On the occasion of the ‘World Day for Safety and Health at Work,’ the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) reiterates its dedication to elevating safety standards for infrastructure and construction sites in India, guided by its paramount principle of ‘safety first.’

JICA is presently spearheading over 80 significant infrastructure projects through financial collaboration. Notable among these are the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), commemorating its 20th anniversary in 2022, and the recently inaugurated Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) in 2024. Additionally, flagship initiatives such as the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (MAHSR) and the Northeast Region Network Connectivity Improvement Project (NERNCIP) are currently in progress.

These endeavors are anchored in JICA’s fundamental ethos of ‘cultivating a safety culture in India,’ wherein the agency extends comprehensive technical assistance to fortify safety and quality benchmarks. Since 2015, when its President issued a proclamation underscoring the paramount importance of safety in construction endeavors, JICA has remained steadfast in supporting occupational safety. A 2023 report by the International Labour Organisation underscored the grim reality that nearly 30 lakh workers worldwide fall victim to work-related accidents and illnesses annually. As India strives to cement its position as a global economic powerhouse, prioritising occupational safety within its borders becomes imperative. To address this exigency, JICA is actively steering endeavors to bolster safety in India’s infrastructure and construction ventures.

Since the fiscal year 2022, the JICA India Office has implemented a gamut of measures aimed at augmenting construction site safety. These initiatives encompass the deployment of construction safety specialists, the integration of JICA Standard Safety Specifications (JSSS) into construction contracts to delineate and fortify contractors’ responsibilities, on-site safety inspections to ensure compliance with contractual safety obligations, hosting safety seminars, ensuring round-the-clock reporting and investigation of accidents, and collaborating with India’s Safety and Health Administration to amplify safety endeavors.

Speaking on the occasion of ‘World Day for Safety and Health at Work’, SAITO Mitsunori, Chief Representative, JICA India, says,“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. Recognising 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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