While Ship Recycling is a heavy industry in which most work is done manually. Therefore , the chance of an accident is always present. However , at JRD we approached this problem in a very scientific manner .
We met various yard owners and managers and discussed accidents that had happened in their yards or in yards in their vicinity . Based on these discussions , we arrived at the following insights.
- The overwhelming majority of accidents happen on the vessel itself and the primary processing area in the intertidal zone and the yard .
- The secondary processing area and the rest of the yard was relatively safer ; however accidents had occurred , mostly traffic related and caused by cranes hitting workers from their blind side or materials accidentally falling while being handled by the cranes.
- In the ship/ primary processing area, safety is over seen by Mukaddams (Supervisors ) who are experts in working with winches , wires and pulleys. However, interestingly , when we talked to the Mukaddams we found that they considered production and ship dismantling as their chief responsibility and not Safety !!
- All labour in the yards have received primary safety training from GMB.
Segregation of Zones
We then brainstormed and made the following improvements to our yard. These improvements together with all the other mandatory safety procedures now make JRD as safe as possible .
The yard was divided into LRA(Low Risk Area) and HRA(High Risk Area)
- HRA refers to the ship and the primary processing area, where in the Intertidal Zone or on the yard.
- LRA refers to the rest of the yard.
In the HRA(High Risk Area)
In the HRA.
We increased the number of Mukaddams from 2 to 5 .
Our 5 Mukaddams have a cumulative experience of more than 100 years in this activity.
- We reduced the number of workmen having access to HRA.
- At no time do we have more than 50 people working in this area so that the Mukaddam : Worker ratio never exceeds 1-10.
- Mukaddams were sensitized to their true job description. They were made to understand that safety was their primary job and not ship dismantling. With regular meetings and discussions, this paradigm shift in their approach was achieved.
- A specific training program was created for all workers in the HRA. Such training was imparted by professional Industrial Safety Trainers and this training is regularly revised so that it develops into habit.
- The HRA workers have been trained by the best in the business – LRQA ( LLoyds Register ) and Sure safety.
- Workers are regularly monitored to ensure that only experienced workers who accept the procedures and stipulations of the safety training program and wear proper PPE are permitted to work in the HRA.
- For fire prevention , in the HRA , we keep 5 fire extinguishers with each gas cutter along with sufficient water in containers nearby. Two pumps connected to the double bottom tanks filled with water are also on the standby .
- A separate emergency response team of 12 workers have been trained specially for supervising orderly evacuation , fire prevention and fighting . If any such event occurs, this team will supervise orderly evacuation and conduct initial fire fighting operations till the fire brigade arrives.
- All our cranes, winches wires, pulleys are inspected regularly and replaced timely so that only the best condition equipment is used by the workers.For confined space , trained personnel using modern Gas Analysis Meters inspect every confined space before entry.
In the LRA (Low-Risk Area)
The yard has been divided into zones so that Trucks , Cranes and Workers do not come into unsupervised contact with each other
Processing areas , storage areas and cranes operations have been designed so that the plates and other materials moved by cranes are never carried over the heads of the workers; neither when sections are moved from the section storage to processing area nor when finished materials are moved from the processing area to the storage and despatch area.
Cranes operate in their zones and are positioned in such a way that their blind side never faces any worker , ever.
All the cranes are equipped with load cells to monitor that over weight structures are not lifted by accident.
Yard is serviced by two Tata crane of 35 and 25 tons and 2 Lima cranes 30 and 28 tons.
The loading bays are away from the working area ensuring trucks and cranes carry out storage and loading operations away from workers.
The drainage boundary serves as a boundary restricting trucks and cranes from moving in the middle of workers.
We use only Piped Oxygen so no more handling of cylinders and accidents resulting there from.
Industrial LPG cylinders are kept in a raised and secure platform so they are secure from accidental sparks falling on them . Gas pipelines are either underground or held at a height so that there is minimum risk due to damage.
The Gascutters are supplied with Flame retardant clothing and special masks that cat-true the smallest particles in the smoke generated during processing of the ship steel sections.
The yard has 12 fire points equipped with water supply , high pressure hoses and Co2 cylinders . Every part of the yard is covered by fire fighting through high pressure water based fire fighting system .
Workers in the LRA are trained separately . Like the HRA there is an emergency response team here as well, which will take over when there is an incident at the plot to manage orderly evacuation and the actual problem till help arrives.
We have one of the most comprehensive and persistent training program in Alang. Details can make made available on request.