How to ensure safety in manufacturing | mojo4industry Exclusive

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How to ensure safety in manufacturing | mojo4industry Exclusive

In an exclusive development debate conducted by mojo4industry, experts from the industry discussed the steps to be taken to ensure safety in your manufacturing facilities or shop floor. They also highlighted the advanced technologies that can eliminate the safety hazards at manufacturing facilities. Edited excerpts.

Employees at manufacturing facilities are highly prone to workplace injuries as there are high-risk activities such as welding, metal cutting, raw material assembling, and heavy lifting and rigging etc.

It has been reported that as many as 116 industrial accidents took place in the Indian chemical and mining industries between May 2020 and June 2021 that resulted in the deaths of at least 230 workers. More than 8,000 such incidents occurred in Indian workplaces between 2014 and 2017 killing more than 6,350 employees. Most of these incidents took place in Delhi, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.

In an exclusive development debate conducted by mojo4industry, experts from the industry discussed the steps to be taken to ensure safety in your manufacturing facilities or shop floor. They also highlighted the advanced technologies that can eliminate the safety hazards at manufacturing facilities. Edited excerpts.

pl muthusekkar
PL Muthusekkar, Industry expert

Why safety matters
Talking about the importance of avoiding accidents Industry Expert PL Muthusekkar said, “Around 3% of India’s GDP is lost only by the accidents. You all will be surprised to know that this 3% of GDP is amounts to over Rs. 290,000 crore which is even greater than the defense budget of India. So, if we can reduce the accidents, we are going to save a lot on the GDP of India. Therefore, the safety also becomes a national interest.”

According to Mr. Muthusekkar, improperly guarded equipment, defective equipment and machineries, unsafe storage, and improper illumination in the workplace are some of most common reasons of workplace accidents. “Every managerial level intervention is required in terms of safety and drafting safety policy,” he adds.

He further suggests, “Suitable increments can be given if the safety practices are maintained in the industry. This will motivate employees and in turn will also churn out many people to you know, understand the importance of safety and follow the safety practices. Also, appointment of a safety officer should be made compulsory.”

prashant chaturvedi, gm marketing, messer cutting systems india
Prashant Chaturvedi, GM Marketing, Messer Cutting Systems India

Safety aspects related to plate cutting and welding
Industrial gases are used across industry in a variety of applications like water treatment, welding, metal cutting and more. At times, the gas regulators, if not used properly or not correct regulator is used, it can explode by itself. So, for industrial applications, whether it’s oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen or carbon dioxide, right regulator should be used for right application, observes Prashant Chaturvedi, GM – Marketing, Messer Cutting Systems India. 

A flashback arrestor, also known as flash arrestor, is a gas safety device which is commonly used in oxy-fuel welding and cutting to stop the reverse flow of gas as well as flash back into the supplier’s line. Flashback arrestor protects the user and the equipment from any damage or from getting the gas cylinder exploded. According to Mr. Prashant, all equipment needs to be necessarily supported by a flashback arrestor.

Flashback arrestors are available in different sizes and flow rate. In earlier days wet flashback arrestors were used, but nowadays mainly dry flashback arrestors are used in the industries.

prakash karunamurthy, zonal sales manager, schmersal india
Prakash Karunamurthy, Zonal Sales Manager, Schmersal India

Machine Safety 4.0
With Industry 4.0, machinery and systems are becoming increasingly complex, which means a need for more comprehensive safety systems. The networking of different safety switchgear devices is one way of reducing the complexity. Schmersal offers Industry 4.0 compliant machine safety solutions that make a factory future-ready. Prakash Karunamurthy, Zonal Sales Manager, Schmersal India explains how the challenges presented by Industry 4.0 can be tackled through risk assessment, planning & engineering, installation & commissioning, and operations (that includes condition monitoring, maintenance, troubleshooting and predictive maintenance). He also highlights some of the advanced man and machine safety solutions for Industry 4.0. 

There are many ways to lead to a machine safety and safe working environment. However, there are certain procedures which we need to be followed. Talking about some of the steps to be taken to ensure safety of machines and plants in industrial automation, Mr. Prakash said, “The machine safety or safe working environment may not be achieved only by making laws or by making Standards. Everyone (in a factory set up) has to understand what the law says to us and how a machine has to be operated safely. This can only be achieved by creating awareness.”

He further suggests, “25% of the accidents (at shopfloor) happen because of the manipulation of safety components which are installed in the machines. So, this manipulation has to be avoided.”

Conclusion
Accidents at a manufacturing facility can cause huge damage to man, machinery and the environment. Such accidents also have significant negative impact on workplace productivity. So, it is suggested that everyone working at manufacturing facilities should adhere to standard safety practices.

Talking on the steps to be taken to ensure a safe and healthy manufacturing ecosystem in India, Mr. Muthusekkar said, “First and foremost, we need to read the manual. Whoever operates the machine, he/she should read the operator’s manual thoroughly. And then there should be a group discussion on the operator’s manual to have a clear understanding of the machine and machine safety.”

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