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.

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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.

World Ocean Day 2017


We are living in a blue planet where two-thirds of the surface is capped by oceans. Ocean is the biggest habitat of countless number of microorganisms, fishes, plants, sea birds and other marine organisms. Ocean renders innumerable natural resources ranging from seafood, crude oils, natural gases, minerals, up to energy through tidal waves. Ocean is the crucial platform for transportation, source of recreation for humans and act as climate buffer. In respect to the profoundness of ocean, World Ocean Day is being celebrated every year with all colors.

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World Ocean Day is the official UN designated International Day that is celebrated worldwide by all the people, Environmentalists, Fisher folk, and especially by the communities of aquariums and Oil industries. Every year Ocean day is planned by the organization known as, Ocean Project; they focus on ocean conservation in partnership with aquariums, zoos, museums and educational organizations around the world and to address the challenges for the health of ocean to the world.

The special thing about ocean day is that all the events are coordinated by the World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council, which is a group of 11 young people from different countries. To be proud, Nehara Pandey, a 14 year old school girl from Goa is the part of this youth council. The purpose of involving youth in such event is to empower young people to become as leaders at an early age. This council is being instrumental in making new perspectives, ideas and recommendations for developing this global event. They organize the youth all cross the globe for ocean day and work for ocean conservation throughout the year.

Theme for World Oceans Day 2017: Our Oceans, Our Future

This theme has been devised with the focus of encouraging solutions for plastic pollution and to prevent marine litter for a clean ocean, and subsequently provide good future to the ocean and humans as well. Presently, ocean has become as litter by throwing plastic bags, bottles, and other garbage which causes deterioration to the sea lives. The 80% of the trash comes into the ocean from the dry land. Recent Surveys alarm us that around 1 million seabirds are affected in a year because of plastic debris. Many marine birds, sea turtles and marine mammals ingest plastics into the body as food and then it causes blocks in their digestive system.

“People protect what they love”

The youth advisory council with the support of ‘UN environment’s clean seas campaign’ has decided to connect people to concern about plastic trash into the ocean and to bring awareness about the plastic pollution by all modes of communication.

At the same time, Ocean is also facing threats from oil industries. Subsea Blow out in the Deep-water Horizon Drilling Rigs accounts for oil spills in the seabed which could take up to 3 months to remove the spillage. Oil tanker collisions lead to an average of 10% of marine oil pollution in a year which impact on the marine habitats.

Periodic Safety auditing in the offshore oil industries prevents such kind of incidents in the ocean and thereby decreasing the ocean pollution and conserves millions of ocean habitats and organisms. Safety professionals play a supreme role in the protection of oceans. They are pursuing their efforts to keep our oceans clean and safe.

WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY-2017


         “Have you ever spent a day with nature?’ If not, decide when you would be”

As urbanites or townsfolk, apart from thinking of our well- planned concerns, we always have few exclusive desires in the corner of our mind. At the drop of a hat, everybody has the urge to spend at least a single day with nature entirely. Now, the reminder has come to check the possibility of fulfilling this resting desire with a special day, i.e., The Environment Day, celebrated around all the corners of the world. This is the day which is considered so important as it bothers about both the living beings and non-living beings. It also evokes that the nature is supplying us food, water, oxygen, fuels, minerals and everything we need for our whole life.

 

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United Nations is celebrating June 5 as the Environment Day in every year .It is the crucial day for the tree huggers and nations to bring awareness to its people about environment. This year‘s Environment Day is hosted by Canada which organizes the events therewith.

Theme of Environment Day -2017: ‘Connecting people to nature’

This theme insists on the importance of the connection between human beings who are having 1,50,000 years of history with our planet having 4.5 billion years old. Mathematically, ratio between these numbers is almost zero; Biologically, the connection between these two things is of infinity. This theme reveals the truth that we are probably disconnected with nature now a days.  We were connected to the nature closely in ancient times but when time rolled by, we have walked far away from the nature. This environment day stresses us to reconnect with nature again in all the possible ways.

                            “Spend a day with nature; make a new way to future”

This move will help you to understand the nature and its beauty. In order to disseminate this theme, the organizers have planned to conduct various activities throughout the world as part of the celebrations of this year’s environment day.                           

Events across world

  • On this day, the selected major buildings, statues and monuments across the world from New York’s Empire State Building to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai will turn green in color in evening.
  • Beach Clean-ups from the Pacific Ocean to the Caspian Sea.
  • Tree-planting from all over India to the London training ground of Arsenal FC.
  • Hikes and Walks in city parks and wildlife refuges from Iran to the Philippines.

Events across India

  • Indian Government to mobilise the waste management system on this year, accordingly, govt plans to install color-coded litter bins in 4,000 towns from June 5 to encourage people to separate solid waste from composite waste and to motivate reusing &recycling processes.
  • It includes clean-ups in the lake city of Nainital, along the Mutha River in Pune, and on the beach in Thiruvananthapuram.

Challenges for Environment

While celebrating the events with enthusiasm, we have to consider the challenges that environment encounters at the same time. They are Global warming, Deforestation, Climate change, Loss of Biodiversity, Severe health problems, Water scarcity, Air pollution, Over exploitation of natural resources, Over population and Urban sprawl.

In addition to these, industries cause severe effects to the environment by not focusing on the safety measures properly.

  • Fire accidents in Oil industries and Petrol Bulks causes air pollution in a massive scale.
  • The recent incidents of Oil leaks from ‘supertankers’ mixes with the water in the sea .It affects marine life and affects the livelihood of fisher folk.
  • Emission of Greenhouse gases from industries causes ozone depletion.

Safety Protective Measures

  • Safety Management Programs in the industries must include the control the emission of greenhouse gases.
  • Safety measures should be applied in the supertankers and oil industries with utmost importance.
  • Inflammable materials should be stored in the industries cautiously to avoid sudden accidents.

Role of Public

Clean and green environment could be possible when people actively participate by implementing protective methods. They can involve in Rain water harvesting , reducing the use of vehicles by carpooling method, avoiding using plastic bags, recycling and reusing wastes, reducing the energy conservation by switching off electrical appliances when not in use, reducing the use of papers in homes and offices, planting trees in home if possible, checking vehicles regularly to control air pollution, buying wooden toys instead of plastic toys for kids, using stairs to avoid lifts, using solar panels, and etc.

Meanwhile, many NGOs are working towards the safe environment making awareness campaigns like organizing marathons, clean- ups in beaches, rivers, and many more. Individuals can participate in this kind of activities and could contribute their part for environment protection.

Major fire accident in Chennai Silks show room in T.Nagar


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Today morning started with shocking news for chennaites. The fire broken out in Chennai Silks Show room building in T.Nagar raised the eyebrows of chennaites about safety concerns. The traffic in and around T.Nagar and Panagal Park was completely come to halt because of this incident.

The fire flames appeared from the building in the early morning around 4.30 AM in all the seven floors that were identified by the security guard. The fire personnel rushed to the spot and responded immediately preventing loss of life on the spot. Around 70 fire fighters were battled to settle the blaze. Twelve persons who were present in the seventh floor safely rescued by the firefighters. The shop owners in the nearby are asked to shut down until further orders in order to protect the public from thick smoke and health risks. The area is sealed off completely now.

Source: @thenewsminute

While saluting the fire safety personnel for on time reach and saving the lives of many, the reasons for the sudden fire must be identified immediately. The sources say that the electric circuit failure caused the incident; still it is not confirmed yet. The incident would have resulted in devastating consequences, if this happened in the active hours, considering the volume of people who could have been there.

These types of incidents in the city reveal that fire safety is the crucial element in buildings in the crowed areas for the sake of people. The safety measures in the major buildings of Chennai should be reviewed at the earliest. Safety auditing and fire preventive measures are the prime concerns of the city in line with the developmental projects.

Gas leaks in India & Value of preventive safety measures


“If you want the present to be different from the past, study the past.”

Need for learning

Learning is the process that improves the potential of a person or company that is achieved in different modes. Out of all these modes, the two efficient ways of learning are performed by proper training and by past experiences. It could be applicable to any individual person to giant organisations.Industries which retreat from this habit should encounter the unavoidable failures even though sincere efforts are implemented for growth. The recent research reports of safety failures especially gas leaks from various industries across India indicates the negligence of this fact.

 

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The recent gas leaks in India

  • 475 school students along with 9 teachers were hospitalized due to leakage of poisonous gas Chloro (methyl) diphensylsilance from a container depot in Tughlaqabad in Delhi.
  • 25 people were affected by leakage of Chlorine gas from a water treatment plant in Hassan District in Karnataka State.
  • 8 people suffered serious injuries by the explosion of Ammonia gas chamber in Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh State.
  • 10 people admitted in hospital due to Ammonia gas leaks from a barge in Champakkara, near Kochi.
  • 6 people suffered from asphyxiation due to gas leakage from a blast furnace of the plant in Rourkela in Odisha State.

What experts to say

The prominent Experts in India stresses the factor that the industries are not learnt any lesson from the well-known Bhopal gas tragedy which happened in Union Carbide India Ltd (UCIL) in 1984 due to the leakage of methyl Isocyanates (MIC).The analysis of this incident reveals that the reasons for this tragedy were poor maintenance of the plant, lack of effective safety systems in the plant and negligence in safety management.

The experts also say that the workers are not trained effectively to use the safety devices at the time of emergency and to overcome this issue, they suggest, managements has to take steps to conduct safety training programmes periodically.Eventhough 32 years moved on form Bhopal incident, we encounter the issue of gas leaks all over India at everytime.This is the outcome of not giving the importance to study the past incidents and not implementing the appropriate preventive measures on time.

Lessons to be learnt

“Prevention is better than cure”

  • Industries must implement safety management systems as per standards.
  • Workers must be educated about the safety measures and to use the safety devices effectively.
  • Safety awareness programs and prevention methods in specific to the industry’s manufacturing should be conducted including the authorities concerned and to the public around the industry.
  • Refresher safety training should be given to safety professionals repeatedly as researches argue that after 12 months only 50% of knowledge remains in the memory of the candidates after training.

Role of Safety Institutes

Safety oriented organizations learn from accidents by analyzing the data collected immediately after the incidents and revise the policies and procedures to be implemented in the future. The Training institutes has the challenge to  produce safety  professionals who knows the systematic approach to analyze the incidents thoroughly and capability to provide  recommendations to reconsider the policies based on safety concerns. Ultimately, Aristotle says that

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”

NIST is the leading safety institute in India has the commitment to produce safety professionals with analytical skills in line with our mission of contributing to the safety to the world and providing safety training to the workers and executives to attain the accident- free world.