Wed, 16 Oct, 2019

3 deaths in 10 days; GSL workers raise concerns of safety & stress

13th July 2019, 02:52 Hrs

the goan I network


The death of a third worker at the Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) within a span of barely 10 days has shocked workers, with many voicing concerns about safety and stress factors at the GSL.  

Prasad Dhareshwar, a structural fitter, got electrocuted while working on a Sri Lanka naval vessel inside the GSL on Thursday evening.  

According to GSL sources, Dhareshwar, a new recruit confirmed into service in February after one year of probation, was at work on the quarter deck of the Sri Lankan Navy vessel during his overtime and in heavy rains, when the incident took place.  

“There was no officer or supervisor monitoring the activity and Dhareshwar was handling the portable grinding machine when he received a severe electrical shock at around 7.30 pm. There was nobody available in the GSL dispensary to offer first aid and we had to rush him to a private hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival,” said a source.  

The source added that Dhareshwar was the third worker to have died at the GSL within barely 10 days.  

“Natarajan K, a highly skilled welder cutter, was assigned the job to operate a genie crane, which is a highly skilled job and he met a tragic death after being stuck between the doors on July 3.”   

“Joao Manuel Fernandes from the NC Hull department suffered a heart attack inside GSL on July 5 and died on July 8, after being in coma for three days. We feel he was under extreme stress with high targets.”   

Besides these three deceased workers, an unskilled grade worker of electrical department, who was deputed to work on ships and other locations, had a fall in the toilet of his own residence and died of injuries on July 4.  

The three deaths at GSL within a few days has caused serious concerns among workers, with many questioning the safety norms and stress levels at the GSL.   

The source alleged that some employees were even allowed to report to work in an inebriated condition.  

Several employees have 

also begun meeting union leaders to take up safety issue with the management.  

“The employees are upset because two workers died due to negligence and absence of safety precautions and they now feeling exploited by the management to maintain economic gains.”   

“Instead of putting the right person on the task, jobs are being done by inexperienced and untrained workers. This has led to these deaths. Had there been trained and experienced people, these deaths could have definitely been avoided,” the source added.  

The source added that workers are now beginning to feel that GSL has begun overlooking safety norms and they may soon demand intervention of government agencies to ensure safety measures are followed at GSL.  

“The big question is that whether GSL is profiting at the cost of safety of employees. Workers are under undue stress to perform and meet targets set by the company. While managers are comfortably seating in cabins, workers are made to work under dangerous conditions and trying circumstances,” the source added.