Manufacturing Safety: The Necessity of Time
Manufacturing safety is important to prevent or reduce the risk of irreparable workplace injury. In addition, accidents at a manufacturing facility can cause damage to machinery and the environment. This will have a significant negative impact on workplace productivity. In this regard, mojo4industry recently organized a discussion wherein experts came together and debated on the steps to be taken to ensure safety in manufacturing facilities or shop floor.
It is essential to identify potential occupational hazards and take measures to minimize accidents at manufacturing plants.The fact is that no one wants to get hurt while at work, and no one wants to be responsible for someone else getting hurt.However, the truth is that accidents do happen in the workplace, and people do get hurt, particularly in workplaces where there is a higher risk of injury, such as within the manufacturing industry. Sometimes accidents happen, and when they do the consequences can be serious, although the majority of the time thankfully they’re not.
On this occasion, PL Muthusekkar, Managing Director, NORD Drivesystems India expressed the need to have an inbuilt culture wherein safety is the most important factor in any facility. He focussed his talk around the SHE concept. Sharing further, he said, “We need to focus more on SHE: safety, health and environment. That should be the area of focus and there is lot of learning to be done in the area.” He further added that a regular give and take and sharing of ideas across business ventures hold a key role in addressing the SHE factors. Muthusekkar expressed the need to have the 4 C’s in safety:Coaching, communication, commitment and consistency. If these 4 C’s are taken, it will be a better tomorrow.
At NORD, there is a safety committee which carries out 4 audits every year which paves the way for the steps to be taken in terms of safety and development. “We have various activities in which primarily we focus on embedding safety as a culture. We practise the same also. Similarly, we cannot neglect the role of technology improvement in the safety activities. It could be automatic switches, color coding etc. The next on the list in terms of the factory visit, we plan the entire flow for this. It is called NORD walk. It is a well guided tour. When someone visits any of our facility or plant, right from a college student to a visitor or even the media, it will guide them about even the simplest of the things. It talks about the features that we have. That is what we take through everyone,” informed Muthusekkar.
According to Prashant Chaturvedi, GM – Marketing, Messer Cutting Systems India Pvt Ltd safety is an investment for a better tomorrow. “Small or big accidents are very dangerous for the plant. At times, duplications also result into accidents and hazards,” he says. Chaturvedi highlights that proper connections, right pressures are very necessary to avoid accidents. He further adds, “We do recommend you to visit the Messer factor in Coimbatore. It is well maintained wherein safety is on top priority. We have general safety meetings at the employee level and there is whirlwind discussion that goes about the safety in terms of the hits and the misses. If there was any injury or incident, it is taken seriously and discussed and the corrective actions that are required are also studied and implemented.”
At Messer, the company has arranged a walkthrough wherein experts are consulted and they identify the grey areas. Once the grey areas are identified, precautionary measures are undertaken which involves barricading and demarcation of the area that can be hazardous. “Taking feeback, continuous improvement and implementing all the necessary corrective measures is one of the most key factors in improving the plant safety,” sums up Chaturvedi.
Addressing the session on the safety around the sheet metal industry, Amarkant Jha, CGM – Technical Center, Amada (India) Pvt. Ltd stressed that a majority of the customers for the sheet metal sector are from medium and small-scale industries. “The type of work involved in the sheet metal sector is such that one will find a lot of sheet metal everywhere and the factory environment is very chaotic and when we discuss about safety, if the raw material is not kept properly, accidents will happen. The five S (Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain) are required if it is especially the sheet metal factory. It was interesting to know that after visiting the Technical Center, many customers agree to what Jha wants to highlight and have taken steps already to implement on the suggestions and have answered in the affirmative to the changes that need to be carried out.
Accidents at manufacturing units cannot be taken lightly as they involve the risk of life and limb. The ongoing pandemic has changed the workplace scenario and the dark clouds of COVID-19 still linger on the entire world. The ongoing crisis and the scenarios that have been visible for over a year have made a deep impact as per Sandip Roy, Regional Head – East, VDMA India. Roy strains our attention to the importance of human safety. “The COVID-19 pandemic changed the whole definition of safety last year. We included human safety due to the pandemic scenario. Prior to that, human safety was not a part of the SOP’s that were being framed in the manufacturing segments till then. Initially it was a challenge to bring working people together in a space, maintain the distance and produce and manufacture at the same time, is a concept that needs to be incorporated in the future SOP’s that will be framed,” he states to second his thoughts on safety.
The central government has already modified the National Disaster Management Authority has already framed new SOP’s after the Vizag accident that happened last year. These are the steps which are to be followed.
“In manufacturing, there is nothing more crucial than health and safety. If you want to make sure that your business reduces the risk of any serious safety issues leading to accidents and injuries, it’s vital that you take health and safety seriously from the moment when you first launch your business,” reiterates S. Shanmuganathan, DGM, Messer Cutting Systems India Pvt Ltd. He further educates on the scenarios that can lead to hazards, “The most common hazard in welding is electric shock and electrocution. Monsoon is the season that can be tricky and risky. It is advisable to go with the OEM torch and avoid hazards.”
By taking note of the tips and advice above, you can make doing so much easier and less stressful, and you can increase the chance that your business will be able to avoid accidents altogether, or at least, any major accidents