New Delhi: In wake of the Vishakhapatnam gas leak tragedy, the Union Home Ministry on Saturday issued guidelines to minimise risks for successful restarting of industrial operations after the nationwide lockdown is lifted.
As per the guidelines by the ministry’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), all safety protocols should be followed and industries should not aim for high production targets as they restart operations post-lockdown. The advisory added that the first week should be considered as “trial or test run period”.
“Due to several weeks of lockdown and the closure of industrial units, it is possible that some of the operators might not have followed the established standard operating procedures. As a result, some of the manufacturing facilities, pipelines and valves may have residual chemicals, which may pose risk. The same is true for the storage facilities with hazardous chemicals and flammable materials,” read the NDMA guidelines sent to all states and Union Territories.
In the Vishakhapatnam tragedy, investigators believe gas pressure may have built up after 40 days of lockdown, causing toxic styrene gas to escape from an LG Polymers facility.
While restarting the unit, there should be “24-hour sanitisation of the factory premises”, as per the guidelines that stressed on maintaining a sanitisation routine of “every two-three hours especially in the common areas”.
It also advised, “Temperature checks of all employees to be done twice a day. Workers showing symptoms should not report to work”.
It also insisted on a complete safety audit of the entire unit before resuming manufacturing process to minimise possibility of an unexpected event.