DuPont Sustainable Solutions collaborates with Aditya Birla Chemicals to help lower injury rates, raise productivity, enhance operational efficiencies, outpace benchmarks, and establish a world-class safety culture.
The Indian chemical industry has grown 13-14% annually in the last 5 years (2007-2012). The encouraging growth of chemical industry also brings concerning hazardous incidents and worker safety into sharp focus. Lack of safety measures along with a limited knowledge of potential hazards of chemicals often leads to several dangerous Incidents and fatalities in the industry.
Aditya Birla Chemicals has tremendous focus on providing a safe working environment to its workforce and consistent focus on reducing the number of accidents, injuries and illnesses. However, manufacturing operations, material handling and logistics posed numerous safety challenges to the company in improving safety and taking it to a world-class level. For example, the company's rayon unit at Veraval, Gujarat, was facing constant challenge of recurrent bursting of spinning pots for which no readymade solution was available in the market. Similarly, worker safety at Rehla site in Jharkhand was another area of concern primarily because of traditional operating methods and poor awareness about safety risks among local contractor workers.
With a belief in "Good Safety=Good Business”, the leadership decided to make a step change in its safety performance across all operations including design, manufacturing operations and distribution. Leadership at the group asked DuPont Sustainable Solutions (DSS) to assist the organization in moving towards world-class safety performance and making safety a part of integrated operations. Four Indian sites of the business started their journey of safety excellence with DuPont in the beginning of 2012.The journey started with Work Place Safety (WPS), wherein at-risk behaviours were addressed. This was further extended to include Process Safety Management (PSM).
"Safety is more than just a matter of compliance. We want it to be sustainably and intrinsically driven, as a part of our normal day-to-day operations”.
Mr. Lalit Naik, Business Head, Aditya Biria Chemicals & MDABNL
The journey towards 'Shunya'
With the initial assessment completed, DSS and Aditya Birla Clericals decided the primary goals of the engagement, which were:
Developing a roadmap for world-class safety
Aditya Birla Chemicals, with support from DuPont, developed and implemented a safety management system, focused around operations environment. This included:
With this comprehensive strategic process, Aditya Birla Chemicals has been successful in involving all work force including and support functions in safety activities- both on the job and off the job Moreover, by addressing Operational and behavioral aspects of safety, the Chemicals Business was able to reduce injury rates by nearly 40 percent at the four sites between 2012 and 2013.
Continuing the journey towards “Shunya”
Continuing the journey towards 'Shunya' incidents, Aditya Birla Chemicals management is working actively with DuPont to improve process safety. Given the inherent hazards of the chemicals handled and manufactured, the company is identifying process hazards and enhancing controls as the first step.
Further, there is a process of developing internal capability and competency to enhance skills associated with process hazards analysis, management of change and risk awareness thereby contributing to risk reduction.
"Integration of safety is paramount in our business approaches. We firmly believe that employee involvement holds the key to establish a safe work place. Hence It Is important that we ensure every employee contributes to make this a sustainable cultural change,” said Mr. K.C. Jhanwar, Managing Director, Abcil & SBU Head, Chior Alkali, India.
The Aditya Birla Chemicals Business product line includes hazardous chemicals that have to be transported on some of the most dangerous roads in India. The business has collaborated with DuPont to work extensively with the Safety in Transportation and Distribution Sub-committee (ST&DSC) to raise the bar for safety measures during transit and material handling. In 2014, the DuPont team participated in a 'Distribution Safety Workshop' at Bharuch, where all unit representatives brainstormed on developing a standard guideline for safety in the area of transportation and distribution. Consultants from DSS took the company representatives through best practices from across the globe and urged transporters to cooperate to help achieve a higher level of compliance.
"In our journey of three years with DSS, we have reached a stage where safety is imbibed in the DNA of the entire team. We have put the process in place to ensure continuity of use of safe work practices in a sustainable manner".
Mr. Lalit Naik. Business Head, Aditya Birla Chemicals &MDABNL
About Aditya Birla Chemicals
Aditya Birla Chemicals is a leading manufacturer of bulk and specialty chemicals and viscose filament yam. The business is spread across multiple manufacturing locations in four countries - India, Thailand, Germany and China. The business is creating a strong footprint in the chemicals Industry -It Is a market leader in the chlor-alkall segment in India; at number two position in viscose filament yarn and is the third largest manufacturer in the world in sulphites. The Chemicals business has 14 manufacturing sites - seven in India, five in Thailand, one in Germany and one in China.