The Union Home Ministry has said that the manufacturing units which will restart after the Covid-19 lockdown ends, should consider the first week as the trial period.
“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 SOP. As a result, some of the manufacturing facilities, pipelines, valves, etc. may have residual chemicals, which may pose risk,” the home ministry said in a letter to states.
“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,” it added.
The MHA order also said that state governments should be prepared to implement a disaster management plan for major accidental hazard units.
“To minimise the risk, it is important that employees who work on specific equipment are sensitised 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,” the MHA said.
It also said that factories should ensure 24-hour sanitisation, especially in the common areas that include lunch rooms and common tables which will have to be wiped clean with disinfectants after every single use.
For accommodation, sanitisation needs to be performed regularly to ensure worker safety and reduce spread of contamination, the guideline further said.
The order has been sent to all the state chief secretaries after gas leak at LG Polymers plant in Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam in which 11 people were killed.
The gas leak happened before dawn, affecting villages near the factory. About 1,000 people were admitted to the hospitals with breathing difficulties.