Tag Archives: health and safety

Chinese workers lose their lives producing goods for America

“Keepers of the Flame”. Picture from Char Broil website.
Original story and slideshow in the Utah Salt Lake Tribune

GUANGZHOU, China — The patients arrive every day in Chinese hospitals with disabling and fatal diseases, acquired while making products for America.
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Seven deaths in 4 months, do safety codes at chemical units here stink?

Express News Service, November 13, 2006
Vadodara, November 13: SIX deaths have taken place within four months in two separate incidents of industrial accidents in Ankleshwar’s GIDC unit, while there has been one fatality at the Panoli industrial unit in the neighbourhood which has a high concentration of chemical industries. While authorities made no breakthrough in the mysterious deaths of three girls on Sunday in a closed chemical unit at the Ankleshwar GIDC, they have sought the services of health officials to ascertain if it could be a case of food poisoning.
A month ago, two women and one man had died in an explosion at a unit after release of chemicals in the main effluent drainage pipeline.
These were casual labourers residing in the GIDC area next to Pragna Chemicals in the Ankleshwar GIDC area. According to Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) officials, some unit had released untreated chemical waste in the effluent drainage which led to a reaction and thereafter an explosion in the nearby tank.
In another such incident around four months ago, a chemical factory worker, Rajendra Bachhansingh, succumbed to severe injuries due to gas leakage at Pesticides India in the Panoli GIDC region. Sources said that such incidences are more frequent at pesticide units than other industries due to a chemical reaction-prone environment.
There are around 1,200 chemicals units in the Bharuch-Ankleshwar region.
In Sunday’s incident where three girls—Kamliben Garvala (18), Kasmi (17), and Anu (7)—died in mysterious circumstances in a closed chemical unit, the Bharuch police have now sought the help of health officials to ascertain if they could have died of food poisoning.
While awaiting the post-mortem and forensic laboratory reports, investigating officer Vijay Soma said, ‘‘We have started recording the statements of everyone in the neighbourhood to know if they experienced any effects of gas emission, but no one seems to confirm it.’’
In addition to GPCB officials, Industrial Safety and Health Department deputy director P J Gamit said, ‘‘We did not find any evidence of gas leakage there. In recent times, we have imposed strict laws for industrial safety in the region.’’
Meanwhile, if the cause of death in Sunday’s incident is not ascertained, the girls’ family will not get the compensation amount they are entitled to under provision of industrial safety laws.
Bharuch district collector Murli Krishna said for the moment they are not considering any compensation, as the cause of death is yet to be established, and also the unit was closed.


Gas leak takes toll of three sisters

Gujarat Global News Network, Ahmedabad, November 12, 2006
Three sisters died in gas leak in a factory in GIDC estate in Ankleshwar town of Bharuch district. These sisters worked in Narmada Chemicals which was closed at the time of incident.
Two sisters had gone for bath in the factory. However, they started shouting and by the time the third sister reached there the two were faint. Before the third girl could understand anything she also fell down.
On hearing the shouts, the father of these girls Deep Singh reached the spot. They were taken to the hospital where two were found dead and the third one died after sometime.


Three workers of shut factory die: one was a seven-year-old child

BHARUCH: Three labourers working in Narmada Oil ETL located in Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) of Ankleshwar died under mysterious circumstances on Sunday morning. The trio, identified as Kasma Garwal (18), Kamila Garwal (19) and Anu Garwal (7) died on their way to the hospital.
The deceased were working as labourers in the company for last few months. The victims had gone to take a bath when the incident occurred. The company was closed for the last 10 years and was recently purchased by a local person.
Earlier, gas leakage was suspected to be the reason behind the deaths, officials of Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB), who rushed to the spot, said there was no gas leakage.
“It is still a mystery how these people died. There is no possibility of gas leakage. No production activity is going on inside the place,” said GPCB regional officer of Bharuch, V R Gadge.
Most companies surrounding Narmada Oil have also been closed for quite sometime.
When asked whether the effluent-carrying drainage line passing just behind Narmada Oil may have caused the leakage, Gadge said, “A team of GPCB officials have looked into all possible angles and there is no gas leakage.” The matter is also being investigated by Bharuch police.


Investigative Report: Flavoring agent destroys lungs

By the time Irma Ortiz discovered she had been breathing toxic fumes on her job as a mixer at Carmi Flavors near Los Angeles, she had lost at least 70 percent of her lung capacity. Ortiz, 44, a nonsmoker who used to lift 50-pound bags routinely, now finds walking so difficult she spends most of her time indoors. Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua
LOS ANGELES — Hacking and gasping, Irma Ortiz could cart her groceries only so far before she’d catch other shoppers glaring at her.
Mortified, she’d abandon her cart on the spot and bolt for the door.
Frank Herrera could gun his dirt bike only so far before choking on the rush of air. Go. Stop. Go. Stop. Exasperated, he gave up riding.
Ortiz, 44, and Herrera, 34, are odd candidates for lung transplants, being nonsmokers and having considerable youth on their side.
How they lost 70 to 80 percent of their breathing capacity is no less astonishing. They acquired the same rare, lung-ravaging disease from breathing the same chemicals on the same type of job.
The two weren’t working in a chemical or pesticide plant. Nor in a weapons plant. They didn’t metal-plate, fumigate, degrease, demolish, smelt or weld.

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