Upholding Safety Standards at HCCBA focus on the occasions 2022 theme, ‘Social Dialogue towards a Positive Safety and Health Culture’
For most, the workplace holds a special kind of value, over and above being a mere place of employment. It’s a space where we spend a majority of our time, as we go through the work day. We network, form close connections and build up our skills each day, as we move forward in our careers. This kind of growth and advancement, however, can only be fostered in a safe and healthy environment.
Which is why, on the 28th of April every year, the ‘World Day for Safety and Health at Work’ is commemorated. This initiative was started by the International Labour Organisation in order to highlight the importance and need for actively pursuing safe and healthy workplace practices. The aim of the organisation is to reduce the number of work-related safety and health incidences by spreading awareness about the issue.
This year, the theme chosen is ‘Social Dialogue towards a Positive Safety and Health Culture’, to encourage an open dialogue between governments, employers and workers in developing and implementing workplace policies.
Safety lessons from ROSPA
HCCB hosted a virtual safety session to mark the occasion, where we heard from Dr. Karen Mc Donnell, an OHS Policy Adviser from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA), Scotland. She provided valuable insight and safety tips for field jobs as well as work from home roles, shining a new light on the dimensions and consequences of work-related accidents and diseases.
We heard from various leaders within HCCB as well, such as Mr. Himanshu Hemant Acharya, the National Head of Safety at HCCBPL, and Mr. Umesh Madhyan, Vice President of Logistics.
Here’s an excerpt from what Mr. Umesh Madhyan had to say, “A commitment to safety must be more than a priority, it must be a value- a core value that shapes decision making all the time, at every time. The company must develop a culture in which the value of safety is embedded in every level of the workplace. It must be reinforced at every turn, and it must be upheld above all other considerations.”
The Safety Standard at HCCB
At HCCB, employee upholding safety and health policies has been a priority since day one, and is an inherent part of all business processes. We follow the very robust QSE system ‘KORE’ standard, which has well-defined protocols that are followed across HCCB. At each work site, the company promotes efforts to achieve 'ZERO reportable injuries’. All HCCB facilities are also certified for Occupational and Health management system ISO 45001.
Every year we observe ‘Road Safety Week’ as well as ‘National World Safety Week’ by conducting various educational programs and activities. Over the years, we have implemented a number of initiatives to improve safety performance, including mandatory induction and training programmes, among other measures.
For example, the practice of handwashing before entering factory locations was already mandatory before the pandemic, and the same has been maintained throughout. At HCCB’s Aranya plant in Bidadi, Bengaluru, the door mechanism has been linked up with the hand washing station outside the production hall. The doors do not open unless the sensors near the tap are activated, ensuring that there is no breach in the sanitization rule.
The subject of health in the workplace is especially relevant in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. HCCB has taken conscious steps toward promoting the health of its employees and ensuring that the workplace atmosphere is completely safe as on-site work resumes. The Covid-19 guidelines and vaccination policies are still being followed, along with RT-PCR tests for visitors to the factory.
We have also taken various steps toward promoting the health and safety of our safai saathis, by providing them with safety kits and conducting awareness sessions on hygiene and safety tips such as the use of masks and gloves.
An Inward and and Outward Gaze
Our safety and health policies are not just limited to the workplace, we make efforts to extend these measures outward to the community as well, when possible. Here are some of the measures we have taken to promote community health and wellbeing:
Setting up an oxygen bank in collaboration with HCCB, to be made available to hospitals on a zero-profit basis
Donating resources to primary health care centers, such as ECG machines, blood sample refrigerators and an ambulance
Partnering with the government to set up a covid center at our factory at Kakinada, Kerala
An open culture is encouraged at HCCB, where safety and health policies are continually being updated to meet the present requirements. This world day for safety and health at work provided an excellent opportunity to strengthen our policies further and refresh our perspectives in this matter.