The ship recycling safety workers recently received a free training in Alang on ‘asbestos handling – know it to work with it safely and smartly.’ Suhel Parker – the CEO of EPSCO Envirotech and an Asbestos Supervisor and an expert – conducted this training.
Mr. Suhel Parker joined hands with Lilly Maritime and embarked on a new and much needed training for ship recycling yard safety officers absolutely free. And paved a new way for their corporate social responsibility.
The two partners noticed that India is becoming a graveyard for the dying ships. And so it is, for the workers of the shipyards too. Ship breaking is also environmentalists’ nightmare. Toxic materials, most of which are highly hazardous, are dumped in the ship-breaking yards of India. The most tragic part of the story is the fate of the workers who are facing fatal occupational hazards. Not to forget, India is the one of the six surviving ship-breaking nations in the world, along with China, Bangladesh, Turkey, Pakistan and Myanmar.
Migrant workers dismantle the ships with their bare hands. Almost one out of every three workers suffers from cancer making ship-breaking one of the deadliest industries in the world. Even their sleeping quarters are not free from danger. Many are also injured or killed by suffocation or explosion related mishaps. The saddest part is that the workers are mostly temporary and are not covered under any labour benefits.
Scientists and medical experts overwhelmingly agree that inhaling any form of asbestos can lead to deadly diseases including mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis, or the scarring of the lungs. Exposure may also lead to other debilitating ailments, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Because the disease typically takes 20 to 40 years to manifest, workers can go through their careers without realizing they are getting sick.
Awareness seemed to be the need of the hour. So EPSCO and Lilly Maritime came together and got instructors to come to India and enlighten us about the damages and the correct method of disposal such that no harm is caused to the person handling this menacing mineral.
EPSCO Envirotech is setting standards and strict guidelines for asbestos abatement. They have already trained 95 candidates who work at ship yards as safety officers and supervisors in proximity with this deadly mineral.