File murder cases against the officials in factories’ tragedies

Islamabad- September 9, 2012: The Institute of Social Justice (ISJ) termed incidents of fire in factories in Lahore and Karachi sheer ignorance, negligence and incompetence of Punjab and Sindh governments and their Labour Departments. Both governments and their labour departments are responsible for the murders of innocent workers including children.

In the press statement, the ISJ regretted over the human loss and said that factory in Lahore was established in residential area which is violation of the Labour Laws.

The ISJ said that both factories’ had not installed any of the precautionary and emergency measures through which inside the factory incidents of fire can be dealt. According to Section 25 of the Factories Act (Amended) 1997, the factories have to take precautionary measures in case of fire.

It is being reported that both factories lacked fire extinguisher tools and workers were not trained to meet such incidents. There were no proper arrangements to evacuate workers from factories. These factories have to provide means of escape in case of fire.

It is mainly because labour officials are bribed who do not bother to monitor implementation of labour laws which strictly demand for the adoption of procedures and methods, and installation of systems (fire system) to make safe and secure environment for workers.

The ISJ demanded that Supreme Court should take notice of these incidents and lodge FIRs against heads of both provincial governments and labour officials.

The ISJ also demanded to take notice of absence of health and safety measures/means in hundreds of factories across the country which have not taken single measures as prescribed in Chapter III (Health and Safety) of the Factories Act (Amended) 1997.