reasons why safety takes a back seat in industries

Workplaces in India are accidents in the making. Except a few multinational factories and installations - most local companies have appallingly low standards of safety. The reasons for this are many fold, but a lot has to do with the way workplace safety is looked at in India. So here are the five most important reasons why any one from outside India should be wary of working in an Indian organisation on a long term basis.
1. Safety is for the weak and the stupid: This is the foremost attitude problem in India as regards safety. The common refrain heard from many a worker in India is - “I am not stupid that I need a hard hat / safety shoe.” Or another common refrain is - “… the brave don’t need protection!…” With such prevailing attitudes it is not difficult to understand why a safe work place is not a particularly desirable work place in India!
2. Safety cannot affect our bottom-line: Yes, you heard it right. Thats the attitude of higher management in most Indian small and medium industries. If buying a pair of safety gloves for every worker amounts to a substantial cost - then such buying will be postponed, haggled upon, differed indefinitely and in general treated in such a fashion that it eventually never happens! Buying substantial things for the interest of safety is the joke that the Indian managers laugh at - after a few drinks at the bar.
3. Safe work ethics encourage low productivity: Some multinationals operating in India have imposed safe driving habits among their staff. One of the more contentious ones is the requirement of adequate sleep between very long drives. However the Indian managers think that such rules make way for laziness. The general feeling is the safety is an excuse used by workers to refuse to work! Needless to say most workers hesitate to bring up hazard issues - in the fear that they will looked upon as lazy workers.
4. The post of a safety officer should go to the most useless manager: Yes thats right! In Indian industries the most un-qualified, useless people become safety officers. That is because a safety officer is a burden on the bottom line. He is a non-productive asset, someone to be avoided and generally overlooked. So if top management does not like some one - they make him the safety officer.
5. Accident investigations are done by the police: Indian industries do not believe in investigating past accidents to learn lessons. Instead - in the case of a really bad accident ( a few deaths would qualify as a bad one), the police are called upon to investigate. In such a situation the company fabricates,lies and tells tall stories to explain away the accident. The idea is to cover up the holes so nobody can be blamed. Needless to say a lot of the police officers are already “bought” - and are on payrolls of top management. The loser is the poor worker and his family. They lose everything - every time!
So if you are desirous of working in an Indian firm - choose desk jobs. Keep in mind that safe working conditions are not among the top priorities for the top management! Safety often takes a back seat to money-making, which in the end makes it a hazard to work in Indian industries.