Vedanta Aluminium’s all-women firefighting team, ‘Agnivahini’ is now 100 member-strong  

The program trains volunteers to conduct safety audits, identify gaps and mitigate incidents


New Delhi : In the leadup to World Day for Safety and Health at Work, Vedanta Aluminium, India’s largest producer of aluminium, announces its Agnivahini firefighting team, a unique squad of women employees trained extensively in the complex yet crucial skill of firefighting, is now 100 members strong. Working with the fire safety team, the squad will reinforce fire incident prevention and mitigation measures at the company’s operations in Jharsuguda, home to one of the largest aluminium smelters in the world.

With this, the company has also established a new, tangible marker of its belief that all professional roles, technical or non-technical, need to be ability-based rather than gender-based. Commenced in 2018, the Agnivahini training programme has now inducted its seventh batch of trained firefighters. Women employees from across functions are invited to volunteer for the programme, where they undergo rigorous training over a period of 3 months.

The training curriculum includes both theoretical and practical modules comprising basic fire prevention and combat techniques, emergency preparedness, and onsite emergency drills. The squad works with the plant fire safety teams to identify potential fire hazards and conduct fire prevention audits, thereby enhancing onsite fire preparedness and safety quotient. In addition, members of the Agnivahini also conduct fire safety trainings for communities within Jharsuguda district, enhancing community awareness and readiness as well.

Highlighting the impact of the initiative, Mr. Sunil Gupta, CEO, Vedanta Limited – Jharsuguda, said, “At Vedanta Aluminium, safety and health at work remain among our top priorities, and we are committed to continually recalibrating our approach and introducing new, innovative practices to provide a safer and healthier work environment for all our employees and business partners. The ‘Agnivahini’ programme has been a remarkable outcome of this effort, and we are proud to have trained over 100 women firefighters under this initiative. With the evolution of our operations, our risk mitigation strategies and methods have evolved too, keeping pace with global best practices and establishing new benchmarks.”

Vedanta Aluminium is continuously working towards creating a safer workplace and community by constantly assessing gaps and augmenting its Safety Management System with cutting-edge technologies, robust processes and an unrelenting focus on ensuring behaviour-based safety. Through this process, it has introduced comprehensive safety protocols, in addition to training 240 employees and designating them as Safety Standards Champions to drive implementation.

Vedanta Aluminium, a business of Vedanta Limited, is India’s largest producer of aluminium, manufacturing more than half of India’s aluminium i.e., 2.29 million tonnes in FY23. It is a leader in value-added aluminium products that find critical applications in core industries. Vedanta Aluminium ranks 2nd in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) 2022 world rankings for aluminium industry, a reflection of its sustainable development practices. With its world-class aluminium smelters, alumina refinery and power plants in India, the company fulfils its mission of spurring emerging applications of aluminium as the ‘Metal of the Future’ for a greener tomorrow.

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