FSSAI reinforces the need for Hygiene and Safety for Industrial Workforce 

Supported by the Embassy of Finland, Thought leaders across sectors come together to bring to light the need for governance on safety measures for workers and ways to achieve them  

India CSR News Network

NEW DELHI: Lindstrom India, a subsidiary of the Lindstrom Group, a Finnish workwear service company, organized a roundtable on the importance of Health and Safety for India’s Industrial Workforce today with the support of the Embassy of Finland. As India is rapidly gearing up to become one of the largest manufacturing hubs in the world, the event was organized with the aim of building awareness and sensitivity towards the key drivers for this mission- the workforce that works endlessly across sectors.

The event brought together Industry stalwarts like Girish Shankar, Secretary – Ministry of Heavy Industries (Govt. of India), Pawan Agarwal, CEO – FSSAI, Akhil Jha, Chief Technical Officer, Shell India, Bhupinder Singh, CEO, Vista Food, Akash Rathore, Director – Commercial Pirelli India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh & Sri Lanka, G. Pawan Kumar, MD, Sprint Exports and Chairperson, Vizag Seafood Exporters Association

While Pawan Agarwal and Girish Shankar highlighted the government’s initiatives to regulate and monitor the welfare of employees in their respective sectors, they also provided perspective on the current scenario in the industry.

Speaking at the roundtable, Girish Shankar, Secretary – Ministry of Heavy Industries (Govt. of India) said, “The legal framework has been provided to ensure the hygiene and safety for the workforce but implementation is the biggest question and in this, the industry has to come forward. If we think from the business point of view, it makes business sense to ensure safety and hygiene to the workers and all its stakeholders as it reduces healthcare costs substantially. We have some figures from our industry which has not been doing well. Workers covered by safety policy or safety committee or covered by the on-site emergency plan are very low, 9.63% factories reported injuries comprising few workers and 4.63% of total reported injuries were fatal. So this is a real eye opener that the industry has to gear up and improve substantially.”

Shedding light on the subject specifically in the food industry, Pawan Agarwal, CEO – FSSAI said, “In India, a lot is required to be done to improve hygiene standards. Very few places have high standards of hygiene so we have to go a long way and this is something that is not discussed as widely as it should be. This is the first time that an event has been organised which specifically focuses on hygiene and safety. FSSAI is launching a series of initiatives to touch the lives of all citizens at all times. We are calling them initiatives around life and nutrition food. The first initiative is around safe and nutritious food at home, second is safe and nutritious food at school and third which is relevant here is safe and nutritious food at the workplace and finally, safe and nutritious food when we eat out.”

Anupam Chakrabarty, Managing Director, Lindstrom India said, “As India’s only organized workwear company, the safety and hygiene of our industrial workforce is very close to our hearts at Lindstrom. With PM Modi’s Make in India initiative, we believe this is an issue that needs urgent attention across sectors. We hope that with the diverse perspectives shared on this platform today, more and more industry leaders will continue to generate awareness about the issue to make India a safe and hygienic manufacturing hub for the world.”

The Ambassador of Finland to India, Nina Vaskunlahti, gave the session a global perspective by highlighting best practises in hygiene and safety from Finland while Francis Odhimabo, UNICEF Wash Specialist shared his experience on how Lindstrom and UNICEF are working together at the grassroot level to support the activity of advocating importance of building awareness about hygiene, cleanliness and safety right from childhood and how that goes a long way in building that culture in any country.