Days after the Vizag gas tragedy, the government has issued guidelines for reopening of industries amid coronavirus, with the safety of workers being at the core of these fresh guidelines.
Days after the Vizag gas tragedy, the government has issued guidelines for reopening of industries amid coronavirus, with the safety of workers being at the core of these fresh guidelines. The NDMA, under the aegis of the Ministry of Home Affairs, has issued generic guidelines pertaining to storage of products, raw material, for workers and for manufacturing processes. “Consider the first week as the trial or test run period,” the government asked of state governments and industries when restarting a unit. The government has also advised against achieving high production targets in the first week itself.
Here are key guidelines from MHA:
- The facility must check for abnormalities such as strange sounds or smell, exposed wires, vibrations, leaks, smoke, abnormal wobbling, irregular grinding or other potentially hazardous signs in machinery to minimise risking lives. If such problems are found, the facility must provide for immediate maintenance or shutdown.
- Before opening industries, all equipment must be inspected as per the safety protocols.
- The facility must approach district administration in case of any difficulty in managing crucial backward linkages.
- For storing raw material, the NDMA guidelines state that the facility must be checked for already opened storage vessels/containers/bags/silos so that oxidation/chemical reaction/ rusting/ rotting etc can be identified.
- HAZMAT chemicals must be checked for chemical stability before using.
- The facility must ensure ventilation and proper lighting before entering the storage areas.
- The storage building must be checked for signs of distress and damage to the roof.
- Similar rules are also there for manufacturing units such as carrying out a SafetyAudit of the entire unit before restarting activities.
- Based on the type of equipment, pipelines and discharge lines must be cleaned.
- Check boilers/ furnaces/ heat exchangers for lining and signs of wear and tear.Similarly, supply pipelines/valves/conveyor belts should also be checked for any residual material and wear and tear.
- Ensure that all pressure, temperature gauges are functional.
- Complying with requirements of Tightness test, Service test and Vacuum hold test. The testing must be done before human resources are entered into the premises.
- Ensure availability of emergency crews/ professional technical teams.
- Factories must carry out sanitisation routine every two-three hours especially in the common areas such as lunch rooms and common tables.
- Temperature checks of all employees must be carried out twice a day.
- Those who show symptoms must not be asked to work.
- The factory must provide gloves, masks and hand sanitisers to all manufacturing units.
- Factories which work round the clock must ensure one hour gap between shifts.
- No tools must be shared.
- Managerial and administrative staff should work one shift at 33% capacity.
- Factories must prepare accommodation to isolate workers, if needed.