From Fatalities to Foresight: How India is Tackling Workplace Hazards Head-On
The significance of ensuring workplace safety cannot be overstated, as it not only enhances the prosperity of businesses but also promotes the well-being of employees. In India, a nation with a burgeoning economy and an enormous workforce, industrial safety holds a particularly critical position.
The problem of industrial safety is evident from the numbers. According to data from the Directorate General Factory Advice Service & Labour Institutes (DGFASLI)(1), there were 1,050 fatal workplace injuries in the year 2020, which translates to an average of nearly 3 deaths per day.
Despite laws aimed at safeguarding workers and promoting occupational safety, their effectiveness is often limited by a prevailing cultural attitude towards workplace safety that hinders proper implementation. Thus, there is a need to adopt a multifaceted solution that considers regulatory compliance and improves safety culture, including the attitudes, beliefs, and values that shape workplace behavior.
From Crisis to Consciousness: How India is Ushering in a New Era of Industrial Safety
It was only after independence that India got the opportunity to take measures to improve industrial safety. The Factories Act of 1948 was India’s first major legislation on industrial safety. It aimed to ensure factory workers’ safety, health, and welfare. Subsequently, several amendments were made to make it more comprehensive and practical.
In 1984, the Bhopal gas tragedy killed thousands, highlighting the need for more robust safety measures in industries. This led to the Environment (Protection) Act 1986, which aimed to protect and improve the environment and prevent hazards to human beings, other living creatures, plants, and property.
The National Safety Council (NSC), established in 1966 by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, has actively guided and provided services to promote safety awareness and safe work practices. In recent years, there have been focused efforts by organizing safety campaigns to address the root cause of workplace hazards, which often lies in a lack of awareness and education.
The NSC’s National Safety Week campaign is a crucial contributor to creating safety awareness and establishing safety standards across all sectors. The week-long campaign commences on March 4th of every year. It encourages employers to involve their employees in Safety, Health, and Environment (SHE) activities, thereby promoting workplace behavior and hazard prevention improvements by both employers and workers.
Beyond Compliance: How Technology and Specialized Services are Shaping Industrial Safety Culture in India
Besides legislative and institutional measures, technological advancements have also significantly enhanced industrial safety in India. For instance, the emergence of Industry 4.0, focusing on automation, machine learning, and the Internet of Things, has led to the development of more innovative and safer industrial systems.
Furthermore, various private and public organizations have emerged in recent years to provide specialized services in industrial safety. These organizations offer training, certification, and consulting services to businesses and individuals on various aspects of workplace safety, such as hazard identification, risk assessment, and emergency response.
Ensuring Workplace Safety: The Key to Sustainable and Inclusive Growth in India
Industrial safety is and will have to be a critical aspect of India’s growth story, and efforts to improve it should be a priority for all stakeholders. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the fore the need for a more comprehensive approach to workplace safety that includes not just physical hazards but also biological ones.
As India continues to pursue its path of economic growth, it is essential to ensure that this growth is sustainable and inclusive and that workplace safety is an integral part of it. At Moglix, we recognize the need for a safety-conscious workforce and offer comprehensive safety solutions to create a safer work environment. Contact us today and partner with us to build a safer and more sustainable India.