Lockdown 3.0: Govt issues guidelines for restarting industries

Industries have been asked to treat the first week after reopening as a trial or test run

Lockdown 3.0: Govt issues guidelines for restarting industries

NEW DELHI : The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has issued guidelines for restarting manufacturing industries after lockdown. "While restarting the unit, consider the first week as the trial or test run period; ensure all safety protocols; and not try to achieve high production targets," says the guidelines for restarting manufacturing industries after lockdown.

Due to several weeks of lockdown and the closure of industrial units during the lockdown period, it is possible that some of the operators might not have followed the established standing operation procedures. "As a result, some of the manufacturing facilities, pipelines, valves, etc. may have residual chemicals, which may pose risk. The same is true for the storage facilities with hazardous chemicals and flammable materials," NDMA said.

The guidelines come in the wake of the Visakhapatnam incident where at least 11 people lost their lives and about 1,000 others were exposed to a gas leak at a factory after it restarted operations when the government allowed industrial activities in certain sectors following several weeks of lockdown.

Generic guidelines:

1) While restarting the unit, consider the first week as the trial or test run period; ensure all safety protocols; and not try to achieve high production targets.

2) To minimize the risk it is important that employees who work on specific equipment are sensitized and made aware of the need to identify abnormalities like strange sounds or smell, exposed wires, vibrations, leaks, smoke, abnormal wobbling, irregular grinding or other potentially hazardous signs which indicate the need for an immediate maintenance or if required shutdown.

3) Especially during the Covid-19 times, ensure all lockout and tagout procedures are in place on a daily basis (not applicable for units running 24hrs).

4) Inspection of all equipment as per the safety protocols during the restart phase.

5) In case the industry has any difficulty in managing crucial backward linkages that may be critical for their safe functioning, they should approach the local district administration for specific assistance. District Magistrates may be instructed to ensure that in such instances, the industrial unit may be facilitated to run their end to end operations, in the overall interests of industrial security.

Other guidelines relate to storage of raw materials, manufacturing processes, storage and guidelines for workers.