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Health And Safety: Accidents In The Workplace

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Question:

Describe about the Report of Health and Safety for Accidents in the Workplace.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

Accidents in the workplace can have a significant impact on an organization. Accidents may affect a business through direct or hidden costs that may have an impact on productivity, reduce sales, lessen staff morale, or even lead to the closure of the firm (Clarke 2016). In the event of an employee getting injured due to an accident in the workplace, they are entitled to compensation claims in many countries (Åkerstedt et. al 2002). Employers have a responsibility to ensure safety in their workplace and to make employees understand their role in preventing accidents in the workplace (Rival et al. 2011). They need to be aware of accidents in the workplace, and ways to eliminate the hazards. Employers should provide a framework that prevents employees from the risk of accident identified in the workplace (Akerstedt et al. 2002). They need to question themselves regarding how much they will spend on risk management to save money lost due to expenditure in accident cases (Sadgrove 2016). Injuries caused due to accident proves to be costly not just for employers but for employees too (Rival, et al., 2011). Therefore, promoting a safe and healthy environment in the workplace is beneficial for all the members in the particular work environment (Akerstedt et al. 2002). This dissertation proposal seeks to establish the extent to which preventive measures in the workplace can save an organization costs related to accidents in the workplace.

Background of the Research

Workplace accidents and injuries cause the organizations to spend millions of dollars a year globally. These are the expenditures that come out of the profits of the companies and make them face losses even after the completion of a successful business year. Establishment of safety and health management systems in the organizations can reduce the accidents and injuries up to 40% (Goetsch 2013). However, a considerable amount of money is still at stake due to the accidents and injuries. Organizations dealing with hazardous business activities are the ones to hit the most as a part of their business and this decreases their productivity and reduces the employee morale. Safe workplaces are the essentials for providing the reliability and consistency required for growing a business and building up a community (Reason 2016). However, this problem has not been considered from the perspectives of the employees working on the site and therefore, the present study is aimed at viewing the research problem from a different perspective as quality production is not possible in an unsafe working environment.

Aim of the Study

This research paper is aimed at analyzing the topic Prevention of accidents in the workplace saves organizational costs. A qualitative analysis will be carried out for identifying the causes of accidents in the workplace and how they can be controlled. The study is also aimed at saving the organizational costs by preventing accidents and eliminating workplace hazards.

Objectives of the Study

  • To identify the causes of accidents at the workplace.
  • To identify the preventive measures to reduce accidents.
  • To explore the financial benefits of the organization due to reduction in accidents.

Research Questions

The research questions in this study have been framed by the researcher using the PICO framework. The research questions have been provided below.

  • What are the causes of accidents at the workplace and how are the employees related?
  • What are the applicable preventive interventions for controlling accidents in a workplace?
  • How the organization will be benefitted in terms of organizational costs?

Rationale of the Study

The major of this research is the occurrence of the accidents at the workplace. Organizations with hazardous business activities often face the problem of workplace accidents and this considerably hits the business. Not only the companies face financial loss, but it also loses some of the industrious employees either due to degraded health conditions or even death. The present research will be conducted to identify the reasons for the accidents in the workplace and will investigate the preventive measures that can be taken to avoid the accidents, saving the organizational costs and its employees. In addition, the limitations of the study will be discussed and the future recommendations will be provided by the researcher for further research.

Research Structure

Research Structure

Literature Review

The literature identified on the topic focused on workplace accidents, their impact, benefits accrued from precautionary measures and the downside of lack of precautionary measures. This section will first evaluate statistics on accidents in the workplace, then discuss literature related to the causes of accidents in the workplace and follow it up with an analysis of the costs associated with accidents in the workplace.

Statistics on accident in workplace

Statistics from the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) indicate that during the period of 2014-2015, more than half of the fatal injuries were of three main categories; falls from height, being hit by a vehicle and being hit by an object in motion (HSE 2015). At least 36% of the fatal workplace accidents involved combined incidences of falls, slips, and trips (HSE 2015). The falls, slips and trips were responsible for almost six out of ten specified injuries and nearly three out of ten were over seven-day injuries in the workplace. According to the HSE data collected over seven days in various workplaces, handling was the most common cause of injury in the workplaces observed (HSE 2015).  It estimates that at least 2.1 million working days were lost due to injuries acquired from handling errors, slips, and trips The numbers and rates of injuries vary greatly between industries (Hughes and Ferrett 2015). This variability can be attributed to the different nature of work and actions in various industries although transport and storage reported more injuries than manufacturing and construction (HSE 2015). 

However, the rate of reporting of injuries is not necessarily proportional to the prevalence of injuries in the workplace (HSE 2015). For instance, while human health and social care had the largest number of slip and trip injuries to employees with 1,325 cases over the data collection period, the rate of slip and trip injuries is greatest in water and waste industry with 106.1 per 100, 000 employees (HSE 2015).

The construction industry accounted for most of the injuries specified to fall injuries (a fifth of the overall) and also had the highest rate of injuries due to falls from heights with nearly 49.7 injuries per 100,000 employees (HSE 2015). For accidents involving moving objects that struck people, manufacturing led the ranks with 397 incidents in the duration of data collection and there were 261 accidents in the manufacturing sector arising from lifting, handling & carrying (HSE 2015). However, despite the high incidence, manufacturing did not have the highest incidence rate involving moving objects and lifting, handling or carrying. The water and waste industry led in these incidents with (43.9 and 19.9 accidents per 100,000 employees, respectively.

In relation to gender, nearly twice as many men were injured/or were somehow involved in workplace accidents. There were 11,409 injuries to males and 6,668 to females in the data collection period (HSE 2015). However, regarding specific injuries, women had more slips and trips than men with 4,042 injuries among females, and 3,640 among males (HSE 2015). However, injury in the workplace is not dependent on the gender but on the role a person plays in the organization. There might be some work which has more risk of exposure to accidents for employees. For example, employees working in steel manufacturing industry are more exposed to risk due to the nature of the job (Nordlöf et al. 2015). The task is cumbersome and demanding for the body and people are in danger for crushing injuries and burns. It is also seen that metal worker take long-term sick leaves (more than 90 days) more than normal workers (DeRigne et al. 2016). Although such companies ensure safe working condition through regular safety audit and risk analysis, risk management is also dependent on reigning safety culture of the organization (Nordlöf et al. 2015).

 Many accidents have occurred in the body due to poor safety culture. The safety culture and risk-taking at an organization is determined by acceptance of risk, the individual responsibility of security, the balance between productivity and safety, the importance of communication and internal and external condition. The interplay between these factors has an impact on risk taking the behavior of organization (Glendon et al. 2016). 

One study carried out a statistical analysis of occupational injuries among workers in the food industry. The data related to occupational injury in the food industry of Ukraine was investigated for the period of 2003 to 2011. It also analyzed the number of male and female employee injury. According to Statistics Committee of Ukraine, 91000 people were injured between 2003 and 2011. About 65% male and 35% female employee were injured, and more than 540 employees died (Evtushenko and Klepikov 2013). It analyzed that lethal accidents leading to death occur due to transport accident, falling, the collapse of machinery, etc. It was also found that the significant injury in food industry employees occurs due to a breach of labor disciplines, construction drawbacks, limitation of goods quality, lack of safety requirements in the technological process and defects in building, construction, capital goods and transport (Gould 2013). Exploration of reasons for injuries is useful in developing effective methods to minimize the gap in infrastructure and prevent occupational injury and trauma among workers (Evtushenko and Klepikov 2013).

 

Leading cause of accidents in workplace:

According to Rivaz et al. (2011), the leading cause of accidents in the workplace is neglecting safety measures. This is probably the most dangerous oversight an employee at any level of the organization can make as intentional or unintentional disregard of safety procedures endangers not only the individual's life, but also the lives of others in the workplace and the organization as a whole (Jiang and Probst 2015). Unconcernedly following safety procedures is not a recommended course of action either. Also, individuals in organizations should strive to follow laid out safety procedures and not their own (Rivaz et al. 2011).

Gold et al. (1992) reported fatigue is a major contributor to accidents in the workplace because when employees push themselves or are forced to work beyond their limits, exhaustion can set in and cause impaired judgment or lack of coordination. One study was done to examine fatigue among nurse working in acute care setting. It analyzed that work-related fatigue negatively has an impact on patient safety and the performance of nurse. In the presence of fatigue, error in nursing practice occurs, and it may lead to hazardous consequences for patients. It unnecessarily increases the extra cost of employers. Nurses often have to work for longer shift leading to higher rate of fatigue and medical errors and accident (Smith-Miller et al. 2014). The study evaluated that individual work pattern, culture, and policies of organization influences work-related fatigue in the organization (Williamson and Friswell 2013). Therefore, it requires a multifaceted approach to reducing work-related fatigue and contribution of both staffs and employees is necessary. This will be possible only when contributing factors for fatigue is identified, and intervention methods are designed accordingly (Smith-Miller et al. 2014).

According to Hämäläinen, Saarela and Takala (2009), stress is also a stress causative agent. Factors such as health issues, interpersonal relations, job security and finances can cause stress and employees may become disconcerted. Ming lu et al. assessed the association of psychosocial factors with work-related injury among Korean worker. It was based on survey questionnaires which questioned the Korean workers about their hour of work, a risk factor in workplace and effect of work and injury. It was found that nearly fourfold skilled workers take leaves due to occupational injury compared with those in the low-risk job. The study concluded that workplace violence and job strain are the key psychosocial factors that contribute to work-related injury and absenteeism (Lu et al. 2014).

Workplace injury and illness negatively affects the outcome of work and perception of safety environment in the workplace. This is also a reason for stress in employees, job dissatisfaction and increased rate of employee turnover. One study tried to evaluate the influence of workplace injury on safety perception of employees and how it has an impact on employers well-being and organizational commitment. The results showed that hazardous accidents in the workplace lead to poor perception about safety environment in the organization and this perception ultimately mediate the relationship between injuries and its variable outcome of job stress, turnover rate, and job satisfaction. This study emphasized the need to engage in enhancing the work conditions to make it safer so that overall performance of employees improves (McCaughey et al. 2013).

 Carrying out repetitive work has been associated with pressure on nerves and leads to conditions such as the carpal tunnel syndrome caused by repetitive tasks that pressurize the median nerve and lead to numbness and pain in the wrists, hands, and fingers (Clarke 2016). Data entry operators, typists, and employees at beauty salons are at high risk of developing this particularly painful condition which can lead to an inability to move as required and handle machinery leading to accidents in the workplace (Clarke 2016).

The lifting of heavy objects and generally lifting has been associated with back injuries from accidents in the workplace (Åkerstedt, Fredlund, Gillberg and Jansson 2002). As Åkerstedt et al. (2002) observed, employees may pull muscles or have back injuries due to lifting excessively heavy objects, not lifting objects with proper posture or lifting heavy objects for too long which coupled with health issues, leads to many accidents in the workplace. Security issues can also lead to accidents in the workplace. When violent outbursts occur in the workplace, uninvolved individuals may be injured in the confrontation. Unauthorized individuals may access the workplace and cause violence.  On the other hand, employees can also cause violence due to disgruntlement with work-related or personal issues. Workplaces have to stay cautious of individuals without a legitimate reason to be there, and suspicious packages (Hopel, Sparks and Cooper 2001).

 

Cost associated with workplace accidents

Guadalupe argues that the more accidents that occur in the workplace, the most direct costs of compensation and insurance and indirect costs (2003). The costs of accidents in the workplace are backed up by data from the HSE that put the cost of injuries and illness in the workplace between 2014 to 2015 at £14.3 billion (HSE 2015). Most of the expenses are borne by employees while the government and organizations bear the rest (Moore and Viscusi 2014).

Considering the costs associated with accidents in the workplace, it is important to have preventive measures in place to safeguard against the risks. Also, precautionary measures aid in mitigation of the risks when they take place. Accidents in the workplace may have an impact beyond the workplace. For instance, the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear reactor in the Ukraine led to adverse effects on the environment and community and global implications (Blokov et.al 2009). Following the disaster, many studies were carried out to investigate how safety in the workplace mitigates against risks such as damage to the environment and injuries to employees and those near the workplace. From the studies, it was established that preventive measures go a long way in minimizing accidents in the workplace and their impact (Blokov et. al. 2009).

To develop a fall prevention guidelines and recommendation in the workplace, literature identified the incidence of fall, injury patterns and actual medical cost of occupational injury due to fall in Qatar. The common injuries were caused to the spine, head and chest. The cost to the employer included emergency medical services cost, operating and intensive care cost, rehabilitation and many another cost. It is a significant financial burden for work provider. To reduce their cost in injury cases, they should impose strict regulation and occupational laws to maximize injury prevention efforts (Tuma et al. 2013)

Methods

The research methods chapter provides a detailed account of the research procedure in a logical and technical manner. It justifies and explains the methods that the researcher will be adopting in completing the research. Various aspects of the research like design, approach and philosophy will be discussed in this chapter along with the method of data collection, sources of data, sampling and the ethical considerations of the research.

The researcher for this research will select qualitative analysis and will safer on the thematic analysis. Thematic analysis is the commonest form of analysis used in qualitative research. Data sets are developed that are based on the phenomenal description and are aimed at answering the research questions. For the research, the researcher will develop specific research questions that will be answered in the course of the research. From the literature review chapter, it can be seen that several research works have been conducted by the researchers and a gap have been identified. What are the common sources of accidents and how they can be diminished from the perspectives of the employees is the identified gap that the researcher will fulfill in this study.

Method Outline

The researcher will answer the research questions by conducting a thematic analysis where the researcher will be interviewing the employees of three organizations from the major working levels undertaking hazardous business activities and where accidents are common. These cost the organization heavily and therefore, the researcher will find a way out to reduce the accidents and therefore, save the organizational costs.

Research Philosophy

Research philosophy helps the researcher to derive essential and pertinent knowledge about the research. Primarily, there are four different types of research philosophy that include positivism, realism, interpretivism and post-positivism. Positivism research refers to the cross-sectional study that is based on the already existing facts. Realism is the longitudinal study and interpretivism is the data interpretation as an element of the cross-sectional study. After the establishment of the positivism philosophy, post-positivism research takes place (Rudnick 2014). The researcher for this research will select realism research philosophy as the researcher will collect the data from primary and secondary sources for completion of the study.

Research Design

Primarily three types of research designs are employed for qualitative research. These are descriptive, explanatory and exploratory. Descriptive research design has clearly identified research problems and research objectives and the researcher relates the findings to the subjects of the research. For establishing a set of variables, explanatory variables are useful and exploratory design is employed for the researches where questionnaire identification of the research problems has not been made (Landsheer and Boeije 2010). Descriptive research design will be chosen by the researcher since the aims and objectives of the research have been identified and full description of the research topic can be obtained from this research design.

Research Approach

Two types of research approaches are used in a research study and they are deductive and inductive. The deductive approach consists of moving towards a more detailed process where the acquired knowledge is streamlined using data testing procedures. The inductive research process is dependent on the theories of the research and the research is emphasized on the existing theories rather than on the experimental data (Smith and Firth 2011). Inductive research approach will be selected for this research as the researcher will conduct his research after thorough understanding of the research topic from secondary data sources. Appropriate recommendations and conclusion will be provided based on the inductive research approach.

Data Collection Technique

Qualitative data analysis will be the preferred technique for this research study where the researcher will collect data from the sources that will be utilized in this study. The researcher will employ two data sources for collection of data and they are primary and secondary. Data collected from these sources will enrich the researcher to draw a detailed conclusion to the study. Primary data sources include the data that is collected by carrying out a research study on the sample population. Secondary data sources include the information from academic sources like journals, websites and books. This will be helpful for the researcher as knowledge about the previous research works and existing information on the research topic.

 

Settings and Participants

Primary data source that will be included in this study by the researcher will be the employees of three companies in UK that are engaged in hazardous business activities. The researcher will select companies from three different segments that will include oil and gas company, a chemical company and a construction company. The researcher has selected these organizations of UK as these the organizations that are mostly engaged in hazardous activities and many employees get injured badly during the processes of performing their daily business activities. These costs the organizations financially to greater extents and therefore, the research work carried out by the researcher will considerably help the organizations in reducing the accidents and saving the costs. Data collection will be done by conducting interviews, focus, action research and observation as they will serve as the data collection tools. The data collection process will be subjective in nature and will provide an in depth and rich knowledge on the research topic. The employees from all the levels of the organizations will be interviewed either personally or by forming focus groups. Preferably, the supervisors and managers will be the target population for interviews and they will be the samples for the study. Open-ended questions will be asked and in case the participants are not reachable for the study, they will be mailed the set of questionnaire and they will be expected to return them after filling. The questionnaires will be formulated by the researcher based on the research questions for satisfying the research objectives. Empirical data collected by the researcher by this research technique will provide an in depth knowledge of the research topic and will be beneficial in carrying out further research work on this. Qualitative data will help to provide information on the real life situation of the interview participants and samples.

Ethical Considerations

The research protocol that will be designed by the researcher will follow a code of conduct that will help in the identification of the wrong and right codes of behaviors for carrying out the research work. The researcher will acquire the required authorizations and permissions from the selected organizations prior to interviewing their employees. Informed consent will be obtained from the supervisors and managers literature interviewing them (Van den Hooff and Goossensen 2015). The information gathered by the researcher will be kept confidential and will not affect the sentiments of any business personnel, community and person. The data obtained will be used exclusively for the academic purposes and not for any commercial purposes. Secondary data sources employed for the research by the researcher will be of relevant and genuine origin.

Data Analysis

Data collected from the interviews and focus groups will be critically reviewed by the researcher. Keeping in consideration the research questions, the researcher will analyze the response of the study participants regarding their perception of the sources of accidents and the potential initiatives that can prevent them. Since the researcher will be collecting data from three organizations, there will be ample scope for investigating the actual reason for the accidents in workplace and how the employees recognize them. Action research and observation will help the researcher to acquire the knowledge regarding the occurrence of accidents and how it affects the health of the employees.  This provides a direction to the researcher to find the possible ways to prevent accidents in the workplace. The response of the study participants will be summarized based on the principles of thematic analysis and the similar types of responses will be grouped together.  This is followed by analyzing the group responses from the participants and identifying the common facts that are indicative of the reasons for the occurrence of accidents and how they can a. Further analysis of the accident prevention policies will save the organizational costs by the maintenance of occupational health and safety protocol. Critical analysis of the responses of the study participants will save the organizational costs significantly by reducing accidents and eliminating workplace hazards.

Limitations

Even with it being that the research process would be in some way manageable, it goes without saying that the entire process of working to discover more about all that individuals would have to say about safety at the workplace would come with certain limitations. For instance, not all employees who would be integrated as part of the interviewing process would provide extensive and factual information regarding the issue of safety at the workplace (Aires, Gámez and Gibb 2010). This is because some employees might withhold information due to their fear of being laid off for disclosing the level negligence amid their employers concerning work safety. Furthermore, the research process would require a large proportion of resources in order to be completed thus leading to delays in the research activities. Moreover, this research would require a great amount of time to be executed effectively. In order to get people to easily open up with the problems they encounter at the workplace, one would be required to infiltrate different organizations by learning individuals’ culture at the workplace in order to make other employees feel like they were communicating with their fellow worker.

 

Conclusion

On the whole, it can be concluded that literature reviewed for this dissertation proposal gave the right direction for carrying out research. It helped in getting information about the incidence of workplace injury and the extent to which affects the life of both employers and employees. The gaps identified in the literature helped in getting idea about what is lacking in the study and what factor has not been investigated before. This was the basis for finalizing the methodology of the research and getting a perception about the future plan for the research. The study stressed the need to develop proper preventive strategies to prevent accidents in the workplace and improve the perception about the particular workplace related safety requirement and regulation in place within the organization. It is expected it will be a useful research work which will focus on the rate of accidents in the workplace and how it has an impact on overall productivity as well as the performance of employees. This research will be useful in identifying the gaps in safety requirement in workplace and then determining what can be done to design an appropriate prevention plan for reducing injury. It will help in minimizing the extra cost incurred on accident cases and reduce risk to quality of life of worker at workplace.

 

References

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Answer: Introduction The report is focused on further evaluating and refining the novel value proposition which was created in the previous assessment. Previously some innovative value propositions were suggested in view of the issues that are related to the operations of Qantas Airways. It was found previously that the two main challenges that are faced by the organization are big data management due to the constant changes in technology and...

Read More arrow Tags: Australia 9 innovation and sustainable business development Central Queensland University 

401077 Introduction To Biostatistics 2

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  • Course Code: 401077
  • University: Western Sydney University
  • Country: Australia

Answers: 1. STROBE Checklist of items   Item No Evaluation Study size 10 Only children aged 3 years participated in the study. In addition, cluster formed 80% of the study sample schools. Again, one thousand, two hundred and thirty participants were eligible for the study. Statistical methods 12 · Inferential statistics such as ordinal linear regression, multiple regres...

Read More arrow Tags: Australia 18 Introduction to biostatistics Western Sydney University 

ITC306 Project Preparation 2

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  • Course Code: ITC306
  • University: Charles Sturt University
  • Country: Australia

Answer: Introduction Globex organization is looking forward to upgrade their network by cloud based network. Sharing of files, services of directory, running of desktop application, and others are possible through the common platform of cloud computing architecture which helps in speeding up the business operational working (Alonso, & et.al., 2013). Project steering committee has identified complexities associated with the current working...

Read More arrow Tags: Australia 7 Project Preparation Charles Sturt University 
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