1. Evaluate current health and safety Acts, Regulations and their application in the built environment with particular emphasis to the engineering and construction sectors;
2. Demonstrate a wide knowledge of the nature of human factors and their influence upon safe work planning. Develop and apply human factor analysis to human errors in work place planning
3. Analyse working situations, develop and apply strategies which ensure effective management of health and safety ;
4. Appraise the study of health and safety culture, the root of malpractice and consider processes of development of accident free working environments by reference to case studies and example situations?
Today industrialization is considered as a growth parameter of a country as well as a region, and the workers are considered as the cornerstone of an Industry. However, it is found that in most of the cases the workers in the industries experiences more health hazards than workers in other field are. Therefore, it is important for the company managements to take care of the health and safety of the workers or labors who are exposed to the hazardous conditions while working for their company (Hymel et al. 2011). The Occupational health and safety (OHS) or the occupational safety and health (OSH) or workplace health and safety (WHS) is a well-versed field that deals with safety, welfare and health of the people who are who are engaged in employment or work. According to WHO (World Health Organization), “occupational health deals with all aspects of health and safety in the workplace and has a strong focus on primary prevention of hazards” (Gnoni et al. 2013). The goal of OSH is to foster a better, healthier and safer working environment for the workers. Health and safety management of a company not only focus on the safety of a worker but also co-workers, family members, even customers who may get affected by the environment of a workplace.
It is the responsibility of the employers of a company to protect their workers from possible health hazards of their workplace. On the other hand, the workers have rights to know about the possible hazards of their working environment (Hughes and Ferrett 2012). There are different type workplace hazards such as biological hazards, airborne substances, noise exposure, sunlight exposure, chemical exposure and biomechanical demands.
Figure 1: Different types of hazards in workplace
Responsibility of the management systems
The management of a company plays a key role to take care of the safety of the workers involved in this company. It is the responsibility of the management system to build up a safety organization within a company and implement proper safety rules and regulation to control the work force of a company (Zalk et al. 2010). The authority needs to perform safety and health inspections in a regular time interval and analyze job hazard analysis for an individual employee. Besides, the workplace needs to be prepared for the emergencies or accidents. The management also has to provide proper training to the workers so that they do not easily get hurt themselves. The management is bound to serve proper equipment to the workers so that they can protect themselves from the hazardous environments of the company (Hale et al. 2010). Preparing a safer place, in turn, helps the company to build their reputation and increase their work force. To prepare a safety working cycle the management needs to prepare development plan then implement those steps in the work place. The authority also needs to measure and take corrective actions, which will lead to prepare a perfect safety policy for the workers.
Figure 2: Preparation of safety policies
Identification of safety and health hazards of a work place
The identification of safety and health hazards varies from country to country. A hazard is considered as something, which is harmful to the workers. On the other hand, a risk is considered as a blend of probability that an outcome will be found and the harshness of the harm concerned. Hazard, risk, and outcome are the three words that are used mostly in the field of work places, especially in industries. According to OSH (Occupational health and safety), "harm" can be described and divided in the different contest as harm can be caused due to different reasons in the workplace. Harm in a workplace can be divided into different types such as permanent or temporary, mental, physical, indirect or direct, or social being of workers. Such as when the workers in the industrial area forced to handle heavy objects manually, they may get hurt, which is recognized as physical hazards (Armstrong and Taylor 2014). On the other hand, biochemical and chemical hazards can take place in a workplace while handling chemical manuals without proper equipment to protection. This kind of hazards can take place in a workplace like industries and the health care centers. This biochemical or chemical hazards can be considered as permanent or temporary depending on the severity of the injury experienced by the workers. On the other hand, the workers in the industries of third world countries it is observed that most of the workers in those industrial areas are forced to work under sunlight. Exposure to noise is another problem faced by the workers in the industrial area (Elsler et al. 2010). Exposure to sunlight or in loud noises may cause health problems to the workers such as vomiting, dizziness, deafness etc. To avoid these consequences, it is important the management of the company should take proper steps to train the workers how to handle different chemicals as well as provide those proper equipment that will be helpful to protect the workers from the potential hazards of the workplace.
Safety planning of a workplace
Offering safety to the workers always showed positive feedback and company with good safety cards always attracts more works. Adequate implementation of safety plans is helpful to encourage the workers to be get involved in a work, which may have the potentiality to harm the workers' health. However, safety planning for a workplace is not an easy job to do. Preparation of safety planning includes several steps, which need some patients to implement in the working area. At first, the management needs to publish a statement that clearly showed their concern about the safety priority of the workers in the company or organization (Hughes and Ferrett 2011). Publication of this prior statement is helpful to gain the worker's confidence that the company or the organization management is concerned about their health and well-beings. Then the management authority should clarify their aim, which also needs to be a clear and precise statement stating their goal in the context of achieving worker's safety. A specific list of objectives is also helpful to stay on the right track and begin the safety planning for an organization or a company. The objectives of the safety planning should include development of workplace environment, providing proper safety equipment to the workers, to teach the workers about the potential harm that can be caused during working in a particular environment, to provide training to the workers and staffs about how to stay “safe” and the duties in a medical emergency (Vinodkumar and Bhasi 2011). Then the management needs to build proper infrastructure to carry out their objectives and provide necessary safety to their staffs. In this context, the management needs to perform an assessment of risks and hazards of a particular working environment. This hazards and risks management may take some times as the procedure includes several steps such as interviewing the workers about the accidents they faced during their working period. The management also needs to check and find if the organization has proper equipment for the safety of workers, find out if the workers have the proper training to handle the hazardous situation or can handle chemicals that are corrosive and able to cause biohazards, etc. Then the management needs to put proper preventions to eliminate the potential health hazards. After the identification of the hazards, the management should conduct a risk assessment and analyze the result in a proper way (Granerud and Rocha 2011). The last step that can be taken by the management body is to monitor the implementation of safety procedures and rule. The proper monitoring and review will be helpful to find out further loop holes in the safety system implemented for the workers.
Figure 3: Occupational health safety plan
However, it is found that apart from all types of hazards mentioned and discussed above, there is another emerging health risk is emerging among the workers and currently considered as the top of the problem lists of a company or an organization. The emerging concern is the psychological risks experienced by the workers in a working place (Bond, Tuckey and Dollard 2010). In most of the cases, it is observed that the workers fainted in their work place due to losing their nerve control. According to the researchers, the reason behind this health issue in a work place is the psychological pressure experienced by the workers or staff in a certain work place (Nakao 2010). However, the psychological condition varies from person to person. Therefore, to resolve this problem the management authority of a company or an organization needs to perform a psychological assessment of their workers or staffs by a professional psychiatrist and evaluate the psychological compatibility of a worker or staff within the company.
Benefits of health and safety management in a work place
From the history of severe accidents took place in the industries it can be learned the health and safety should be considered with priority in a workplace. From the previous researches it is observed that no matter how big or small the business is, the authority needs to manage the safety of the workers (Locke and Romis 2012). The health and safety issue should be considered by management as their responsibility, not as their burden. In most of the cases, it is recognized that the workers who feel safe and have a welcoming environment in their workplace they feel inspired to work in that place and try to engage their friends and families in the same work place, which is certainly a beneficial factor for the growth of a company or an organization. Managing safety in the workplace is not only beneficial for the workers, but the company is also benefited. On the other hand, the numbers of industries are growing day by day. Therefore, if a company or an organization fails to meet the safety demand of the workers, then that may have the potentiality to harm the worker’s concentration (Goetsch 2013). The benefits of the implementation of safety and health can be experienced by a company is as follows-
The company or the organization will be able to have a happy, healthy and motivated team.
The safety enhancement can also enhance the profitability and the performance of the workers.
This step can be proved as beneficial to achieve the liability insurance based on the preferential rates.
Extra safety in the workplace can ensure the reduction of sick leave.
Extra safety in the workplace can ensure the reduction of employee turnover.
The workers will have peace of mind and will be encouraged to work with their best.
Extra safety can also be proved as beneficial for the company or an organization to grow their reputation.
The company will not face any legislation problems in the context of violating rules and not taking care of the worker’s safety.
Challenges to implementing proper health and safety management in a workplace
The implementation of health and safety of the patients are necessary; however it is found that most of that company faces different difficulties while implementing the safety process for the workers. It is observed that in most of the cases the small business sectors or growing companies face difficulties to ensure their worker’s safety due to the lack of experience and the shortage of resources (Santos et al. 2013). Therefore, they fail to offer adequate safety to the workers and attract them to work for their companies or organizations. On the other hand, the bigger industries also face difficulties regarding the health and safety of their workers. It is noticed that larger MNC companies have more than one branches and the authority management experience difficulties to control of the branches, which leads to the negligence of the health and safety of the workers and staffs within the company (Nahrgang, Morgeson and Hofmann 2011). To resolve this problem, the bigger companies need to assess health and safety condition of the different branches separately and evaluate the condition of the workers yearly as well as providing them proper training to keep themselves safe.
The current health and safety acts and their application in a work place environment
From the previous researches, it is observed that the practice of occupational safety and health vary within different nations. Every nation has their own regulation, incentives, legislation, policies and enforcement for compliance (Salvendy 2012). Therefore, sometimes it becomes difficult for the international companies to maintain the safety rules in their different branches of different countries. From researches, it is found that Italy has the highest number if full-time OSH inspectors per one million full-time employees (Goetsch 2011). The health and safety policies of different countries are considered as one of the most important criteria of the development of a country.
The health and safety are not only important or beneficial for the employees within a company but also, in turn, helps in the growth of a company. The safety in workplace encourages the employees more to give their best for the company. On the other hand, from the above discussion it can be said the implementation of health and safety rules may be essential for the company but it is indeed a time-consuming process and full of difficulties. However, there are certain ways and policies that can be applied by the companies to overcome the barriers and fulfill their aim.
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