The importance of conducting more training and awareness programmes for ensuring safety in fireworks industries was stressed here on Sunday.

Minister for Information and Special Programme Implementation K. T. Rajendhira Balaji, who inaugurated various contests for workers including essay writing, safety slogan writing and drawing, lauded the efforts of the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) in conducting these programmes by reaching out to the workers at the ground-level.

These efforts should make the town a ‘kutti Japan,’ the Minister added.

P. Pandiyarajan, Virudhunagar MLA, presided.

He urged the industries to strictly follow the rules and regulations for ensuring safety.

“Ensure healthy working conditions for men and women by enforcing standards and provide education and assistance,” he added.

R. Venugopal, Controller of Explosives, welcomed the gathering.

Later, K.P.S. Nair, Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Cochin University of Science and Technology, dwelt on the human factors responsible for the accidents.

He presented several case studies of accidents caused by unsafe acts and conditions in factories through video clippings.

An interactive session was also held.

Earlier, a rangoli (‘kolam’) competition was organised at SFR College for Women in which women workers of 160 factories participated.

B.Mallika of Sri Kaliswari fireworks, Viswanatham, got the first prize while the second prize went to M. Manimegalai of Sri Kaliswari Fireworks, Ethirkottai, and the third prize went to P. Radharukmani of Rajeswari Fireworks, Nathikudi.

Representatives of Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers’ Association (TANFAMA) and The Indian Fireworks Manufacturers Association (TIFMA) attended.