National Safety Week: JICA Safeguards Lives Through Responsible Awareness Generation and Implementation
New Delhi: Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) commemorated National Safety Week held from March 4 -10, 2020. While the Government of India has made several strides in strengthening safety, security, health and social security for every worker and individual, there is still scope for improvement in preventing industrial accidents and create widespread safety awareness for sectors which are otherwise left untapped.
JICA, with an aim to curb occupational hazards and ensure security at the workspace, has issued guidelines for the management of safety for construction works in Japanese ODA Projects. The protocol helps in standardization of redressal measures to be followed in case of a mishap, moreover acts as a preventive measure at construction sites. JICA and the executing agencies of the projects discusses applicable measure of safety management such as safety requirement in bidding documents and assignment of safety manager, in consideration of “The Guidance for the Management of Safety for Construction Works in Japanese ODA Projects of JICA”.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Katsuo Matsumoto, Chief Representative, JICA India said, “”Ensuring human safety” and “respect for basic human rights” have the top priority in JICA ODA construction works. We aim to establish a “culture of safety”, through our projects, whereby all individuals involved in execution of work prioritize safety and ensure implementation of occupational safety measures. It is imperative “that all persons have the right to life, liberty and safety” based on the World Human Rights Declaration (in respect of basic human rights) and given serious consideration to the safety of all people, including third parties involved. In order to realize productivity and an efficient workspace, it is critical to understand the importance of a safe and health-conscious work environment, and this philosophy is at the core of our guidelines.”
Furthermore, JICA is making conscious efforts to enhance capacity development for railway safety though our technical cooperation for Indian Railways (IR) and the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL), especially in the fields of Accident investigation, Safety management, Rail welding and inspection, Track maintenance and Rolling stock maintenance.
During training in Japan, Indian officials visited Japan Transport Safety Board, East Japan Railway Company, Railway Accidents Exhibition Hall, Railway Technical Research Institute, and Japan Freight Railway Company etc., besides witnessing the ongoing in-practice safe operations of the Bullet Train during this training program. After the detailed explanation and demonstration of various aspects by Japanese experts at each facility, Indian officials shared their views and approaches with Japanese experts through detailed interactive discussions thereby making the program lively, effective and impactful for replication of the good practices in India.
In 2019, JICA invited approximately 40 officials from IR, DFCCIL and other organizations from India to attend training programs in Japan. These programs have been effective in preparing these representatives in initiating periodical safety reviews thereby making use of Japan’s best practices in rail safety. The Indian railway network is one of the largest in the world, therefore maintenance of safer and reliable operations is of utmost priority.