India Germany to collaborate on occupational diseases

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given ex-post facto approval for the MoUs between India and German for collaboration in the field of Occupational Diseases, Re-habilitation and vocational training of Insured Persons with disabilities.

Benefits:

The MoUs with the DGUV, a specialized agency in Germany working for Occupational Safety and Health(OSH) and social protection, will help broadly in:-

  1. Exchanging information and promoting activities in the area of rehabilitation related to medical, occupational and social re-habilitation of Insured Persons with disabilities, and
  2. Prevention, detection and treatment of occupational diseases:

Major Impact:

Exchange of information and collaboration will enable capacity building and social re-habilitation of Insured Persons with disabilities, besides prevention, detection and treatment of occupational diseases.

What are occupational health problems in India ?

Skin diseases, accidents and lung diseases are very common occupational health problems in India.

Major occupational diseases in India are:-

  • Lung diseases- like pneumoconiosis,silicosis, bagassosis, anthracosis and byssinosis, asbestosis.
  • Musculoskeletal injuries
  • Hearing loss due to excessive noise
  • Psychological disorders
  • Skin diseases
  • Poisoning
  • Trauma
  • TB

“Construction, mining and agriculture sector have high levels of occupational diseases.” says Shri Jayant Pandey who have worked extensively among mining and metallurgy workers in Jharkhand.

What is occupational health ?

Occupational health aims to ensure optimal level of physical, mental and social well-being of workers in all occupations.

The prevention of hazards and workplace safety, Preventive Medicine and Emergency Management are integral part of Occupational Health.

Condition of occupational health in India

Legal provisions for occupational health in India

Out of 16 acts related with workers only two –Factories Act (1948) and the Mines Act (1952), directly deal with occupational health.

Shri Pranay Ranjan, senior advocate of Supreme Court of India informs Emergency Manager “Constitution of India has 3 articles related with occupational health.”

Article 24 forbid that children under the age of 14 years can not be employed.

Article 39 (e and f) talks about protection of health of men, women & children.

“It also ensures  opportunities for healthy development and protection against exploitation of children.” says Shri Pranay Ranjan.

Article 42 says that employer should ensure appropriate humane conditions at workplace. It also ensures maternity relief to parents.

India has has established National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH) in 1970 at Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

Two Regional Occupational Health Centres (ROHCs) are functioning at Bangalore and Kolkata.

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