Definition, Need & Programmes for Safety in the Industry
The importance of industrial safety was realized because of the fact that every year millions occupational/ industrial accidents occur which result in loss of production time equivalent to millions of man hours, machine hours etc.
Of these about one-fifth production time is lost by those actually injured due to temporary and permanent disablement and the remaining production time is lost by fellow operators/ people in helping the injured, in taking care of the damage caused by accident etc. the loss to the industrial unit would appear much more alarming when death cases due to accidents are considered.
It is therefore essential to identify/examine the causes of industrial accidents and take steps to control them. Many disciplines are concerned with this safety approach. Industrial engineering is one field which deals with design of efficient work place, equipment and industrial layout design. Other disciplines which can contribute to safe working environment are psychology, sociology and Medicare science.
The following steps may be taken to effectively and efficiently eliminate an unsafe working environment:
(1) Elimination if possible of the causes of accidents.
(2) If it is not possible to eliminate the cause of accidents, make arrangements to shield the hazardous place by guards, enclosures or similar arrangements.
Need for Safety:
In view of above discussion, need and concern for safety is therefore need of the hour. There are some direct costs/ effects of an accident but there are certain indirect costs involved in it also e.g. machine down time, damage to machine, ideal time of nearby equipment and horror created among workers, loss of time etc. in aid cost compensation, legal implications and allied costs etc. So safety measures would not only eliminate/ avoid above cost but would mean performing their moral responsibility towards workmen/operators also.
An accident is by virtue of unsafe factor he results of an unsafe condition it may be the combined effect of two. An unsafeact results in the form of operator/people doing thing without proper authority, misuse of safety devices, ignoring warnings and precautions etc.
An unsafe condition may be present in various forms e.g. faulty or defective electrical fittings, inadequate maintenance of gang way. Use of defective tools etc. So to prevent the occurrence of accidents, unsafe acts have to be avoided/ eliminated or checked.
For rectification of the causes because of unsafe acts attention must be paid to following factors:
(1) Personnel adjustment:
If a foreman/supervisor identifies that a worker is unfit either physically or mentally or a job/ task, he should be quickly taken off the work in consultation with the personnel department.
(2) Method/technique used:
Some techniques requiring change should be replaced by safe methods.
(3) Operator training:
Job method may be safe or unsafe but the operator must be trained to perform the job.
(4) Publicity and education about accident prevention:
The workers/ people are led by the skill, energy and leadership of foreman/supervisor. So it is the duty of these people to educate the workmen about prevention of accidents. The aim is to teach them to become safety conscious so that they are able to recognize an unsafe act or situation and act in such a manner that accident is avoided.
The unsafe conditions:
To avoid accidents due to unsafe conditions, various provisions have been discussed in the “Factories Act” these may be concerned with moving parts of prime movers, electrical generators and transmission machinery: fire protection devices, control of dangerous fumes, lifting of excessive weights and safe guards over lighting machines, chains and ropes etc.
Thus safety in industry helps:
- Increasing the production rate.
- Reducing the cost of production.
- Reducing damage to machinery and equipment.
- Preventing unwanted suffering and pain to employees of the organization.
- Preventing premature/untimely death of talented workers who may be an asset to the enterprise and society.
A safety programme intends to identify when where and why accidents occur. On the same lines a safety programme aims at reducing accidents and associated losses. A safety programme is initiated with the assumption that it is possible to prevent most work connected accidents.
A safety programme is a continuous process and tries to be decrease the influence of personal and environmental factors which cause accidents. Normally a safety programme consists of providing safety equipment's and special training to workmen or employees.
Indian standards Institute has done commendable job in this context and lays down as follows:
- Safety precautions to be taken during manifesting operations.
- Standards for proper lighting, ventilation and proper layout of the industrial unit.
- Standards and specifications of safe industrial operations and practices etc.
- Requirements for effective maintenance of tools and equipment's.
- Guidance on safe cutting and welding processes.
- Guidance on use of powered industrial trucks, belt conveyors and fire protection equipment's.
- Safety requirements for personal protective equipment's.
- Classification of hazardous chemicals and provision of accident provision tags.
- Markings for handling and lebelling of dangerous items/ goods.
Standards for safety:
- In industrial building
- Safety procedures to be followed in electrical work
- in use of electrical appliances in hazardous area and explosive atmosphere.
- Specifications for protective clothing, safety helmets face shields and safety equipment for eyes ears lags hands and feet etc.