It's not surprising then, that Essar companies across the board have excellent safety records.
Essar Bulk Terminal at Hazira has had almost 700 injury-free days to date; Essar Projects reported 365 injury-free days at its Jurong Aromatics Complex in Singapore (i.e., from the time it was launched); Essar Steel (Visakhapatnam plant) recorded 13.37 million work hours without any reportable accident; and Essar Oilfield Services has achieved 365 days with zero lost-time incident (LTI), while Essar Heavy Engineering Services (EHES) achieved 14 million LTI-free work hours (as on April 13, 2012).
Such records are all the more remarkable as they measure successes in operational safety in some of the most hazardous industries — oil exploration, steel manufacture, handling of dangerous chemicals and petroleum and petroleum products. These projects also involve vast operational areas and huge plants; the Jurong Aromatics project, for example, includes storage facilities (a total of 30 fuel oil tanks, each 31 meters in diameter and 16.45 meters in height), jetties and interconnecting pipeline between jetty, plant and rock cavern, and other ancillary facilities.
|Safety at Essar Projects|
|Safety at Essar Power|
|Essar Power believes that a healthy workforce with confidence about its safety delivers its best. Hence the company aims to ensure safety for all, all the time by developing and implementing world-class safety systems through active involvement and participation of line management. Essar Power aims to keep safety at the core of every business decision.
The power generation and transmission business demands an uninterrupted supply of electricity to customers, hence, the reliability of operations need to be kept very high. A single accident can disrupt operations and can create a serious impact on the reputation of the company. This along with the Group's HSE commitment has ensured that the safety of personnel and assets is Essar Power's top priority.
The company is building a culture where its line management is accountable and responsible for ensuring safety practices during various project and operational activities. It is supplementing this by:
|By applying and winning national and international safety awards|
|Installing integrated safety management systems and gaining relevant certification|
|Facilitating audits / studies by external experts|
|Safety at Essar Shipping|
|ESL aspires to be in that segment of companies with sound HSE philosophy, procedures and practices.
Essar Logistics Limited (ELL) manages a fleet of around 5,000 trucks for inland transportation of steel and petroleum products and transportation safety becomes important to enable smooth service operation. Last year over 15,000 drivers were trained in Hazira (Gujarat) on defensive driving and several initiatives were taken to enhance safety in transportation.
In the Shipping sector, company crews continue to be alert and adopt best practices when transiting areas with high piracy incidents.
Essar Oilfield Services achieved a major milestone in achieving two years of continuous operations without lost time incident on its semi-submersible drilling rig Wildcat, and was recognized by the International Association of Drilling Contractors to this effect.
|Safety at Vadinar Oil Terminal (Essar Ports)|
|VOTL handles crude oil at SPM and evacuates a large chunk of refinery finished product from the berths. Since VOTL is critical to the Vadinar Refinery supply Chain, it assumes a great importance to manage, operate and maintain facility in a safe manner. Towards this end, significant investments have been made in:|
|Marine loading arms at product berths equipped with Power Emergency release|
|SPM equipped with a Marine Breakaway coupling (MBC) that is fitted within a flexible hose string.|
|ESD facilities at product berths.|
|Fire Fighting and Safety System as per OISD requirements.|
|Position monitoring system for marine loading arm.|
|Remote telemetry system for SPM|
|Load monitoring system for quick release mooring hooks|
|VOTL's commitment to the safety at its operations has earned it:|
|Double 5 Star rating by the British Safety Council for Health , Safety and Environment Management|
|Sword of Honour from the British Safety Council for Health & Safety|
|Certification by ABS/DNV for: ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management; ISO 14001:2004 Environment Management; OHSAS 18001:2007 Occupational Health & safety; ISO/TS 29001:2010 Quality Management – Petroleum Sector; ISO 28000:2007 Security Management|
|OCIMF – Terminal Baseline Criteria Compliance from ABS|
Training to be safe
The 'Safety Anthem' is not just a musical token to safe operational practices at Essar. Safety is one of the key concerns at every operational, administrative and project site for Essar. All new recruits have to undergo rigorous training in safety measures, while specialized training in health safety and environment (HSE) specifications are imparted as per need. All workers engaged in critical jobs — staff and contract employees — have to undergo further training in specific HSE measures for competency assessment and certification.
Creative training sessions have been organized, such as the 'Tool Box Talks' at Essar Heavy Engineering Services, where HSE team leader JC Patel devised an imaginative way to impart training on how best — and most safely — to use, store and maintain tools; till mid-April 2012, close to 3.6 lakh personnel had benefited from this specific safety training.
Safety management systems
Essar companies ensure that contractor safety management systems are in place. And all contract workers undergo the same training in safety systems as do regular staff. Regular health check-ups are also conducted periodically for all employees and contractor workmen engaged in crucial sites. As Essar Projects CEO (Pipelines & Terminals) Amit Gupta commented, "No matter what job you pick, safety is one of the primary expectations that we seek while we are at work. Workplace safety is the utmost responsibility of the management."
All Essar companies offer incentives to workers to observe safety practices by giving awards such as 'Best Safety Personnel'. This culture of 'safety first' has evidenced results across the company, even in newly acquired plants. Expectedly, after Essar Steel acquired its Pune plant from Shree Precoated Steel in 2009, there has been an 85 per cent reduction in overall accidents. One of the first actions Essar Steel undertook at the plant was to establish a permanent HSE Training Centre within the plant complex. Almost simultaneously, it set up a fire control room and emergency medical services.
Essar Steel's Hazira plant has issued 'Safety Mandates' for all operations, covering safety measures to be observed in various situations: while working at specific heights; electrical work; working in a confined space / vessel entry; driving / road safety; working on roofs; excavation jobs; lifting operations; portable hand tools; movement of heavy equipment; permit to work; and while handling gas. The plant has also established safety standards and appointed 'Safety Marshals' to ensure that these practices are being followed diligently. As one safety auditor at the plant emphasized, "Safety has been described as a cheap and effective insurance policy."
Beyond plant gates
Some Essar companies also take their commitment to safety to the community beyond the plant or project gates, educating people about safety measures in the home, fire and other hazards. The Essar Steel Pune plant imparts safety training to schoolchildren and villagers in the vicinity of the complex. The Health, Safety, Environment and Fire (HSEF) team at the Essar Vadinar refinery, together with the Essar Foundation, organized traffic and fire safety programmes at the primary schools of Vadinar and Zakhar villages. The initiative by the HSEF department was part of the Gujarat government's Traffic Safety Awareness Month.
It is not for nothing that Essar companies have been repeatedly recognized for their initiatives in safety — from the ICC Award for Excellence in Management of Health, Safety & Environment to the Greentech Foundation's Gold Safety Award. Essar Power has won the Safety Award from the British Safety Council several times. Essar Shipping has been conferred the prestigious international AMVER (Automated Mutual Assistance Vehicle Rescue System, which promotes safety at sea) award. And, recently, Essar Steel's Hazira plant won four awards at the ISPAT Suraksha Puraskar 2012 event.
But the bottom-line is not about awards; it is about saving lives – because rigorous adherence to safety practices can often make the difference between life and death.