Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) commits to enhancing construction site safety in India

New Delhi, 26 April 2024: On the occasion of ‘World Day for Safety and Health at Work’, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) reaffirms its commitment to enhancing the safety standards for infrastructure and construction site safety in India, guided by its philosophy of ‘safety first’. JICA is currently facilitating over 80 major infrastructure projects through financial cooperation. These include the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2022; the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), inaugurated in 2024; as well as marquee initiatives such as the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (MAHSR) and the Northeast Region Network Connectivity Improvement Project (NERNCIP), which are presently under construction.

These projects are underpinned by JICA’s core principle of ‘establishing a safety culture in India’, wherein the agency provides comprehensive technical support to strengthen safety and quality standards. JICA has been committed to supporting occupational safety since 2015, when its President issued a declaration emphasizing the criticality of safety in construction work. A report by the International Labour Organization in 2023 revealed that nearly 30 lakh workers around the world succumb to work-related accidents and diseases every year. As India works towards becoming a global economic powerhouse, it is essential to prioritize occupational safety within the country. To address this need, JICA is guiding the ongoing efforts to enhance safety in India’s infrastructure and construction projects.

Since FY22, the JICA India Office has implemented several measures aimed at improving construction site safety. These include assigning construction safety experts; integrating JICA Standard Safety Specification (JSSS) into construction contracts with contractors’ responsibility more clarified and strengthened; conducting on-site safety inspections to assess whether all parties are fulfilling their safety obligations per the contract terms; organizing safety seminars; ensuring 24/7 reporting and investigation of accidents; and collaborating with India’s Safety and Health Administration to strengthen safety efforts.

Speaking on the occasion of ‘World Day for Safety and Health at Work’, Mr. SAITO Mitsunori, Chief Representative, JICA India, said, “In India, where the construction sector serves as the second-largest employment generator, with an estimated workforce of 71 million (7.1 crore), it is imperative to acknowledge the inherent risks associated with this vital industry. On this World Day for Safety and Health at Work, we highlight the critical importance of ensuring the safety of every worker. Recognizing the gravity of these risks, JICA remains committed to addressing this challenge head-on. We have implemented comprehensive measures aimed at eradicating accidents during construction, including the careful assignment of construction safety experts to oversee safety protocols and initiatives.”

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