Managing Workplace Safety: A Soft Skill with Hard Consequences
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology (MAKAUT), WB had organized the Corporate Classroom, Session 5 on 26th September, 2020 in online mode. The Topic for discussion was: Managing Workplace Safety: A Soft Skill with Hard Consequences, a relatively new and interesting area.
It had been jointly organised by the Language laboratory and the Training & Placement Cell of MAKAUT, WB. These sessions aim at improving the performance of the students in Job Interviews, Group Discussions, Workplace Behaviour and so on.
The Chief Patron of the programme on Workplace Safety was Prof. (Dr) Saikat Maitra, Hon'ble Vice-Chancellor, MAKAUT, WB. The Keynote Speaker was Mr Durganand Thakur, Vice-President Vodafone-Idea Ltd. The Panelists were Prof. (Dr.) Sukhendu Samajdar, Director, Natural & Applied Sciences and Dr. Anandarup Sarangi, Training & Placement Officer of MAKAUT, WB. The Programme moderators were Mr. Shaswata Sengupta, Assistant Professor, Centre of Linguistics, MAKAUT, WB and Mr. Sushanta Kayal, Faculty and Coordinator, Centre of Linguistics, MAKAUT, WB. The Technical coordinator was Mr Manas Ghosh, Assistant Professor, RCCIIT and Advisor, MAKAUT, WB.
At the outset Mr. Shaswata Sengupta welcomed all to the programme and mentioned that workplace safety has become a key concern of the industrial sector and various organizations. That is, health and safety of workers is now a priority area. The organizations like Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) offer vocational training to potential candidates and offer a career choice in the corporate world.
The Vice-Chancellor Prof. (Dr.) Saikat Maitra could not attend the programme, as he was busy in an important meeting. His message was read out by Prof. Samajdar. In the message, Prof. Maitra laid stress on the idea of Corporate Classroom, as it is based on the concept of limitless education. Such interactions are not confined within a classroom equipped with only blackboard and chalk.
Mr. Durganand Thakur, Vice-President, Vodafone-Idea Ltd, provided the participants with information about and insight into the workings of the Telecom Industry – globally and nationally – highlighting major aspects of safety management involved and implemented there. The participants were also informed about promising career prospects in safety management in engineering. India as a vast country provides immense opportunities in the field of workplace safety. Mr. Thakur pointed out that in India, the telecom industry is second largest in terms of subscribers and also second largest in minutes of usage due to huge population. Therefore the scope of employment is immense. Moreover, telecommunication is a 24/7 operation and people are working for 24/7 also. Thus, people associated with this industry need to be responsible. In this context Mr. Thakur highlighted the need of safety management across industries also.
Need of Safety Management across Industries
Industrial safety is important as it safeguards human life, especially in high risk areas such as nuclear plants, aircraft, chemical, oil & gases and mining industries, where a fatal mistake can be catastrophic. Industrial safety reduces risks for people and processes.
Maintaining a safe and healthy working environment is not only an important human resource issue, but it is the law as well.
Whether they are entry-level workers, seasoned veterans, supervisors, or plant managers, the employees need to understand health and safety risks. They must know the common safety standards and compliance procedures which may be adopted to minimize those risks.
The section of an organization or industry dealing with Safety Management or Industrial Safety deals with the study of the possibilities of any mishap or danger, correlated to the health of workers or equipment, chemicals or machines.
Role of an Employer & Employee in Industrial Safety
Management's commitment provides the motivating force and the resources for organizing and controlling activities within an organization. The management must regard worker safety and health as a fundamental value of the organization. It should apply its commitment towards health and safety protection with as much vigour as it shows to other organizational goals. Employee involvement provides the means by which workers express their commitment to health and safety for themselves and for their fellow workers.
Safety Management as a Career
The domain of Health and Safety are gradually becoming an integral part of planned business operations. Many companies have begun to hire professionals who have expertise in this field and who help create better plans for risk management.
Potential Job Opportunities in Safety Management
- Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) Officer/Engineer/Manager
- Fire & Safety Officer
- Environment/Sustainability Officer
- Director Safety
- Head -Safety and Risk Management
- Chief Sustainability Officer
- Vice President- Health, Safety, Security, Environment & Quality (HSSEQ)
- Oil & Gas
- Power & Infrastructure
Mr. Thakur said that Safety Management is a very lucrative career, as the number of experts working in this field is relatively less. Moreover it is a noble profession, which helps to serve the society.
Relevant Questions with Answers
1. Sometimes employees hesitate to provide safety related feedback to peers and authorities. What is the right attitude in such cases?
Answer: The employee should not keep quiet and take risk.
2. How is effective listening important to ensure workplace security?
Answer: As an employer, patient listening is important, otherwise the employer will be biased. The employee must also listen to relevant instructions, as that will save lives.
3. Females are hardly recruited in Safety Management. Please comment.
Answer: It is a matter of awareness. Ladies are recruited, though in limited numbers. But, they must also be aware of such careers and qualify themselves.
Professor (Dr) Sukhendu Samajdar, concluded the session by commenting that safety management is a nuanced soft skill because we never know where risk is going to come from. Risk is invisible and sensing something invisible requires keen power of observation, listening, communicating and handling on case to case basis. These instructive interactions are important because safety management needs lessons from beyond the classroom. It is an all pervasive topic.
At a Glance
• Safety Management needs to be dealt with sensibly and sensitively.
• There are three keys to minimize risk at work and avert accidents: Watching, Listening and Adhering to guidelines.
Safety precautions are necessary for making the workplace safe for oneself and others. Promising careers await for the younger generations in Safety Management in engineering industries .
Student participation in Corporate Classroom Sessions, organized in online mode is recognized for Mandatory Additional Requirement (MAR) credit. The students can enhance their skills and at the same time earn MAR points by participating in these workshops. It will be incorporated under Workshop in Point No. 6 (shown below in MAR Record Sheet) and the students can get 10 points by attending one session. They will get 20 points from two such sessions.
Mandatory Additional Requirement (MAR) is an integral part of different under-graduate (UG) curricula of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology (MAKAUT), WB for its in-house courses and also its affiliated colleges. As the University is aimed at all round development of the students, MAR has been introduced to encourage them to be involved in: Social and Developmental Activities, Environmental Protection (like tree plantation), Skill Development, Online courses and undertaking Entrepreneurial Activities. Accordingly the students will choose activities of their choice/interest and earn Activity Points for MAR.
A minimum of 25 MAR activity points must be achieved in each academic year by every student for qualifying in MAR.
YouTube Link for the programme on Workplace Safety:
For more information about the University please visit: https://makautwb.ac.in/