The Managing Director of Technoavia Company Andrey Popov gave an interview to the observer of the network edition Getsiz.ru Anna Dmitrieva a few days after the tragedy in Kemerovo. This event shocked everyone. In connection with the incident the question of safety precautions and a risk-oriented approach to safety became especially vital.
Why do you think such a tragedy could happen in Russia? And what can the actors of the occupational and industrial safety market do to prevent this in future?
The whole country is talking about this tragedy now. There are several reasons to it. In my opinion to ensure the safety of any facility, be it industrial or civil (production sites, apartment houses, shopping centers, etc.) it is necessary to provide safety systems at the design and planning stage of the construction. Further, the customer should exercise strict control at the construction stage to ensure compliance with all technical specifications, systems and solutions incorporated in the draft. After the facility is commissioned, the operating company must maintain all emergency systems in working order, rule out any uncoordinated changes and in case of emergency strictly follow all relevant provisions and instructions.
Nevertheless, the initial design method cannot be applied to already existing buildings in operation. But it is vital to introduce safety systems. The risk-oriented approach is important in this case. Competent people must give recommendations based on an analysis of all processes occurring at the site and designers develop and implement solutions. And only in this case it possible to ensure the safety of people.
Since 2015 a Guidance Department has been functioning in our company. Its tasks include the analysis and implementation of safety systems for people working at height. The staff of the Department consists of risk assessment experts and professional design engineers.
The new «Regulations for Occupational Safety when Working at Heights» (Order No. 155n) came into force on May 5, 2015. The new rules more clearly defined the criteria and concepts of work at height. Themainchangeshereareasfollows:
— a new procedure for periodic inspections of PPE has been established;
— the maximum service life of PPE has been determined;
— the use of safety and positioning belts as fall protection means was forbidden;
— solutions for safety systems involving use of advanced PPE were presented;
— rescue and evacuation system was emphasized.
After the release of the new regulations a real commotion arose on the PPE market. How did this affect the profile line of Technoavia business?
Technoavia Company has been professionally engaged in this segment of business (safety systems for work at heights) for almost 10 years. Prior to the release of the «Regulations for Occupational Safety when Working at Heights» (Order No.155n)our company’s specialists carried out activities at workplaces helping to ensure a proper selection of all necessary components of safety systems. We tried to bring our customers to the awareness of a correct and professional approach to this matter, often with varying success though.
Since May 5, 2015 these efforts have acquired the necessary regulatory basis. Companies, indeed, began to actively contact us for advice and started ordering «Risk Assessment for Working at Heights» service. For two years our specialists made over 700 reports on risk assessment containing recomendations for the introduction of safety systems for companies from various industry branches of the Russian Federation. Many projects have been brought to effect and safety systems have been implemented. But not everything has been done. We hope that this work will go on.
How are safety projects for work at height being implemented at different workplaces?
We witness both a positive trend in many companies in this issue and conversely, a negative one. Some companies having initiated actions to introduce safety systems did not fulfill the work. In our opinion this is caused by an insufficient control effort by inspection bodies. Also there is often a situation with the lack of funding since previously such expenditure items did not exist in companies’ budgets.
Another reason for certain stagnation in this segment is the increasing competition. For two years dozens of companies offering services in risk assessment and implementation of various safety systems have appeared on the occupational safety market in Russia. Not always the goal of such companies is to select the right components and solve the problems of the customer. Unfortunately very often the goal is only one «Sell».
For our part we recommend to use services of only proven companies that have undergone the full range of trainings by the manufacturers. These companies have received documentary evidence of their qualifications and professionalism. A corresponding resource and instrumental base is necessary for providing such services!
What innovative PPE solutions are being developed by Technoavia for the Russian market?
We have developed a number of innovative solutions: various types of evacuation systems (including solutions for civilians), mobile anchor systems for maintenance of equipment, integrated universal safety systems and so on. Especially I would like to put the focus on the development of core services: risk assessment, designing of fixed anchor systems and setting up of training ranges.
How do you assess the effectiveness of the «vision zero» concept proposed by the Russian government and which is now being actively implemented jointly with the International Social Security Association (ISSA)?
Of course the “vision zero” concept and the government’s focus on encouraging companies that comply with the «seven rules» are serious and positive initiatives. Technoavia fully supports such innovations!
What should every Russian company do to successfully implement the concept?
To begin with, it is necessary to conduct internal auditing and control in order to draw up a real picture of the existing situation in the company. This procedure should be performed by professionals!
Do you think that Russian consumers are ready for new digital technologies in PPE? Are they relevant for our market?
We are moving in this direction. So for example, when promoting the «outsourcing of PPE» service, we offer our customers a software product for the convenient use of this service. Russia today is ready for some innovations and digital technologies are already being introduced at some companies. For some innovations, we are not yet ready but everything is changing very quickly and I fully admit that in a year the situation can change radically.
What do you think should become the development driver of the Russian PPE market?
Services. Those who can offer the clients the widest range of services will be the leader in the PPE market in the coming years.
Technoavia Ltd, a manufacturing implementation company, is a Russian manufacturer of safety workwear and footwear. It is also a distributor of PPE manufactured by such well-known worldwide companies as 3М, Dupont, Uvex, Ansell и Honeywell. The company’s manufacturing facilities comprise seven clothing factories and one footwear factory, with a yearly output of 5.5 mln clothing items and 900 thsd safety footwear items. The company’s total number of employees amounts to 3.5 thsd, and the number of affiliates represents 86 divisions in Russia plus its branches in Kazakhstan, UAE and the Czech Republic.
With a total revenue of RUB 11.66 bln in 2016 (+18.2% to that of 2015) it ranks second on the list of the biggest Russian PPE companies, according to Getsiz.ru.