FICCI organizes webinar on ‘Reopening of Industries Post Lockdown: Orientation Towards Industrial Safety’

New Delh: FICCI, jointly with National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), Department for Promotion Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) & Gujarat Institute of Disaster Management (GIDM) launched a series of webinar on Industrial Safety to promote safety culture in addition to propagating guidelines issued by NDMA on May 9, 2020 for restarting the manufacturing industries, in wake of the recent industrial accidents in the country. The series of webinar is also supported by GAIL, Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC), Bangkok and German Agency for International Cooperation, GiZ.

The first webinar of the series on ‘Reopening of Industries Post Lockdown: Orientation Towards Industrial Safety’, organised on Friday attended by over 400 industry, academia, central & state government officials from across the country.

The webinar featured constructive and insightful discussions from eminent experts in the field of disaster management. It is also worth mentioning the session was extremely engaging and interactive as the participants put forward their thoughts and queries to the panellists.

Mr Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General, FICCI stated that opening of industries need special care. He also mentioned that FICCI organises a program on ‘Safety Award’. These awards are given to companies to motivate and recognise their commitment to safety at workplace by setting up robust safety systems in the organizations.

Mr G V V Sarma, Member Secretary, NDMA in his inaugural remarks elaborated on the active and prompt actions taken by NDMA. He said that NDMA would be supporting FICCI activities specially related to Disaster Risk Reduction & Mitigation, Strengthening the Safety Culture amongst the MAH Units and other Chemical Industries through various workshops and seminars.

Lt. Gen (Dr.) J R Bhardwaj, Former Member, National Disaster Management Authority and Chairman, FICCI Committee on Chemical & Industrial Disaster Management (CIDM) stressed upon the safety issues and the work done by CIDM for over a decade with practical mock drills conducted in MAH units.

Major General M K Bindal, Executive, Director, National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), Government of India in his keynote address welcomed the initiative and said that there is a need to re-define the context of re-opening of industries and the importance of Business Continuity Management (BCM).

Mr Narayannen, Technical Adviser, Boilers, DPIIT, Ministry of Commerce & Industry articulated that the Boiler Units should have adequate manpower for ensuring the overall safety. The owners should pressurize the boiler operator to ensure the safety guidelines.

Mr Jayant Bahekar, Vice Director, EHS Services, BASF India Ltd; Mr Charlie Lee, Vice Director, Process Safety, EHS Services, Asia Pacific and Dr S P Garg, Former Executive Director, GAIL India Limited also shared their perspective on the issue. They outlined the importance of careful planning, staggered resumption of operations before actual start. They also emphasised depending on the type of Industry, specific checklists should be developed by a team of internal experts, as a part of pre-start up activities. Referring to the recent accident at Vishakhapatnam caused by leak of Styrene vapour, both Mr Lee and Mr Bahekar highlighted the need for keeping the monomers contamination free and stressed upon usage of proper inhibitor levels for safe storage.

Mr K Rajeswara Rao, Sr. Adviser, Economic Advisory Council to The Prime Minister (EAC-PM), Government of India while appreciating the efforts of FICCI and all partners said that EAC PM appreciates and supports this initiative.