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The landscape of employment in the specialty chemical industry

By Anil H Gupta, CRISTOL.

The speciality chemical industry is one of the most knowledge-intensive industries and an incredible engine of development and creativity. This segment has witnessed substantial growth and development over the last few decades owing to the rise in consumerism. It is evident that the segment is becoming extremely competitive by growth & development.

Growth in trade and production create the need for more “skilled” man power. Human Resource Development (HRD) is the framework for helping employees to develop their personal and organizational skills, knowledge, and abilities. Continuous employee development creates a learning culture in the organization where every employee is motivated to learn new skills and acquire new knowledge. Our familial culture provides the opportunity to learn about different functions within each domain.

Disruptions brought about by the pandemic, not only caused production slowdowns but also threatened the job security of employees across the value chain. Although employers were compelled to implement cost control measures by reducing the wage-bill, they created job security and built trust by refraining from laying off their employees and remunerated deducted salaries as economic activities gradually resumed.

Traditionally, the specialty chemical industry always focused on retention and hiring seasoned employees for their expertise, and vast knowledge in their respective sectors and has grown from strength to strength owing to availability for technical man power, R&D and capability to formulate cost effective products. These resources in turn have helped the industry stay up to the mark.

With the help of HRD, the specialty chemicals industry has established procedures and systems to manage, track and report occupational health and safety for the wellbeing of their employees. They ensure to identify, evaluate and control the worker’s exposure to physically demanding tasks viz. manual material handling, heavy lifting, prolonged standing and highly repetitive or forceful assembly tasks. As training and development is given extreme importance in this industrythe employeesare given regular training to understand and follow the safety instructions given in material safety data sheets for handling hazardous and toxic materials.  Furthermore, the chemical industry has formed a Health and Safety Committee for easier workflow with employees as members. They meet regularly to encourage workers to initiate and contribute inputs to improve health and safety issues in the workplace. Simultaneously, mock drills, fire and safety training is also arranged under the guidance of Fire and Safety officers.

With the ever-evolving nature of the specialty chemical industry, promising a positive work environment is a necessity. Given the challenging and high-risk environment the chemical industry employees work in, organizations have started confronting the issue relating to their employees’ mental wellbeing as well by creating a positive workspace through regular team building activities.

Even though the industry was not at its best during the pandemic, it is gradually growing and increasing its organizational capabilities and retaining high-quality talent. The chemical world is at the midpoint of significant change and this is being accepted as a reality that companies must work towards the sustained progression of the industry.

 

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