Explosion at Pharma Unit! Is it Legal Requirement ?????

I was thinking of not posting anything today, (To give readers a respite) When a ESH Whatsapp Group to which I had been added to with about 1800 Members, a gentleman posted details about a Major Explosion in a Pharmaceutical unit at Amdavad, Gujarat. It appears this incident which happened, Tuesday 8th March, appears to have had major impact on the business on this company as Stocks have fallen by about 5%. I am also informed that there appears to be loss of life ( Not officially confirmed Hopefully not the case of death). The facility has been closed by GPCB/ Factory Inspectorate pending investigation.

While details are sketchy, it appears that a Centrifuge operational area due to accumulation of toluene, Hexane Vapors in the area, an exhaust fan was switched on, leading to explosion and fire spreading to tank farm etc. 

Incidents like these which are common in solvent/haz chem handling were the precise reason the PSM Standard OSHA 1910.119 was introduced in West during 1991. (Shamed by Bhopal 1984) 27 years on, there are no such official guidelines / legislations, to implement in the developing world. In the absence of such enforcement, such incidents become routine thus leading to loss of lives, property, business impact. I am given to understand that this facility is Indian entity ventured as a Multinational one, spread mostly in Europe/UK! I wonder if lessons of norms, that are required there were transferred as knowledge transfer?? 

GCAP-OSHA-PSM-Safety-Day-1024x730I keep saying to Indian folks in my site visits, that voluntary compliance is the way to go for operational excellence. Government/legislature have hundereds of other things in mind and EHS/Welfare are the last items in their agenda. If we wait for legislature /laws/rules to guide us and then implement them as call of duty, we would be going nowhere!!! In this context, the recent HAZ chem labeling standard in USA was totally an Industry lead initiative of Dow, Dupont, Wal-Mart. Sworn enemies 2015, Republicans and Democrats Joined hands to vote 403-12  when pushed to make that a law!! (Even India and Pakistan may agree on some aspects!! not them!!!) 

Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 5.25.44 PM.pngThat sort of initiative is required here to make ESH a non entity to business so that you don’t worry about accidents, loss to property etc. Even when such incidents happen once in bluemoon, one can take consolation that whatever could have been done to prevent such incidents has been done!!!

I wonder, if I see it happening in my life time??? Probably not??  



9/3/17.1715 Hrs.



Professional Dedication to job!?

Over the past few months, I am noticing a trend that personnel of all functions  (esply here in India) are expressing their frustration, anger, inability (Impotent!!) to get things done at work in the social media platforms,viz personal a/c on Facebook, Twitter etc. Also, I also see some kind of resentment and anger towards their manager, company policies etc. While, this is natural reaction to shout about the perceived injustice or any other felt emotion go viral, my personal suggestion is “DONT”!!! 
It is perfectly fair and expected to have a divergent opinion on other areas which are non work related and stick to it. I personally differ  with  quite a few  EHS professionals on my political ideologies, view and opinion on other religion/culture.  While I have not allowed that judge them professionally, I have let them have their opinion about me as they are entitled to their opinion, but not entitled to their facts. quote-you-are-entitled-to-your-opinion-but-you-are-not-entitled-to-your-own-facts-daniel-patrick-moynihan-36-8-0815.jpg
But when it comes to work related issues/client privileges, I have never allowed my emotions to come better of me, even when situations at work, client sites were totally unpalatable. (Such emotions were rare, the last one being good 20 years back!) 
You are judged these days, especially in the last decade of emerging organisational work trends, not only on what you delivered at work for results, but how you delivered it by exhibiting the behaviours the organisation prescribes. (See Matrix above)  The plotting of Results vs Behaviours displayed at work goes a long way to make you a person who is complete as a professional as well as a good human being. So please do every effort to grit it out and hang in out there. I also agree, that if you are forced engage in certain activities /things which are contrary to ethics, compliance, law of land, then it is altogether different situation. You can become a whistle-blower (Without compromising your personal and family safety and well-being). These days it is all about being emotionally Intelligent and having a good EQ!! The EQ Calls for traits such as Self Awareness, Social Awareness, Situational Awareness and excel.


Behaviours that deliver results at work:- You are judged on each component along with Results:- 

An example of results and behaviours 2007, I posted in my Personal Blog then!! I reproduce the image below:- This is an example of how you are judged for results and behaviours:- 

honeywell behaviours

Also in your frustration, never Quit the job in spur of moment or anger. That will take you nowhere. Please note in these tough times and sagging economy, it may take up to good 6-9 months to complete the next hiring process. (I know of companies that havent back filled positions for 15 months or so) so unless you are in a financially sound situation of Nine (9) months of take home Compensation in the bank, never even attempt to throw the towel /quit. Always, be frugal and try to keep the savings!
As APJ Abdul Kalam said, Be emotionally attached to your job, not to the organisation or entity. 

People join the company, but leave the manager, but influencing the manager is not an easy job. But if you deliver results and exhibit sound behaviours then there is hope. Of course, always remember this saying of great Jack Welch.

What’s better, to work for a bad boss at a good company or a good boss at a weak company?

We’ve gotten this question several times while traveling around the world, and we have been amazed at how split audiences seem on the answer. Amazed, because to us this is an absolute no-brainer. If you have to pick between these options, by all means, work for the good company!

Here’s our reasoning. If you are at a truly good company, its leaders will eventually find and dispatch the bad boss. That can take time—months, or even a year or more. In that case, you might even be rewarded with a promotion for having delivered results during your ordeal. After all, everyone has been there at some point in his or her career, toiling for some turkey who’s moody, mean, or just plain incompetent.

Take care stay safe, God bless


8th March 2017, 1645 hrs. 


ESH Nuts & Bolts; ESH Credentials, qualification, link to site Maturity Growth!

I have uploaded a YOUTUBE presentation on “ESH Nuts and Bolts—> How to execute ESH in facility. I have covered based on practical experience as to how we did implement EHS programs. This covers aligning to Strategic planning over 5 years which then drill down to Annual operating plan, Objectives & Targets based on Risks identified with appropriate “Capital” provided. Ofcourse, key ingredient is MEASUREMENT through Metrics. Please go through this 30 Minute presentation and let me know your comments, views.

Over time, I have been asked by many budding ESH Professionals with a bag full of  EHS credentials through Diploma, Certification courses, Overseas trade accreditation in Safety, Environment as to what further they need to engage so that they can get the hang of EHS implementation and become ESH experts. My Answer is, I offer “NOTHING”!! (To paraphrase Michael Corleone)

This means first become perfect in practicing and putting in to action what you have learnt so far. Many times what we learn and what we can/want to do could be very divergent. In some cultures/organisations, you may not even get an opportunity to put in to practice what you come across in your study (For whatever reasons!!). ESH professional growth is all about going on field and applying the learning and getting to see results through maturity path.

Maturity Path for a Facility:-




NON Existent


No evidence of Implementation of safety element.



Who cares as long as we are not caught.



Safety is important we do a lot every time we have an accident.



We have systems in place to manage hazards, but still accidents happen, people get injured.



Safety leadership, values, mission, objectives, targets deliver continuous improvement.



Safety is the way we do business here.

In many emerging regions 80% of organisations are between 3-4. So working the implementation is learning curve for ESH Professionals.

As for Process/System/ Procedure maturity path, the following guideline is a good yard stick to measure the same.
Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 3.45.05 PM.png
What are some of EHS Process:- Pl see below ( Courtesy AHC Group 2009 duly acknowledged) facility needs to establish policy, procedure, programs for each of the core elements and link them to the RISK assessment protocols as mitigation measure.



Elements of ESH Operational aspects:-


Also note, many World class organisations have “ZERO FATALITY PROGRAM” which include operational elements such as


  2. Confined Space Entry

  3. Elevated Works

  4. Machine Guarding

  5. Vehicle Safety

  6. Electrical Safety /Arc Flash

  7. Hazardous Material Management elements. (Linked to Process Safety Management OSHA 1910.119) 


in which the maturity path is either you are rated 1 or a 4 with 2 or 3 rating is not an acceptable level for these elements in specific!!!! So it calls for lot of hard work, effort, involvement, engagement as well as understanding the basics of these programs, to move the needle forward to reach ESH Excellence. 

Screen Shot 2017-03-07 at 4.50.33 PM.png
So bottom line is apply your skill learnt to implement/engage, in EHS excellence! Qualifications, however high and might,are just an enabler, (Just like a speedometer/ Altimeter, Dashboard /cockpit ) they can let you know what you do& How you do! But can’t take you to the destination!!! 


7th March 2017 1720 Hrs.

Ferry Diaster as 30 years ON!!! Culture?

  1. Today 6th March, Marks the 30th year of Ferry Disaster of the coast of Belgium in which 193 people traveling to Dover, UK lost their lives! I recollect the event vividly.

Zeebrugge 6th March 1987 Herald of Free Enterprise!!

Some of facts:- Pressure of work, turn around!!???

Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 11.30.39 AM.png

Of course, great organisations learn lessons very well and implement the recommendations. Few resist?? This one took a lot and lot of time to learn lessons as this write up explains?? 

2) Phil has posted an excellent blog on Culture sell? I have also posted my thoughts on Culture in his blog post! 

Culture is all boil down to leadership! Greater  the 1) leadership, 2)team of personnel guided by 3)Subject matter experts of professionals, who have free, independent thinking to speak about without fear or favor or retribution the better and matured is the culture in the functional area of operation. Culture can never be sold in! It is an intrinsic value. 

3) I keep seeing mails on ISO 45001 the new Standard on Occupational Safety. The new standard may be expected to get released IV Qtr 2017- II Qtr 2018. OHSAS 18001 could be valid for 3 years from the new ISO 45001 standard release date. If you are already in to ISO 9001 or ISO 14001 -2015 revised standards, this one is smooth sailing. Here is an overview.


Good Luck.


6th March 2017. 1155am.

PS: Look foward to some feedback! Thanks.


Who Says Safety is Serious Business !!!

Enjoy these !! Safety is all about FUN sometimes and Learn !!!

  1. Visit by Inspector!!


2) Darwin Awards What people did to Remove themselves from Face of Earth

3) Some More Act II

4) How many times we hear? Wasn’t me?? (Mera Baap kaa Kya Jaatha hein??)

5) No Safety fun is complete without this?? How many we see ?? Plenty I have seen in 30 Years!! MAN OH MAN!!!!! Wilful Ignorance!!!! 

Ok; Some serious Stuff:-

  1. If you want to watch 1 video on Safety Leadership in action, THIS IS ONE of 12 Min!!! I was lucky I did work with such business Leaders / Safety leaders who were mirror images of this guy! This extends to all Industries/ all areas of Operations………Screen Shot 2017-03-04 at 12.39.24 PM.png  I stumbled on this video a good decade and half back and I use this ever since!! Great practical demo to exhibit SAFETY LEADERSHIP.


 2) Safety Leadership!! Execution is all key!!! (60 MIN) 

Paul O’Neill presents his views on safety to the technical organization leadership of a consumer packaged goods company. He discusses how he arrived at the need to focus on safety with an expectation of zero incidents. He shares that safety is a basis for establishing employee trust and a value not to be compromised. Stories of his time with Alcoa as CEO in Mid 80s, and then as the treasury secretary emphasize his points. If you are interested in learning how to view safety in an organization, this is must see video.!! Paul was Treasury Secretary in George W BUSH administration. ( His signature is imprinted in $ bill) He worked and succeeded on ZERO Accidents with Incident Free Work place !!! ! Alcoa was already at 1.3 vs industry average of 5!!!  Paul still going strong at 82 !!! 

I leave it with this message!!! Works Superb 100 times out of 100!!!! Make People feel GOOD!! PERIOD!!!! 


Have a Great time, Great to present these to you all folks.


4th March 1300 Hrs!!



National Safety Day!?????? & Then What?


On the eve of National Safety day, (4th March) the formation of National Safety council under Jagjivan Ram during 1972 as an event and carried forward ever since.  While some progress has been made to make workplace safer in comparison to the monstrous rate of growth of Industries, especially over the last 35 years, much need to be done to make safety as a way of life.

The bane of safety day/environment day celebrations etc are that they become like Horstman’s Rule of Christmas. You celebrate Xmas once a year, so you forget about it for 350 days. You start to prepare/stretch/sweat 15 days prior, with the result things tend to go wrong! screen-shot-2017-03-03-at-11-14-07-am

Also posters, banners, celebrations are all “ANTECEDENTS” which never trigger the desired behaviour at work place. It can very easily become evaporative effect with all aspects forgotten a week post national safety day celebrations. I recollect my last safety day participation was during ESH site role in late 90s.

ABC Model, Behaviours are determined by +ve or -ve Consequence. Never by Antecedents, which are poster, banners,celebrations etc. 

So what is that we can do work  to sustain  safe work place 24*7*365!.

1) Safety Culture—-> Safety as a way of doing business not a condition of business! Leadership engagement is key. Influencing upward with what it is that ESH can add value to business. Leaders don’t like surprises, bad news at the last-minute. What is that ESH folks can do work the buy in confidence? Communicate, communicate, over communicate! 

2) Risk Based approach to Business—-> With ISO 9001, 14001 in, as well as new ISO 45001 expected later this year, the emphasis on RISK based approach to business can not be overemphasised. Approach all ESH issues with link to impact on Social, Political, Economical, Technological, Financial aspects with Strength, Opportunities, Weakness, Threats. (SWOT). From the Portfolio worked, work the acceptable and unacceptable risks and Strategy, Objectives and Targets, Annual operating plan, Budgets and Standard Operating Procedures as appropriate. This way, ESH aspects gets linked to beyond its domain and overarches with Quality, Safety, Productivity, Inventory, Delivery and Cost, the very pillar of Doing/being in business.

3) Establish a Management Systems:- (MS) Even 30Bn$ global gaints have realised as they matured in the business path, that a QESH-MS goes a  long way in understanding the issues and tackling them head on. Oh yes, the management system implementation is independent of ISO certification. The PDCA Cycle below would be the way forward to embrace any MS. Policy, Legal Compliance,Training, Corrective actions form the backbone of the system. (Preventive Actions are given, being fundamental to proactive approach of problem solving) 


4) Relationship Building, Networking:- The value of This tool can not be emphasised enough. More so now a days, where Knowledge is no longer a trait that can take over the finish line. 70% results are achieved through Relationship power of influencing, communicating, persuading, networking etc. Professionals needs also exhibit leadership skills which can be built through engagement and asking the right questions? I always wonder How many time folks asks their colleagues, team members, juniors, “I Dont Know-What do you think”?? or ” Thank You” !! These words go a long way to make a person lot better in leadership journey! Also work your social Footprint.


I wish you all the professionals the very best on this occasion and hope folks make strides to be the ESH professional with value add to business. Remember ESH is all about implementing ESH in cost-effective way with “Minimum Adequate” with systematic planning and walking the talk with Visible felt leadership.

Good Luck and God bless.


3/3/17 1255 pm. 

My ESH Webinar, 86-93 Major incidents Look back & NOW??

I propose to conduct a next video as live session through webinar and then post the session content on YOUTUBE later so that others who cant participate can take benefit of interaction that occurred. This way there is a potential for a 2 way communication to some extent.
As software that can link participants has limited connectivity, if you are interested, I request you to send me a response, so that I can send out the web link to connect in coming days. You would require an internet connection and (proxy disabled). access to some Netmeeting client. There is no need for phone connect or a dial in. 

Date Tuesday, 7th March 2017, 1600 Hrs-1700 Hrs.

Topic: EHS Implementation in a Best in Class Facility.
Details: How ESH Management system, operational programs, metrics, operational plans, budgets, can be aligned to business with organiations’s Strategy, planning and operational execution and creates value add in a typical  facility.
Pl pass in your network.
42139234 (Work Desk Bangalore)
1986-90 was a major learning curve for the Safety professionals. Lessons learned from Major disaster in that time period helped the professionals and authorities and agencies to work a maturity path forward. It is worth look back on them close to 30 years on and see how much world of Safety (ESH) has matured and how things have improved!!! 
The 1986 Chernobyl Disaster helped the world to coin a the Phrase “SAFETY CULTURE”!! It is said that Weak Culture was the reason for the incident to happen. This lead organisation to seek and to working a Safety culture maturity model as below. Most of the organisations, 30 years on would be somewhere between Calculative and Proactive (85%) and Proactive (10%) I personally remember Chernobyl very well as it was less than 100 days in to my Corporate Career and Bhopal disaster wave has just been subsiding after 18 Months. What is needed to work this ladder path is 1) Strong Leadership 2) ESH competence 3) Risk Based approach to managing ESH 4) Employee Engagement and Competence with Intrinsic motivation through Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose
2) The Second incident was November 1986, SandozSchweizerhalle, Basle. I had seen the spot where Incident happened (in 1994) so personal connection. This set new norms for WAREHOUSING and storage, managing inventory, Bio diversity, River stream protection became order of the day!! Also were Fire water Retention practices besides, Storm Water Drain Management. This disaster ruined 100s of Kilometer of River Rhine which flows from Switzerland to Holland. Good Companies always learn from events and make sure they never repeat anywhere else in their operations irrespective be in 1st or 3rd World Country.
3) The 3rd was PIPER ALPHA!! I distinctly remember where I was when I heard this news during  July 1988. Piper Alpha that took lives of 167 people was a classic example of 1)Poor accountability 2) Poor Emergency Response Plan and practices. 3) Untested methods of infrastructure. The Cullen commission which was set up made 106 recommendations for Oil and Gas platform Safety improvements, all of which were accepted. The salient part was many other countries took Cullen report as their own and enforced in to their Existing code of practices. Piper Alpha with Bhopal went a long way to Enforce PSM as per OSHA 1910.119.
4) Exon Valdez Spill of March 1989 in which 250,000 Bbl or 410,000 M3 of Oil spilled in to Alaska, US waters. While there were no human lives lost, like Sandoz spill/fire this was an ecological disaster exposed the perils of OIL Drilling and shipping. 1000s of miles of coastline was affected as were innumerable species of flora and Fauna. This lead to President George H W Bush Signing off the OIL Pollution Act,1990, which worked on better prevention, preparation of Marine spills as well as emergency preparedness. There was also planned coordination between Coast Guard and EPA! I now recollect the current Madras mess and how poorly it is being controlled, handled or mitigated!! 
main_12005) Hoechst-ona; while this was not a well publicised one, as there was no loss of life or property dame.  We got lot of information around that time, 1993, being a fellow European MNC. This was loss-prevention-psm of poorly planned communication, execution of Emergency plans, communication with authorities as well as lack of availability of good reliable Material Safety Data Sheets linked to products/process /intermediates. This lead to lot of negative publicity and image beat up for the company. I always wondered whether this marked the beginning of end for HOECHST as Brand image!!!! 
As you can see,Companies/countries learned a lot from these incidents and went on to strengthen their regulatory framework as well as preparedness mechanism, should things still fail. Also what is remarkable is the participation of private players/non governmental entities to reach out and work these guidelines/programs. It is to be noted that excellence for ESH is a process in which Industries play a significant part and Government just does the finishing touch enacting the provided laws with due vetting. 
It goes without saying, Industries in India cannot/should not wait for Government to reach out and enact legislations. Government has other priorities as is naturally in the III world country such as India. (I wont use the word Developing too, we a long way off from what I have seen globally!)……. Would Industries take up the Challenge??? I wonder???


Bangalore. 2/3/2017 1530 Hrs.