Explosion in Nagpur Factory:
Gross Neglect of Workers’ Safety

Nine workers, including six women, were killed in an explosion that took place in a factory in Nagpur district on Sunday, 18th December, 2023. The blast is reported to have taken place when work of packaging explosives was going on in a private company called Solar Industries.

9-Killed-Several-Injured-As-Massive-Explosion-Rocks-Nagpur-Factory.Nagpur is one of the hubs for manufacturing of explosives. Workers had been killed in a similar blast in 2018 in another factory in the area. More recently, in April 2023, three workers died when a major fire broke out in a factory.

The Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) is the central government institution responsible for ensuring safety at industries which produce dangerous substances.  With its headquarters in Nagpur, PESO has more than 3,60,000 units in the country which report to it. The inspection of every such industrial unit involves meticulous work lasting for a month.

With only four officers in Nagpur district, PESO is seriously under-staffed. The number of inspections that take place is far less than the requirement. As a result, many factories are being run in highly unsafe conditions.  Owners of private companies are employing thousands of unskilled workers through labour contractors.

The gross neglect of workers’ safety and the extremely low wages paid to those employed through labour contractors expose the inhuman nature of the existing economic and political system in the country. Production is oriented towards generating maximum private profits for capitalists through maximum possible intensity of exploitation of workers. The gross under-staffing prevalent in the state institutions which are supposed to ensure safe working conditions show the complete lack of concern of the ruling class for the safety of the working class.

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