Hyderabad: Three days after the gas leak tragedy at LG Polymers plant in Vizag, the Centre, with inputs from the National Disaster Management Authority, has released a new set of guidelines on restarting manufacturing industries after the lockdown.
While the small and medium scale industries have begun working in various states amid the Covid-19 lockdown, the Centre expressed fear that some of the industrial operators might not follow the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) while restarting the activity.
The presence of residual chemicals and hazardous, flammable material in storage facilities, may pose further risk during restarting activity, the Centre said.
Keeping this in view, the Centre’s guidelines are as follows:
1. State governments need to ensure that off-site disaster management plan of Major Accidental Hazard (MAH) units are up-to-date and prepared. All responsible officers should ensure that Industrial On-site Disaster Management plans are also in place and cover Standard Operating Porcedures for sfae restarting of industries.
2. The first week after restarting the industry should be a trial or test run period. High production targets are discouraged during this time
3. Employees should be sensitised about equipments and made to identify abnormalities, strange sounds, exposed wires, vibrations, leaks smoke, abnormal wobbling, irregular grinding or potentially hazardous signs which indicate need for shutdown.
4. All lockout and tagout procedures need to be in place on a daily basis.Inspections of equipment should be undertaken during restart phase
For specific industrial processes, workers have been asked to check for spills, wear and tear, leakages during lockdown.
For manufacturing process
1. A safety audit needs to be done.
2. Cleaning of pipelines, equipment and discharge lines: both mechanic and air/water flushing to be done.
3. Tightness test: Plant needs to comply with required tightness before restoring.
4. Service test: All piping equipment will need service testing.
The system is first pressurised with operating fluids and then checked for leakage. For air lines, leaks can be found using a soap solution. For water and condensate lines, the leakage can be observed visually. All vacuum systems must be leak tested. Air inside the system is first evacuated to attain the required vacuum.
5. All vacuum systems need to be leak tested.
6. Ensure the arrangement for round-the-clock emergency crews/professional technical teams provided with MAH and cluster of MAH should have an extended coverage of 200 km to reach transport accident spots for help.
For workers, temperature checks need to be conducted twice a day. Managerial and administrative staff should work one shift at 33 per cent capacity as per MHA guidelines. Factories also have to maintain
a sanitisation routine every 2-3 hours.