A boiler explosion at Jamuna Rice Mill in Dinajpur’s Golpalganj area damaged machineries and left 13 people dead, one woman included. This news is no longer surprising because in the last three boiler-related incidents this year, there were 17 fatalities.
There are about 5,000 boilers at industrial level that are allowed by law to operate. On the other hand, there are 20,000 boilers that are not authorized by the laws. There are two major problems that result into boilers exploding frequently.
- Quality of factory inspections – according to the law, a factory inspector has the responsibility to check the safety of the boiler before it is allowed to operate. However, the sad fact is there are only 6 government inspectors working with the Office of Chief Inspector of Boilers meaning that each of the 6 factory inspectors must work for 840 working days to perform one round of boiler inspections. This means that the manpower constraints are very serious and needs to be addressed immediately.
- Lack of trained personnel to operate the boiler safely – with the serious deficiency in the number of trained hands to operate boilers, another Rana Plaza-type of boiler explosion is waiting to happen. Industry owners and factory inspectors are complacent in the knowledge that a boiler is supposed to last for at least 30 years.
However, if you will take into account the lack of qualified personnel that will operate the boiler, mishandling will reduce the lifespan of the boiler. Accidents are just waiting to happen.
This is a very serious issue that the government must solve immediately. Necessary steps must be undertaken so that the number of factory inspectors will be increased because 6 inspectors cannot handle the job. Safety inspections on boilers are mandatory and there is no shortcut that must be allowed. Industries must also hire qualified and trained technicians to handle boiler operation.
When problems occur with the boiler, it is important to immediately call a heating engineer to take care of Boiler repairs.Issues with the boiler must never be ignored because they can result into more serious problems like explosions and fires that destroy properties and result into fatalities.