SAFETY consciousness is ingrained among the workforce and top management at the sprawling Essar Steel Hazira plant. The over-arching importance of safety at the plant has resulted in Essar Steel Hazira emerging as one of the safest steel plants in the world and winning a series of awards over the years acknowledging its track record.Safety mandates
Heads of departments, section heads, plant engineers and safety coordinators are closely involved in special safety audit drives. Similarly, a Good Housekeeping Index has been formulated and audits undertaken to improve housekeeping standards at plants and departments.
The company has appointed safety marshals — most of them with experience in the army — to oversee safety at critical loading points and areas of high safety hazards. It has also introduced the concept of 'one-day safety officers' to involve all plant managers in the safety culture.
Another major factor that is contributing to the excellent safety track record of Essar Steel Hazira is development of safety standards governing a variety of activities. These include safe transportation of hot metal ladle by road and rail, safe movement of vehicles, electrical safety and mitigation measures at other hazardous areas.
Contractors are also involved in the safety movement and they are encouraged to participate in workshops, training programs and meetings on a regular basis.
The HSE Code of Conduct fixes accountability on every individual to ensure that they promote a safer, healthier and environment-friendly culture at the workplace daily. Every employee has to be familiar with the code and imbibe the principles.
Essar Steel Hazira also introduced an online 'near miss' reporting system and analysis to save time that would have been spent in the compilation process. This work is now done automatically.
Audits are another way in which the management can check the safety-preparedness of the company. The British Safety Council's Five Star Safety Audit was conducted recently to see how the company aligns with the international health and safety best practices and management systems.
Another audit related to Process Safety Management (PSM), which was undertaken to check system gaps and plug the loopholes as recommended by the auditors.
Essar Steel Hazira has been the recipient of several awards for its safety practices. In April 2013, it was given the Ispat Suraksha Puraskar for 2011 and 2012 by the Joint Committee on Safety, Health & Environment in the Steel Industry (JCSSI). The prestigious award is presented by expert peers from the industry, in recognition for the plant's safety performance. It honored the Essar Steel plant in the Integrated Steel Plant category.
Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), a Government of India undertaking, chairs and sponsors the JCSSI, whose members include representatives of all the leading steel producers in the country.