital, Malleshwaram since the personnel at the Nursing Home told them that they would not be able to help. One of the workers, Kanakappa, aged about 35 years, s/o Yankappa, native of Hulimeshwar village, Lingsur taluk, Raichur district, died on reaching K.C. General Hospital. The injured worker, Manjunath, aged about 23 years, s/o Veerappa, native of Hulimeshwar village, Lingsur taluk, Raichur district was taken to Victoria Hospital around4.00pm, after the personnel at KC General Hospital told them that they did not have the necessary medical facilities. Manjunath has spinal and back injuries, and is currently undergoing treatment at Victoria Hospital. We were informed that he has suffered a hip fracture, and it would take him atleast 1 year before he would be able to work again.
The deceased Kanakappa is survived by his wife Parvatamma and three young children, the oldest of whom is 8 years old. The other workers present at the time of the ‘accident’ were,
a) Hanumanthappa, aged about 35 years, S/o Gundappa, native of Kouthala village, Lingasur Taluk, Raichur District
b) Agappa, aged about 30 years, S/o Amrappa, native of Belgal village, Raichur District
c) Sharanappa Bendone, aged about 20 years, native of Bendone, Raichur District
d) Amaresh, aged about 24 years, native of Gudunal village, Raichur District
The deceased and injured are both natives of Hulimeshwar vilage, Lingsur taluk, Raichur district. The injured worker Manjunath has been in Bangalore for about 1 year now, and is residing at Peenya II stage at Bangalore.
A copy of the newspaper report of the above-mentioned incident from the Hindu dated 8th March, 2009 is annexed herein.
It is pertinent to note that the work that was being carried out by the Contractor and the owner of the house was in complete violation of the statutory provisions of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act and Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Act.
Section 65 requires that work of this nature can only be carried out after getting the necessary permissions from the BWSSB, whereby the owner of any private drain within the Bangalore Metropolitan Area may apply to the Board to have his drain made to communicate with the Board sewers and thereby to discharge foul water and surface water
from those premises or that private drain:
Section 59 requires that any work in this regard shall be performed only by a licensed plumber
It is pertinent to note that the work that was being carried out by the Contractor and the owner of the house was also in gross disregard and violation of the safety norms laid down for work of this nature in the Building and Other Construction Workers’ (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996.
Section/Rule No Provision Compliance
Notification of intention Every employer carrying out any excavation or tunnelling work shall, within thirty days, prior to the commencement of such work, inform in writing the detailed layout plans, method of construction and schedule of such excavation or tunnelling work to the Chief Inspector of Inspections of Building and Construction. However, no such notification of the intention has been made by the employer or the contractor.
Responsible Person Every employer undertaking excavation or tunnelling work shall
1. appoint a responsible person for safe operation of such excavation or tunnelling work,
2. Forward such name to the Director General.
3. Such person shall be responsible
(a) to carry out smoothly such excavation or tunnelling work;
(b) to inspect and rectify any hazardous situation relating to such excavation or tunnelling work;
(c) to take remedial measures to avoid any unsafe practice or conditions relating to such excavation or tunnelling work.
Stability of structure The employer shall ensure that-
(b) where any building worker engaged in excavation is exposed to hazard of falling or sliding material or article from any bank or side of such excavation which is more than one and a half metre above his footing, such worker is protected by adequate piling and bracing against such bank or side;
(c) the excavation and its vicinity are checked by a responsible person referred to above after every rain, storm or other occurrences carrying hazards and in case a hazard is noticed at such checking, adequate protection against slides and cave-in to prevent such hazard is provided;
(e) where banks of an excavation are undercut, adequate shoring is provided to support the material or article over-hanging such bank;
(f) excavated material is not stored at least zero point six five metre from the edge of an open excavation or trench and the banks of such excavation or trench are stripped of loose rocks and other materials which may slide, roll or fall upon a building worker working below such bank;
(h) the responsible person referred to above ensures at the excavation work that no building worker is permitted to work where such building worker may be struck or endangered by the excavation machinery or material or article used in such excavation.
Trenches The employer shall ensure that a trench or excavation is protected against falling of a person by suitable measures if the depth of such trench or excavation exceeds one and a half meter and such protection is an improved protection in accordance with the design and drawing of a professional engineer, where such depth exceeds four meters.
Safety measures for tunnelling operation The employer shall ensure that,-
(a) where there is a danger of falling or sliding of material from the roof face or wall of a tunnel, adequate measures such as shoring, supporting by means of rock bolts, segments or steel sets are taken for the safety of building workers;
(b) the excavated areas are made safe by use of suitably designed and installed steel sets, rock bolts or similar other safe means;
(c) the responsible person referred to above examines and inspects the workplaces in a tunnel before the commencement of work in such tunnel, and at regular intervals thereafter, to ensure safety of the building workers in such tunnel;
(d) the portal areas of a tunnel with loose soil or rock, likely to cause injury to a person are adequately protected with supports.
Rule 250 First aid Every employer shall ensure at a construction site of a building or other construction work that-
(a) sufficient number of first aid boxes or cupboards are provided and maintained for providing first-aid to the building workers;
(b) every first-aid box or cupboard is distinctly marked “First-Aid” and is equipped with the prescribed articles
Rule 251 Essential life saving aides The employer shall ensure that-
(a) essential life saving aides and appliances required to handle head injuries and spinal injuries; bleeding; fractures and dislocations of bones and joints; crush injuries and other specified injuries are provided and properly maintained under the supervision of a construction medical officer.
(b) the essential life saving aids for any emergent situation referred to above are provided to an injured or a sick building worker during his transportation from such building site to a hospital and till such building worker is attended by a doctor in such hospital.
It is therefore clear, that none of the safety and health precautions that were required to be taken have been complied with resulting in this very grave ‘accident’.
What needs to be done?
1. The Police must carry out proper investigation and file its charge-sheet within the stipulated period and ensure punishment to those guilty.
2. must pay just compensation to the families of the deceased in accordance with the law.
3. All Developers, builders and contractors must comply with all safety norms according to the Building and other Construction Workers Act, 1996, International Labour Organisations Safety and Health in Construction Convention No. 167 of 1988 and the provisions for safety in the BBMP Building Byelaws 2003 (section 26) to avoid further death and injury which given the current scenario seem dangerously imminent and will occur frequently.
4. The Labour Department has to ensure that the Developers, builders and contractors adhere to the safety norms and that proper investigation is done with regard to the deaths. Further, they have to make sure that all workers are registered under the Building and Construction Workers Act 1996. Also, the labour department has to ensure that the workers’ family receive just compensation for their enormous loss.
5. Direct the State Government to formulate a Compensatory and Accountability Policy detailing the accountability and responsibility for accidents, details of financial and other compensation to be given to those injured and the families of the deceased in such incidents.
6. Direct the State Government to pass Orders stipulating that workers employed for such work on contract/daily wage, etc. would be paid wages, bonus, ex-gratia, etc. on par with the permanent workers and be be entitled to the same benefits including holidays, ESI, pension, etc. as enjoyed by the permanent workers.