The Labour Department has issued a notice to Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL), asking it to deposit compensation towards the death of a worker in its refinery on January 21.

Nagesh (25), a resident of Kulai, was killed while Mahesh, Siraj (23), Basheer (24), Shrinivas (33), and Ashwith (23) sustained injuries during an explosion in the sulphur recovery unit (SRU) of the refinery.

Mr. Mahesh is an employee of MRPL while the others were employees of Shri Ganesh Constructions and Entech Constructions.

The notice was issued to MRPL on February 6 under Section 10 (a) of the Workmen's Compensation Act 1923 seeking a report of the accident, and the circumstances under which it occurred. The notice further states that if MRPL claims liability to pay compensation, it must pay the amount within 30 days of receiving the notice as mandated by Section 10 (a)(2) of the Act.

The Act specifies the compensation to be paid to workers for certain kinds of injuries and fatalities. The Act excludes employees covered by the Employees State Insurance Scheme.

Assistant Labour Commissioner Venkatesh A. Shindihatti told The Hindu that the issue of the notice had been delayed as it was earlier thought that the deceased employee was covered under the ESI. However, according to rules, Mr. Nagesh would not be covered by the ESI it only includes workers whose income is within Rs. 15,000. Hence, the Labour Department issued a notice to MRPL on February 6.

Mr. Shindihatti said that the compensation amount would be determined by the salary and age of the person. Generally, he said that if the person was young, the compensation was higher.

Labour Officer for sub-division I D.G. Nagesh said that it would take more time for the compensation for the injured to be determined as the extent of injury would have to be established. Schedule I of the Act lists a number of injuries and the extent of disability caused.

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