Sure Safety : The new face of PPE industry
Q. Can you elaborate more about the product portfolio & it’s applications?
Sure Safety (India) Pvt. Ltd. [SSIPL] is known for it’s unique ability to provide Complete Safety Solutions to it’s valuable customers for past more than a decade. Along with range of products providing head-to-toe protection; Sure Safety (India) Pvt. Ltd. [SSIPL] deals majorly in it’s own home brand Saviour and also caters the market needs through other protective equipment of brand partners. SSIPL believes in Customer Satisfaction through Proactive Customer Services through the power of SAP. With more than 2200 products and accessories SSIPL caters the needs through is India’s first Online Safety Store. Presence in more than 22 Indian States and 7 Countries globally; Sure Safety (India) Pvt. Ltd. [SSIPL] is pioneer in launching of various innovative safety solutions. Sure Safety (India) Pvt. Ltd. [SSIPL] have attained maximum reach in Indian market through about 100 dealers and 20 distributors as well as 05 retail stores.
Q. Could you brief us about overall business activities of your company?
We operate in 24 verticals across the PPE sector as in :
Fire & Rescue
Lock-out & Tag-out
Flashlight & Cases
Application of these verticals are manifold right from simple working in hazardous areas to complicated work processes like confined space entry and working at heights, hydrojetting, catalyst loading and unloading, etc…
Q. Which are the some of your pioneering products you introduced in the market recently or Is there any plans to launch the new products?
SSIPL believes in product innovation and our principles of any innovation is to enhance practical usage in hazardous areas. Some of the ground breaking innovations are:
Saviour’ Compact Chlorine leakage control kit which was a challenge for the users for controlling leakages from Tonners due to its large number of parts and cumbersome nature of assembly was replaced by state of the art compact kit with effective deployment in seconds was the first innovation towards ease of use and chlorine control for the Industry.
Vertical and horizontal fall protection systems
A concept hitherto considered the domain of foreign companies was made to be the most available and easy to use systems in the country both for industry and the construction segments employing highest standards of Safety while working on Roof Tops / Structures and the like. These easy to install systems are in use today by all large safety conscious corporate giants and SSIPL as the most sought after service provider in this field of activity. The products used are Internationally certified to meet highest levels of safety.
Hydrojetting suits / Steam Suits
SSIPL, produces these suits which are resistant to pressures upto 3000 bar and suits which can resist 1000 C temperature.
We can build any breathing cascade for working for long durations with multi users.
Q. How do you account R&D activity in your company?
SSIPL has inhouse design center and the process of designing evolves with a detailed customer feed-back on the products and systems required for new generation working. The inhouse labs are for high pressure testing, various garment testing and vacuum chambers for respiratory tests.
Q. Brief us about the quality policy for your business?
SSIPL is an ISO 9001:2008 certified company. The back-bone of operations of the company is SAP. The approval on products like BIS and CE are all supported by inhouse labs and we have the following in-house certified labs:
- EN 397—Helmets
- EN 531—Garments
- IS 2925—Hard hats
Q. What are your strategies to improve your company’s position in Indian & global market as well?
Our major initiative is the on-line business. We believe that in the coming time Indian consumers shall buy from the most effective source rather than the most effective producer. Thus, the creation of better reach and enhanced ease of transaction shall be very important. With this SSIPL have pioneered in launching India’s first on-line portal for Safety Products with complete range to cover protection from head – toe. This portal is already operative and hosted at the address www.suresafetyonlinestore.com
Q. What is your current physical and human resource infrastructure to meet the vision of your company?
SSIPL with a spread in the area of more than 10000 sq ft and base at Vadodara; houses it’s R & D, Helmet Production, Training, Laboratories, Customer Care etc for past more than a decade. With team of safety professionals, engineers, researchers and more than 20 sales professionals, SSIPL have reach across India.
Q. What does the brand represent and could you elaborate your manufacturing ability?
The brand comes from the genesis of performing PPE. We believe that the PPE should perform as expected by the user who is exposed to various hazards. At SSIPL under the band we are proud to say that we produce one million hard hats a year and more than 120000 garments a year. SSIPL also produces breathing air cascade systems and ventilation systems. All the manufacturing activities is at Vadodara headquarters.
Q. What are the current challenges faced by the PPE Industry in India.
The biggest challenge today in India is the process of establishing the hierarchy of controls. Many a times the users deploy controls without technically establishing the risk / exposures. Thus, often these ‘PPE’ over or under protect the user. The ‘PPE’ issued to workers are often considered as uncomfortable due to this challenge. It is always not the case of ‘PPE’ quality but often the case of incorrect selection due to lack of technical assessment of hazards.
Cost vs Price :
India is a price sensitive country and it should be like that. However it is important to understand the difference between cost and price. Price is what you pay at the point of purchase and cost is a measurement over the product life-cycle. Many a times we go wrong in understanding that we need to see overall payback considering product value, usage safety enhancement and lower maintenance cost.
“We know everything”, “I have worked 20 years and nothing has ha’PPE’ned to me” “This is not my priority” – these are common feedbacks and are clear signals of low awareness and attitude. These statements also boast of overconfidence. The deficit of knowledge results in non-usage of ‘PPE’ and leads to chronic / acute occupational diseases, unsafe conditions and / or even fatalities. Awareness of ‘PPE’ is a big challenge in India as participation and balance between supply side and user side still has a long way to go.
Information & Training :
Right product may have been identified but till product usage is not properly established or the user is not educated in its benefits it offers to him / her and information on regular up-keep and timely disposal is not provided the ‘PPE’ shall have lost its value hence this area needs further reinforcement with the involvement of both the provider and the enforcer. Products are often supplied without usage, storage, maintenance information; this also needs to be further improved upon. Internal communication to the users on product specifications and limitations of use needs further reinforcement.
Q. What is the current statue role in the field of PPE?
Statue Enforcement :
The statute in India – The Indian Factories Act – 1948 has got very limited mention on the subject of ‘PPE’. Often in growing economies people follow only what are the basic requirements in the statute resulting from exposure and exploit this to their advantage. A strong Statue ensures strong adoption and enforcement of usage of the right protection. In India the enforcers of the statute which is basically the Department of Industrial Safety and Health though have undertaken an uphill task of educating and enforcing still have a lot to be done and they also recognize their own limitations to enforce this issue as there are different priorities before them.
Q. What is the status of PPE standards in India?
As we all know that BIS – ISI is the organization governing standards of ‘PPE’ though it is a well known fact that a majority of the standards need an update. The modern ‘PPE’ which are largely used are yet not covered. The standards which exist are not more than replicas of international standards though it may be difficult in practice to follow / implement them in India.
The most important fact is that working conditions of a typical Indian worker vis-à-vis his counterpart in any developed nation differs in every manner. The fact that an average Indian worker works for longer duration, in more extreme conditions with a limited budget are very important points to be considered during development of a standard.
It is time now that priority should be given not only to develop the appropriate standards but also have the right infrastructure / laboratories to test and qualify the ‘PPE’ as per Indian Standards and again these standards must be followed in letter and spirit.
Q. What is the way forward according to you?
While we have recognized the INTENATIONAL way of approaching ‘PPE’, the national challenges and advantages we have to also draw a road map to reach where we want to few of the steps to meet international practices and standards could be as follows.
All the stake holders in the ‘PPE’ vertical need to know the importance of adopting a systematic way of approaching this vital issue. The basic risk assessment at so many small medium enterprises and large enterprises has to be adopted. The very process of establishing, selection of ‘PPE’ needs reinforcement and thus all stake holders need to insist on this.
Role of enforcers
The new Factories Act is getting upgraded and is going to be tabled soon in the parliament. It is the right time to elaborate the ‘PPE’ subject and its aspects like usage, standards and the details of ‘PPE’ need to be suggested. Enforcing agencies need to priorities this issue. To start with at least a soft copy of existing local standards need to be acquired by them, studied, commented and implemented.
BIS or other agencies who govern the standards of ‘PPE’ need to expedite covering new ‘PPE’ and also upgrade standards of the existing ones to meet International standards. The Indian conditions need to be very much considered while doing so. Simply adopting to a international standard may always not be the right way. Various International standards need to be studied and then a local standard needs to be established.
Role of NGO, Associations etc.
Various NGOs need to spread awareness in workers and, good case studies need to be circulated for motivation. Awards for innovation and best practices shall go a far way. Association could liase effectively with government bodies and end users to create a sounding board.
Role of Manufacturers and Users
Responsible manufacturers should make few things a must in their system; First and the foremost is the understanding of the product and what it is supposed to ultimately deliver besides implementation of guidelines in every aspect of requirements for the safety of the user.
This could be followed with simple user guides to disclaimers and providing training in ‘PPE’, to help users reach the right selection process as per International guidelines. This is then to be sustained in every production cycle to ensure the user develops the trust and feels safe while using a particular ‘PPE’ from a particular manufacturer.
On his end the user needs to be very careful firstly in expressing his requirement which could be done by studying the hazard carefully and then laying down standards to meet his requirement. Then the user or provider has to be particular in internally communicating about the use and advantages of ‘PPE’ to all users. The selection criteria and the specification of ‘PPE’ needs to be studied although ‘PPE’ sits last in the hierarchy of control it still is the saviour in many-many ways.
Q. What activities are carried out by your group companies?
Industrial Hygiene Services [IHS] – leading consulting firm in the field of industrial hygiene and occupational health. IHS provides services such as ergonomics assessment, industrial hygiene exposure assessments, indoor air quality, asbestos management programs, etc. Visit us at www.ihs.co.in
Industrial Care Alliance Training [ICAT] – certified health and safety training institute by DISH and DGFASLI as well as accredited center by NEBOSH. ICAT provides on-site and off-site trainings as well as international qualifications. Visit us at www.icattraining.co.in
Sure Resources – leaders in fire, personal safety equipment on rent / maintenance as well as fall protection solutions. Sure Resources provides highly trained, specialized and experience man-power for specialized jobs like confined space entry, work at heights, installations of fall protection systems, installation and maintenance service support for B A Sets, airline systems and safety showers. Visit us at www.sureresources.com
END NOTE :
‘The safest risk is the one you didn’t take’
Implementation of Safety Standards in the industry holds true only if ‘PPE’ provided provide the protection they are made for. As mentioned earlier in my paper we don’t have to re-invent the wheel when Technology is readily available. What is needed is the will to adopt and make a resolve that we shall achieve our goals come what may and when it is concerning the Human safety why not?
This is not a single individual’s job it is a combined effort of the Industry and the Statue and the stake holders who may like to believe that if they want Productive gains then they will have to believe in the safety of their workforce as only a protected workforce can give growth and lead to profits not only for themselves but for the nation at large.