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Safety - Productive or Counter Productive? G. VAIDYANATHAN Former Dy. Director General Factory Advice Service & Labour Institutes, Government of India.

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Presentation on theme: "Safety - Productive or Counter Productive? G. VAIDYANATHAN Former Dy. Director General Factory Advice Service & Labour Institutes, Government of India."— Presentation transcript:

1 Safety - Productive or Counter Productive? G. VAIDYANATHAN Former Dy. Director General Factory Advice Service & Labour Institutes, Government of India Now Safety Consultant & Advisor, SHE Cell, Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry

2 Safety - Productive or Counter Productive  Though the Caption apparently appears to be Provocative but there is absolutely no room for Provocation.  It is Certainly Productive on two Major Counts  The first one is that Safety is the most basic need for Human beings including other Living Organisms and it is MORALLY and LEGALLY correct to be safe.  The second count is that it is absolutely Productive and it will be my humble endeavourer to substantiate this fact in the next few minutes.

3 Moral and Legal Obligations  What are the Moral and Legal obligations?  Right o Life, Liberty etc including Safety are considered as Fundamental, Basic and Inalienable.  Right to Safety is going to be declared as one of the Fundamental Rights by UN in the near future as necessary efforts are under way.  While the Statute Law in the form of Specific Legislations applicable to Work Place Safety, Common Law was used to decide cases relating to Safety  Since 1786 in Austria and 1802 in U.K Specific Laws have been used for securing Safety at Work Place and they are constantly updated in terms of Content and Coverage and Penal Provisions as Well

4 Something about Safety Laws  Safety Laws have been quite considerate in their Punitive aspects and this stems from the fact that Punishment needs to be commensurate with the action constituting Violation (Constitutional Requirement)  When the Punishment was less business interests prevailed and was observed more I the breach  Then the approach of making it more stringent was considered necessary so that the cost of violation was made more expensive than cost of compliance  Regardless of the above, legal liability loss will be still high involving payment to the lawyer, the cost of time of the functionaries spent in litigation etc

5 Safety is Productive  Moral aspects may not be immediately visible and may spill over to the next generation  It is for the discerning thinker to identify the cause and effect.  Present day ills in Society are attributable to lack of value systems i.e lack of morals  It is not morally correct to expose employees to danger when it is possible to ensure Safety using Technological and Administrative measures. If cost is the consideration it is downright immoral.  Alfred Nobel amassed wealth by making the explosives safer for use which has rendered use of Modern Infrastructure and the progress that goes with it POSSIBLE  Same is the case with development of vacuum brake by Mr. Westinghouse which rendered Safe high speed surface travel POSSIBLE

6 Safety is Productive  Now let us consider the Work Activities as a whole in relation to the Work Place regardless of the fact whether they are subject to the applicability of Safety Laws or not  From Conceptual Stage to Disposal Stage Safety measures may appear to involve costs but they are never borne by those responsible but are passed on to end user  Why not end user enjoy SAFE Product or Service by paying the extra cost? Not at all a difficult proposition  Besides, Safe product is helpful to beat competition as is borne out by the Advertisements put out now  With increased awareness level, media pressure and laws becoming more stringent by the day lack of Safety and inadequate safety affects business prospects

7 Safety is Productive  Lack of Safety affects Business. HOW?  By Bengaluru lesson. Lighting is necessary to prevent Eye Strain and Glare  Other Productive Outcomes of Lighting are never realised. Good lighting conditions ensure product quality, control of rejects and a sense of well being  Bengaluru lesson taught me that small scale units could even be wound up because of this single cause  In another case a splash guard was used in a small scale unit. Reason is that this Safety device helped in conservation of expensive cutting compound oil, cleaning material and improved house keeping conditions

8 Safety is Productive  In another case negotiations were on for a Hazop Study in an Explosives factory but proposal fell through on considerations of cost. Subsequently, an explosion flattened out the Factory  Always, lack of Safety may serve short term interests but Business interests are not sustained on a long term interests. Who wants to be fly-by- night operators?  Case of a Pressure Cooker in a Kitchen  Case studies abound but costing for accidents not being done properly in our country  Till 1991 lack of Competition has been favourable to lack of Safety. Now with Globalisation and fierce competition, cost of lack of Safety would become prohibitive

9 A little bit on Costing for Safety  In a competetitive environment, Avoidance of loss due to lack of Safety is more Productive as this productivity technique has not been exploited to the extent, scope is available  While all standard productivity improvement techniques having been accomplished fairly well improving Safety in overall sense and Resource conservation have become productive  Examples are Caterpillar engines and Xerox machines capable of using recycled paper, recycling of paints etc  There is a need for ensuring Safety in the whole supply chain. Example, explosion of cell Phone

10 Short Term Benefits or Survival?  Cost Cutting for Ensuring Safety is attractive, tempting but not sustainable in terms of Business in the present Context.  Competition has compelled Safety to an extent but more than this current concerns of Global Warming, Resource Constraints and their consequential impacts have further accentuated the need for Safety  Any work activity which does not take cognizance of these concerns will not be permitted henceforth.  Media Pressure and Public anger would compel action and set right lack of Safety resulting in closure of Business or any such drastic action for correction  Should we wait till such time instead of seeing the writing on the wall?

11 Thank you Thank you

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