The spread of COVID-19 all over the world has wrought unprecedented levels of personal and professional turmoil on employees – irrevocable transformation in how we work, eat, shop and travel is witnessed.
The pandemic turned out stressful mainly because it has stripped people of their autonomy – the extent to which they can be themselves at all times, for it remains an innate psychological need.
But if these factors remain on one side, the other side of the coin presents a deep emphasis on safety and hygiene. Especially in India, as worker protection was discussed a lot, but at many places, it lacked execution.
A recent news report shows that after the pandemic, India is now the world’s second largest supplier of medical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that includes products like goggles, face-shields, masks, gloves, coveralls and gowns. Within few months, the investment growth has surged 56 times, and for the textile industry, a whole new line of business has grown and sustained. And the longevity in business becomes assured if we show consistency in deliverability and quality of products.
Designing the future of PPE
Even in industries, PPE is gaining momentum, subject to the fact that companies are also focussing on designing safe and unique protective wear to ensure optimum safety for the workers.
The emergence of new sales outlets, technological upgrades and dynamic supply chain are some of the crucial growth enhancers of PPE industry – here, the role of EHS professionals becomes important than ever.
Owing to the increasing requirement of PPE in the manufacturing and construction industries, organizations have become more proactive in abiding with the changing industry standards. Selecting products that adhere to regulations and simultaneously provide performance and proper protection is a primary focus.
For e.g. in the molten metal sector, lightweight fabrics keep workers cooler and more comfortable, besides protecting workers from splashes. Looking at this segment of fabric which provides the same level of comfort encourages workers to use PPEs at all times.
The pandemic is a glaring reminder that health and safety cannot be compromised at any cost. Be it medical or oil and gas or chemical or any other industry, in PPE industry, to create an environment of assurance for industrial staff, it becomes imperative to –
- Issue more licenses to local manufacturers
- Adhere to quality standards specified in PPE guidelines
- Standardize the price of raw material to manufacture PPEs
- Hurdles in transport and storage are addressed effectively
Training and awareness programs can disseminate information on safety and educate the working staff for PPE usage.
Such investments contribute to a strong organizational safety culture – highlighting hygiene and safety through PPEs can be a great way to promote morale and provides encouragement in these tough times. Driving behaviours like these do not create hindrance in productivity, health and well-being – an organization can further promote adaptability as their core value to inspire others.
Indian industries, as of now, have a once-in-a-time opportunity to reimagine the workplaces of tomorrow from a safety viewpoint, because the pandemic shall definitely pass. So the more quickly they internalize these lessons, the more efficient the EHS and OHS domain shall become, in the coming years.
A good safety expert can guide EHS professionals into the intricacies of need of protection for workers, their safe and ideal working environment for increased productivity and decreased risks. That can provide an all-round protection to the industry staff.