NEW DELHI: In a bid to avert tragedies like the Visakhapatnam gas leak incident, the Centre has issued detailed guidelines for measures to be followed before re-opening of industries post-lockdown. It stated industries should consider the first week of restarting any machinery or chemical unit as the “trial or test” period and “not try to achieve high production targets”.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked manufacturing industries to ensure all safety and protocols are followed before the factories are re-opened after the lockdown, scheduled to end on May 17. The measures include 24-hour sanitisation of premises; temperature check of all employees twice daily; providing face shields, masks & Personal Protective Equipments, creating physical distancing by erecting barriers on work floors and dining facilities; and ensuring no sharing of tools, among others.
“Due to several weeks of lockdown and the closure of industrial units during the lockdown period, it is possible that some of the operators might not have followed the established SOP. As a result, some of the manufacturing facilities, pipelines, valves, etc. may have residual chemicals, which may pose risk,” the Centre said, in a letter to all states.
As a result, some of the manufacturing facilities, pipelines, valves may have residual chemicals, which may pose risk. When heavy machinery and equipment are not maintained periodically, they can become dangerous for the operators/engineers, it said.
MHA said that employees working on specific equipment to be sensitised of the need to identify abnormalities such as strange sounds/smells, exposed wires, leaks, smoke, abnormal wobbling, irregular grinding or any potentially hazardous signs indicating need for immediate maintenance when necessary.
The ministry has directed industries to flag any trouble in handling vital backward linkages and said they should approach local district administration for specific support.