Due to negligence of safety measures, five people were killed at S & C (Pvt) Limited, Bellapitiya, Horana on 19th of April 2018. The industry is a crepe rubber manufacturing industry, where an immediate inspection was conducted by the officers of the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) to ascertain the situation and to take precautionary measures.
The industry has obtained an Environmental Protection License (EPL) which is valid from 11th of November 2017 to 10th of November 2018. The EPL is a legal document which permits industries to discharge, deposit or emit waste and to carry out their industrial processes according to the standards & criteria gazzetted under the National Environmnetal Act No. 47 of 1980.
It was identified that, this unfortunate incident has been directly caused due to lack of awareness for safety measures & preparedeness during emergency situations. As an industry using chemicals in it’s production process, a special attention should be paid for the safety of employees as well as daily maintenance of equipments etc. for the sustainance of the industrial processes.
Water samples collected by Water Quality laboratory of the CEA, from tanks inside the industry are being investigated to check compliance. The CEA has already suspended the EPL of the industry considering the alteration of the receiving environment according to the provisions of the National Environmental Act.
This incident is an eyeopener to other industrialists’ and they should abide by EPL conditions and at the same time should pay special attention for the personal safety and protection of employees who work in various industrial environments.
Mr. Chandrarathne Pallegama, Chairman of the CEA emphasized that, the industrialists who have obtained the EPL should give special attention to safe guard their employees against emergency situations while conserving the environment. And also, he mentioned that a strong monitoring program will be implemented along with other related agencies in the future to reduce such accidents.