The growing Indian Chemical industry has been facing a considerable number of industrial chemical accidents, arising out of breaches in the chemical safety system. Such breaches in the chemical safety system could also be exploited by non-state actors in propagating terror in the country.
2. The National Authority Chemical Weapons Convention along with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Indian Chemical Council (ICC) and Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals has organized two workshops on building chemical safety awareness in the chemical industry. However, at the end of these workshops, it was found that individual chemical industries are following various practices and do not have a standard of chemical safety against which they could bench-mark their efforts for fostering excellence in chemical safety. On the other hand many countries of the world have developed standards for measuring chemical safety performance of industries. Such efforts for standardization of the norms of chemical safety help inform chemical industry on where their efforts stand with respect to safety norms and best practices in chemical safety. Such practices of benchmarking of safety efforts against standards also generate a sense of urgency in the industry to take credible outcome based efforts for improving chemical safety. They also inform the policy maker whether progress is being made in achieving policy goals.
3. The National Authority held several brainstorming sessions with industry and government safety experts on how to develop a safety and security rating system for the Indian chemical industry. This lead the National Authority holding a workshop on “Development of a chemical safety and security rating system” , supported by the OPCW, ICC and Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, which brought Indian experts, policy and opinion makers face to face with international experts in the area of chemical safety standards with a view to develop a chemical safety standards based rating system.
The workshop enabled the following outcomes/outputs:
• Sharing of expertise/knowledge on chemical safety standards by experts from advanced countries.
• Understanding of the state of play of chemical safety in the Indian chemical industry.
• Harmonization of the perspectives of various stake-holders involved in industrial chemical safety matters.
• Evolution of an approach to development of a system for chemical safety standards and rating.
There was wide participation from industry and government. Thereafter the National Authority set up a Core Group under the overall guidance of Dr.Gurdial Singh Sandhu, Chairman NACWC, comprising industry experts and coordinated by the National Authority. The Core Group composition is given below.
Mr. M.L. Jain (Chairman), Executive Director, Chief HSE, ONGC,
Mrs. Lata Mohan, Joint Director (NACWC)
The Core Group prepared an exhaustive Safety and Security Rating System for the Indian Chemical Industry. The National Authority handed over this report thus developed to the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals – the nodal agency for the chemical industry to examine the same and take steps to implement it in the Indian Chemical Industry. The draft report is available on (give link to DCPC website).