According to Wikipedia there were garment factories in the Pakistani cities of Karachi and Lahore that caught fire on 11 September 2012. The fires occurred in a textile factory in the western part of Karachi and in a shoemaking factory in Lahore. The fires are considered to be the most deadly and worst industrial factory fires in Pakistan’s history,killing 315 people and seriously injuring more than 250.
How could an unthinkable number of people die in two fires in this day and age? The answers escape us but they don’t have to. Fire safety has been studied and there is much information out there on what needs to be done to prevent fires in the workplace. If people are a corporation’s biggest asset then people in the corporation must take responsibility to control fires in the workplace. Sure we can blame the owners for what is wrong in the workplace. I would not want to be one of the victims hoping that someone will step up after I am gone.
Workers around the world must take action. Fire brigades for example is a solution that workers can carry out. Fire watch teams can be implemented where groups of workers take responsibility to patrol areas of the workplace to ensure unsafe situations are either eliminated or reported. When there is an issue of power plays by owners, workers need to document the situation and report it, blog about it, take pictures of it and send the information to authorities.
Feelings of helplessness and giving up is not the answer. Powerlessness is a state that has a solution. Our ancestors did not let powerlessness become an excuse. People rise up when they decide that they need to take action. The community needs to focus their energy on advancing their interests than always being dedicated to someone elses ideas of what they need. A safe work environment is the number one priority of any worker. We spend more time at work than we do with our families. So if work comes first then everyone needs to take responsibility to make the workplace safe by identifying solutions to workplace safety problems.