OSH India case study: raising safety standards
Simon Garrett training safety professionals in India
Last year I attended our second Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) India exhibition and conference in Mumbai. Sadly, safety and India don’t generally go together. However, the exhibition and conference is thriving and there is a real thirst for knowledge and professionalism there. British Safety Council, IOSH and NeBosh are also involved in the exhibition.
Arriving at the OSH India build the day before, I was shocked to see a dust filled hall. You did not need to be a safety professional to notice the various hazards in the venue. Forget bare feet and no hard hats, there was welding with no protective gear and scaffolding on wheels with no stops.
Adding to my embarrassment was the fact that Lawrence Waterman, formally head of safety for the delivery of the UK Olympics build (at which there was a record zero fatalities) was with me, as he was headlining a conference about safety leadership (oh, the irony) the following day. “Heather,” he says. “UBM can do better than this.”
After a few conversations, I was delighted to find that UBM was working with other event organisers such as Reed, Clarion and ITE to spearhead and fund an initiative led by Simon Garrett, a fellow of IOSH and veteran events professional. The aim was to put together an international standard for events safety. That standard is called the G Guide.
Simon has been working with UBM to address issues globally in events safety, and through talking to him, I developed an appreciation of what many who run global safety operations are dealing with. Namely, the complexity of blending an appreciation of local values and customs with a highly evolved regulatory framework like the one we have in the UK.
For an events organiser, involving the supply chain is also critical. So when UBM and ITE held the first two day “Safety Management for International Events” course in India earlier this month, I was delighted to hear that representatives from the venue and contractors were also there.
Prashant Jain, the sales manager for OSH India, said: “I have been associated with the OSH Industry in India for seven years and have attended a number of conferences/workshops related to the OSH subject. But to be honest, this was the only workshop that has actually helped me to enhance my knowledge as far as on-site safety is concerned. Since then, I have been sharing my experience and learning with my colleagues so that when we step on site for our forthcoming presentation in November, we see a difference in culture. I am sure that together, we can and we will make a difference.“
UBM has a plan to address events safety in India. Will it reach UK standards overnight? Of course not. But I’m looking forward to seeing the improvements that have been made at OSH India 2014 in late November.
OSH India 2014 takes place at Bombay Convention & Exhibition Centre, Mumbai, from 27-28 November.
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