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.
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
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
1) Safety Training Observation
2) Near-miss Incidents.
3) Winning the edge - Multi skill.
4) Risk assessment on the job.
are briefly described below:
OBSERVATION PROGRAMME :
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.
- Electrical Installation.
consists of 5 steps.
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.
persons in the following 5 categories.
- Reaction of working
- 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,
- Increase overall
- 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.
Pro-active safety management
system is preferred in comparison with corrective safety
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
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.
A Near-miss incident
can be defined as “ANY EVENT, WHICH UNDER
SLIGHTLY UNFAVORABLE CIRCUMSTANCES MAY HAVE RESULTED
IN ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
- INJURY (MINOR
- LOSS OF PROPERTY, DAMAGE TO PLANT/MATERIAL.
- DAMAGE TO THE ENVIRONMENT.
- MANUFACTURING INTERRUPTION.
Hydrocarbon vapour leak
did not enter in improperly boxed electrical switch
Due to different direction
of wind at higher wind velocity.
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
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.
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
Appropriate reward scheme
helps to encourage identification of Near Miss Incidents.
– 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
i) Expeditious implementation
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
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
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
inadequate knowledge. Therefore, the practice of multi
skill is adopted by many industries to improve manufacturing
efficiency and safety standard.
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
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.
FIVE STEPS TO
STEP 1 : Look
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,
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
STEP 4 : Record
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
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”.
i) The HSEF Apex Body Committee.
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.
ii) Plant safety committee meeting.
iii) Contractors safety committee meeting.
iv) In-house training programmes.
v) Shop floor meetings.