Safety in engineering industry


Mr. Yashpal Singh, Head-Corporate OHS, Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd., Mumbai

Mr. Yashpal Singh, Head-Corporate OHS, Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd., Mumbai
Holds Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and Certified Lead Auditor for OHSAS 18001:2007 & EMS – ISO 14001:2004. Ex-serviceman from Indian Air Force with 24 Years of diversified work experience in OSH.


Engineering Industry is an important sector of Indian economy. Apart from a significant contributor to GDP and Exports of the country, it also provides job opportunities to lakhs of workers. In Financial Year 2015, it contributed 16% GDP with US$ 70.6 Billion Exports and provided 12% Employment.

Engineering Industries can be classified as Large/ Heavy and Small/ Light Engineering Industries. Use of modern technology for Automation/ Robotic Operations/ Mechanization for improving quality and productivity has given rise to new hazards requiring different safety approach and techniques. A worker, being the mainstay of every manufacturing unit, is a crucial human resource whose wellbeing is vital, not only for his family, but also for the Industry and the Nation.

Over the years Industrial Accidents in the Engineering Industries have affected many workers and their family members, who have suffered due to injuries or loss of life of their dear ones. Though the awareness of safety is increasing, it is still not moving at the desired pace.

Large/ heavy engineering units use special purpose/ heavy duty machines and/ or mass production facilities. As these units being in the organized sector, having unionized and relatively literate work force managed by professionally qualified persons, and having adequate resources in terms of finance, equipment and manpower are more Safety Conscious. Whereas in Medium and Small scale Engineering Units focus on Safety is lacking.

  • Generally, Engineering Processes will include following activities:
  • Receiving & Storing & Handling of Raw Materials
  • Material Forming which may include cutting / rolling / milling, notching
  • Surface Treatment such as Sand Blasting/ Degreasing/ Grinding/ Polishing/ Plating/ Phosphating
  • Various types of welding processes viz. Arc/ Oxyacetylene/ Spot/ Submerged Arc/ MIG
  • Quality testing including Radiography and Hydro Testing
  • Assembling
  • Painting viz. Spray Painting/ Manual Painting/ Powder Coating
  • Final Fitting and Packaging
  • Loading & Transportation
  • Installation & commissioning
  • After Sales Services (Performance Warrantee)

Safety in Engineering Industry

Due to complexity in operations and processes involved industries have to face different challenges in ensuring Safety viz.

  • Harmonizing labour and Statutory compliance requirements with product standards
  • Resource constraints for Safety improvements
  • Psychosocial hazards and mental health of workmen
  • Aging Workforce/ Generation Gap/ Contractual Workforce
  • Emerging Technology – Modernization/ Automation posing new/ unknown hazards
  • Rising customer expectations

These processes will pose different hazards viz. Material Handling (Manual/ Mechanical); Contact with sharp objects / exposed moving parts of machineries; Flying chips or parts; Electricity; Welding fumes / hot surfaces / dust / toxic gases; Fire; High Noise; Vibrations; Heat / Ultra violet / Infrared Radiations; Inadequate space and poor housekeeping.

  • Presence of such hazards may become the cause of an accident due to certain influencing factors:
  • Human Factors: Including Incomplete Information, Mistaken Action, Willful act, Disturbed Mental Condition, etc.
  • Work practice related Factors: Usage abuse, Poor maintenance, Short cuts / Improvised or Wrong Methods, etc.
  • Work Environment Factors: Space Constraint & Material Movement, Spillages / Slippery Surfaces / Fall of Material or Person, Housekeeping and Poor Light, Poor ventilation, etc.
  • Plant and equipment design Factors: Injury through contact with exposed machinery parts, Failure of material leading to accident, Material ejection/ protruding from machine, etc.
  • Other Socio-Techno-Economic Factors: Religious Beliefs, Social Beliefs, Alcoholism & Drug Addiction, Physical Condition of the Worker, etc.

The effective safety management system requires an infrastructure within the organization. This may be lacking in Medium and Small scale industries. Building such an infrastructure has associated costs. However, every accident/ occupational health disorder also represents loss to the organization through a various direct indirect costs in addition to the intangible loss that cannot be converted into monetary terms. Hence adoption of proper measures for the safety of workers is always the better option. While adopting Safety measures one shall follow hierarchy of Hazard Controls viz. Elimination, Substitution, Engineering Controls, Administrative Controls and Personal Protective Equipments (PPE).

For developing a self-sustaining Safety culture in the organization the commitment of top management is very much essential. The Safety Professionals should be allowed sufficient freedom and vested with powers to ensure compliance of Safety regulations and ensuring implementation of safety practices.


Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd. Top Management is highly committed for ensuring Occupational health & Safety of their personnel with clear cut directives from company’s Chairman & Managing Director. With a Mission Statement of ‘Occupational Health & Safety for Sustainable Growth’ and taking Integrity, Process Focus, Partnership, Self-Inspired, Perseverance and Ownership as value company has set-up vision as ‘Achieve Leadership in Occupational Health & Safety’. The main drives to accomplish our vision include Motivation, Involvement, Communication, and Commitment & Direction.

Safety in Engineering Industry

Our approach to provide Safe workplace and ensure safety of peoples includes:

  • Proactive Control Measures (Lead Indicators): Hazard Identification & Reporting, Near Miss Reporting, OHS & Housekeeping Audits, OHS Meetings at different levels, OHS Kaizens, OHS Trainings Modules & Programmes.
  • Reactive Control Measures (Lag Indicators): Incident Reporting, Investigation & Analysis and Horizontal Deployment of Corrective / Preventive Actions across all manufacturing units.

Following enablers have helped company in achieving Excellent OHS performance:

  • On line reporting, monitoring and tracking mechanism
  • On line Work Permit System
  • Improvement projects (Kaizen, PMO etc.)
  • Accelerated Learning Program in OHS for Line Managers
  • Shut Down Intimation Advice (SIA)
  • Good Housekeeping and Safety Contest
  • Incentive Payout/Consequence Management Systems