Madras HC | Management of Oil Corpn. to conduct periodical inspections and surprise checks to ensure provision of safety gears such as sanitisers, masks to deliverymen

Madras High Court: A Division Bench of M. Sathyanarayanan and Pushpa Sathyanarayana, JJ., addressed a petition placing the concern with regard to effective steps whether being taken or not for the safety of deliverymen by Oil Companies.

Petitioner sought direction to respondents to provide proper insurance coverage upto 25 lakhs for LPG deliverymen in case of death due to coronavirus and provide them with necessary preventive materials to contain the spread of COVID-19, to issue public notice of authorization for the LPG deliverymen to move freely from and to of home and workplace and to take cylinders from godown and to deliver the same to consumers with in stipulated time

Contention placed by the petitioner is in view of the outbreak of COVID-19. Petitioner’s counsel submits that respondents/Oil Companies and their distributors/Agencies are not taking any effective steps to provide the deliverymen with necessary preventive measures such as N95 Safety Masks, gloves, sanitizers etc.

Respondents stand was that necessary instructions/advisories have been issued to distributors and the same are to be followed by delivery boys, apart from that distributors have also provided masks, gloves and sanitizers to all the delivery staff. It is further stated that the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has also announced Ex-gratia of Rs 5 Lakhs to the kith and kin of the deliveryman in the event of unfortunate demise due to COVID-19 while making deliveries and that apart, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has also announced Insurance coverage of Rs 1 Lakh towards treatment of delivery boys who may be infected by the said disease.

Decision

Court stated that no further order were required in the above matter as the respondents in their counter-affidavit have already mentioned about the proper and effective mechanism for the safety of delivery boys and that the Management of Oil Corporations shall also cause periodical inspection with regard to compliance for the provision of safety gears and same shall also be followed at regular intervals. [T. Sivakumar v. Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, 2020 SCC OnLine Mad 1025 , decided on 15-05-2020]

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