Workers’ laxity to blame for deaths: Tangedco

“Not only gangman but many field staffs including foreman and wireman are also getting electrocuted. On average, 60-70 employees of Tangedco are electrocuted in a year. We’re taking every step to avoid electrocution of both employees and the public,” the official added.
Tangedco staff working on a junction box kept on the main road in the city
Tangedco staff working on a junction box kept on the main road in the city

CHENNAI: Electrocution accidents and deaths of all the Tangedco employees including gangman trainees are taken seriously and all steps have been taken to prevent it, claimed Tangedco’s senior official.

“Not only gangman but many field staffs including foreman and wireman are also getting electrocuted. On average, 60-70 employees of Tangedco are electrocuted in a year. We’re taking every step to avoid electrocution of both employees and the public,” the official added. “Though gangman trainees have not yet become permanent staff, they’re considered employees and given all the benefits including jobs to the next kin on compassionate grounds.”

In case of electrocution, chief engineers of the distribution regions have to immediately conduct the audit and submit a report. The director distribution of the utility will conduct a review meeting every month while once in 3 months, a meeting would be chaired by the chairman and managing director.

“We’re taking strict actions against engineers for any electrocution,” the official said.

Asked why gangman trainees are getting electrocuted after being recruited for doing non-electrical work, the official said that most of the time it happens due to laxity on part of the employees.

“We’ve given equipment like the electromagnetic sensors to all section offices. They must carry it when they work on electrical lines. It will beep when the power supply is on from one metre away. But they’re not taking it,” the official said. “We’re procuring safety equipment to prevent electrocution. Insulating rod which costs Rs 10,000 each to attend to the 11 kV line. Earlier, they used a stick to switch off the breaker.”

When asked about safety equipment given by the Tangedco, a gangman said that they were not aware of the electromagnetic sensor provided by the utility. “Following continuous deaths of gangman, few have brought such sensors online on their own for their safety,” he said.

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