Industrial Fires – An Invisible Growing Hazard!
- May 3, 2020
- Posted by: Anshul Shukla
- Category: Industrial Safety
India is a rapidly developing country and a commensurately growing economy. As we push industrial growth, we witness rapid economic growth as well. As industries begin to scale up with gradual opening of the clusters of manufacturing units and SEZ (Special Economic Zones) in permissible areas, but, as is always, expansion, is closely followed by risk and one of the most destructive industrial risks is fire. And in the current pandemic situations, it is noteworthy Alcohol Sanitizers are a potential hazard and source of Fire in the manufacturing industry.
“Fire is never a gentle master” says a very famous proverb. Let’s quickly shed some light on published data and understand the gravity of it.
- Hazard Risk Ranking:
Fire safety is so important that the government of India worked hard enough on it in 2018 to push fire from being the 3rd riskiest hazard to 10th riskiest in 2019.
As is clearly visible, the private sector successfully saw economic growth and industrial growth but failed to adequately mitigate the risk of fire in 2019 compared to the public / govt. sector. Fire Safety courses suddenly seem important right? There are some good offerings in Mumbai while you can also do this online!
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WHY IS FIRE SAFETY SO IMPORTANT?
- Risk Categorization
From the above infographic, 4 salient points stand out:
- Fire as a hazard has a low probability of occurrence but high impact if caused.
- Fire is a major safety risk and hence must be tackled on priority at any workplace / residential area.
- The use of PPE or Personal Protective Equipment is mandatory when mitigating a fire.
- Precautions must be taken when handling flammable material even in the absence of a spark.
- Threat to the manufacturing industry:
As is visible above, ~ 16% of all manufacturing establishments are destroyed by fire. It’s a substantial threat to business continuity and operations. Hence, manufacturing units and SEZs with production facilities must strictly enforce the use of PPEs when in proximity to any kind of fire.
HOW CAN THIS SITUATION BE COMBATTED?
In India most of the cases of fires arise from lack of adherence to policies and safety procedures. Eg. Inadequate fire safety audits, flouting of safety norms, lack of personnel training, general lack of awareness, etc.
Upgrading the firefighting facilities available to the Fire Department remains a major concern. In tightly packed metro cities like Mumbai, the arrival of rescue teams is usually hampered by sluggish traffic movement.
To improve fire safety norms in buildings, the National Building Code (NBC), 2016, lays out detailed dos and don’ts for construction of buildings.
All of the above are solvable by spreading awareness and comprehending the magnitude of threat it poses to human life, property and safety.
Industry giants in collusion with citizen groups/training specialists and government support are allowed to create modules and carry out training, mock drills, etc to keep the alertness of the workforce at its peak. There are plenty of organizations such as Text and Clicks Academy that offer Fire Safety Courses in Mumbai.
Voracious reading regimes coupled with a penchant for writing led me away from a glamorous yet mundane corporate career. When nobody's calling, the mountains always are - you'll invariably find me atop one.