Safety best practices for small and medium enterprises

Safety best practices for small and medium enterprises


A study carried out in 30 SMEs mainly in Mumbai, Maharashtra and a few other states, randomly chosen to evaluate safety practices, examined the barriers and drivers for technological innovation and recommended best practices on safety issues. Primary data collection was done in 30 units in 2013–14 and secondary data was collected from reports from organizations such as World Health Organization, Ministry of MSMEs, electronic data bases such as Science Direct, Wiley and Open Access Journals. The primary data included information from the SMEs on improving safety based on their experiences and secondary data were collected from open access websites and journals based on best practices in safety. Based on this, the study prepared a set of recommendations for best safety practices for SMEs. The authors of the report on the study say that the recommendations have “been segregated using different facilities/operations in the industries such as machine operation, welding and cutting operation, hand tool operation, grinding dust and hazardous fumes, electrical work, fire safety, storage of materials, manual handling, housekeeping and PPE along with the hazards associated with the operations and recommendations on the respective hazard.

Recommendations for safety best practices for small and medium enterprises

Facility : Machine operation
Hazards : In-running nips, moving parts, risk of cut, crush
Recommendations : There must be safety interlocks on high temperature and pressurized machines, Use of guards, interlock switches, and dead man's handles to ensure the machines cannot be operated when moving parts are exposed, Machines must undergo regular servicing and maintenance.

Welding and cutting operation

Facility : Machine operation
Hazards : Gas welding and cutting tools are often powered by oxygen or acetylene gas cylinders. These tanks require special safety precautions to prevent explosions and serious injuries Metal fumes, radiation, hot metals and noise
Recommendations : There must be safety interlocks on high temperature and pressurized machines, Use of guards, interlock switches and dead man's handles to ensure the machines cannot be operated when moving parts are exposed
Machines must undergo regular servicing and maintenance, Use of PPE, General ventilation and exhaust system
Ensure that acetylene/oxygen systems are equipped with flame or flashback arrestors Store acetylene bottles upright and secured, Set acetylene pressure at or below 15 psi Always use the minimum acceptable flow rate Never use a match to light a torch Use an approved lighter

Date: Tue, 3 Dec 2019