CHENNAI, India — Employees across Ford India reiterated their commitment to safety as they celebrated ‘Safety Month’ during March at the Maraimalai Nagar plant and at Global Business Services (GBS) in Chennai. Various activities to promote safety saw eager participation from Ford employees, contractors and vendors.
Starting with National Safety Day, plant leadership spearheaded by Tom Chackalackal, executive director, Manufacturing, Senthil Kumar, vice president, Vehicle Operations, Radhakrishnan Balasundaram, vice president, Powertrain Operations and other senior managers took a safety oath to adhere to safety guidelines and upkeep workplace safety at the plant. At GBS, employees gathered together and undertook a safety pledge affirming that they will rededicate themselves to the cause of safety and do their best to observe rules, regulations and procedures, and do everything possible to protect the environment, prevent accidents and occupational diseases.
One theme during the month was electrical safety which included awareness campaigns and workshops to ensure all aspects of electrical safety were covered. This was led by Vikas Patankar, safety engineer of Sanand Vehicle and Assembly Plant. The shop floor Safety and Plant Engineering-Electrical team members audited several areas to ensure they were being maintained.
”Many of the electrical accidents can be prevented if proper audits and maintenance are undertaken and we tried to emphasize this during our campaign,” said V.Selvam, safety engineer, Ford India. The campaign touched 654 personnel and verified the safety of over 2,000 electrical points on-site during the week. There was a display of fire extinguishers and fire protection systems at GBS where employees were informed about the various methods to extinguish or contain a fire.
Road Safety was another key focus of the campaign, with senior leadership across Ford in India standing at the entrance of the various facilities and made our employees aware of the importance of road safety. The team at GBS went further and urged employees to sign a road safety pledge.
“A large number of employees commute to the plant riding two wheelers but do not wear helmets. We tried talking to them and convincing them about wearing a helmet,” said Chackalackal. A group of employees also formed a ‘Koothupattrai — a theatre club and staged skits on road safety, Driving Skills for Life workshops and conducted an audit of fire trucks and ambulances inside the plant.
Contractor Safety was also addressed, with R.Radhakrishnan, general manager of Blanking & Stamping and S.Prabakar, manager of Health and Safety going around to several work sites at the plant to verify adherence to the Job Safety Plan.
“At Ford India, we are committed to safety and we have designed a carrot and stick policy for making contractors adhere to safety. The fines collected from violators are paid back as rewards for adherence to safety among contractor employees,” Prabakar said. Dr. Raja from Apollo Hospitals organized a talk on ergonomics at GBS where employees were taken through a series of tips and guidelines to create a safe, comfortable and injury-free working environment.
In the final week of the campaign, the theme was Powered Material Handling Vehicle (PMHV) and pedestrian safety and there were posters, banners and campaigns to increase awareness in these areas. S. Sathyanarayan, general manager MP&L inaugurated a signature campaign and gave away a pocket card of Do’s and Don’ts for PMHV and pedestrian safety to employees.