Advancing Public Safety in India
Our Mission is at the Core of Everything We Do
UL fosters safe living and working conditions for people everywhere through the application of science to solve safety, security and sustainability challenges. The UL Mark engenders trust enabling the safe adoption of innovative new products and technologies. Everyone at UL shares a passion to make the world a safer place. We test, inspect, audit, certify, validate, verify, advise and train and we support these efforts with software solutions for safety and sustainability. To learn more about us, visit UL.com.
The Need for a Safer India
With a rapidly evolving economy, India is witnessing unprecedented growth across various sectors. Safety is an integral and essential part of this growth. As India advances economically and technologically, we have the responsibility to help ensure a ‘Safe Society’– safe for its children, safe for its citizens in their daily lives, safe while consuming products and services available in the market. As of 2015, several reports rank Indian roads as one of the most unsafe roads in the world, accounting for about 400 deaths in a day. Road Safety has emerged as one of the biggest public safety challenges in India, while Fire Safety and Electrical Safety are proving to be looming issues evoking caution.
UL’s mission driven strategy to address India’s public safety challenges
As a global leader in safety science UL is guided by its mission to promote safe working and living environments for all people. The Company uses scientific research and standards development to bring solutions to a complex global supply chain by partnering with retailers, manufacturers, trade associations and authorities having jurisdiction. UL has consolidated its public safety efforts into a four-pronged approach (R-O-S-E) committed to R-Research, O-Outreach, S-Standards and E-Education.
Research – helping curate local solutions
Investing heavily in research, UL not only delves deep in identifying safety solutions based on scientific data, but also believes in studying the science behind a problem. For instance, UL collaborated with the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar, one of the premier educational institutions in the country to create India’s first glass facade testing project. Together they have been conducting fire research on glass building exteriors to study and evolve appropriate fire safety mechanisms in India. Given the mushrooming of glass façade buildings in the country’s urban landscape, formulating a dedicated approach to combat fire hazards posed by these structures is an imperative public safety need.
UL also partnered with the World Resources Institute (WRI) to gather extensive accident data from Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) and Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) bus agencies and develop practical solutions for safer buses.
Outreach – taking the safety message to the stakeholders
UL has tirelessly worked with various stakeholder communities and advocacy groups to deliberate on growing safety challenges and build a consensus on urgent action items. UL held the Fire Safety Council for the eighth consecutive year in December 2016 with an aim to convene industry experts and regulatory bodies to further the dialogue on Fire Safety. The prevalence of lithium-ion batteries (LiBs) in the modern world has created the need to focus on their continued safety. To that end, UL has used its unique position as a safety science organisation to bring together thought leaders from government and industry to the first ever Energy Storage Technology Summit to India in 2016. Experts from the entire battery supply chain engaged in a dialogue on the current state of battery safety and incidents, and explored areas of communication and collaboration to advance safety.
Recently, UL joined hands with CNN- News 18, one of the leading and widely respected and trusted television networks, to create consumer-friendly illustrative programming and promote the idea and necessity of a safer world. Through panel discussions, debates and documentaries created under the ‘INDIA DEMANDS SAFETY STANDARDS’ (IDSS) banner, several industry leaders and UL’s safety experts have come together to build a campaign highlighting important aspects of safety standards across various industries.
Standards – setting the benchmarks for quality and safety
UL is focused on today’s requirements and tomorrow’s challenges for its customers. This includes the continuing evaluation and development of quality assurance practices and safety standards; increased scrutiny for chemical usage in products; and the effects of immersive technology as electronics and interoperability usage increases in daily life. UL helps manufacturers and retailers verify every aspect of the supply chain and production process—from raw materials to sales transactions—to better manage risk and deliver products that are safe, socially responsible and compliant with industry and brand specifications.
To further its commitment toward its ‘India for India’ strategy, UL is part of several technical committees constituted by various ministries of the central and state governments. Through these associations, UL shares its global expertise with policy makers, guiding them in creating locally relevant standards that are harmonized with global norms.
Education – grooming youth as safety ambassadors
With more than 50 percent of India’s population under 25, UL believes India’s young people are uniquely suited to help solve this problem, especially since it personally affects them and their peers. Instead of merely creating awareness through passive learning techniques, it is important to engage the youth through experiential methods, thereby creating a culture of safety. UL has continued to value its engagement with the youth to create an ecosystem of relevant safety education for young adults in India through various ties-ups.
The company’s collaboration with Disney gave birth to the idea of the ‘Wild About Safety’ educational series on safety. Timon and Pumbaa from Disney’s Lion King with their Safety Smart® checklist in hand, teach students in kindergarten through third grade the importance of always being on the look-out for safety problems. UL also partnered with the Directorate of Fire and Emergency Services, Goa as well as other agencies, to spread fire safety education among school children in Goa. The National Safety Science Quiz (NSSQ), UL’s unique national quiz property that helps highlight issues of public safety and promotes deliberation on safety solutions with multiple stakeholders such as schools, students, parents, safety organisations, entered into its fourth year in 2016 with a larger platform for students through its tie-up with the country’s leading television network NDTV.
The Safer Roads Safer India Program was conceived in the year 2015 with an aspiration to encourage young people to comprehend, discuss, and act on road safety problems in their local communities. UL partnered with Youth Service America (YSA), a non-profit with over 3 decades of experience in youth leadership and service, to provide grant opportunities, implement global learnings and develop a program suitable to the Indian youth demographic.
For more than a century now, UL has been striving for safer environments, with endeavours in standards development and innovative solutions for businesses to keep pace with the changing requirements in the progressive world of science and technology. UL is committed to studying the area of Public Safety in India and investing in high-impact interventions to drive change at various levels by engaging with key stakeholders—Schools, NGOs, Government, and Industry.