What is Disaster?
Dictionary meaning for disaster is "a happening
that causes great damage or harm, a serious sudden
misfortune or a calamity ". How ever it is often
used a misnomer with any type of emergency. In fact
every emergency or accidental event need not be equated
with disastrous event. It goes much farther than those
of covered in the scope of handling an accident or
emergency situation. Disaster are the most unmanageable
events and dealing with them calls for additional
skills, strategy, resources etc.
DUTIES / RESPONSIBILITY OF SAFETY PERSONNELS
The important functions of safety officers are well
defined under the special notification on Safety Officer's
Rules issued by the Department of labour, Government
of Gujarat way back in 1983. it is heartening to note
that our state is one of the pioneers in framing and
implementing a good number of safety related statues
especially for MAH industries.
Safety personnel are the real facilitators in any
type of prevention / protection / mitigation whether
the incidents are of the nature of injuries, incidents
mishaps, fires or events of disastrous consequences.
By virtue of their unquestionable and acceptable positions
in the organization the safety officers can and should
contribute every thing under their command to handle
TYPES OF THE DISASTERS ENCOUNTERED
1) Natural / Environmental
e.g. Floods, Cyclones, Tycoons, Tornadoes, Earthquake,
Volcano eruptions, Droughts etc.
e.g. Industrial Accidents, Fires, Mishaps, Environmental
pollution, Strikes, Sabotage, Arson, Mob Violence,
Irrespective of whether they are in any of the above
mentioned category, Safety personnel are required
to be involved in a responsible manner to help the
employer or civic authorities or general public in
managing the events.
Following duties / responsibilities can be taken
up by them
1) Scaling up of all disastrous scenarios that can
occur in their areas and inform the same to the concerned.
2) Drafting of a Disaster management plan and circulating/educating
all concerned above same on approval of the draft.
3) Pooling of all types of resources and mobilizing
them. e.g. PPEs, Safety for related instruments, devices
etc and training every one to use the same.
4) Identifying and listing of both internal and externally
available resources including trained man power.
5) Marking of important safety related features like
escape route/ evacuation/access/location of PPEs/fire
alarm points/emergency showers etc.
6) Handling of mutual aid system with neighboring
7) Periodical training on disaster management for
own employees and out side personnel.
8) Organizing mockup exercises, performance evaluation
of the same followed by high lighting the strong and
9) Procurement and upkeep of safety gears and periodical
audit to ensure that they are always available for
10) Arrangements of MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet)
11) Constant liaison with statutory bodies about the
status of the events
12) If decided by Management, working as companies
spokes person or PRO or assisting PRO on the same.
13) Keep follow-up of recommendations for improvements
as observed during the handling of situation.
14) Educating customers / transporters including extending
help to them during disasters at their end.
15) Community awareness programmes through leaflets
/ pamphlets, exhibitions, videos, slides, cables TV