How a CGD ensured Safety of its Workers
National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reported 48,241 work-related accidents in 2019. This included accidents in both the organized and unorganized sectors and covered all types of industries, including manufacturing, construction, transportation, and mining. It is worthwhile to mention that the actual number of accidents might be higher, as not all accidents are always reported or recorded. Furthermore, the NCRB report only covers work-related accidents and does not include accidents that occur outside of the workplace.
The lack of a proper Safety Work Permit (SWP) or Permit To Work (PTW) mechanism leads to an increased risk of accidents and injuries and invites legal and financial liabilities. Often, workers aren’t aware of the potential hazards associated with their job or task which increases the risk of accidents and injuries in the workplace and can have serious consequences for both employees and employers; not to forget costly lawsuits, fines, and penalties. In addition, each such incident damages the reputation of the organization and leads to a loss of trust among employees, customers, and the general public. Workplace accidents can result in downtime, decreased productivity, and increased absenteeism, which can negatively impact the company's bottom line and also drastically impacts employee morale.
Indraprastha Gas Limited, one of the largest City Gas Distribution companies in India entrusted us a work to provide a Safety Work Permit (SWP) application which could provide them with a mechanism to analyze and identify risks associated with high-risk work activities related to operation and maintenance of their infrastructure so as to mitigate those risks and avoid accidents.
Most of the work activities involved skilled and unskilled outsourced workers from diverse demographic backgrounds and limited education. Further, most of the activities required inter-department and intra-department coordination. Then, each work type had a different set of safety checklists. In addition, each type of permit had a different workflow. Also, IGL required workers to take images/videos as evidence to confirm compliance with the safety checklist. Then, the fire and safety team desired that they should be able to keep track of the status of each activity and also desired that approvals for the extension of safety permits be provided as per the escalation matrix.
Since the application was configurable, so all the work types and safety checklists, and corresponding workflows were customized as per the requirements of the client. The application allowed the uploading of photographs and videos to each safety checklist and also provided access to such evidence to the issuer/reviewer. The application was configured to forward requests for extensions to the competent authority as per the escalation matrix. Validations were put in place to ensure that the respective reviewer validates the safety checklist from the actual work location.
The application helped IGL to ensure that all the high-risk activities were properly planned, communicated, and controlled, due to which the risk of accidents and incidents was significantly reduced and it led to improved safety. It was observed that the Safety Work Permit helped the organization to identify potential hazards and assess the risks associated with a particular activity. IGL was able to identify control measures that can be put in place to reduce the risk of incidents. IGL was able to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and its policies. In addition, the application was able to provide documentation of safety checks, risk assessments, and control measures, which can help to demonstrate compliance with safety regulations.
In fact, IGL was able to develop a standardized approach to managing high-risk activities. This ensured that all activities were planned and executed in a consistent manner, regardless of who was carrying out the work. The application was able to promote communication between various stakeholders involved in high-risk activities. This ensures that everyone involved understands the risks associated with the activity, the control measures that have been put in place, and their roles and responsibilities.
In a nutshell, this application was able to promote a safety culture in the workplace and reduce the risk of accidents.