Learning experiences

LIKE the foundation, the laying of concrete slabs forms an important aspect of any structure under construction. And the process of laying the slab has to be done in one go. There is no way there can be a break, which brings us to the mid-day break rule.

By Talk Of The Town

Published: Tue 2 Aug 2005, 10:12 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:08 PM

The decision for a four-hour break was taken keeping in mind everyone's interest, the workers' health and the employing company's productivity. There is little doubt that productivity can be maintained at constant levels if workers are made to labour in intense heat. There are bound to be disruptions when a labourer suffers a sun-stroke or other heat-related ailment.

Returning to the issue of laying of concrete slabs, at first glance, the argument put forth by construction companies that the break rule interferes with this process does come across as logical, which must have prompted the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs to go easy on the break rule to facilitate laying of slabs.

The authorities, however, should also ensure that construction companies do not take advantage of it's lenience, and make workers do other jobs in the guise of slab-laying. True, the ministry has made it mandatory for companies to apply a week in advance to carry out such works, besides warning of spot inspections. But the ministry has admitted that it faces shortage of staff in the Inspection Department because of which it was finding even routine inspection a tough proposition.

The ministry should treat all these teething problems as a learning experience and be fully prepared to meet the situation next summer.

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