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Author : Garth Strachan

Statement by ANC MPL, Patrick Mckenzie on factory gas leaks

Statement by ANC MPL, Patrick Mckenzie on factory gas leaks

16 October 2007

Factory gas leaks highlight need for strict safety standards

Speaker,

Last week nearly a thousand workers from factories in the Athlone Industria had to be evacuated after gas leaks caused a number of workers to faint. What is worse is that evacuations took place on two separate days! after being given the "all-clear" by the fire department. Whilst senior members of the factory and disaster management debated what the cause of the gas leak was, it was workers who suffered. This is totally unacceptable! Still there has been no definitive word on the cause of the gas leaks and therefore one has to wonder about the safety of those workers.

The ANC calls for safety standards at factories to be strictly enforced and for workers’ safety to be guaranteed. Workers` safety must always over-ride the profit motive of any company.

Prevention is better than cure. We cannot and must not wait till a disaster occurs, as in the 1984 Bhopal - Union Carbide Disaster where thousands of people were killed by a gas leak, or the Luknow incident in August of this year where at least 4 people died, and many more were injured.

For further information:
Garth Strachan, ANC Provincial Media Spokesperson. 083 454 6667 or
Sivuyile Mbambato, ANC Media Liaison Officer. 073 8978519


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