It is observed that improvement in Safety Management in each organization requires appropriate periodic monitoring and review to achieve desired results. The industries engaged in various activities such as petroleum-refining, petrochemical, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, mechanical, electrical, instrumentation, construction, packaging, textile, dyes, automobile, etc. have different level of emphasis regarding safety management. The emphasis also differs depending upon the scale of industries amongst small scale, medium scale and large-scale industries. In reality, it is felt that financial performance over-powers strict adherence of safety requirement on many occasions adopting short-cuts during execution of various jobs. The equipments are over stretched beyond the normal expected service life due to economic pressures.

Therefore, safety management requires utilization of experience, manufacturing knowledge and skill etc. to work out safety systems which helps to improve operating hours, capacity utilization with minimum break downs and avoiding any unsafe incidents to man power and assets.

During recent years of post globalization period in India, following trend in safety system is observed in last few years.

i) Safety continues to get priority in industries due to possible damage to manpower and assets.
ii) Safety is ‘LINE FUNCTION” and is not sole responsibility of Central Safety Deptt.
iii) “SAFETY AT ANY COST” tends to shift to “SAFETY AT APPROPRIATE COST” mainly due to economic pressure.
iv) Low expenditure, high satisfaction area acquires priority for implementation.
v) Improvement in methodology of safety, operations and maintenance practices in manufacturing units are thrust area.

Several updated safety management techniques are adopted in various Industries during recent years. Some of the multinational companies like M/s. Shell, Dupont, etc. have been global leader in achievement of best Safety results. Recent innovation in Safety Management indicates that Proactive efforts are required to avoid unsafe events rather than corrective measures to avoid recurrence of Incident, which has once happened. Some of the recent developed techniques are being practiced in many industries in India, which has produced excellent results. It is proposed to discuss following adoptable, cost - effective techniques, which are expected to improve safety performance in industries in India.

1) Safety Training Observation Programme. (STOP)
2) Near-miss Incidents.
3) Winning the edge - Multi skill.
4) Risk assessment on the job.

Above techniques are briefly described below:


Safety management requires involvement in different proportion from entire cross section of persons from top management to shop floor level working persons. In the industries the” VISIBLE COMMITMENT” regarding continued safety management improvement from senior management is absolutely essential to generate desired impact across the working people at all level. If senior authority spends 15-30 minutes every week and takes Safety Training Operations Programme (STOP) which helps to have feeling amongst all employees regarding commitment from senior management to improve safety and health of all employees and assets. During this STOP, senior executive is required to take round with some of the middle management representatives and observe the methodology regarding execution of various jobs. Senior executive is expected to politely discuss with working level employees and appreciate good working practices and pinpoint deviation from the standard practices and incidents. This will help to collectively assess training requirement to upgrade the skill of employees in some of the area. Interaction by senior executive motivates working level employees and encourages to improve methodology of working on the job.

During each week, STOP may be conducted for any of the following topic.

- Work Permit Compliance.
- Maintenance Practices.
- Sampling System.
- Material handling area,
- Storage System.
- Emergency Response System.
- Trips/Alarms.
- Electrical Installation.

STOP technique consists of 5 steps.

- Decide
- Observe
- Report

Out of above 5 steps, senior executive is required to decide to spend 15 – 30 minutes for “STOP” technique. Senior executive is required to stop near the working team at the spot of work and observe.

Observe the persons in the following 5 categories.

- Reaction of working people.
- Personal Protective Equipment.
- Position of people (Injury, causes)
- Tools and equipments.
- Procedure and Orderliness.

Observe the “EVAPORATIVE ACTS” of working persons in the first 10 to 30 second with careful observations. Senior executive is required to appreciate the good part of execution of job in the proper manner. However the improper method to be discussed with working
persons seeking their opinion about the right method to carry out the job. During interaction, working level persons to be made to realize some of the part of job requiring correction. Senior executive need to get confirmed that working level persons are mentally convinced to carry out the job in the right manner. Senior executive is required to fill “SAFETY OBSERVATION CARD” and forward to Sectional Head in manufacturing, maintenance and safety. Safety Observation Card consists of checklist regarding above listed 5 categories and observation regarding particular job and remedial measures for future jobs.

This data is used by team of 2 – 3 senior executives to review and assess the collective updates in manufacturing practices, training, etc..

Benefits with STOP :

- Increase overall safety awareness.
- Increase communication within the organization
- Increase observation skills.
- Intensifies management commitment to safety.
- Everyone gets committed to doing work safely.

Top executive is required to discuss about near-miss incidents, minor injuries, lost time accidents, etc. with medium level executives in the beginning of interaction at the average frequency of once every week during normal meetings. This will require discussion initially for few minutes regarding Health, Safety & Environment related issues which helps to spread the commitment from senior management about improvement of safety management in the organization. This is recommended to be practiced in meeting chaired by top executive to discuss overall business related matter in the organization.

Near-miss Incidents:

Pro-active safety management system is preferred in comparison with corrective safety management system.

Pro-active safety management system attempts to eliminate origin of unsafe incidents, which are recently adopted techniques compared to conventional technique of reviewing the unsafe incidents to avoid reoccurrence. It is widely accepted fact that root cause of many major accidents in industries is minor deviation from standard laid down safety, operation, and maintenance practices. Small mistakes results in major accidents.

Therefore, since last few years, some of the industries have adopted to analyze root cause of minor injuries to take proper corrective action to avoid reoccurrence of such minor injuries in future.

Identification of Near-miss incidents is technique used to identify weak areas in the system to take corrective actions to avoid even minor injuries in the industries.



Example: 1

Hydrocarbon vapour leak did not enter in improperly boxed electrical switch box

Due to different direction of wind at higher wind velocity.

Example: 2

In chemical storage facility, chemical “A” is pumped into wrong storage vessel “B” unintentionally. Chemical A and chemical B did not have much reactivity

Identification of Near miss incidents helps to take timely corrective action to avoid unsafe accidents. Identification of Near – miss incidents should be encouraged particularly at the shop floor level because such cases can be identified mostly at the shop floor level.

Investigation of major incidents indicate that “MAJOR ACCIDENT IS RESULT OF FEW PRECEDING MINOR ACCIDENTS WITH LIMITED IMPACT AND HIGHER PORTION OF NEAR –MISS INCIDENTS WITH LITTLE OR NO SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE”. The safety pyramid shows following relations between three as per the average statistics.

- 600 Near miss incidents results in 30 minor injuries and 1 major fatal accident.

The above analysis is generated by “The Wharton” School of Management, University of Pennsylvania after conducting studies at more than 20 fortune 500 chemical and pharmaceuticals facilities. Steps for effective near miss incidents.

1. Identification.

2. Prioritization.

Shop floor working employees (Supervisory & Non-supervisory) are required to be trained to identify Near Miss Incident and report in simple format.

Every Near miss incident report should be prioritized based on its impact on the HSE performance by appointed committee to review the reported Near miss incident. The analysis and recommendations of Near miss incidents should be carried out by the individual or committee depending upon complexity of Near miss incidents assessed by individual or committee.

Recommendations to avoid such Near miss incidents to be reported for implementation to concerned Dept and “originator of Near miss incidents without fail to encourage similar identification in future.”

Appropriate reward scheme helps to encourage identification of Near Miss Incidents.

Winning Edge – Multi skill:

The concept of specialization in safety management continues to acquire importance in industries. However, the concept of multi skill is getting widely accepted in industries due to following reasons.

i) Expeditious implementation of job.
ii) Reduction of manpower requirements.
iii) Favorable to reduce communication gap and corresponding adverse impact due to in–effective job execution. Prompt response for effective execution of sequential job.

The Multi Skill concept brings WINNING EDGE in the industries in terms of much higher manufacturing output, reduction in human cost and higher-level of safety standard.

The Multi Skill concept encourages shop floor working level persons to carry out some of the simple jobs connected to work requirement avoiding need to explain connected jobs to other persons.

Shop floor operator is to be trained for basic fire fighting so that appropriate action is taken during initial few seconds to reduce damage substantially

Similarly, shop floor operator is trained for proper sampling and carrying out simple laboratory analytical test to avoid communi-cation gap between operator, sampler and laboratory technician. However, for multi skill job appropriate training is extremely essential to avoid errors and mistakes due to
inadequate knowledge. Therefore, the practice of multi skill is adopted by many industries to improve manufacturing efficiency and safety standard.

Risk Assessment Techniques:

Risk assessment is first phase of Risk Management in which

- Hazard is identified.
- Probability of accident is examined.
- Consequences of accidents are assessed.

This helps to

Eliminate hazard or reduce the consequences of risk to an acceptable level by incorporating the control measures.

The work permit system incorporates risk assessment by asking following questions.

a) What can go wrong?
b) How it can go wrong?
c) What is impact if it goes wrong?

The booklet related to steps to risk assessment is required to be published and circulated widely. The format for risk assessment to be finalized after deliberations at different level for uniform implementation.


STEP 1 : Look for Hazard.

Supervisor doing the assessment is required to walk around the work place and assess the possible hazards which could result in possible unsafe incident. Supervisor may discuss with other employees working around the workplace or may refer the manufacturers’ instruction booklet, MSDS, etc.

STEP 2 : Decide who might be harmed and how.

Supervisor is required to review the working people who will carry out the job. Young workers, trainees, contractors persons, visitors are likely to be affected if involved for the work or present around the workplace. They should be briefed about the possible hazards.

STEP 3 : EVALUATE THE RISKS and decide whether the existing precautions are adequate or whether more should be done.

Depending upon initial assessment, gravity of risk involved (whether low, medium, high risk) to be foreseen. Procedure for doing the job to be reviewed for any specific step depending upon the requirement.

STEP 4 : Record your findings.

This is required for job involving either high risk or more number of people involved to carry out the job for role clarity of individual persons.

STEP 5 : Review your assessment and revise if necessary.

If the job as per initial assessment indicates high risk or grey area with

Less clarity supervisor may involve knowledgeable and experienced persons from Central Safety Dept or high level authority or specialist from equipment supplier, etc. The job assessment is reviewed in consultation with persons involved and revised in totality, recorded and explained to each of the persons involved in execution of job.

Risk Assessment emphasize upon all preventive measures to be taken to avoid unsafe event. Proper Risk Assessment gives thrust to avoid any rare chance of unsafe event avoiding need for use of Personal Protective Equipments, which is Last Line of Defense. But simultaneously. Proper use of PPE is also emphasized to avoid any damage to people during rare event of unsafe incident.

Detailed Risk Assessment is MUST FOR ONE TIME JOB carried out in industries due to unknown factors connected with ONE TIME JOB. For repetitive type of jobs, overconfidence need to be avoided giving message “SOMETHING MAY HAPPEN” instead of “NOTHING HAS HAPPENED”.

Risk assessment awareness medium

i) The HSEF Apex Body Committee.
ii) Plant safety committee meeting.
iii) Contractors safety committee meeting.
iv) In-house training programmes.
v) Shop floor meetings.
In addition to the techniques explained above improvement in safety management system in manufacturing units involve periodic review, update and monitoring of other connected systems such as safety, operations and maintenance practices, electrical installations, alarm/trip system, material handling, storage installations, loading/unloading practices, etc., Appropriate implementation of adoptable safety improvement techniques described above are expected to help in improving safety management system in production units.
Shri M.R. Patel, a Chemical Engineer, worked as a lecturer at DDIT. Nadiad for a period of 3 years before joining IPCL, in 1974.

He rendered his services to different departments of IPCL, in various capacities. At present he is Vice President (Operation) for Baroda and Gandhar Complex. He is holding additional charge of Safety Department also since 2001. Shri Patel has visited USA & Europe for training and discussions with Licensors.