India has released safety guidelines for restarting manufacturing industries as it partially eases the world’s most expansive pandemic lockdown and tries to avoid further incidents after a gas leak last week.
While restarting units, companies must consider the first week as a trial period to ensure all safety protocols and try not to achieve high production targets, according to a statement from the National Disaster Management Authority. Firms should also sensitize employees to identify abnormalities such as strange sounds, smells, leaks, smoke and exposed wires.
The nation is slowly easing its nationwide lockdown which was imposed on March 25 to contain the coronavirus outbreak. The advisory comes on the back of a gas leak at an LG Chem Ltd.’s polymer plant on May 7 that killed at least 11 people and forced the evacuation of thousands in the city of Visakhapatnam.
More than 20 people were in critical condition in the city’s hospitals after the accident and about 400 people were hospitalized with breathlessness and eye irritation.
State governments must also ensure they are prepared to quickly respond to any disaster if an unexpected event occurs, according to the statement. It also laid down safety standards for the storage of raw materials, social distancing between employees, regular temperature checks and contingency planning in case an infection is discovered.
Photograph: A man runs carrying a child affected by a chemical gas leak in Vishakhapatnam, India, on Thursday, May 7, 2020. Chemical gas leaked from an industrial plant in southern India, leaving people struggling to breathe and collapsing in the streets as they tried to flee. Administrator Vinay Chand said several people fainted on the road and were rushed to a hospital. Photo credit: AP.
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