ASSE’s People to People Delegation to India a Success

From Oct. 20-28, 2013, a delegation of eight safety professionals and one ASSE staff member, led by ASSE past president Rick A. Pollock, CSP, traveled to India to meet with local safety professionals, exchange best practices and learn more about the people and culture of India. India is a rapidly growing market with a great need to improve occupational safety and health. During the past 2 years, ASSE has seen a strong increase in its membership in India and formed its first chapter in the city of Chennai in 2012. The Society now has more than 400 members in India and to serve members and the occupational safety community, the Society is gearing up for its first professional development conference in India, Safety India 2014. This trip allowed the delegation to make valuable connections with government officials and fellow SH&E professionals, private-sector and academia leaders, and to learn more about the challenges and opportunities.

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ASSE’s Rick Pollock, CSP, (left) presents a gift to DMRC’s GM for Safety Devender Gill (right) and Managing Director Mangu Singh in India.

Trip highlights included a visit to two sites of the Delhi Metro Rail Corp. Ltd. (DMRC)—above and underground. Delhi Metro is one of the most visible and successful construction projects in India. The city of Delhi has a population of more than 18 million people, which makes the Delhi Metro network a highly needed, but extremely challenging project to implement due to construction in densely populated and highly traveled areas of the city. Out of the 400 km that are planned, 160 km have been completed and are now operational. Delhi Metro transports about 2.2 million commuters daily and serves as the life-line of the city for its reliability, safety and timely service.

The delegation also visited Delhi Factory Advice Service and Labor Institute (DGFASLI), a technical arm of the Ministry of Labor and Employment of India. DGFASLI’s helps the ministry formulate national occupational safety and health policies. It also provides consulting services to manufacturing facilities on safety, health, efficiency and employee well-being. During the meeting, ASSE delegates shared information about the Society and exchanged ideas about possible future collaboration between DGFASLI and ASSE.

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ASSE members and delegates James Newberry (left) and Brad Bittenbender, CSP, CHMM, pose at the welcome sign during the Omax Group visit where ASSE delegates received a welcome reception and planted trees in the company’s backyard.

Other activities included a visit to the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, where the group met with the New Delhi Chief Inspector of Factories, V.K. Sharma, a visit to Omax Group, a manufacturer of auto parts and supplies for commercial vehicle manufacturers around India, a visit of Faridabad Industries Association, and a reception with dignitaries from the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce and U.S. Department of Commerce.