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SUNDAY, December 10, 2023

Citizens call for regular checking of factory safety systems: poll

Citizens call for regular checking of factory safety systems: poll
SUNDAY, July 11, 2021

The government should pay more attention to disaster prevention and mitigation, according to Suan Dusit Poll opinion survey on Sunday following last weeks deadly explosion and inferno at a factory in Samut Prakan province.

The explosion at a foam factory in the Bang Phli district on July 5 forced the evacuation of residents in a 5km radius of the blast site.

The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation reported that at least 70 houses and 15 vehicles were damaged in the explosion. One firefighting volunteer died and 20 people were injured.

The online survey was conducted between June 6 and 9 on 1,266 respondents nationwide.

Folllwing were the public's responses to key poll questions:

▪︎ Views about the Bang Phli chemical inferno (multiple choice):

- 88.54 per cent said the incident had caused enormous damage;

- 83.87 per cent said firefighters took too much time to put out the flames due to lack of equipment;

- 82.13 per cent said the process to tackle the incident was slow.

▪︎ Cause of the explosion (multiple choice):

- 67.02 per cent said chemical leakage;

- 63.95 per cent blamed errors in the security system;

- 51.66 per cent said fire.

▪︎ What the government should do (multiple choice):

- 92.00 per cent said security systems of factories must be checked periodically;

- 89.78 per cent called for checking victims' health and relieving their sufferings;

- 78.45 per cent sought evacuation guidelines.

▪︎ Lessons from the incident (multiple choice):

- 69.99 per cent said paying more attention to disaster prevention and mitigation;

- 68.96 per cent said issuing plans to deal with emergency cases;

- 62.23 per cent said issuing guidelines to manage residue systematically.

▪︎ Level of satisfaction with government agencies' efforts to tackle the incident:

- 39.38 per cent were somehow dissatisfied;

- 30.71 per cent were somehow satisfied;

- 27.13 per cent were dissatisfied;

- 2.78 per cent were satisfied.

Suan Dusit Poll analyst Pornphan Buathong said fires and explosions at Thai factories so far prove the failure in urban planning, security systems and regulations.

"Therefore, the government should improve the disaster prevention and mitigation to be more effective, otherwise similar incidents will occur in the future," she said.

Dr Pornthida Thepprasit, director of the Environment Centre at Suan Dusit University's Faculty of Science and Technology, advised the government to improve urban planning laws and emergency plans, as well as make a Pollutant Release and Transfer Register database system, to facilitate the operation of related agencies and reduce loss of lives and properties.

"Most importantly, the government should create awareness related to environment and pollution among villagers and workers, as well as enhance the potential of rescuers and firefighters to be ready to deal with emergency issues," she said.