Benchmarking Safety Standards for RMC Units

Benchmarking Safety Standards for RMC Units

The Ready Mixed Concrete Manufacturers´ Association (RMCMA) has established a new initiative to promote safety in ready-mixed concrete (RMC) plants, creating a framework that seeks to protect lives and wellbeing of wormen in the industry.

In collaboration with the National Safety Council (NSC), RMCMA and its Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) committee, made up of representatives from member companies, has created a Manual for Safety Rating of Ready Mixed Concrete Plants. The 56-page document relies on eight key elements for safety ratings, namely, OH & S management, physical hazard, chemical hazard, fire & explosion hazard, industrial hygiene/occupational health, accident/incident reporting, investigation and analysis, emergency preparedness and safety inspection. These elements have several sub-elements, creating a comprehensive checklist of over 58 questions for audit assessment.

As a result of this initiative, it´s not just the RMCMA member companies, but the RMC industry as a whole, which is poised to leap towards higher safety standards and a better health and environmental environment.

Each of the sub-elements contains several questions which are to be asked while assessing an RMC plant´s safety preparedness. The answers provided are required to be verified by checking the records that the plant management maintains. Each such point is allotted a maximum mark for scoring under the safety rating system. The score varies between sub-elements.

For establishing guidelines on safe working and preventing accidents, it is essential for each RMC company to prepare its own safety manual and safe operating procedures under the Occupational Health Safety Management System (OHSMS), and most importantly, conduct safety training for each job. In RMC plants the use of PPEs plays an important role; so it has a similar weightage as hazard identification. Such judgements of weightage come from the expertise of the National Safety Council. The manual tries to reduce the elements of subjectivity as much as possible. An experienced assessor takes about a day´s fieldwork to assess plant safety. The criterion for safety rating divides the scores in five levels. Level 5 represents highest level of safety (´Excellent´) and Level 1 indicates a basic level of safety. Levels 4, 3 and 2 are for G´Very Good´, ´Good´ and ´Average´, respectively.

´The assessment system developed can be used for benchmarking safety systems of RMC plants,´ says Vijay Kulkarni, Principal Consultant, RMCMA. ´In the absence of a safety system, RMC units did not have a yardstick to go by. With the availability of the Safety Manual, this lacuna is overcome,´ he adds.

Primarily based on Indian standard IS: 14489 and similar other statutory requirements, the manual for safety rating can be a motivating factor for the industry to work towards continual safety improvement. S Bhattacharya, Director, NSC, while explaining the benefits of having the safety system for RMC units, suggests, ´A plant with a satisfactory level of safety system gives a message to the public at large that as the unit management company takes care of its workforce, stakeholders would have confidence in enhancing business with a company having a high level of safety rating.´

RMCMA organised a safety competition among its member companies based on the new system. An independent auditor with expertise in safety assessed six Mumbai-based RMC units. All the six plants assessed had ´Excellent´ level of safety.

RMCMA invites RMC units to take advantage of the new Manual for Safety Rating of Ready Mixed Concrete Plants.

For more details:
Ready Mixed Manufacturers´Association,
B5, Ground floor, Neel Shantiniketan CHS,
Manipada Road, Kalina, Mumbai 400098
Tel: 022 2665 4165

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