Fire Safety audit in shopping Malls and Multiplexes


“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”

The advancements in Scientific and technological domains have hit the significant saturation level to ease the human efforts and protection. The recent inventions use biological modeling to create new devices such as Spy Robos, Artificial Intelligence machines and etc. Especially, the Artificial Intelligence machines function similar like human brain, which uses the present input data and previous results to provide solutions to the complex problems loaded into it. As human beings, we would get better results if we analyze the past events in order to prevent the future problems in all matters. When safety is concerned, the causes for the occurrence of fire accident must be clearly scrutinized to avoid it in future.

Fire accident in Kochi Mall

Recently, the fire flames broke out in the fourth floor of a Mall in Kochi, which engulfed the floor entirely without any casualty but with considerable loss in property. The officials reported that the fire blaze was erupted from a kitchen duct in a restaurant while cooking the food. Immediately, the fire alarm was set off to alert the people to evacuate the building safely and quickly. The fire fighters rushed to the mall as soon as they were informed and gutted the fire. As per reports, a heap of wastes accumulated on the premises of the mall somewhat delayed the rescue operations.

Necessity for Safety measures in Major buildings

Apart from this incident, a fire accident happened in a chemical company near Kochi few months ago, which resulted in the loss eight worker’s lives. All these incidents have developed awareness among the people that high-rise buildings must be installed with safety equipments and emergency exits. Fire emergency evacuation plan should be placed on the main locations of the building. As far as this incident is considered, it indicates that   good housekeeping will support the safety of the buildings to some extent. On top of all these, the Safety of the buildings must be administered by qualified Safety Professionals.

Role of Safety Professionals

The invention of new safety equipments are happening in fast track in the safety field. For example, Sound wave fire extinguisher, Water mist systems, Early suppression fast response fire sprinkler systems, Personalized vocal smoke  alarms, Birdi–fire carbon and monoxide detector, Video image smoke detection are the new devices being used by professionals currently. The Safety professionals will effectively implement the Safety measures in the buildings to prevent the accidents. Additionally, they will ensure;

  • Installing Safety equipments
  • Conducting emergency drills regularly
  • Placing emergency evacuation plans and exit signs in required points
  • Monitoring the handling of hazardous materials

Scopes in Safety career – Kochi

As urbanization is happening in rapid pace, high-rise buildings are being built everywhere in the city. People gather at malls and multiplexes with the aim for entertainment & recreation activities. So that necessity for taking safety precautionary measures is being prime concern now than ever before. Additionally, Kochi is the port city, which invites immense job opportunities for Safety professionals. On the whole, there is a huge demand for Safety professionals in the Kochi City. Candidates who complete the Safety courses at present, would get the opportunity of getting placed in major companies in India and abroad with handsome salary package.

NIST – The leading training Institute

NIST is the Top-most leader in safety training in India, which trained more than 50,000+ Safety professionals since 2008; Simply, it is our action which is louder than our words. NIST has spread its wings all over India including Kochi. It is offering International Safety training courses such as NEBOSH HSW, NEBOSH IGC, IOSH WS, IOSH MS, BSC Risk assessment, BSC Fire Safety and Practical training for Fire Watcher & Confined Space Attendant. Candidates who complete Safety training course in NIST will inhere confidence to get succeed in their career.

Making of the city, ‘Amaravathi’ – Opportunities in Safety sector

July 27, 2017 1 comment

The city, Amaravathi, is being built on the banks of the Krishna river in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, which is known to be ‘India’s Sunrise State’. After the bifurcation of Telangana from the state of Andhra Pradesh in 2014, the town, Amaravathi was chosen to become the capital of Andhra Pradesh. It is located in between the greenery Eastern Ghats and Krishna River. As per master plan, the city is divided into nine theme cities including Knowledge & Education city, Electronics city and etc. It will be marked as the Green and Blue city as 51% of the areas will be spread with greeneries and 10% with water bodies.

Special Features of Amaravathi

  • It will be the Greenfield World-class Smart city with number of datacenters, which offer high-speed internet facilities with low energy consumption.
  • This city will be the paragon of world-class structure and efficient resource management.
  • It is going to have a public riverfront of about 30+ Kilometers
  • This city will have the advanced traffic control system to adjust the duration of the signal according to the traffic flow.
  • HSR – (High Speed Rail) corridors are going to be established to connect the nearby major cities.

Industrial & Educational Cluster

As per the master plan of the city, the industries like pharmaceutical, textiles & cement plants will be spreading over the Guntur district whereas petrochemical industries will be occupying in the Krishna district. As far as education sector is concerned, the globally leading institutes like VIT, SRM, AMITY, AMRITA and Indo –UK institute of health, London are going to set up their campuses around the city. Moreover, both the districts will have smart industrial townships and food processing units. Especially, Visakhapatnam -Kakinada industrial corridor will attract more industries to establish their plants as it is located near the Visakhapatnam seaport.  The Industrial giants like Accel IT, Horizon IT, AdvanSoft –Chicago, Raymond, Ascendas – Singbridge and SembCorp are on the process to construct their offices and plants in Amaravathi.

Job Opportunities for Visakhapatnam People

Establishment of Amaravathi is a 58,000 Crores project which will be completed in three phases by the year 2029. It will be occupied by 13.5 million residents by the year 2050 and is expected to create 5.6 million jobs. These figures ascertain that talent pool from nearby cities like Guntur and Visakhapatnam will be accommodated for the formation of the city. As the city is located centrally, it will act as the ‘linking’ city to connect various major cities of the state. On the whole, it will help to improve the trades and commercial growth of the state in a remarkable pace. Above all, the city will offer huge amount of jobs as it is going to be the hub for IT, tourism and education.

Necessity for Safety

On top of all, major buildings and industries are being constructed in massive scale in the city at present. As all these activities involve large number of workers and professionals, Health and Safety is of prime concern. Moreover, the requirement for safety professionals in ‘Amaravathi’ is increasing day by day. It is the right time for the jobseekers in and around the project location to choose safety as career. At the same time, if they prefer International Safety training courses instead of any diploma courses, the chances of getting placed in the Multinational Companies operating in ‘Amaravathi’, as well as abroad are more. Especially, there are plenty of opportunities in Visakhapatnam Seaport for those who completed the safety courses.

NIST– First choice for Safety

                         ‘Be Smart; grasp the opportunity through right channel’

Once the decision is made to fix career in safety sector, the next step should be spotting the best institute to increase the chance to get placed in reputed companies. NIST is a leading International Safety Course Provider in India with outstanding performance in Exam results and placements. NIST is offering International Safety Courses of NEBOSH HSW, NEBOSH IGC, IOSH Managing Safely, BSC Fire Safety, BSC Risk Assessment and Practical training like Fire Watcher and Confined Space Attendant in its branches all over India. The ball is in the court for Visakhapatnam jobseekers so that it is the appropriate time for them to fix their bright & safety future through NIST.

Fire Accident in Chennai Bakery


As we all know, every action has its own opposite reaction .It is applicable for all the actions what we do along with the amount of energy involved. Fire is the energy form which is inevitable in our very life. Always, we are enjoying the positive patterns of fire energy in all possible forms, to say, right from cooking food in house to launching rockets into space. At the same time, we have to be careful enough to not to redirect this energy in opposite way. It is being clearly proved by the recent incidents that the mishandling of the energy of fire will lead to devastations to the human lives and properties.

What happened

When we look back into history, in the year AD1666, a major fire storm happened in the London known as ‘Great fire of London’ that engulfed one third of the city through severe fire flames due to unquenched fire in the oven of a bakery. Similarly, a fire accident happened in a bakery in kodungaiyur located in Chennai on last Saturday, 15th July, at late-night hours with minimum effect. A fire ball broken out from the bakery  made the attention of everyone in the city as the memories of recent major fire accident happened in a  textile shop in Chennai  weren’t  faded away from everyone’s mind till now.

The officials in the fire rescue department were informed about the incident through a phone call immediately. Two fire tenders with fire men hurried to the spot in quick response. The bakery is located in the ground floor of the building and shutter of the shop was closed during the initial fire break out .When the fire men were trying to open the shutter, a gas cylinder exploded with tall fire flames at that instance. In this incident, a fireman lost his life and three fire men in the rescue team were seriously injured. Moreover, around 40 people present on the spot were attacked with small injuries.

Hats off to fire rescue Team

Fire safety team put their life at risk in order to save the lives of people in and around the spot and doused the blaze immediately. It is our duty to honor the bravery and commitment of a fire man who sacrificed his life in the battle. We have to admire the fire rescue team for their efforts to reduce the casualties.

Negligence in Safety

Now a days fire accidents are not a once in blue moon incident. It is happening frequently in all ranges from small scale to large scale. At many times, negligence is the main factor for fire accidents and for the consequences thereafter. Few weeks ago, an oil tanker exploded in Pakistan that resulted in large number of casualties. Negligence is the only reason for the severity of that incident. As far as this case is concerned, fire team made repeated warnings to the onlookers that it is unsafe to not be close to the spot. But the onlookers hadn’t listened and engaged in taking snapshots. When the fire-ball happened due to unexpected explosion of gas cyclinder, they were affected severely by the blaze. This is the reason for extra number of injured persons in this accident.

Lessons to be learnt

  • All the people must learn how to respond in fire accident situations which happens in their premises or nearby places.
  • The owners of the small firms must take the responsibility of safety of their premises, for example, having good ventilation systems and emergency exits.
  • Electrical wire connections have to be tested regularly to avoid short-circuits.
  • Apart from outside, fire safety awareness must begin from house itself, i.e. electrical connection and gas connection should be carefully maintained.
  • Though it is the duty of authorities to audit the safety conditions in every firm whether it is a small scale or large scale company, it is impossible to ensure the safety of the people in all nuke and corners of the city or nation. People must take the responsibility of their own life and their premises.
  • Health & Safety awareness must be the part of the education system at the school level so that everybody would have the possibility of understanding the importance of safety in every aspect.

Why Health and Safety is important in the Workplace


Today’s world is changing with high rate in all the spheres. Industries are using new machineries, new substances and new methods with advanced technologies in order to lessen the human efforts and improve the productivity. On the top of all, Japan has tested the high speed magnetic levitation train positively at 374 mph to ease the transportation.  When manufacturing sector is concerned, a new welding process has been invented to join two high strength metals very quickly without melting the materials. At the same time, the technologies and machineries are being too intricate and needs higher order expertise to handle. The negligence results in unexpected occupational diseases and accidents due to poor response to the sudden events and the insufficient working procedures. Now a days, the health and safety of the employees are being highlighted by experts in everywhere as it impacts the social and financial aspects of the organization.

 

Purpose of health and safety

  • The reputation of the organization depends on the efforts put forth to create a health and safety environment in their premises.
  • Increase in productivity due to sustained work capacity of the employees.
  • The loyalty among employees could be achieved when the measures are taken to prevent work related illness and accidents.
  • Safety professionals identify the emerging risks due to the substances or work processes in line with the continuous changes in the working environment.
  • Create safety awareness and implementation of the safety procedures in the working place.

 

Need for Health & Safety

Recent workplace health surveys show that the employees are normally suffered by five major concerns in the workplace. They are mental health problems such as anxiety, stress &depression, long term sickness, musculoskeletal disorders, poor work-life balance and poor work practices. In addition to that there are other problems such as working overtime, monotony, fatigue, tiredness which lead to health and safety issues in the workplace. These problems upshot in absenteeism among employees and reduce cost-benefit of the organization. That’s why health and safety is being the inevitable point of focus by the organizations than ever before.

 

Why accidents in Workplace

As far as accidents are concerned in the workplace, experts say that 80% of the accidents are happening only by the fault of the person working in the spot. Furthermore, one-third of the accidents happen due to the usage of hazardous equipments like hand-lift trucks, gears and pulleys, saws and handrails, electric drop lights, etc. Being lethargic while working, poor knowledge of the working environment, poor housekeeping, neglecting safety procedures, unsafe situational and climatic changes, poor attitude of the employees are the other causes for the accidents.

 

Prevention Strategies

A well- known writer, Mark Twain said “It is better to be careful 100 times to be careful than get killed once”

  • Systematic training provided to the employees will assist the employees to avoid the musculoskeletal problems by keeping good ergonometric methods.
  • Employees are needed to have special training to use the tools and equipments, to implement best work-practices, and to be equipped with machine controls. This will be supportive to prevent workplace injuries and avoid risks.
  • Specialized training programs have to be arranged to learn the emergency procedures and learn first aid training to respond in the emergency situations.

 

Contribution of Health and Safety providers

Health and safety professionals are being the nerve system of the organizations with aim of protecting employees and preventing accidents in the work premises. They serve as major contributors towards the productivity of the company and increase the cost benefit to the organization. The reputed safety providers produce well-qualified and competent safety professionals for occupational health and safety. They are offering variety of fundamental and tailor-made training programs as per the requirements of the industry.

NIST, the leading health and safety provider in India, has been serving to the safety sector with the motto of ‘we contribute to safety’ since 2008.

Oil tanker Explosion in Pakistan


On 25th June early morning, a tragic event  happened in Pakistan, i.e., an oil tanker exploded on a highway near the village of Ahmedpur on the outskirts of the city of Bahawalpur in eastern province of Punjab in Pakistan. This fire accident culminated with engulfing many lives of people including the nearby villagers and travellers on the highway, causing great agony to the people of Pakistan.

About the Explosion

An oil trucker carrying 25,000 liters (6,600 gallons) of fuel going from Karachi to Lahore went out of control while turning in a sharp bent and it overturned. This incident results in leakage of fuel from the tank onto the road and formed large pools of oil around the tanker. The villagers nearby gathered in the spot to scoop up the spilled fuel using bottles, pots, buckets. Moreover, the travellers on the highways stopped their cars, motorcycles and started to collect oil from the tanker. In the meanwhile, the truck driver and highway security personnel were warning the people about the possibility of risk. Unfortunately, no one had bothered about it. After an hour, the fuel caught fire suddenly and triggered the tanker explosion like a bomb .The fire ball swallowed up around 150 people near to it and injured more than 100 people severely.

Hats off to Safety Team

The firemen rushed to the spot immediately and fought with the flames for nearly two hours to bring down the inferno. Although it is being a difficult task to fight with the blaze of this kind, the fire safety team battled with courage hence saved hundreds of lives.

Reasons for the incident

                Many theories are being talked around about the cause of the fire accident but nothing is confirmed yet. Experts are saying many reasons for the incident such as

  • Someone had lit the cigarette
  • The burst tyre could have caused the tanker to overturn when turning in the steep bent
  • Onlookers at the scene used cell phones to inform the incident to others
  • It could be the poor maintenance of the battery in the tanker.
  • It could have happened due to engine spark.

Necessity for Safety Training

When analyzing the reasons for this incident, it indicates clearly that the people involved in the hazardous material transportation had not undergone proper safety training. The only way to overcome this kind of problem is by providing safety training to the bottom level in all possible ways. In fact, the transportation of fuel is very much essential as the whole world is spinning around with the supply of oil and gas in all the sectors consuming more than 50% of the total energy sources. The transportation of fuels must be gained in safe and fast for the economic growth of the countries.

Prevention Methods

  • Drivers who are transporting explosive materials must be very well trained to drive the vehicles very safely and be competent.
  • Utmost discipline is expected from the truck drivers as a minor negligence could lead to such disastrous effects.
  • They must be educated and trained very well in order to react in emergency situations effectively and to take immediate measures to avoid explosions.
  • Highway patrol could be trained to respond to the situations cautiously.
  • Even though educating the entire public about fire safety is not possible whereas the local community leaders & representatives may be trained to guide the people at the fire-risky situations.
  • Risky locations must be identified prior and frequent emergency drills could be conducted including drivers, authorities, local representatives and public also.
  • Sooner or later, Fire safety awareness camps must be conducted regularly like medical awareness camps by governments & NGOs by taking the support of safety providers.
  • Roads should be kept undamaged and oil tankers must be maintained fairly.
  • Fire extinguisher must be installed in the vehicle as extinguishing the initial flames could avoid the explosion.

MASSIVE LONDON FIRE – GRENFELL TOWER DIASTER


In the 21st century, United Kingdom remains a great power and has an influential role in the world economy. UK is one of the world’s most significant financial hubs with its capital city, London, housing the offices of the 75 percent of the Fortune 500 companies. UK is very much celebrated for its castles and historic palaces.

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Grenfell Tower, a 24- storey building with 127 flats located in the working-class, multi-ethnic northern Kensington, country’s “wealthiest borough”, had undergone a tragic event. It was a horrible night after a warm day in London, a massive blaze broke out in the building on 14th June around 1 am. The fire ripped through all the floors of building as soon as it was burst out .The blaze engulfed the building within an hour costing the lives of 79 residents.

As far as the history of UK is concerned, it is the worst fire accident after the incident of ‘Great fire of London’ which happened in September 1666 lasted for 5 days consecutively. An unquenched fire in the oven of a bakery had been broken out into a fire storm due to night wind. This fire destroyed the London city in a massive scale. At the end, the fire was put out by two factors; first one  was making ‘fire breaks’, i.e., demolishing structures to halt the spread of fire and the second factor was the change in the wind direction that settled the huge fire.

Rescue efforts of safety team

There were 200 fire fighters with 40 fire engines battled to combat the blaze under control. They rescued around 65 people from the buildings at the earliest course of action putting their lives at risk. A new “Grenfell fire response team” had been setup to help the victims with 24 hour operation. A team of executives from other London boroughs, Government staff, NHS workers and British Red Cross volunteers gathered together in order to support the families of the sufferers and to carry out the relief operations effectively. The London fire brigade had executed the incredible rescue efforts over this incident. In the recent years, the London fire brigade team has been quickly responding to the fire accidents, in effect, reduced the number of fatalities in the city.

Causes & Lapses in fire safety

In fact, before this heartbreaking incident happened, the tenants of Grenfell tower were complaining to the estate management about the lapses in the fire safety measures of the building over the period of time. Unfortunately, no response was initiated by the estate management. Recently, the building had been refurbished with aluminum cladding on the building with double-glazed windows and a communal heating system. This cladding was made up by the Reynobond PE material which is a cheaper and easily flammable material. Others reasons for the incident are presumed to be no alarm facility, faulty electrical wiring, faulty fridge and the lack of sprinklers and exits in the building. London Mayor commented about this incident as a ‘Preventable accident’ and ‘Years of neglect’ by the authorities.

Future course of actions

  • In defense of preventing such kind of fire accidents in future, the appropriate measures must be taken to audit the buildings covered by aluminum claddings and to ensure the availability of fire alarms, fire sprinklers and emergency exits in all the floors.
  • External staircases have to be constructed in the buildings to escape in the emergencies.
  • Good housekeeping methodologies should be implemented in order to prevent the accumulation of hazardous materials in the floors.
  • Fire-fighting equipments and emergency lighting must be installed in the corridors of the buildings.
  • Frequent Fire drills must be conducted to the residents of the buildings in order to respond effectively at the time of emergency.
  • Ceiling and floor voids should be clear of debris and be protected to prevent the spread of fire.
  • The newly constructed and refurbished buildings must be audited by the safety professionals to identify any breachment of regulations.
  • The basic fire safety standards should be implemented in all the buildings by the owners with zero negligence.
  • The need of the hour, throughout the world, is utilizing the expertise of safety professionals to save the valuable lives of innocent people.

Occupational Health and Safety challenges in India


India is a multi-diversity country with many races, religions and languages with unbending integrity. It is growing rapidly in economy with its enormous massive workforce in various sectors such as IT, manufacturing, construction and etc. In our country, 90 % of the workers and 50% of the national products come from informal workforce who works for unorganized industries. In fact, World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that only 10–15% of workers are accessing the basic occupational health services across the world that applies to our country too.

female-ratio-with-year-graph

State of informal Workers

Recently, two labors were affected by the exposure of toxic substances such as toluene and silicone due to the negligence in the safety measures while cleaning the tanks in Chennai. If the safety officers with expertise in confined space were there, this incident could have been avoided. The workers in the unorganized companies encounter severe health issues due to insufficient fund allocation for safety precautions, slackness in the implementation of Law & regulation, shortage of OSH professionals for health and safety and many more. This results in risks of accidents, diseases like pneumoconiosis, asbestosis, musculoskeletal injuries, chronic lung diseases and also leads to hearing losses.

As per economical statistics, poor occupational health reduces working capacity of the workers and causes an economic loss of up to 10–20% of GNP (Gross National Product).As a result, it affects the national productivity in a large scale. Presently, there are only about 1,000 qualified occupational health professionals and around 100 qualified hygienists in India. As far as our population is concerned, the availability of health professionals is in the poor state.

Challenges for Women

Now a days, the number of women employees in various sectors in our country is increasing over the years. The extended work hours put them in mental-stress as they have other responsibilities like child care and etc. that causes health problems to the women. Especially for pregnant women, the exposed toxic chemicals affect the foetuses and as a result, new-born baby could have chronic diseases due to exposure.

Solutions

The analysis and implementation of Health and Safety measures must be the prime concern for our country today. The first step is to provide safety consciousness to the workers and then by providing effective practical training and arranging safety awareness programmes.Practical training is the best solution as the informal workers do not have proper education and experience. Government has to devise the suitable legislation structures to extend OSH coverage to the unorganized sectors and spreading the awareness about OSH among employers and appointing required OSH professionals. The employer has to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees, through provision of safe plant and systems of work, and providing correct information, instruction, training and supervision.

Need of Safety Providers

The effective training to the employees and periodical auditing in the organized industries reduced the risk of accidents in a remarkable scale. Employers could utilize the tailor-made practical training provided by the safety institutes in appropriate with industry’s manufacturing for the growth of the industry.

NIST is the leading safety training institute in India, offering safety courses including practical training such as confined space attendant and fire watcher. These courses are very essential to protect the workers from the potential risks.