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Fundamental Principles Of Occupational Health And Safety

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Question:

Critically analyse how external factors influence how an organisation approaches occupational health and safety and how a failing organisation can be turned around using all appropriate mechanisms of state intervention.

 

Answer:

Because of multitude hazards that exist in a workplace, it is the workplace that has bearing on health of an employee. The hazards may be related to biological, chemical and physical agents that exist in a workplace. Many areas of a workplace are an evolution of legislations such as, Health and Safety Act and Control of Substances Hazardous to Health. The occupational health and safety will be discussed in this essay and the impact of the regulations on the health and safety of the employees will also be discussed.

The place where adults spend a substantial amount of spend is called a workplace. A workplace may have positive or negative influences on the wellbeing and health of the employees. Factors that influence health of an employee in context of occupational health and safety are, firstly, temperature and humidity, proper heating is important to give thermal comfort in cold season (Alli 2013). In certain occupation cold stresses may occur especially in jobs where preparation of food is involved or work in an open air condition. In the same way, protection should also be given during the summer season by maintaining the heat and the radiation level. Proper air movement within the organization is important as it allows the working more easy and comfortable. Maintenance of good temperature allows an employee to work in a comfortable and safe environment.

Secondly, ensuring that there are “safe equipments” available at the workplace for the well being of the workers. This is very important as it may impose certain risks to the life of the workers. Construction of unobstructed emergency exits and pathways for the safe movement of employees and vehicles within the workplace should be maintained by the organization (Hughes and Ferrett 2015). The organization should also ensure that the doors and gates are constructed in such a way that they are fitted with the safety devices to prevent the risk of the accidents that might take place.

Thirdly, the welfare factor with respect to the safety of the workers include maintenance of washing and lavatories services, drinking water provision and facilities to rest and eat proper meals during the course of their work.

The factor of “specific hazards” in a workplace environment means that the workplace has an environment that include sources of hazardous substances such as dust fumes, chemicals and other biological agents. Exposure to such an environment may cause risk to the life of an employee. Such a condition of work is covered by a number of legislations in The United Kingdom. One of the most common kinds of workplace injury is trips and slips within the organization. Falling from a certain height, especially from the ladder, causes deaths of many employees within the organization. Disorders related to muscles and skeletons are common and include injuries from heavy lifting and strain injuries. In Great Britain asbestos is the largest cause of work related fatal disease and ill health (Hughes and Ferrett 2015).

“Vibration syndromes” is caused by the use of powered hand tools and vibration from the vehicle at the workplace. Noise can damage the hearing capacity of an individual but it can also be of serious concern affecting the concentration of a person. Electricity death is also caused due to the underground power cables. Such kind of injury often results in some kind of permanent injury. For about 150 deaths in the United Kingdom are caused due to the systems containing a fluid under pressure due to the failure of the equipment of through incorrect design and poor operation maintenance. Exposure to radiation and the risks related to such exposure include damages such as medical imaging (Lax 2013).

The term “stress” in the context of occupational health and safety is the most imprecise and over used term. However, it is clear what most people mean when they use the term “stress”. The Health and Safety Executive has defined the term “stress” as “adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them.” The stress factors may be reduced if there is a control method that is formulated for controlling the way work is done and managed, reducing work overload, increasing support from the managers, reducing issues that may be conflicting in nature, maintaining good relationships with the colleagues and increasing the efficiency of management of organizational change (Alli 2013).

 

All the concepts related to safety and health risks should be understood by an organization. Organizations should keep in mind the laws that are made by the legislators for incorporation of the laws. The laws pertaining to safety and health measures include: The health and safety at Workplace Act, Management of health and safety regulations 1999, health and safety (First Aid) regulations 1981, diseases and dangerous occurrences regulations, 1995, control of substances hazardous to health 2002, manual handling operations regulations 1992 and the food safety act, 1990. These Acts are incorporated into the United Kingdom working to provide security to the employees during the course of their work. The accountability of the laws should also be maintained not merely the creation of laws. It is the responsibility of the workers to get proper protection with prospect to the laws mentioned above. Laws should be made and implemented in favor of the employees (Lax 2013). The employees, however, also have the duty to ensure that they do not misuse the laws that is made by the law makers to provide security to them. Technology plays a very important role when it is about safety and health of the employees. The technological policies may be divided into the following, namely, maintenance environments, safety aids and security systems.

For a legislation to be effective, proper implementation of the laws should be carried forth through the procedures, rules and policies. The policies should be in concordance with the structure and polices of the organizations.  Legislation can be implemented if there is a proper care planning of the policies. The care planning method ensures that all the policies in a given organization are carried out effectively. This requirement for ensuring the safety of the employers can be met through good practice and security.

Effective results may be given within a workplace if an employee has good communication skills. This may, however, be faced with challenges and problems. To make sure that the whole process is successful and efficient, a number of factors should be considered. The requirements of good communication skills should be considered with regard to the analysis of risks and benefits that is associated with good communication skills. The risks may be personal in nature and relating to other individuals. The effects of use of service resources and the priorities concerning the internal and external stakeholders are the main factors that should be considered for good communication skill (Lax 2013).

The strategies and the health procedures may differ from one organization to the other organization. The policies which employers need to consider can be classified as:  individual needs of the people, role and responsibilities of the employers and employees, procedures that are open to changes, the procedures that relate to professionalism and relationship between workers and the employers.  These rules can be used as an assessment tool that one should consider the safety and health in an agency.

Reviewing and monitoring of the threats and risks, informing the policies and learning from experience. A good organization will always take note from the threats and accidents that have occurred in the past and develop strategies to minimize the risks that are involved.  Health and safety environment can be created at different levels within an organization. The levels may vary from managerial levels, individual level and organizational level. The contribution at each level should be formed in a precise and intelligent way. An organization should focus on training, responsibilities and compliance between the agencies and individuals and the groups that work in an organization.

Evaluation and monitoring of the safety and health policies from time to time is the responsibility of an organization. This ensures that there is safety and health in an organization during the course of their employment.  Maintaining “health” and “hygiene” in an organization shows how much an organization is careful about cleanliness that is maintained in the organization.  Proper training should be given to the employees for their individual protection while they are at work. Such as, knowing how to use the fire extinguisher, and knowing how to use the fire exit in case of emergencies. If an organization does not comply with the health and safety measures breach of work safety and health law occurs when, an employee is put at risk of injury. Illness or death due to an accident or risk at workplace, when appropriate steps are not taken to prevent an injury arising out of an accident and there is failure to comply with the law requirements.  An organization is said to be breach any law or requirement of safety when employers are exposed to hazardous materials and proper care of them is not taken for their safety (Reese 2015).

Conclusively, it can be stated that much of the factors that influence the health and safety of the employees should be based on the principle of risk assessment. The law does not explicitly expect the employers to remove the risks involved but expects proper handling of the risks that exits. Identification of risks and thereby understanding as to who may be harmed by the threats exposed and taking proper steps for removal of such threats is what law expects them to do.

 

Reference List:

Alli, B.O., 2013. Fundamental principles of occupational health and safety. International Labour Office–Geneva. ISBN 978-92-2-120454-1 [On-Line]. Available.

Clarke, S., Probst, T., Guldenmund, F. and Passmore, J., 2015. The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of the Psychology of Occupational Safety and Workplace Health. John Wiley & Sons.

Hughes, P. and Ferrett, E., 2015. Introduction to Health and Safety at Work: For the NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety. Routledge.

Lax, M.B., 2013, November. 25 years on: An assessment of the occupational health clinic network in New York state. In 141st APHA Annual Meeting (November 2-November 6, 2013). APHA.

Moriarty, B. and Wingert, E.P., 2013, January. Mold Happens: Dealing with Mold as an Occupational Health Hazard and the Environmental Management of Mold. In ASSE Professional Development Conference and Exposition. American Society of Safety Engineers.

Ndjoulou, F., Desmarais, L. and Pérusse, M., 2015. Employer Responsibility for Occupational Health and Safety: Challenges, Issues and Approaches.Journal of Management, 3(1), pp.1-8.

Phillips, J.A., Holland, M.G., Baldwin, D.D., Meuleveld, L.G., Mueller, K.L., Perkison, B., Upfal, M. and Dreger, M., 2015. Marijuana in the Workplace: Guidance for Occupational Health Professionals and Employers: Joint Guidance Statement of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses and the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 57(4), pp.459-475.

Qasim, M., Bashir, A., Anees, M.M., Ghani, M.U., Khalid, M., Hanan, F. and Malik, J., 2014. Occupational Health, Safety and Risk Analysis in Large Scale Industry of Lahore. Bulletin of Energy Economics (BEE), 2(4), pp.113-118.

Reese, C.D., 2015. Occupational health and safety management: a practical approach. CRC press.

Robson, L.S., Stephenson, C.M., Schulte, P.A., Amick III, B.C., Irvin, E.L., Eggerth, D.E., Chan, S., Bielecky, A.R., Wang, A.M., Heidotting, T.L. and Peters, R.H., 2012. A systematic review of the effectiveness of occupational health and safety training. Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health, pp.193-208.

Shashikumar, M., Goud, B.R., Joseph, B. and Varghese, P.S., 2016. Occupational Health and Safety Measures in a Mortuary of a Private Tertiary Care Medical College Hospital, Bangalore. Indian Journal of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology, 10(1), pp.83-88.

Solaß, W., Giger-Pabst, U., Zieren, J. and Reymond, M.A., 2013. Pressurized intraperitoneal aerosol chemotherapy (PIPAC): occupational health and safety aspects. Annals of surgical oncology, 20(11), pp.3504-3511.

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