Today, India offers the world the 3 Ds for business to thrive—democracy, demography and demand. Local manufacturing companies are targeting global markets, and global companies are eyeing India to set up cost-effective and efficient operations.
At the same time, we must think about the welfare of the employees who are supporting Make-in-India. With 487 million workers, Indian occupational health is a complex issue, given poor industrial legislature, vast informal sector and sparse attention paid to industrial hygiene. While organisations like National Institute of Occupational Health, Industrial Toxicology Research Centre and Central Labour Institute are researching on asbestos-related diseases, pesticide poisoning, silica-related ailments, etc, there is a lot more to be done to ensure the safety, welfare and health of our workforce.
One of the most neglected workplace practices, especially in the informal sector, relates to workwear, i.e. not having a safe and functional workwear. For example, in the pharmaceutical industry, a proper workwear can shield workers from getting adversely affected by high-risk drugs, while in the mining sector it can guard employees against injuries. A proper workwear also indirectly leads better-quality finished products, since a different workwear at different stages in a plant means negligible chances of contamination.
Across the developed world, it has been proven that a healthier workforce is also productive. Moreover, being recognised as an employer that takes the wellbeing of its employees seriously reflects positively on its culture. On the occasion of World Health Day (April 7) we must remember that, as India evolves to meet the world’s manufacturing needs, we must ensure safeguarding the health and hygiene of our workforce.
Written by: Anupam Chakrabarty. The author is MD, Lindstrom India, the textile services provider