Asian Paints is India's largest paint producer and one of the top ten decorative coatings companies in the world. It reports annual earnings of more than 1.5 billion US dollars (INR 66.80 billion). The company’s success is built on a commitment to operational excellence that includes unwavering dedication to protecting its employees and the environment. In 2007, Asian Paints set out to find an incident reporting system that would enable a more proactive and efficient approach to environmental, health and safety (EHS) compliance and risk management while maintaining best practices processes for ISO 14001.2004 certification (Safety Management Systems as per BSC Safety Standards). This new system needed to be an enterprise-level solution that could be used across all of the company’s manufacturing facilities in India.
Today, Asian Paints uses IHS Essential Suite® software to track EHS incidents from initial occurrence until resolution and closure. It lets the company’s EHS supervisors manage pre-employment and periodical medical results, and all safety and environmental audits through one web-based system.
Maintaining compliance with a broad variety of EHS regulatory mandates, such as India’s Factories Act of 1956, is a daunting task. Before Essential Suite was implemented, EHS managers used hundreds of separate word documents and spreadsheets to manually collect and manage critical incident data. Asian Paints’ leadership team recognized that implementing a centralized software platform would help them streamline incident reporting processes and institute new risk management ‘best practices’ across their organization.
Time is perhaps the most important factor when reporting incidents that impact the health and safety of employees. If an incident occurs at one of Asian Paints’ India facilities, reports on that incident must be filed by a designated manager, investigations must be completed and the incident must be closed within a prescribed time frame.
Dr. Rajan Sharma, Senior Manager for EHS, knew that there would be valuable opportunities to streamline EHS incident reporting enterprise-wide, “Using manual processes with separate spreadsheets and then trying to share them with other locations for preventive actions was very time consuming. It sometimes took a month to formally record an incident on paper and get back a review decision.”
Legacy paper processes also hindered the close monitoring of information for identifying trends and aiding in the Corrective And Preventive Actions (CAPA) process. The result was more money spent in man-hours and delays getting vital information to other facilities across India so preventative steps could be taken and future incidents averted.
The Asian Paints team is now overcoming these challenges by using their new unified software platform, Essential Suite, to enable immediate online EHS incident reporting as a replacement for periodic paper- and spreadsheet-based reporting. The IHS software also serves as a centralized repository for information about EHS incidents and actions, as well as a wealth of other EHS and sustainability information, that is instantly accessible to authorized staff at all of the company’s India facilities. The system’s built-in security hierarchy assures that access is granted according to individual roles and responsibilities.
With Essential Suite, Asian Paints is reducing risks to employees and the environment while also saving time and money. The company’s EHS team has used the system to develop more than 50 reusable reports and integrated the system with their management information system (MIS) for monthly reporting.
“Our safety officers and safety managers can view open or closed incidents by date, check for trends, see what’s pending, etc. They can take immediate action upon incidents and save lots of time.” Says Maulik Desai, Senior Manager for Systems Development. “Centralized net-based IHS software has saved us over 180 hours per month. And setting up streamlined reporting processes has allowed us to save about $20,000 US for one year.”
Asian Paints’ steadfast commitment to EHS compliance and risk management has previously earned it numerous honors, including the British Safety Council’s “Sword of Honour” and the company remains dedicated to continued innovation in 2011 and beyond.