The first two quarters of the year is seeing depression economy due to the lockdown measures for COVID19. However, the third quarter of the year could possibly be positive, if geared with the right measures for resumption of industry and policy framework to revive economic activities. With the US President urging America’s supply chain to be moved from China, India can look forward to luring manufacturers to shift to the country. Measures are already being taken globally to ease up policies to encourage alternate supply chain development outside China. India has been in a journey of structural reforms to attract FDI in India. It is a prime time for industries to enhance their resources and skills as numerous opportunities seem to come their way. With COVID19 pandemic in place, Industries must start but take caution to prevent the spread of the virus in the first hand.
The recent Vizag incident must also be taken as an eye-opener for Industries to ensure safety and avoid any such further accidents. All measures must be taken to ensure safety with respect to accidents and unprecedented problems. Indian Manufacturing Industry seems to hold quite a few opportunities in the future that can be grabbed only if we plan for bringing back the economy to track and be cautious about safety of employees and organization. With appropriate measures India could be the next global supply chain
A few guidelines for Industries to prevent the spread of coronavirus are
- Deep Cleaning and Sanitation Schedule – Prior to re-running the industry, it would be rather wise to sanitize the whole industry to ensure the premises are safe. Further, to implement a constant i.e. once in two hours cleaning and sanitizing schedule for the common area in the workplace. Maintain a sanitizing schedule before the workers or guests enter the work premises.
- Rearranging workstations – Since coronavirus spreads easy & fast it is a necessity to ensure at least a 2-meter distance between workstations. This ensures social distancing in work premises avoiding the risk of outbreak.
- Workers Tracking Record – Since most of the manufacturing industries have migrant employees/ technicians, it would be a necessity to maintain a record of each one of them. This will help maintain the travel history of each worker making it easier to track them down in case of an outbreak as well. Further, it is recommended to test the temperature of all employees twice a day.
- Awareness – Since industrial workers are mostly incognizant about health & safety compliances, providing them with a session on COVID awareness will help avoid the risk of outbreak. Spreading awareness about the spread of the virus to ensure social distancing, inculcating personal hygiene practices like washing hands, wearing masks and using sanitizers. Having workers inculcate these habits can prevent an outbreak in the work premises.
- Taskforce for COVID – An industry must assign a task force to be prepared in case of a positive case or an outbreak in the workplace or any other contingency that may arise in these circumstances. Further the taskforce must also develop a backup plan in case of a second wave of COVID outbreak.
The Vizag accident has acted as a wakeup call for Industries to take severe safety measures to avoid such accidents. Some guidelines that could help such an accident are
- Maintenance Work – Since industries are allowed to be opened, it must not be done so in haste. Due to the nonoperational condition of the industry; machines might have become nonoperational, chemicals can cause reactions, pipelines might have clogged or rusted. Prior to starting the plant, a maintenance visual check must be run, and the industry must be sanitized.
- Environmental Norms – As the Vizag accident has shown, not having all the environmental clearances can cause hazardous problems. It must be of utmost priority for an industry to acquire all the clearances before running the plant both from the compliance and personal safety angle.
- Vigil on Chemical Degradation – Due to the lockdown, the raw materials, cleaning agents, chemicals might have turned toxic. Having unnamed chemicals, poor maintaining skills can cause hazards. Hence better organizational skills must be adapted, and safety must be given priority.
- Trial Runs – The operational condition of the plant would have made the plant unfunctional. For the following weeks, in addition to achieving targets, industry must focus on getting trial runs too. These trial runs followed by maintenance work could get the plant functional and a safe environment for workers.
- Coaching Workers – Workers must be trained on hazard identification like strangeness in smell, vibrations, leaks which can avoid a tragic accident. Industries working with toxic or hazardous substances to have round the clock emergency crew to monitor.
With these guidelines in places, Indian Manufacturing Industry can ensure safety and get going on production. Negligence in safety measures is harmful to the workers, industry and the society in the close vicinity. Safety guidelines to tackle the COVID pandemic from spreading and ensuring to give no room for accidents portrays a mature operability. In conclusion, Manufacturing Industry has been a major player in contributing to the national GDP. With general awareness and adherence to state of the art operation practices, the Manufacturing Industries can reach great heights, that there would arise many profitable opportunities in the future.