Industrial Safety

Industrial Safety

With the advancement of scientific and technological developments in various areas of design and manufacturing, the danger of life of human being is increasing day by day. The significance of modern wellbeing was understood a century prior in light of the fact that consistently a great many mechanical or different mishaps happen which result in either passing or in brief disablement or perpetual disablement of the mechanical representatives. This results in large amount of loss or heavy damage in terms of property, wasted man-hours and machine hours. In order to avoid these accidents, employees should be aware of the basic safety principles and dangers which may exist in an industry. Accidents take place unexpectedly causing injury or loss to men, machines, and materials in industry. 

Definition – What does Industrial Safety mean?

Industrial safety refers to the management of all operations and events within an industry in order to protect its employees and assets by minimizing hazards, risks, accidents, and near misses.

Industrial safety is overseen by government body (department of Labour), and local laws and regulations.

Industrial safety covers a number of issues and topics affecting safety of personnel and the integrity of equipment in a particular industry.


In all kinds of industries, each shop supervisor is generally assigned the responsibility of safety in his shop regarding the men first and machines and tools. Every supervisor in each shop ensures to the top executives in respect of all kinds of the safety matters. He is supposed to incorporate all new safety measures needed in the shop from time to time. With the growth in the size of the industry and depending upon the hazardousness of industrial processes, a full-fledged safety department should be created under the intensive supervision through a safety manager. The safety manager may be given a line position or staff position depending upon the working conditions in the industry. Sometimes the responsibility for safety rests on a safety committee formed by the top executives of the organization.

A safety committee may consist of executives, supervisors, and shop floor workers. Thus the lower level employees get a channel of communication on safety matters direct to executive level. It is a matter of fact that those organizations which made safety committees had lower record of accidents than those without safety committees. Safety committees always motivate all the industrial employees for developing safety consciousness.

It acts also as a policy making body on safety matters. To enhance the efficiency of the safety committee, some safety problem may be assigned to safety staff for identifying and implementing safety rules and publicizing them. . It begins with the assumption that more work-connected accidents can be prevented. It does not have an end rather it is a continuous process to achieve adequate safety. It involves providing, safety equipment and special training to employees.

It consists of support by top management, appointing a safety officer, engineering a safe plant, processes and operations, educating all industrial employees to work safely, studying and analyzing the accidents to prevent their occurrence in future, holding safety contests, safety weeks, etc., and awarding incentives or special prizes to departments which enforces the safety rules and having least number of accidents. It must welcome all safety suggestions. It must mark categorically all accident areas. It must conduct safety training lectures periodically for providing wide publicity to safety aspects for everything including men, machines and materials.


Miss-happening of a large number of fire hazards, accidents, industrial disasters etc., can be reduced to the minimum possible extent through careful safety planning within an industrial organization. All these unwanted events can be prevented by effective planning for safety. Safety consideration includes proper layout of buildings and equipment, such as providing adequate ventilation, sufficient working area to the operator, clear pathways for movement of materials and parts, provision for adequate personnel facilities- viz., canteens, lunch rooms, dispensary, firefighting services, etc.

Careful planning in advance for optimized and safe layout of design and manufacturing activities for industry ensures industrial safety in the manufacturing and inventory areas. Incorporating safety considerations well in time are helpful for the establishment of a new plant as well as an existing plant needing major alterations. Such considerations lead to adequate safety to men, machine and equipment, reduction in operational time and increase in production. Several codes and standards for industrial safety, health and hygiene, fire prevention, etc. have been prescribed by government (department of Labour) and other safety agencies and they should be fully taken care of at the planning and implementation stages of a plant. A number of important features should be considered and suitably incorporated planning the layout of a new plant and its buildings for safety.

Material handling and its storage are very common functions in a plant. Material handling when performed manually the chances of injuries are greater. Therefore the following points should be taken care for carrying out such tasks. All material handling equipment such as conveyers, automotive guided vehicles, robots, cranes should carry proper guards for its gears and other dangerous moving parts to prevent access from these parts during operation. All hoisting devices must be equipped with limit switches or well-planned mechanical devices for preventing loads block from over traveling accidentally.

Hoisting equipment especially cranes, should only be operated by properly trained personnel for avoiding all sorts of mishaps or accidents. Proper protections against fire and explosion hazards are required when gasoline operated cranes are being used. Where manual loading is done on conveyors which run along a vertical path, either partially or totally, safe load sign should be prominently displayed on all loading stations. Sufficient lighting, ventilation, drainage, escape ways and guarding should be provided for conveyors which run in pits, tunnels and similar other enclosures. All inspection should be carried out regularly and worn out parts, if any, should be replaced immediately.

The workers should be properly trained to adopt safe working habits and proper supervision should be done while these operations are being carried out manually. Industrial personnel and unskilled workers should be adequately trained for adopting safe working habits in the proper ways of lifting and setting down the objects.

Objects which are wet or dirty or have slippery surfaces, such as greasy or oily and wet articles should be completely wiped off dry before handling them. The hands should also be kept free of oil and grease. For preventing hand injuries the handlers should be made to wear protective clothing like leather hand gloves, sleeves, etc. The worker handling materials should always wear boots or least hard shoes in order to prevent foot injuries. If an object is to be lifted and carried to some distance it should be ensured that the pathway is not slippery and there are no obstructions on the passage or way.

Objectives of Industrial Safety

The objectives of industrial safety are:

  1. Industrial safety is needed to check all the possible chances of accidents for preventing loss of

life and permanent disability of any industrial employee, any damage to machine and material as it leads to the loss to the whole establishment.

2. It is needed to eliminate accidents causing work stoppage and production loss.

3. It is needed to prevent accidents in industry by reducing any hazard to minimum.

4. It is needed to reduce workman’s compensation, insurance rate and all the cost of accidents.

5. It is required to educate all members regarding the safety principles to avoid accidents in


6. It is needed to achieve better morale of the industrial employees.

7. It is required to have better human relations within the industry.

8. It is needed to increase production means to a higher standard of living.


The accidents are the mishaps leading injury to man, machines or tools and equipment and may cause injury and result either death or temporary disablement or permanent disablement of the industrial employees. An industrial accident may be defined as an event, detrimental to the health of man, suddenly occurring and originating from external sources, and which is associated with the performance of a paid job, accompanied by an injury, followed by disability or even death. An accident may happen to any employee under certain circumstances. The said injury or loss may be minor or major in nature and accordingly the accident is termed as non-reportable or reportable kind.

It should, however, be understood that no hard and line of demarcation can be laid between these two aspects and their identification varies with the place of application. Few industries determine the accidents by the extent to which it leads to the disablement of the victim and number of hours or days he is to remain absent from duty on account of the problem. There are others which take into consideration various factors like machine, tools, materials, cost of medicines, loss of production and compensation to be given to the worker who meets with the accident. An accident can be very costly to the injured employee as well as to the employer of the manufacturing concern. Some direct or indirect costs are associated with accidents in industries. An accident is an unexpected event which is likely to cause, an injury. Proper diagnosis of causes of miss-happening and corrective measures of the same always helps in preventing future accidents. Accidents in industries put a heavy burden on society also. All direct and indirect cost to the management will ultimately have to be met by the consumers in terms of increased cost of product. Thus every citizen in a nation has to bear a proportion of the cost of accidents.

Every care and prevention therefore should be evolved adopted to prevent accidents to the maximum possible extents. Accidents do not just happen but they are caused because of failure to follow the needed safety precautions and safety rules. There are various types of common accidents needing due attention to prevent them which are as follows:

1. Near Accident: with no damage or injury.

2. Trivial: with very less damage.

3. Minor Accident: with damage and injury more than trivial.

4. Serious Accident: with heavy damage and lot of injury.

5. Fatal: with very heavy damage. There may be loss of lives also.

Effect of Accidents

  The adverse effects of the accident are

(A) Effect on the owner of factory:

 (1) Direct cost of an accident

                i). Cost of the compensation paid to the workers.

ii. Cost of the money paid for treatment.

iii. Cost of the monetary value of damaged tools, equipment and materials.

(2) Indirect cost of an accident

i). Cost of the lost time of injured worker.

ii). Cost of the time lost by other employees.

iii). Cost of the delays in production.

iv). Cost of the time lost by supervisors, safety engineers etc.

V). Cost of the lowered production due to substitute worker.

(B) Effect on worker

1). The industrial workers may get temporary or permanent disability.

2). If the industrial worker dies, his family loses the earner and the compensation never

      equals to his earnings.

3). Accident also affects the morale of the other employees working in the manufacturing


(C) Effect on society Work connected with injuries put a considerable burden on society also as:

1. Cost of accidents is included in the products, so the society has to pay more prices for

    the industrial products.

2. If some industrial workers do not come under compensation act, the need for help

    from society is much greater.

3. Loss of production hours may causes fewer products in market. So more prices if

    demand is more than production.


The accidents may take place due to

(1). human causes

(2). environmental causes and

(3)  mechanical and electrical causes.

(1). human causes

1. Accidents may occur while working on unsafe or dangerous equipment or machineries

    possessing rotating, reciprocating and moving parts.

2. Accidents occur while operating machines without knowledge, without safety precautions,

    without authority, without safety devices.

3. Accidents generally occur while operating or working at unsafe speed.

4. Accidents may occur while working for long duration of work, shift duty etc.

5. Accidents commonly occur during use of improper tools.

6. Accidents may occur while working with mental worries, ignorance, carelessness, nervousness, dreaming etc.

7. Accidents occur because of not using personal protective devices.

(2) Environmental Causes

1. Accidents may occur during working at improper temperature and humidity causes fatigue to the workers so chances of accidents increases with workers having fatigue.

2. The presence of dust fumes and smoke in the working area may causes accidents.

3. Poor housekeeping, congestion, blocked exits, bad plant layout etc. may cause accidents.

4. Accidents occur due to inadequate illumination.

5. Improper ventilation in the plant may also leads to industrial accidents.

(3) Mechanical Causes

1. Continued use of old, poor maintained or unsafe equipment may result in accidents.

2. Accidents commonly occur due to use of unguarded or improper guarded machines or


3. Unsafe processes, unsafe design and unsafe construction of building structure may lead to

    accidents in the plant.

4. Accidents occur due to improper material handling system and improper plant layout.

5. Accidents may occur due to not using of safety devices such as helmets, goggles, gloves, masks


The fo1lowing general types of safety are considered in the workshop

1. Safety of self.

2. Safety of others.

3. Safety of job and machines tools.


 Important electric preventive measures are

1. All metallic parts, externally accessible must always be earthed.

2. No inflammable materials are kept near electrical appliances, electric line wires or electric control panels.

3. Electric safety devices like fuse, circuit breakers over-tripping must be always used where ever required.

4. All defective and worn-out electric fittings must be replaced.

5. No untrained persons should be allowed to repair electrical faults.

6. Safety belts, helmet, rubber gloves, boots with rubber soles, and other safety items always are used by electrician while dealing or working with high voltage. These appliances should be provided to all electric mechanics.

7. overloading of any electric circuit must be avoided.

8. The electric appliances when not in use must be dis-connected from main supply.

9. Power supply should be switched off always during maintenance work. Only authorized person should be allowed to switch on and off’ the power supply.

10. One should avoid touching metal case of any electrical apparatus when it is in operation.

11. Proper type of wiring should always be provided in all locations.

12. Periodical inspection should be done to detect the damages.

13. Always avoid overloading on any single point.

14. Good standards of safety items must be maintained as per norms.


The following precautions should be taken for fire prevention:

1. The maximum number of workers and officers should be trained with firefighting systems and equipment.

2. Keep all flammable liquids in closed containers or in safe cylinders.

3. Effective fire warning signals.

4. All doors should be opened towards outside the workroom as means of escape in case of fire.

5. The doors and windows to be used as exit in case of fire should be easily located. These should be marked with red letters of adequate size.

6. Always select the least flammable liquid that will serve the purpose.

7. One should provide ventilation to prevent any accumulation of vapors.

8. Always provide suitable and adequate means of fire extinguishment.

9. Every operator should be familiar with the location of fire extinguishers and their use (operation).

10. Proper clearance should always be there in between the heating device and any combustible material. 11. Electrical wiring should be proper.

12. Always prohibit smoking, open flames and sparks near the flammable materials.

13. A free passageways and easily open-able windows should be always provided.

14. Provide always suitable means for the safe storage and handling of all fuel used.

15. Use of flammable liquids should be minimized

16. Safe disposal for the flammable liquid wastes must be provided.

17. No one is permitted to accumulate fuels or other combustibles near the source of open fire or spark.


There are three major types of fires

1 Fires occurring due burning of ordinary combustible materials such as wood, cloth and paper.  Pouring water is the most effective way for extinguishing this kind of fire.

2 Fires occurring due burning of flammable liquids such as oils, petrol, grease and fat. For extinguishing, blanket or smother this kind of fire, thus excluding oxygen, water must never be used.

3 Fires in this category involve live electrical equipment. The extinguishing agent must be non-conducting of electricity and water must not be used for extinguishing this kind of fire.

There are five basic kinds and some more of fire extinguishers commonly used

1. Dry Powder Extinguishers These extinguishers filled with dry powder may be of the gas pressure or stored air pressure type. They are suitable for use on both Type 2 and Type 3 fires.

2. Foam Extinguishers These are of two main types commonly called mechanical foam and chemical foam type of fire extinguishers. They are effective against Type 2 fires.

3. Carbon Dioxide Type Fire Extinguishers These are filled with the carbon dioxide. It is operated by means of a plunger, lever trigger or by opening a valve. It is fitted with a distinctively shaped discharge horn. This type of fire extinguisher has only limited effectiveness against Type 1 kind of fires. It is suitable for extinguishing type 2 and 3 kinds of fires.

4. Water Filled Fire Extinguishers the soda acid kind is the most common kind of water extinguishers. They are most suitable for extinguishing  fire for type 1. Such fires are resulting from ordinary combustible materials such as wood cloth and paper.

5. Vaporizing Liquid Type Fire Extinguishers They may be filled with either carbon tetrachloride (CTC.) or chlorobromethane (CBM) where as CTC kinds of extinguishers may be of the pump, gas cartridge or stored pressure type. And CBM may be either gas cartridge or stored pressure. These extinguishers are most effective against electrical kind of fire (Type 3).

6. Stored Air Pressure Type Extinguishers In stored air pressure type extinguishers, the container is pressurized with air when the extinguisher is filled. The extinguisher is trigger operated and operation can be stopped at any time by releasing the trigger grip. It is suitable for type 1 kind of fire only.

7. Gas Pressure Type Extinguishers In gas pressure type extinguishers the water is expelled under pressure provided by carbon dioxide gas released from cartridge filled inside the container. It is suitable for Type 1 kind of fire.


Even after taking all necessary safety precautions and measures, sometimes accidents may also occur in industries. After major or minor accidents, an injured worker requires immediate preliminary treatment in the absence of same his condition may become highly critical. To take care of such situations, industries must employ full time, at least a medical person who has successfully completed his First-Aid Course, and who can give preliminary treatment to the injured person. The injured person may later on be shifted safely to the nearby hospital through the ambulance or otherwise through any vehicle or by other means as per the availability of mode of transportation. For first aid services, a first-aid box containing the items recommended by doctor is always kept ready during working hours in the shops or nearby working places where there are chances accidents to occur.

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