Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Probe factory fire, says MTUC

BALAKRISHNAN: 'Department should find out if there is possibility of radiation exposure'
THE Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) has asked the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) to investigate the fire at the chemical factory here that killed two workers last week.
It said the department should find out if there was a possibility of radiation exposure.
Penang MTUC safety and health committee chairman N. Balakrishnan said DOSH should make its findings public to prevent similar incidents from taking place.
“It is sad to note that two workers died. It is a loss to the family, the management and the nation, and something concrete has to be done to prevent future loss of lives,” he told a press conference at his office in Prai yesterday.
One worker died on the spot and another in hospital two days after the fire, during which an explosion took place, at the factory at the Prai Industrial Estate on March 25.
Balakrishnan said the investigation would show whether there was negligence on the side of the management and if it had provided a safe and healthy environment to the employees.
He said MTUC was also concerned about the status of three other workers who suffered severe burns, one of whom was in a critical condition at Seberang Jaya Hospital.
“We are of the opinion such incidents can be prevented if managements adhered to the safety system provided for under Section 15 (2) of the Occupational, Safety and Health Act, 1994," he said.
Balakrishnan said DOSH should investigate the types of chemicals stored in the factory and the cause of the fire and explosion.
"Our initial investigations revealed radiation caused burns on the body of a worker who was on an upper floor," he said.
"We want to know whether there was proper supervision, and instructions and training provided to the workers to face such an eventuality.”

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