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NDMA issues guidelines for restarting industries post lockdown

In its guidelines, NDMA said state governments will ensure that off- site diaster management plan of the respective major Accidental Hazard units are upto date and preparedness to implement them is high. It has also advised that all the responsible officers of the district will ensure that the industrial On- Site Disaster Management Plans are also in place and cover Standard Operating Procedures for the safe restarting of the industries during and after COVID -19 lockdown. 

In the guidelines, the NDMA has advised the Manufacturing Industries to consider the first week as trial or test run period  while restarting the Unit and ensure all safety protocols and not try to achieve high production targets. It said, to minimise the risk, it is important that employees who work on specific equipments are sensitized. They made aware of the need to identify abnormalities like strange sound or smell, leaks, smoke or other potentially hazardous sign which indicate the need for immediate maintenance or if required shutdown. It has suggested for inspection of all equipments as per the safety protocols during the restart phase. 

The Authority also said, in case, the industry has any difficulty in managing crucial backward linkages  that may be critical for their safe functioning , they should approach the local District Administration for specific assistance. 

For workers, the NDMA in its guidelines has advised for 24 hours sanitisation of the factory premises. For entrance health checks, it said, temperature checks of all employees should be done twice a day and workers showing symptoms should not report to work. Gloves, masks and hand sanitizers should be provided at all factories and manufacturing units. On COVID-19 health and prevention staff education, it said, education on safety steps to take from entry to exit in the factory. It has also suggested for creating physical barriers to ensure the physical distance within the work floor and dining facilities. In case of working  in shifts, the NDMA said,  factories which work 24 hours at full production capacity should consider one hour gap between shifts except factories and plants requiring continuous operations. 

It said, managerial and administrative staff should work one shift at 33 per cent capacity as per Home Ministry guidelines. It has further suggested to ensure no sharing of tools or workstations to the extent possible and provide additional sets of tools if needed. 

In case of discovering a COVID-19 positive case, the factories have to prepare  accomodation to isolate workers if needed and HR has to help manage the whole process for individual  and all travelling employees also to undergo a mandatory 14 day quarantine. 

The NDMA said, workers involved in dealing with hazardous material must be skilled and experienced in the field. No compromise on deployment of such workers should be permitted when an industrial unit is opened up, it added.

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