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Safety measures in ongoing and future infrastructure projects in India
Collapse of an under construction bridge has led to the demise of three persons in Mumbai - this incident happend on Wednesday, February 06, 2013. One of the leading contractors of India known as L&T has undertaken this job. Presumably, the work has been given to a sub-contractor who has failed to give importance to safety measures which has led to this mishap.

Based on newspaper reports, some more people, mostly workers, were trapped beneath the fallen bridge and have been taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. Reports of similar incidents have been doing rounds, once a while, for many years in the media. 

As a proactive measure, it is time concerned people looking after safety issues should revisit the safety aspect in both industrial units and infrastructure units in the country and bring in sufficient modifications in the law to plug in loopholes wherever existing and also mandate the applicability of safety audit by every contractor.

In advanced countries safety audit is given big importance for any infrastructure project. Construction sites often pose various accident risks and other hazardous conditions for workers and passersby, including pedestrians and motor vehicles. As an example, the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration Rules has laid down various rules and regulations which are to be complied with by the concerned contracting agency.  On similar lines, India can also set out rules and regulations very clearly and mandate them to be followed by every contracting agency in the country. 

Construction site safety audit is a systematic review of the tools, equipment and procedures that personnel use to perform tasks in infrastructure projects such as building, road and bridge construction initiatives. The audit also focuses on staff safety, ensuring that construction companies implement adequate security measures at the workplace. This can be achieved with the help of a consulting company who are supposed to experts in offering safety services to various industries.
One big hurdle that could come in the implementation of the above safety audit is the cost of the project would go up due to this issue - it could be possible many contracting agency consider any expenditure done beyond a stipulated sum set aside for safety issues as a wastage of money and therefore the general tendency is to keep the expenses under safety column to the minimum - this mindset has to undergone big change otherwise safety issues will not get a big boost in India. 

Therefore, one of the best options is to mandate safety audit for any Government or semi-Government or public project - the big advantage that would be derived is before the start of any work, green signal has to be obtained from the safety auditors who will give their nod only after getting convinced that the Comany has adhered to sufficient safety norms in keeping with the best safety practices. 

Whether the actual contracting company or any sub-contracting company hired by the actual contractor all will gain immensely if clear laws are there for implementing safety audit to the full. The period of safety audit done should not be too long - it should be a regular feature for all ongoing and future infrastructure projects in the country.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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