Factory Fire Burst- A Scrutiny on Safety Compliance Management
Blog wpadmin June 29, 2021
Working of manufacturing and non-manufacturing establishments, especially handling hazardous chemicals, gases, drugs etc. have to adhere to strict statutory compliances in order to control and avert any disaster or crisis situation.
Enumeration of disaster preventionstatutes relating to the same.
Where on one side, most of Indian metropolitans are grappling to contain the spread of Corona Virus and to minimize the deaths due to super spread of Corona Virus, the incident of fire break ata company that produces chlorine dioxide tab for water purification in Urawade village near Pirangut in Pune taking lives of nearly 20 people sent shock waves across country and especially in the already severely impacted areas of Pune Metropolitan Region (PMR) in Maharashtra.
Even more disheartening was the fact that the factory did not even have a record of number of people employed at the time when the incident took place, considering that maintaining the records of the entries of employees is the basic compliance for any factory/company/entity.
This incident and many such incidents which are a result of negligence at work place specially in case of organizations engaged in manufacturing and use of chemicals, gases, drugs, or any other hazardous product etc., could be averted by strictly adhering to the laws made mandatory for the proper functioning of establishment and organization, which would also help to exercise control the man power employed at the concern entity.
We shall have a brief look at the probable causes which could have led to the disaster incident in factory as mentioned hereinabove, and what are the laws to be adhered by establish mentengaged in manufacturing or use of hazardous drugs, gases, chemicals etc.
Chemical disasters may originate in:
Such disasters may be sparked from process and safety system failure arising due to
Technical errors: design defects, fatigue, metal failure, corrosion etc.
Human errors: neglecting safety instructions, material mis handling and storage in manufacturing facilities, and isolated storages; deviating from specified procedures etc.
Lack of information: absence of emergency warning procedures, nondisclosure of line of treatment etc.
Organizational errors: poor emergency planning and coordination, poor communication with public, noncompliance with mock drills/exercises etc., which are required for ensuring a state of quick response and preparedness.
Probable Causes of Fire Incidence:
The country has in recent times witnessed many instances of industrial accidents, notable among those are:
Vizag gas incident wherein due to leakage of from a chemical plant in Vizag wherein at least 12 people died and over 350 were hospitalised.
Boiler explosions at a factory in Neyveli wherein at least 13 employees were killed and 17 injured
The blast in a gas pipeline connected to the coke oven section of a Steel Plant in Bhilai in Durg district of Chhattisgarh, resulted in the death of 9 people while injuring 14 others.
All these incidences can be associated with probable causes like:
The Chlorine Dioxide being highly flammable and reactive, the prescribed airborne exposure limits at workplace might have been violated.
Improper local exhaust ventilation.
Unlikely mixed exposures of chemicals, or toxic release
Legislative Guidelines To Be Observed:
Along with labour codes, factories/industries have to adhere to other statutory compliances as per their nature of business for industrial safety to avoid disasters. Enumerated below are some of the statutes to be adhered by industries dealing in manufacturing of hazardous chemicals, drugs, gases etc.:
Disaster Management Act, 2005
The Disaster Management (National Disaster Response Force) Rules, 2008
The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Rules 1975.
The Air (Prevention And Control Of Pollution) Act, 1981 &Rule 1982
The Factories Act, 1948
The Boilers Act, 1923
India Electricity Rules, 1956 and Indian Electricity Act 2003
Manufacture, Storage And Import Of Hazardous Chemicals Rules, 1989
Chemical Accidents (Emergency, Planning, Preparedness And Response) Rules, 1996
The Explosive Substances Act, 1908(as amended by the amendment act of 2001)
Hazardous Wastes (Management, Handling And Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2008
Indian Standards On Earthquake Engineering
The Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemical Rules, 1989.
Chemical Accidents (Emergency Planning, Preparedness, and Response) Rules, 1996.
The Major Accident Hazard Control Rules, 1997
National Guidelines On Chemical Disaster Management
Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991
Indian Penal Code, 1860
Preventive Measures to Avoid accidents In Industries dealing in hazardous Substances:
1. Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facility – the establishment owner shall design and set up the treatment, storage and disposal facility as per technical guidelines to avoid any mishaps.
2. Periodic testing and examination of vessels, pipes, valves and ancillary products thereto, in order to curb down accidents.
3. Setup GIS-based “Emergency Management System”. Prescribe on site emergency plans.
4. Training employees of handling hazardous substances.
5. Conduct periodic mock drills in case of emergency. Workers to be informed of evacuation or rescue plans.
6. Display information of hazardous substances, its process etc. and its precautionary measures and other information regarding dangers including health hazards, mark evacuation signs at prominent work place.
7. Prohibit employment of young persons, pregnant women and any class, of adult workers in manufacture, storage or handling involving hazardous process.
India is recognized as one of the very few countries, which have enshrined the ‘Right to Live’ in a clean and wholesome environment as a fundamental right under the Indian Constitution, which is the supreme law of land.
The industrial accidents taking lives of people, makes it ample clear that it is imperative to have thorough disaster management plan in place, for all industrial establishments involved in processing or handling chemical or any other hazardous substance. Establishment need to strictly adhere to the statutory and voluntary framework in order to avoid the mishaps occurring due to negligence or manmade or natural disasters. This will not only reflect commitment of organisation with respect forhumanity but also a respect to the Indian Constitution and its people.