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India: Two workers killed in Ambuja cement plant in Chattisgarh

20 September, 2017On 17 September 2017 two contract workers were killed in a horrific accident at the Ambuja cement plant of the LafargeHolcim group at Bhatapara in the state of Chhattisgarh, India.

The accident took place at around 4:30am in the raw mill section, when the trial of the crushing machine was happening. At the time of the accident five workers were inside the crushing mill site making repairs when it suddenly started operating.

Two workers, identified as Dhirendra Verma (38) and Dilip Kumar Verma (27), suffered critical injuries in the accident and subsequently succumbed to injuries in the hospital. According to reports from workers present in the factory important company officials including the operations and maintenance departments and section in-charge were present when the accident occurred.

Matthias Hartwich, IndustriALL director of mechanical engineering and materials industries said,

“This kind of accident should not happen at all. We are deeply concerned over safety in the Lafarge Holcim group plants as this accident happens again in the same plant where already five workers had been killed only a few years ago. Management needs to act fast on strengthening health and safety at work, and should involve workers including the contract workers to improve the situation.”

Apoorva Kaiwar, IndustriALL South Asia regional secretary, said,

“It is unacceptable that such avoidable accidents are recurring in the Ambuja Cement plants. We call upon the company to ensure that victims’ families receive appropriate compensation at the earliest. The company should immediately take concrete steps to improve safety and involve all sections of workers to stop repetition of such accidents.”

IndustriALL has contacted LafargeHolcim, and their health and safety teams are currently investigating the circumstances of the deadly accident.

Earlier in 2013 in the same Ambuja plant five workers were killed in an accident when the fly ash hopper situated on the 5th floor collapsed, crashing through 4 floors.