After reading this essay you will learn about:- 1. Introduction to Industrial Safety 2. Losses Due to Accidents in Industries 3. Causes of Accidents in Industries 4. Factors Responsible for Accidents in Industries 5. Measures for Preventing Accidents in Industries
Essay # 1. Introduction to Industrial Safety:
Safety is very important aspect for any industry as an accident free work environment boosts the morale of the team members working in any hazardous situations. Recognising these facts industries involving various hazards and risks industries prepare their own safety policy, safety manual and have a separate department/section for safety so as to create proper awareness and provide the know-how-about the safety.
Adherence to the useful information, rules, and mandatory requirements governing the safety and guidelines will help prevent occupational injuries and accidents which constitute an unavoidable and needless waste of human and material resources.
Safety means continuing and healthful living without injury. Safety is freedom from harm or the danger of harm. The word safety also refers to the precautions people take to prevent accidents, harm, danger, damage, loss and pollution. Safety also deals with improvement in working conditions for better health. Management is responsible to provide safe working condition and individual’s safety.
All undesired events in a workplace which can give rise to death, ill health, injury, damage or other loss need to be thoroughly investigated, people are trained to safeguard against them, and need to be eliminated. Similarly, all hazards, i.e., source/situation capable of injury or ill health, damage too properly or workplace environment etc., should be identified and action plan drawn for safeguard against them.
It is not only sufficient to care of safety but other two inter-related aspects, viz., health (well-being of employees) and environment are also given equal importance and considerations. All these three elements i.e., safety, health and environment (also known as SHE) are inter-related and affect each other. For instance, if health of employee is not given due regards, it may lead to accidents.
If industry pollutes the environment around work place, it will affect health of employees which may ultimately affect production. It is only if health and environment are in control than safety can be ensured. Each industry, therefore, has certain obligations towards keeping good environment and also towards health of people.
Occupational health hazards means:
1. Conditions that cause legally compensable illness,
2. Any conditions in the workplace that impair the health of employees enough to make them lose time from work or to work at less than full efficiency.
Various health hazards that may cause sickness, impaired health or significant discomfort or inefficient in workplace are:
(a) Physical hazards like noise, vibration, thermal stress; radiations, ill lighting.
(b) Chemical hazards like dust, fumes, fibres, gases,
(c) Biological hazards,
(d) Ergonomics hazards,
(e) Mechanical hazards, and
(f) Psychological hazards.
For works which by their very nature expose workers to hazards, appropriate preventing measures should be taken to avoid any danger to the safety and health of workers, the preventive measures should place emphasis on the need to eliminate or reduce the hazard at the source.
Essay # 2. Losses Due to Accidents in Industries:
Now-a-days, serious attention is being paid in this matter, because now it has been clearly understood that these accidents cause heavy losses. In these losses, some are direct losses and are some indirect losses.
These are the losses to the employer, which he pays to the worker for compensation. Employer also pays for medical expenses incurred on the worker. This type of losses can be measured in terms of money.
These indirect losses arise from the following sources:
1. Loss of time of the injured person.
2. Loss of time of his fellow workers, who stop work at the time of accident to help him or to show sympathy or for curiosity.
3. Loss of time of supervisors;
(a) In assisting injured worker;
(b) In investigation and preparing a report of accident;
(c) In making alternative arrangement;
(d) In selecting and training the new worker to fill the vacancy if accident causes death of the worker.
4. Loss due to damage caused to machines.
5. Loss due to reduction in the efficiency of the worker when he returns after recovery.
6. Loss due to the reduction in the efficiency of other workers due to fall in their morale.
7. Losses to the injured worker.
Injured worker suffers the following losses:
(a) Loss to his income.
(b) Loss due to medical expenditure,
(c) Pain felt by worker, which cannot be compensated.
Essay # 3. Causes of Accidents in Industries:
Majority of industrial accidents are due to transmission machinery (gears, belts, pulleys, couplings, shafting etc.); cutters, tools and clutch of cutting machines etc.
To minimise the accidents, it is necessary to know about the cause of accidents.
General causes for accidents are given below:
1. Accidents due to dangerous machines:
These accidents occur from boilers, pressure vessels, prime movers, transmission system etc.
2. Unsafe physical condition:
It includes improper guards, improper illumination, improper ventilation, unsafe clothing’s.
3. Moving objects:
Sometimes moving object or falling object causes accidents.
4. Personal factors:
Sometimes accidents occur due to some personal factors like lack of knowledge, physical weakness.
5. Unsafe acts:
It is violence of commonly accepted safe procedure.
(i) working at unsafe speed,
(ii) loading machines beyond capacity
(iii) not using safety devices, and
(iv) adopting unsafe procedure.
6. Electrical causes:
Some of the important causes are:
(a) Do not providing proper protecting devices.
(b) Not obeying proper instructions and not following safety precautions.
(c) Failure to use insulated pliers, screw-drivers and rubber gloves etc.
7. Exposure to harmful substances:
Injuries due to accidents are also caused due to exposure to harmful substances, like toxic gases, fumes, dust, vapour mist and aerosols.
Types of Industrial Accidents:
Industrial accidents may be divided in two general classes:
(a) Machinery Accidents:
These accidents are caused by inadequate safeguards of machines.
(b) Non-Machinery Accidents:
These accidents are caused due to personal reasons such as age, physical weakness, inexperience and carelessness or from the plant conditions such as poor ventilation and illumination etc.
Machinery accidents can be reduced by providing safety guards on belts, gears etc.
Essay # 4. Factors Responsible for Accidents in Industries:
It has been seen that accidents are more frequent with younger persons.
Rate of accidents for more experienced workers is less than those of less experienced workers.
(iii) Physical Condition:
Experiments have shown that minor illness like sore throat, headache etc. is responsible for accidents to a large extent. These small frequent illnesses are responsible for lowering general health.
It has been seen that suitably arranged rest pauses reduce the number of accidents to a large extent. As these reduce the fatigue, therefore accidents which occur due to excess fatigue are reduced to a large extent.
Experiments have shown that when only one lunch-break is provided then accidents tend to increase with each successive hour of work in the morning and reaching a maximum approximately at 11 A.M., then reduces in the noon.
Number of accidents again starts rising, reaching maximum value towards the later part of the afternoon but a slight drop in the last hour (probably it occurs due to the fact that in this hour speed of work decreases and worker feels relaxed mentally that shortly after he will be free).
(v) Rate of Production:
This factor should also be considered while considering the cause of accidents. The study in this aspect shows that number of accidents increases with the increase in production but the proportion of accidents tends to decrease with the increasing production. That the rate of change in accidents per man-hour is less than the rate of change in production per man-hour.
(vi) Atmospheric Conditions:
Study has shown that accidents are found to be minimum at a temperature of 67.5°F (nearly 20°C). At higher temperatures, rate of accidents increases and after 24°C rate of accidents increases considerably.
Illumination also affects the accident liability. Dim illumination raises accident frequency. In day light, accidents frequency is less as compared to artificial illumination.
Working Conditions affecting Health:
Working conditions also affect the work. When a worker is allowed to work in good working conditions then his efficiency increases a lot.
Bad environment or working condition may ultimately leads to:
(i) Physiological Fatigue;
(ii) Mental Fatigue i.e., feeling of boredom; and
(iii) Decreased efficiency resulting in reduced output. In earlier days, no attention was paid on the working conditions like illumination, humidity, air ventilation, temperature etc. But its importance is now being realised.
(i) Mental Environment:
Good working conditions produce a good effect on the workers’ psychology in addition to greater efficiency. In such conditions, worker will always be ready to offer his services and co-operation. It is necessary for the success of an industry that workers should have good co-ordination.
A worker working in an atmosphere of badly ventilated and hot conditions will feel discomfort and fatigue. His efficiency will decrease and he will not be able to take interest in the work.
Proper ventilation takes away the heat of human body, furnaces, boiler and other equipment thus reducing the effect of heat to some extent. Proper ventilation also removes dampness.
Arrangement of air fans in a systematic way also helps to achieve this object. Sometimes, air fans placed in wrong direction send air through furnace, hot parts of machines, etc. Thus transmitting the heat to the workers which they would have not received otherwise.
Poor illumination reduces the speed of work and results in strain on eyes and causes more accidents. Light should come from the right direction and of desired illumination.
In artificial light, glare is most common defect; it is harmful to the eyes. It also produces strain and headache. Spoilage of work also increases due to glare.
(iii) Hours of Work:
Working hours should be distributed uniformly over the week. A worker should get atleast one weekly holiday so that he can enjoy on that day, and feelings of fatigue and boredom from his mind are removed, and thus he may return on duty as fresh in next week.
Rest pauses also reduce mental fatigue of the worker and hence they should be properly distributed, i.e., at least 5 minutes break in one working hour and one lunch break should be allowed. Duration of rest may vary slightly depending upon the nature of work and working conditions.
(iv) Noise and Vibrations:
Too much noise and vibrations produce mental fatigue and reduce the efficiency of the worker. Although noise cannot be stopped totally for a running machinery but can be reduced by enclosing the source of noise, use of baffles and sound proof materials etc.
Its reduction is very necessary because it is very difficult to concentrate on the work in too much noise. Sometimes too much noise also adversely affects the hearing capacity of the workers. Noise and vibrations can also be controlled to some extent by proper maintenance, checking, lubrication, proper functions etc.
(v) Plant and Shop Layout:
Systematic layout is very helpful for reducing accidents, movement of the products etc. If the shop layout is such that it looks pleasant then worker will take more interest in his work. The layout should be such that material handling becomes economical and safe, and overcrowding is reduced.
Passage for movement should be quite safe and space should be sufficient enough. It should be planned in such a way that every worker gets sufficient natural light in proper direction.
A well designed factory looks pleasing where worker feels proud in working and take more interest in his work. Therefore, factory should be kept clean, doors and windows should be properly coloured and walls should be white-washed so that atmosphere in the factory looks cheerful.
Essay # 5. Measures for Preventing Accidents in Industries:
To prevent the accidents, there is a need for consistent implementation of safety measures.
Some of the important safety measures helpful for preventing accidents are:
1. Safe Workplace and Working Condition:
(а) Good layout. Good layout includes sufficient space for movement, non-skid type floors.
(b) Reduced noise level. Use of such machines which produces less noise, provide separate space for such works which produces noise, make efforts for reducing the vibrations help in minimising harmful effects of noise.
(c) Inflammable materials should be stored separately.
(d) By providing proper safeguards to the machines, accident can be prevented. Some guards are built into a permanent casing, while some are attached afterwards.
(e) Machines or their parts should be fenced when it is not possible to provide safeguards.
(f) All boilers and other pressure vessels must be kept in proper condition. Safety valves, pressure gauges and water gauges etc. must be examined thoroughly at regular intervals.
(g) Physical conditions. Sufficient illumination, ventilation and height should be provided. Floor should be free from oiliness and kept clean.
2. Safe Material Handling:
(a) Hoists, Cranes, Lifts etc. must be of sound construction. They must be tested periodically and well maintained.
(b) Avoid fatigue of workers, use handling devices where possible.
(c) Ensure safety during handling.
3. Personal Protection Devices:
(a) Use of Goggles, Helmets, Gloves, Apron, Safety shoes, and Safety belts is necessary where required.
(b) Safety measures include special clothing for the protection of body, such as gloves, apron, mask, goggles etc. Loose clothing may be a source of danger.
(c) Repair work on machines should not be done when it is running.
(d) All the tools should be kept at their proper places.
(e) Chips should not be removed by hand.
(f) Workers should be trained about correct procedures and they should be educated about safety precautions. Constant warning, publicity and play cards carrying slogans (as ‘Safety-First,’ ‘Danger 440 Volts’ etc.) are also helpful to reduce accidents.
(g) Fire hazard. To avoid the danger, inflammable materials should be kept away from general storage at a safe distance (minimum 50 ft. or 15.25 m). Fire extinguishers should be kept at suitable places.
(h) Prevention of electric accidents.
To prevent electric accidents, following measures should be taken:
(а) Electrical insulation should be periodically tested.
(b) Use proper tools for testing and repairing.
(c) Work should be done after switching the power off.
(d) Use such safety equipment as insulated tools and rubber gloves etc. whenever necessary.
4. Safe Activities in the Organisation:
Each organisation has some peculiarities. On the basis of working methods, its process, and other conditions accident prone activities, and places etc. identified: Past records also help in identification of such activities or areas. All out efforts must be made to reduce chances of accidents in these accident prone areas or activities.
5. Good Housekeeping:
House-keeping means cleanliness in buildings, work areas, rest areas, equipment’s, machinery tools etc. Cleanliness includes keeping them free from dirt, dust, filth etc., and keeping things in pleasant and systematic manner.
(а) This minimise fatigue and discomfort to the workers and motivate them.
(b) It reduces the chances of accidents.
(c) Reduces the fire and other hazards.
(d) Increases-the life of machinery, equipment, tool etc.
(e) Improves productivity.
(f) Improves quality of the product.
(g) Enhances the morale of workers.
(h) Material handling and internal transport become faster.
(i) Better utilisation of floor space.
Good House-Keeping includes:
(i) Cleaning and tidy working premises.
(ii) Clean and clear passages/aisles.
(iii) Well stacked and neatly placed material.
(iv) Proper illumination.
(v) Clean, well-drained and well maintained roads.
(vi) No dangling of electric or phone lines in the work area.
(vii) Sufficient and safe clearance for aisles, at loading docks, through doorways, and wherever turns or passages are made.
(viii) Clearly marked aisles in factories or warehouses wherever mechanical equipment such as fork lift trucks, pallet jacks, tractors-trains, tow conveyors and other similar moving equipment’s are used.
The more organised and orderly a plant appears to be, the more conducive this appearance of orderliness is to the promotion of improved morale and productivity.
Storage of materials should not create a hazard. Bags, containers, bundles etc. Should be stacked, limited in height so that they are stable and secure against sliding or collapse.
Storage areas should be kept free from accumulation of materials that constitute hazards from tripping, fire, explosion or pest harborage.
Covers and/or good guard rails should be provided to protect personnel from the hazards of open pits, tanks, ditches etc.
6. General Measures:
i. Safety. By providing proper safeguards to the machines, accidents can be prevented. Some guards are built into a permanent casing, while some are attached afterwards.
ii. Fencing. Machines or their parts should be fenced, if it is not possible to provide safeguards.
iii. All boilers and other pressure vessels must be kept in proper condition. Safety valves, pressure gauges and water gauges etc. must be examined thoroughly at regular intervals.
iv. Hoists, cranes and lifts etc. must be of sound construction. They must be tested periodically.
v. Physical conditions. Sufficient illumination and ventilation should be provided. Floor should be free from oiliness and should be kept clean.
vi. Safety measures include special clothing for the protection of body, such as gloves, apron, goggles, etc. Loose clothing may be a source of danger.
vii. Repair work on marines should not be done when it is running.
viii. All the tools should be kept at their proper places.
ix. Chips should not be removed by hand.
x. Workers should be trained about correct procedures and they should be educated about safety precautions. Constant warning, publicity and play cards carrying slogans (as ‘safety-first’, Danger ‘440 volts’ etc.) are also helpful to reduce accidents.
xi. Fire hazard. To avoid the danger, inflammable materials should be kept away from general storage at a safe distance (minimum 50 ft. or 15.25 m). Fire extinguishers should be kept at suitable places.
xii. Prevention of electric accidents.
To prevent electric accidents following measures should be taken:
a. Electrical insulation should be periodically tested.
b. Use proper tools for testing and repairing.
c. Work should be done after switching the power off.
d. Use such safety equipment as insulated tools and rubber gloves etc. whenever necessary.
Essay # 6. General Precautions to Prevent Accidents in Industries:
Following are some of the common precautions which should be observed from industrial safety point of view, so as to prevent accidents:
1. Always remain alert, and in proper physical and mental condition.
2. Always wear right clothing for the jobs, wear safety glasses, gloves, footwear, hard hat etc. as per the job requirement. Do not wear ties, rings or watches etc. which can be caught by moving parts of the equipment.
3. Keep hands away from moving parts such as fan, V-belt, gears, drive shafts etc.
4. Before operation, make sure you are well conversant with the equipment and its operation.
5. Follow maintenance schedule.
6. Follow precautions suggested by the manufacturer.
7. Keep the machine and area clean.
8. Always keep a safe speed as per the working conditions and the job requirement.
9. Always use proper tools, and they should be free from grease and oil, and properly maintained.
10. Never check for leaks in a pressurised system with hand, as this may drive oil through pores under the skin.
11. Always keep guards and covers in position while operating a machine.
12. Do not perform maintenance work when machine is in operation.
13. Never put the machine on loads exceeding their capacities.
14. Machines should be carefully inspected at regular intervals.
15. Follow all the provisions laid down in various Acts.
16. Follow all the instructions as mentioned under heading ‘Preventive Measures’.
Hazard is a source or a situation with potential to cause harm in terms of human injury or ill-health, damage to property or environment or both. Hazards are identified in the performance of various activities, storage and handling of materials, and operation and maintenance of plants and equipment’s.
Hazard control is that function which is oriented towards recognizing, evaluating and working towards eliminating hazards and destructive effects found at the work-place.
Hazards may be classified as under:
1. Mechanical Hazards.
2. Electrical Hazards.
3. Chemical Hazards.
1. Mechanical Hazards:
These are responsible for the majority of the accidents in work situations, therefore every workplace and equipment should be properly examined for identifying mechanical hazards and for taking mitigating measures.
Common sources of mechanical hazards are:
(a) Unguarded or inadequately guarded moving parts or pits etc.
(b) Machine tools, hand tools, handling materials, lifting and other appliances.
(c) Improper ventilation, unsafe dress or apparel etc.
(d) Improper use of tools.
2. Electrical Hazards:
These may be due to contact of body with wire, cable or rail or from stroke of lightening. The immediate effect of this is shock which may be relatively mild or severe so as to cause death (electrocution) depending upon the strength of the current and/or the path it takes passing the earth through the body. Another result is burning and the burns may be severe and deep, especially with higher voltage.
Causes of the electric hazards may be of the following types:
(a) Electric shocks may be caused by an exposed live conductor or a faulty piece of equipment.
(b) A mobile crane boom, a man carrying or climbing an aluminium ladder, or vertical metal bars etc. can come in contact with overhead power lines, electric crane rails, open-faced substation switchboards etc.
(c) Other causes may be unskilled electricians, improper, instructions, defective wiring which may cause short circuit, poor installations, misuse or overloading.
(d) Ageing and attack by foreign materials causes insulation failures which causes electrical fires or cases of electrocution.
In such cases:
(a) Switch off the current.
(b) And/or remove casualty from the contact with current using insulated material and avoid receiving shock by the person rescuing the victim.
(c) Artificial respiration is given, if breathing has stopped.
3. Chemical Hazards:
The usage of chemicals with the resultant hazardous gases, vapours and fumes is one of the most dangerous industries.
The effects of noxious gases are:
(a) Simple asphyxiants, e.g., nitrogen gas, methane gas, carbon dioxide.
(b) Chemical osphysciants, e.g., carbon monoxide, hydrogen-sulphide, hydro-cyanic acid.
(c) Irritant gases, e.g., nitrogen dioxide or peroxide, flourine, hydrogen flouride, sulphur dioxide, ammonia.
(d) Organic metallic gases, e.g., assenic hydride.
(e) Inorganic metallic gases.
Several toxic chemicals and fluids are found in industries using sulphuric acid, nitric acid, soda, chloride of lime, chloride of phosphrous, sulphur chloride, phosphene chloride of zinc, nitrous chloride, iodine, artificial fertilizers, rubber, petroleum, tar etc.
Essay # 7. Safety Education and Training:
There should be proper facilities to impart training in safety measures to the worker. This can be accomplished by safety posters, safety films, safety contests and suggestions. These are useful to increase the interest of employees in accident prevention. The purpose of this training is to induce care in the use of dangerous tools or in carrying out risky operations.
Training manager identifies the training need of every person in the organisation with long range and short range planning. Training record is maintained for every employee and training requirements are reviewed regularly.
Safety training is an important factor in managing safety in any industry. Industrial concerns should provide as a minimum the following types of training:
1. Induction Training:
Induction Training should be given to all the persons prior to permitting them to go to work.
This training should include the following:
(а) General safety awareness.
(b) First aid.
(c) Use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
(d) Specific worksite hazards.
2. Refresher Training:
Refresher Training should be conducted at regular intervals to ensure that all workers are kept up-to-date with safety requirements.
3. Specific Training:
Specific Training should be provided to the persons with safety related tasks such as crane operators, slingers, plant operators etc.
Essay # 8. Safety Efforts by Government:
In order to ensure industrial safety, government has made number of legislations like, the Factories Act 1948, Indian Electricity Act 1884, Mines Act 1952, Indian Boilers Act 1923; Workmen’s Compensation Act; Indian Electricity Act 1910; Petroleum Act 1934 which governs the safety of personnel and equipment in industrial units in the country.
But we know that legislation alone cannot ensure safety in industrial operations, unless effective approach to prevention of accidents and promotion of safety consciousness in industry is achieved.
This is possible by adopting proper control measures including safe designs of machines and processes, use of protection devices and personal protective equipment’s, effective safety procedures and practices as well as creation of self-regulating system on the shop-floor.
To assure safety to workers and eliminating chances of damage to machinery and equipment, Indian Standards Institute has done commendable job.
It lays down:
(i) Safety precautions to be taken during manufacturing operations.
(ii) Requirements for effective maintenance of tools and equipment’s.
(iii) Standards for proper layout, proper lighting and ventilation of factory building.
(iv) Guidance on safe welding and cutting, use of powered industrial trucks, belt conveyors fire-fighting equipment’s.
(v) Standards and specifications of safe industrial operations and practices.
(vi) Classification of hazardous chemicals and use of accident prevention tags and pictorial markings for handling and labeling of dangerous goods.
(vii) Safety codes for handling acids and other chemicals.
(viii) Safety requirements for personal protective equipment’s.
(ix) Standards for fire safety in industrial buildings and safety procedures to be followed in electrical work and use of electrical appliances in hazardous area and explosive atmosphere.
(x) Specifications for protective clothing, safety helmets, face shields and safety equipment are for eyes, ears, lungs, hands, feet and legs. These include eye and ear protectors, gas mask, gloves, safety boots and shoes for mines and heavy metal industries etc.
Essay # 9. Safety Programme:
Certain persons are made responsible for safety aspect in the organisation. Now-a-days, safety committee concept is becoming popular. A safety committee consists of executives, supervisors and shop floor workers. This also helps in creating safety consciousness. This is a body which deals all matters related to safety.
Safety programmes analyses causes of accidents, and takes remedial measures which aim at r educing accidents and losses which might occur due to them. Safety programme is a continuous process and minimises the factors related to personal and environmental which may cause accidents Safety equipment’s are provided to save employees from accidents. Special trainings are imparted to employees on safety aspects.
In order to create awareness, safety weeks are organised, safety instructions are displayed. It is also necessary to make necessary safety rules and enforce them.
For effectiveness of the safety programmes in an industry, it is necessary to identify the causes of accidents, study them, and take effective steps for their prevention.
For effectiveness of the plant safety programme, following areas should be covered:
i. Plant layout.
ii. House keeping.
iii. Maintenance of the equipment.
iv. Training programme for the employees.
v. Protective equipment requirement.
vi. Separate safety department, with proper communication system.
vii. Fire-fighting facilities.
Lack of training has been identified as one of the major causes of accidents. Safety awareness is the basic requirement for reducing accidents. Most of the accidents take place due to adoption of short cuts and/or ignoring the safety guidelines.
There is a need to prepare a safety manual which should include the mandatory use of personal protection equipment, safety awareness training programme, fire protection, first-aid, safety signages, accidenting reporting procedure etc., each operation has its own hazards and a safety programme should be developed to mitigate the particular hazards.
Safety programme in an industry must receive the full support of an entire organisation beginning with top management and continuing down through the ranks to include the managers, supervisors and workers.
In any safety programme, following are essential:
1. Secure full support of top management
2. Direct one executive of appropriate level to direct safety programmes.
3. Give publicity to safety programmes.
4. Develop a safety programme for each job.
5. Install safety programme, creating the competition with appropriate rewards for outstanding performance.
6. Train new employees.
7. Safety practice be made effective.
8. Promote good house-keeping.
9. Maintain adequate first-aid facilities.
10. Seek assistance from insurance companies.
Safety programme is carried out in following three phases:
1. Safety Awareness:
This includes educational, on-the-job instruction training, ergonomics, and job safety analysis techniques.
2. Safety Implementation:
Implementation of safety programme should be the responsibility of all concerned.
3. Safety Programme Maintenance:
This phase is necessary to maintain enthusiasm and energy levels which do not deteriorate with time.
Essay # 10. Factors Affecting Industrial Safety:
There are large numbers of factors affecting the safety, but they can be divided into following categories:
i. Equipment related factors.
ii. Work area related factors.
iii. Environmental factors.
Now-a-days equipment are manufactured keeping all safety aspects in mind, therefore, not much concentration is required for safety aspects related to equipment, except maintenance.
Factors related to other two categories are discussed here under:
1. Working Environment:
Working environment is the single biggest factor affecting safety aspects. It varies from concern to concern, and on the type of industry, and not always possible to establish ideal conditions. However serious efforts should be made to arrive at them.
Following are the range of ideal conditions for different environmental factors that are conducive to ideal working conditions:
(a) 20-22°C in winter
(b) 21-24°C in summer
25—50 percent relative humidity
Conversation from a distance of one metro should be possible without extra effort.
0.6 cubic metre of fresh air per man or sufficient enough to remove odour
2. Lifting of Load:
Although most works are done mechanically in the process of manufacturing, still many material handling works involving load lifting are done manually. It has been experienced that a man can easily lift about 22 kg and woman about 16 kg.
But while doing work continuously in a bent position even with a small load, there will be immense strains on spine and back muscles that may result in injury especially for aged workers. Therefore, efforts must be made to keep the material at a certain height so as to minimise the strain and fatigue.
3. Chemical Safety:
Many processing and manufacturing industries use chemicals in one or other form. The chemical are hazardous mainly for their toxicity, flash point below 100°F, their reactions when mixed with other chemicals, and their decomposition under heat.
Therefore, extra care should be made and recommended safe practices should be adopted for the receipts, storage, handling and disposal of chemicals and other hazardous materials. Where necessary respiratory devices, protective clothing, safety showers, and eye wash facilities should be used and located at suitable places, the use of exhaust hoods, air filtering and to provide protection from gases and air borne hazards.
4. Safety Equipment:
Personal, safety equipment’s are necessary to protect from any accident, like hard hats for construction workers, safety goggles and shields for welders etc. Safety shoes, protective clothing, respirators are also used to protect from hostile environment.
Essay # 11. Personal Protection Equipment (P.P.E.):
Personal protection equipment (PPE) is attached to the human body for protection against injury or harm. Human body is delicate and prone to injury by various industrial hazards. Use of PPE helps in minimising injury.
Safety management’s main objectives are to eliminate hazardous conditions, prevent accidents, and to minimise hazards. However, the PPE provides additional and essential back-up protection to the workers.
Sensitive parts of the body requiring protection include the following:
Sensitive to bright light, particles, dust, fumes.
Sensitive to noise, sound.
Sensitive to particles, chemical liquids/fumes/gases, flying objects
4. Nose, Lungs, respiratory system:
Sensitive to chemical fumes, dust, poisonous gases
5. Head and Neck:
Sensitive to flying objects, accidental hitting.
6. Arms hand and fingers:
Sensitive to accidental hitting, insertion in rotating part.
7. Leg and foot:
Sensitive to falling of objects, chemicals.
Sensitive to electric shock, heat and cold.
Sensitive to heat and cold.
Under various provisions of the Factories Act and rules thereunder suitable PPE is required to be provided. Attempts are therefore made to design process of construction and generation of power efficiently and safely. Efforts should also be made to keep all hazards under control. It must be kept in mind that PPE do not eliminate the hazard, these are designed to interpose an effective barrier between a person and harmful objects, substances or radiations.
Suitable PPE meets the following requirements:
1. Adequate protection against the hazards.
2. Maximum comfort and minimum weight compatible with protective efficiency.
3. Durability and susceptibility of maintenance.
4. Construction in accordance with the accepted standards for performance.
List of Important Protection Equipment (PPE):
Essay # 12. First-Aid:
Although in factories, sufficient safety measures are taken to minimise accidents but accidents cannot be totally avoided and hence, proper first-aid facilities for common accidents such as fire, heat stroke, cuts etc. must be provided in every factory by the employers.
A first-aid box is provided in the charge of a responsible person, who must be always available in working hours and he should be trained in first-aid.
Some firms have elaborate arrangements of stretcher service, ambulance arrangements, surgeries etc. in the works dispensary.
The workers as human being are entitled to every consideration at the hands of the management and it lies in the administration to institute adequate precautionary and prompt first- aid towards its workers. And hence, it is essential that the management should be fully equipped to offer first-aid to the workers.
The specified contents of first-aid box in workshops employing more than 60 persons (as per Factory Act) are:
1. Twenty four small sterilized dressings.
2. Twelve medium size sterilized dressings.
3. Twelve large size sterilized dressings.
4. (10 gms) packets sterilized cotton wool.
5. One snake bite lancet.
6. One pair of scissors.
7. Twelve large size burn dressings.
8. Two (25 gms) bottles of potassium permanganate crystals.
9. One (100 gms) bottle containing two percent alcoholic solution.
10. One (100 gms) bottle of salvotative having the dose and mode of administration indicated on label.
11. One copy of first-aid leaflet.
12. Twelve rolled bandages 10 cm wide.
13. Twelve rolled bandages 5 cm wide.
14. Two rolls of adhesive plaster.
15. Six triangular bandages.
16. Two packets of safety pins.
17. A supply of suitable splits.
18. One townquet.
19. Eye drops.
Treatment for Electric Shock:
The following precautions must be observed while working on electrical works to protect against shocks:
1. Before working on “Live Mains” first switch off the supply of electricity to them.
2. If it is not possible to “Switch Off” the mains, see that your hands and feet are not wet
3. If a person gets an electric shock, rescue him with the help of an insulator. If the insulator is not available use your feet and not the hands to rescue him.
4. While working on high voltage, stand on bad conducting material.
If any person gets an electric shock, the following steps must be taken for his treatment:
Removal from the Contact:
If the person who is shocked by electricity is in contact with the electrical machine or an apparatus, then one person for saving him should stand on a dry wooden chair while removing the victim; otherwise pull him with the help of a dry coat, dry rope or coconut matting etc.
If the patient’s clothes are smouldering then those should be extinguished If he is breathing he should be sent to the doctor. If not breathing artificial respiration methods should be adopted to recover him. Do not give him any liquid to drink.
Essay # 13. Fire Extinguishers, Protection and Detection:
Based on contents of extinguishing media, fire-extinguishers are classified into following categories:
1. Water-type extinguishers.
2. Foam extinguishers.
3. Liquefied gas carbon dioxide extinguishers.
4. Dry chemical powder extinguishers.
1. Water Extinguishers:
These are of following types:
(a) Water gas cartridge type:
These are filled with water, and non-corrosive anti-freeze agents are added to it. The gas required to expel the water is stored in a cartridge lifted with a sealing device which is pierced when the extinguisher is operated.
(b) Water stored pressure type:
In this, air is introduced into the water filled container. To operate these extinguishers a safety pin is withdrawn, a valve lever depressed and the water jet is directed by a small length of hose.
2. Foam Extinguishers:
These are of two types:
(а) Foam (chemical) type:
These have two containers, one inside the other. Outer container is filled to an indicated level with an aqueous solution of sodium bicarbonate, while the inner container is filled with a solution of aluminium sulphate in water. When the extinguisher is actuated by inversion, the two solutions are mixed and produce the foam and a gas which acts as an expellant.
(b) Foam (mechanical) type:
This is similar to earlier one, except that this has no inner container. The foam is produced from a foam compound and water. The foam compound is stored in a sealed plastic bag which is ruptured on the release of carbon dioxide from a cartridge. The water and the foam compound are mixed and expelled by the gas.
3. Carbon Dioxide Extinguishers:
A steel cylinder filled with liquid carbon dioxide to approximately two-thirds of its capacity. A special discharge horn is fitted to direct the gas on to the fire. CO2 is a gas at ordinary temperature but when compressed for storage in cylinders, it liquefies. The liquid vapourises when released.
4. Dry Powder Extinguishers:
These are also known as dry chemical extinguishers and are filled with a free-flowing non-toxic, non-conductive dry power. Sodium bicarbonate is generally used for the purpose. The expellant gas is stored either in the extinguisher body or in a cartridge.
1. Following precautions should be taken to avoid fire hazards on all oxy-acetylene cutting and welding:
(a) Keep hose and cylinder valves free from grease and oil.
(b) Keep cylinders away from stoves, furnaces and other sources of heat.
(c) Only ‘Gas Lighter’ should be used to light the torch.
(d) Avoid use of oxy acetylene flame in confined spaces.
(e) For testing of leakages, use only soap water and watch for bubbles.
(f) Valve protection caps should be in place when cylinders are not in use.
2. Gas cylinders should be kept upright in approved safe place where they cannot be knocked over, and well separated from furnaces and combustion materials. Loaded and empty cylinder should be kept in separate places.
3. Oxygen cylinders should not be stored in close proximity to acetylene cylinders. In no circumstances oxygen or acetylene cylinders should be stored under direct rays of Sun or in places where excessive rise of temperature is likely to occur.
4. Following precautions should be taken during electric arc welding and cutting:
(a) Welder and all persons working in the immediate vicinity should wear suitable coloured goggles unless the work is completely shielded.
(b) Persons should never look at an electric arc with the naked eye, as it may cause serious eye injury.
(c) Only heavy duty electric cable with unbroken insulation should be used, and all connections should be water-proof. Frequent inspections should be made.
(d) Before leaving the work, welder should switch off the power supply to the equipment.
5. Package containing paints, varnishes, lacquers or other volatile painting materials should be kept tightly closed when not in actual use, and should be placed where they will not be exposed to excessive heat, sparks, flame or direct rays of the Sun.
6. Dirty wiping rags, paint scrapings and paint saturated debris, should not be allowed to accumulate but should be collected and disposed of at frequent intervals.
7. Smoking, open flame, exposed heating elements, and other sources of ignition of any kind should not be permitted in paint stores or areas where spray painting is done.
8. Fire extinguishers of appropriate capacity should always be at hand where flammable paint and other materials are being mixed, used or stored.
9. The smoke and hot combustion products from a fire, being lighter than surrounding air tend to rise and on reaching the roof spread out on all sides and form a floating layer and the whole building is then filled up with hot smoky gases. The provision of properly designed and suitably located vents in adequate number helps the speedy removal of smoke and hot gas, thereby preventing spread of fire, besides reducing risks of explosion of unburnt gases which may cause extensive damages.
10. All combustible waste material, wood sealings, soiled rags etc. should be removed daily and burned in suitable burning areas. The saw mill and timber yard be kept free from accumulation to combustible debris.
11. It should be ensured that the clothes worn by the workmen be not of such nature as to increase the chances of their getting involved in accident to themselves or others. As a rule, wearing of loose garments should be prohibited.
12. Smoking should be prohibited in ail flammable storages viz. carpentry, paint shops, garrages, service station etc. “No Smoking” signs should be posted on all such areas.
13. Flammable liquids, lubricants etc. should be handled and transported in safety containers and drums which can be tightly capped:
14. All electric installations should be properly earthed.
15. Following fire-fighting arrangements should be made:
(a) Fire extinguishers and fire buckets, painted red, be provided at all fire hazardous locations. The extinguishers should be inspected, serviced and maintained in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.
(b) In isolated locations (away from the cities), it will be necessary to provide for and install complete fire-fighting facilities including provision for fire tenders commensurate with the numbers, size and importance of equipment’s, buildings or supplies to be protected.
(c) Since portable hand extinguishers have limited capacity, full reliance should never be placed on them. Water in ample quantity and under adequate pressure should always be available for fire fighting
(d) Fire exit and fire alarm arrangements should be provided at all locations featuring hazards.
(e) All staff should be conversant with the use of all types of fire extinguishing apparatuses. Demonstrations and training in fire-fighting should be conducted at sufficient intervals.
Fire Fighting, Detection and Alarm System:
Fire-fighting systems include:
1. Water sprays system (sprinkler system):
Generally used for offices, stores, turbine- generators, transformer and boiler front areas.
2. CO2 system:
These are used in enclosed areas, switchgear room, cable tunnels, and gas turbine/engine cells.
3. Dry chemical powder (DCP) system:
Dry chemical powder (DCP) system, used for control room, offices, electrical plant etc.
4. Foam system:
Foam system, used for fuel-oil storage tank protection.
5. Halon System:
This is used for computer room, cable tunnels, control-relay room and other light current auxiliary system rooms.
6. Hydrant system:
This is used for general use throughout the plant.
7. Water Hose-reels:
Used in offices, stores, and workshop corridors etc.
Total Fire Protection System includes:
1. Fire Detection systems.
2. Fire Alarm systems.
3. Fire Alarm and Control Panel.
4. Fire Hydrant System.
Smoke indicates presence of fire. Flame, light and heat confirm the presence of fire. Fire must be detected rapidly and it should be quenched before it grows. Fire is detected by the fire detection system comprising fire detectors.
The fire detectors are located in various zones of the plant, substations and are connected to the fire alarm and fire control panel located in the control room and to the automatic fire fighting system distributed in the plant.
The detection of smoke/fire, sounding of alarm and initiating the fire extinguishing action can be achieved by various methods. Fire detector system initiates fire alarm system. The operation of a fire detector is immediately indicated and buzzer is sounded on the respective zone window of the panel. This initiate operation of automatic fire fighting system in the affected zone.