With a few exceptions, Indian universities and other R & D institutions generally have a rather slack safety set up and the focus and attention on lab safety is minimal and so is the investment. The prime objective of the project therefore is to create an IUPAC assisted setup in India and undertake safety awareness programs, sensitize and alert teachers, managers and students to follow and comply with standard safety norms while working with chemicals.
The safety orientation program under this project is aimed to bring in awareness and sensitize the importance and benefits of personal safety and good health at a workplace / chemical laboratory to a society that is generally unaware, unwilling and unable to follow safe practices either for want of resources or an inherent carefree attitude. The implementation of the protocols and suggestions requires a change of mindset, willingness, time and large investments. Change of mindset with a perception to adopt safe practices by itself could be a measure of success.
Laxity, ignorance of hazards and incorrect work practices is the cause for a very casual approach to chemicals. In order to ensure safety in labs and other working environs, systems have to be put in place and mindsets adjusted.
The methodology adopted is to visit the site and during the day, run a safety orientation course with examples, case studies and affordable simple solutions followed by open ended discussions. This motivates them to understand the protocols, the appropriate procedure / techniques to be adopted and help in creating a lasting effect. There are multifold benefits since the audience comprises of students, teachers and technical staff. In the chain effect many of them will carry the torch further as they grow professionally.
As a part of the IUPAC STP fellow, such an approach has been practiced earlier for the past several years and has proven to be quite successful. More than 10,000 people have been touched in the Indian state of Maharashtra. In order to have a wider reach, it is proposed to travel and reach out to varied audiences at their doorsteps at an average of about six visits per year. Subject to approval by host institutes, it is proposed to visit UG & PG colleges in Maharashtra & other states of India, besides visiting communities in urban and semi urban areas of interior Maharashtra. For an exposure to R & D institutes, visits are proposed in metro regions of India, in addition to students at different locations of CSIR and IISER’s in the country Chemical and pharma related industries in 2-3 townships will also be approached for safety orientation programs.
More about COCI STP
Oct 2019 update: The objectives of the Safety Training Program, India Regional Project that was initiated in September 2018 with the aim at sensitizing teachers, managers & students to follow & comply with standard safety norms while working with chemicals with a focus audience at High Schools, Universities, Colleges and doctoral students in R & D organizations all over
India by reaching out to such Indian institutions and give safety awareness (orientation) in service seminar and discussions has been largely achieved. During the year, 8 such in-service
seminars were conducted. The impacts of the seminars felt through the feedbacks received have been quite encouraging with local colleges and institutions, some even with a better
safety record also implementing the suggestions to move to a next higher level in safety compliance for the health and safety of their researchers and students. Read STP India Project Sept 2019 Final Report (PDF).
See STP Coordinator report [PDF] of 8 July 2019, presented at the STP Workshop in Paris.
Page last update 5 Nov 2019