Dow In­dia has com­pre­hen­sive pro­grams for in­form­ing and sen­si­tiz­ing work­force for safety

In an email in­ter­ac­tion with Chem­i­cal In­dus­try Di­gest, Ashish Mishra, Di­rec­tor – Health Ser­vices, Dow In­dia speaks on em­ployee health and safety. He dis­cusses the mea­sures and ini­tia­tives taken by the com­pany to pro­vide a safer en­vi­ron­ment to their em­ploy

Chemical Industry Digest - - Interview -

Chem­i­cal In­dus­try Di­gest (CID): What are the key chal­lenges re­lated to em­ployee health and safety that Dow In­dia has iden­ti­fied? How does the com­pany man­age and mit­i­gate the risks?

Dr. Ashish Mishra (AM): At Dow In­dia, we lay great em­pha­sis on our safety cul­ture and en­sure that all our of­fices and sites across the coun­try strictly ad­here to the com­pany’s global safety stan­dards. Our aim is to meet or ex­ceed all the ap­pli­ca­ble laws, reg­u­la­tions and stan­dards.

We cat­e­go­rize risks to work­pla­ce­place safety un­der three broad tenets – phys­i­cal,cal, chemi-chem­i­cal and er­gonomic. We en­gage ou­rur em­ploy-em­ploy­ees, part­ners and vis­i­tors in pe­ri­od­icdic manda-manda­tory safety train­ings to make suree that they are aware of the po­ten­tial risks att the work-work­place and know how to mit­i­gate the­sethese risks.

What we have learned over thee past many years of im­ple­ment­ing safety stan­dard­sndards at our sites is that phys­i­cal and chem-em­i­cal risks are eas­ier to mit­i­gate be-be­cause there are stan­dard pro­to­col­sls and train­ings in place for peo­plee to fol­low. Our pri­mary chal­lengee lies in im­ple­ment­ing be­havioural changes. To­wards this end, we make sure that our safety train­ings and aware­ness pro­grams are not lim­ited to our man­u­fac­tur­ing sites, but are car­ried out at our cor­po­rate of­fices and R&D fa­cil­i­ties as well.

CID: How does the com­pany sen­si­tize the en­tire work­force on safety, so that safety be­comes part of one’s be­havioural mind­set?

AM: Given the em­pha­sis that we have on health and safety, we en­sure that our op­er­a­tions, work­place, and prod­ucts are free from sig­nif­i­cant risk to the health and safety of our em­ploy­ees, vis­i­tors, con­trac­tors, cus­tomers, car­ri­ers, dis­trib­u­tors, neigh­bours, the pub­lic, and the en­vi­ron­ment.

To sen­si­tize our var­i­ous stake­hold­ers on safety,ty, we proact­proac­tively com­mu­ni­cate with them. Equally impim­por­tantly, we lis­ten and are re­spon­sivespon­sive to oour em­ploy­ees, cus­tomers, neigh­bours,bours, and gov­ern­ment. We reg­u­larly share in­for­ma­tion con­cern­ing po­ten­tial haz­ards re­sult­ing­sult­ing from our op­er­a­tions or our prod­ucts, and we have poli­cies and pro­ce­dures in place to mit­i­gate these haz­ards.

With W a safety func­tion over­sight that th rests with the CEO, we de­fine and ad­vo­cate a clear strate­gic di­rec­tion and proac­tive pol­icy where health and safety are con­cerned. In ad­di­tion we have an­nual ob­jec­tives and goals in place that en­able us to mea­sure as­sess and lead progress to­wards at­tain­ing 100% com­pli­ance in all ac­tiv­i­ties and go be­yond, such as en­sur­ing that our part­ner net­works are com­pli­ant as well in health and safety.

CID: Tell us about some of your key ini­tia­tives that con­trib­ute to en­sur­ing a safe work­place.

AM: We have a com­pre­hen­sive pro­gram that in­forms, ed­u­cates and sen­si­tizes our en­tire work­force to­wards safety haz­ards at the work­place. Some of the key ini­tia­tives that we have been driv­ing over the past few years to achieve this are:

❍ Be­hav­ior and Cul­ture Change: Through this process, the or­ga­ni­za­tion iden­ti­fies and de­vel­ops habit strength be­hav­iours to im­prove per­for­mance

❍ Busi­ness Risk Re­view is a process aimed at iden­ti­fy­ing all po­ten­tial EH&S risks, eval­u­at­ing them and sug­gest­ing/man­ag­ing course cor­rec­tion

❍ Dow In­dia also cre­ates an an­nual “Com­pli­ance Plan” that is used to doc­u­ment plans to ad­dress a Non-Con­for­mance and meet re­quire­ments. A Com­pli­ance Plan is used for ex­ter­nal (le­gal) EH&S re­quire­ments and for in­ter­nal re­quire­ments. This is sup­ple­mented by a Con­duct Man­age­ment Sys­tem Re­view (MSR), a process used to de­ter­mine ef­fec­tive­ness of the EH&S man­age­ment sys­tem for meet­ing de­sired per­for­mance. Dur­ing the an­nual busi­ness plan­ning, EH&S re­quire­ments aligned to a busi­ness are in­cor­po­rated into spe­cific busi­ness’s and re­gions strat­egy.

❍ Through Man­age & Per­form Au­dits (MPA) Lead­er­ship makes sure that the au­dits that are re­quired or re­quested are planned and ex­e­cuted ef­fi­ciently. The process can be used to man­age any type of EH&S Au­dit.

❍ Prod­uct ste­ward­ship pro­gram - reaches across all func­tions and be­yond our gates to help us en­sure that our prod­ucts are used safely for their in­tended pur­poses, through­out their life cy­cles.

❍ The WRAP award pro­gram - The Waste Re­duc­tion Al­ways Pays (WRAP) award rec­og­nizes in­di­vid­u­als who find in­no­va­tive ways to save money while re­duc­ing waste or emis­sions at Dow.

CID: What dif­fer­en­ti­ates Dow In­dia’s EHS pro­gram from its in­dus­try coun­ter­parts?

AM: Dow In­dia is com­mit­ted to a “Vi­sion of Zero”— zero in­ci­dents, in­juries, ill­nesses and zero en­vi­ron­men­tal harm, with each Dow em­ployee be­ing ac­count­able for achiev­ing this vi­sion. This Vi­sion of Zero means our em­ploy­ees re­turn home safely ev­ery day, and our sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties are healthy and safe. The com­pany has in­tro­duced a Healthy Work­place In­dex that helps pro­mote a cul­ture of health at the com­pany by as­sign­ing scores for key el­e­ments and pro­vid­ing a cu­mu­la­tive score – bronze, sil­ver, gold or plat­inum – for each com­pany site. The key el­e­ments of the Healthy Work­place In­dex in­clude to­bacco pol­icy en­force­ment, ac­cess to phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity and healthy foods, pe­ri­odic health as­sess­ments, stress man­age­ment and a sup­port­ive work en­vi­ron­ment. From a 2004 base­line, well­ness pro­grams, the com­pany has seen a 28 per­cent re­duc­tion in the pop­u­la­tion at high risk glob­ally.

Our safety ef­forts have been duly rec­og­nized and re­warded for this com­mit­ment and ac­count­abil­ity to safety. In 2017, Dow In­dia was named as the ‘Health­i­est Work­place’ by Ar­o­gya World and also re­ceived cer­ti­fi­ca­tion as a ‘Top Em­ployer for 2018’ by the Top Em­ployer In­sti­tute.

CID: What are the stan­dard in­dus­try mea­sures that you use to map the progress of safety goals?

AM: In 1995, we launched our 2005 En­vi­ron­ment, Health and Safety (EH&S) Goals. With a $1 bil­lion in­vest­ment in en­ergy ef­fi­ciency, wa­ter re­duc­tion and reuse and waste re­duc­tion pro­grams on a global level, the com­pany was able to save $5 bil­lion – and fos­tered a cul­ture of safety and sus­tain­abil­ity.

The 2025 World-Lead­ing Op­er­a­tions Goal com­mits us to main­tain­ing world-lead­ing op­er­a­tions per­for­mance in nat­u­ral re­source ef­fi­ciency, en­vi­ron­ment, health and safety. We in­tro­duced To­tal Worker Health (TWH) as a new health strat­egy. This strat­egy rests on three pil­lars - Healthy Cul­ture, Healthy Work­place and Healthy Peo­ple. The ma­trix gives a clear in­di­ca­tion of re­source ef­fi­ciency, and en­vi­ron­ment, health and safety of the work­force. It is a strat­egy in­te­grat­ing oc­cu­pa­tional safety and health pro­tec­tion with health pro­mo­tion to pre­vent worker in­jury and ill­ness and to ad­vance health and well-be­ing.

CID: How far safety pro­to­cols like Re­spon­si­ble Care ® help or have helped? Any other safety pro­to­cols you’ve signed into?

AM: All Dow In­dia sites are Re­spon­si­ble Care

® Cer­ti­fied and is fa­cil­i­tated by the In­dian Chem­i­cal Coun­cil in the re­gion. Our last record­able in­jury was in 2010. We have zero record­able process safety in­ci­dent and mo­tor ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dents, since 2012. We are liv­ing the ‘Vi­sion Hall of Fame – Gold level’.

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