International experts work with India lead industry to promote good practice at lead battery recycling plants
Experts in occupational health and safety practices have completed two successful training missions to India where they worked alongside the domestic lead industry to promote good environmental performance.
The International Lead Management Center (ILMC), an arm of the International Lead Association, visited Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, in India, this summer to demonstrate to environmental technicians and engineers from the states’ Pollution Control Boards, alongside representatives from the India Lead Zinc Development Association and the not-for-profit Blacksmith Institute, the use and application of the ILMC’s Benchmarking Assessment Tool (BAT).
The tool compares the recovery and recycling procedures and processes with the industry’s well-established good practices and identifies key areas of used lead-acid battery (ULAB) recovery and recycling operations that should be improved to minimise occupational exposure to lead. The workshops then enable regulators to participate in either a simulated or real time plant inspection and analyse their observations in comparison with the ‘benchmarks’.
During the Chennai workshop a visit was made to the Pondy Oxides and Chemicals ULAB Recycling plant in the Kancheepuram District of Tamil Nadu to undertake a BAT exercise. Meanwhile delegates at the Bangalore workshop observed a video of operations at an anonymised ULAB recycling plant and made observations to Benchmark the procedures shown in the video as the ULAB are collected, stored, packaged, transported and recycled.
On the second day of the workshops the delegates presented their observations from the inspections and outlined their recommendations for improvements to bring the operation in line with the good practices highlighted on the BAT form.
The consensus of the delegates was that the BAT would be a useful addition to apply during a plant visit and the manner in which the form was set out enabled decisions to be made about the quality of the ULAB recovery and recycling process.
ILA Managing Director, Dr Andy Bush, said: “It is very encouraging to see such effective international co-operation on occupational health and safety practices in a country that is such an important lead producer. This is just one example of how ILMC and its partners bring about continuous improvement in the lead industry in various projects around the world.”
Mr Kumar, the Director of the Tamil Nadu State Pollution Control Board, informed the ILMC and the Blacksmith Institute that the BAT had certainly enabled his staff to observe the recycling operation in a new light and understand what needed to be done to raise the standards of environmental, health and safety management. With this in mind Mr Kumar confirmed that the TNPCB would be adopting the BAT and he wanted to work with ILMC to incorporate it into their policies and procedures.
After consulting with his managers, the KSPBC Director, Dr Ayi Vaman N Acharya, informed the ILMC and the Blacksmith Institute that the Board would adopt the BAT and include it as part of their inspection policy.
For further information contact: Bob Tolliday, ILA Communications Manager, Tollida[email protected] tel: +44 (0) 20 7833 8090
Notes to editors
About the Benchmarking Assessment Tool
The BAT allows for a qualitative assessment to be made of good practices for the environmentally sound management of ULAB consistent with the UN Basel Convention Technical guidelines and the ILA’s Guidance Notes on Working Safely with Lead. The Chinese Government is one of over 170 countries that have endorsed the Basel Convention Technical Guidelines for ULAB recovery.
The International Lead Management Center (ILMC) was created in 1996 by the international lead industry, in conjunction with the OECD. The ILMC offers hands-on advice and assistance in developing countries and nations in transition across the globe. It works with the lead industry, the Basel Secretariat (SBC), government environment agencies and intergovernmental bodies, such as the UN International Lead Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) and NGOs such as the Blacksmith Institute.
The ILMC assists with the management of the risks associated with lead and its impact on the environment and human health across all aspects of the lead industry from mining, smelting, refining product manufacturing and recycling. For more information on the work of the ILMC please contact [email protected]
The International Lead Association is a membership body that supports companies involved in the mining, smelting, refining and recycling of lead. The ILA represents the producers of about 3 million tonnes of lead.
With offices in the UK and USA the ILA provides a range of technical, scientific and communications support and is focused on all aspects of the industry’s safe production, use and recycling of lead. It funds bodies such as the ILMC and the International Lead Zinc Research Organization. Visit www.ila-lead.org