Every year, more than a thousand workers in Gurgaon, India’s leading automobile hub, meet with serious accidents. They lose their fingers, break their wrists, suffer nerve damage of the hands and sometimes even lose the use of their hands. This happens despite a slew of safety laws and monitoring agencies.
Most workers in Gurgaon are poor migrants, and most of them are able to manage at best a contract job, which unlike a permanent role, makes them ineligible for many benefits available under India’s labor laws. Consequently, adequate support is seldom provided to injured workers, who, unable to fend for themselves in Gurgaon and follow through the complex and bureaucratic post-accident process, are forced to return to their villages with little hope to restart their careers. Besides the mental and physical trauma, they often settle for lesser-paying jobs, severely impacting their families and violently disrupting their lives.
These accidents also adversely affect the factories. Loss of skilled/trained labor, disruption caused by accidents, with its consequent drop in motivation, impedes productivity on the work floor. Recruiting and training new workers is costly for factories although they may not realise it. Many of them also do not want to see their employees suffer, but very often are part of the problem due to lack of intent and long term thinking about their businesses!