A jump in factory fires is dangerous for the people who work there – and the supply chain

Last year, supply chain disruptions jumped 88% from the previous year, according to a report from Resilink, one of the world’s leading supply chain monitoring and management companies. risks. According to the report, the top six causes of the disruptions were factory fires, mergers and acquisitions, business sales, production disruptions, leadership transitions and supply shortages.

Resilink said it had recorded the most factory fires in a single year in 2021 since it started tracking fires a decade ago. The company issued 1,946 verified factory fire alerts – a 129% increase from 2020 – to its customers, which include giants such as IBM (IBM) and GM (GM).

The rise in factory fires is the result of gaps in regulation and oversight of production, as well as a shortage of skilled labor in warehouses, said Bindiya Vakil, a risk management expert at the supply chain and CEO of Resilink.

“In a year in which the global supply chain already has multiple triggers for disruptions, the high frequency of factory fires has exacerbated the overall situation,” Vakil said. “A fire at a supplier can affect many industries.”

The pandemic, Vakil said, likely contributed in a major way to less than optimal levels of alertness. “With fewer workers on site and reduced hours, coupled with some remote functions, things like preventative maintenance and proper cleaning between shift changes have been affected,” she said. “This can be especially dangerous in factories that contain hazardous and flammable materials.”

Among the countries with the highest number of factory fire alerts last year were the United States (425), India (159), Germany (122), South Korea (117 ), Mexico (97), the UK (78) and Japan (72), Resilnik reported.

The industries most affected by the fires are auto manufacturing, food and beverage, aerospace, life sciences and furniture, according to the report.

Vakil said she fears further disruptions will continue to disrupt the global supply chain in 2022. “Things could get worse with the brewing conflict between Russia and Ukraine,” the CEO said. “Russia is a key global supplier of several commodities and raw materials.”
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