As indicated in my previous blog post, I had been to Hyderabad on the 28th June to attend OSH India event. While the event was for 2 days (28-29/6), due to personal event conflict, I could attend only one day. It was great pleasure to meet EHS colleagues as well as to be back in touch with old ESH friends and other associates after good 5 to 6 years. They too have come to Hyderabad to set up stalls as well as participate as panel members! Mr Adeesh Sharma and Mr Javed Qureshi of UBM have done a fabulos job in making this event a grand success. Event of this magnitude takes lot planning, coordination and a few sleepless nights. Good job done.
I chaired the session on “Construction Safety Scenario” which had panel members from Top notch construction agencies, who gave practical scenarios and issues that they face. There were interesting questions from participants (About 100 or so) Construction safety challenges (PPT)
My Thoughts are as Under based on my one day interaction and what I had seen:-
- Speaker after speaker touched the fact that Indian safety /EHS implementation has a long way to go for standards of international norms and maturity. Killing / Hurting people and then paying compensation is a far far cheaper option for lot of entities than implementing preventive measures which may cost few times more.
- Private sector non Governmental entities have to take initiative based on best practices. Government alone can not be expected to do everything.
- Instrument, Equipment, Tools, Tackles, Software, Training Aids, Data logger, Web-based information for keeping an organisation abreast and improving facility EHS performance are available in plenty. Confined space entry equipment, Fall protection and PPE for every body part protection has almost reached international norms as well as ease with which it is available in India. (I recollect my frustration of 1990s to wait for weeks for Dragger tubes for IH Monitoring)
- MS-Excel is the biggest enemy to embrace software, data collection analytics! I wonder, If I would see the migration by Small, Medium size companies in my life time? Probably not?? Few agencies were expressing same view although far less pessimistic than my view. Time companies moved the needle.
- Foreign agencies who have set up shop here in India are still working their way to establish themself. The cost factor which is very huge and a UNIQUE INDIAN WAY to think about everything in life is a big barrier to reach out to products that can keep people safe.
- IH Monitoring and Occupational Medicine, physical fitness aides were far and few, thus indicating very very few organisations have heard about it and still not a market out there to display such products as a larger interest. (This is case over the past 15 years, I have struggled to get IH monitoring/testings done. Thankfully, there are very few entities now, compared to decade back). Physical fitness is key to healthy /productive workplace and this should be area of focus.
- Special area of proactive incident prevention like Process Safety Management, Risk Management linkage to business risks are making baby foot steps in India. In the absence of specific regulatory frame-work and guiding agencies expertise in India (CCPS or ECHA) such activities would struggle as even highly hazardous Industries have not understood the complexity of process chemistry and its hazards. Keeping people safe is beyond general safety rules, Equipment, PPE etc.
- Overall security aspects are good, again due to absence of regulatory frame-work, companies lack support for Vulnerability assessment, Threat mechanism, Business Continuity management tools and aides to be ready for unplanned event in Proactive mode.
- Very few female participants, (Less than dozen is my guess both for sessions and visitors ( I guess good 15,000 people would have visited both the days) thus showing OSH field lacks the diversity to bring different thinking that a Woman brings to table.
Suggestions for UBM. (Mine as well as feedback from participants)
- Map of stall # and agency name so that people can have specific focused interactions with select vendors thus saving time to scout.
- Technical session can possibly held in enclosed area as there were surrounding noise intervention and visual glare due to open space, thus slides could not be clearly seen.
Once again a great job and it was a pleasure participating in the event.
I look to comments, please feel free to post your thoughts!