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Death of Ahmed Ali, 15 Jan, 2007, Salam Steel
Investigation main page

Death of Ahmed Ali, and injury to two other workers on 15 Jan 2007 following serious burns suffered at Salam Steel Mill

The Investigation took place in June 2007, five months after the incident.

Unfortunately, it was not possible for the investigator to speak to any workers about the cause of this incident. The main people spoken to were the manager and director of the company who inevitably provide partial information.

The investigator first met Md. Shahin, the manager of Salam Steel Mill who admitted that an incident had occurred in January 2007. He said that the owners had provided medical treatment and given them financial compensation. In relation to the names and addresses of the injured and deceased, he informed the investigator that he did not have the names or addresses of the workers as they were not directly appointed by them. The workers were collected through a contractor. He stated that in all the mills of the area, the same system of collecting workers was used. He believed that the contractor would have all information in relation to the names and addresses of such workers.

Md Shahin argued that it was as a result of negligence and carelessness on the part of the workers the hot water line had ripped away from the boiler, which gave rise to the accident.

The investigators then spoke to Rezaul Karim, the Director of Salam Steel Mill – who concurred with the comments of Manager Md. Shahin. He stated that there was no such things as boilers in their establishment, all were ‘automachines’. The workers were involved in an accident when a hot water pipe ripped off. He said that no owner wishes their workers to have an accident. He stated that most accidents occurred as a result of the negligence and carelessness of the workers.

When asked what measures were in place for the health and safety of workers he informed the investigatos there was a doctor on call at the establishment at all times
; he said that they had increased the number of  fire extinguishing oxygen cylinders (though he was unable to say what was the number); they had provided hand gloves and helmets and had kept the hot water lines secure with hooks. Previously they had 4 security guards, 2 more have now been appointed. Pursuant to the current rules, no worker may work on a shift of more than 8 hours’ duration.

When asked about what help had been given to the victims of the accident he stated that they had made arrangements for all sorts of treatment at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital and that approximately Tk. 50,000 (fifty thousand) in cash had been paid to the family of deceased Ahmmed Ali. He could not provide any documentation to prove this.

He said that the main owner of the establishment was Abdus Salam who was his elder brother. In response to a request to see the site of the accident Rezaul Karim took the ASK representative there and showed him around.

The investigator came across the contractor involved in obtaining workers for the mill when they investigated the deaths at Rahima Steel Mill. The contractors name was Shentu Miah and he supplies workers to various steel mills. He had admitted the injured workers to Dhaka Medical College Hospital on 15/01/07 and his name was registered in the Hospital records for admitting patients.

He said that a worker named Ahmmed Ali (35) had been critically injured in the incident at Salam Steel Mill and had died of his injuries. Md. Faruk, Al Amin and Md. Solaiman were injured in the same incident. On receiving aid from the owners and treatment at Dhaka Medical Hospital, the injured workers were no longer willing to work. They were no longer seen in the Shyampur locality. It was possible that they had left for their village homes. Shentu Miah gave some information about the injured workers’ village addresses.

In relation to collecting workers Shentu Miah said that he distributed workers on a daily hire basis to various establishments in Jurain, Rasulpur and Noymati. He said that if workers received higher wages elsewhere they would not return to the previous place of work. As a result it is not possible to get a fixed address for them. They were in one place one day, in another the next. He said that if he met any of the workers or found their addresses, he would inform me by telephone.

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Page last updated on February 4, 2008