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Description of the Organization

Discuss about the Impact of Hazards at PACT Construction Company.

Hazards have now become a part of almost every industry. The construction industry is not any different. There are numerous hazards present in the construction industry, which are very risky for the lives of many (Bahn, 2013). This is because of such reasons it is important that the respective industry take a proper care of its hazards, so that, the risk level could be minimized. To understand the topic clearly, a discussion of some hazards in the chosen organization would be a handful way to proceed with. In this context, the learner has chosen the PACT Construction as its organization, which is in Australia. The main purpose of this assignment is to discuss the identified hazards at the workplace of the chosen company. Moreover, the study would also provide some way out to control the identified hazards, so that, it could not cause much severity at the workplace.

The chosen company is in the construction industry in Australia. The company was founded in the year 2003. Now, the company has approximately around 51-200 employees. The company has its specialities in Designing & Construction, Project Management and Cost Planning. The company has received some accolades as well such as the prestigious construction award from the Master Builders Association (MBA) (Mills, Smith & Love, 2012).

A hazard can be defined as a potential resource that can harm or affect the health of a person (Scheer et al., 2014). Hazard and risk are close to each other in meaning; however, they differ to each other evidently. For example, in a room where there is a spill of water, it is hazardous if someone put his or her legs on the spilled water. The one would slip down; however, if the particular area is protected by mean of some physical barrier, the risk would be reduced while the hazard would still be there. A hazard is never safe until and unless any efforts are given to reduce the level of risk in it.

The PACT construction is a construction based company that not only involves its participation in the construction works but it also designs the construction plan. In such organizations, hazards is not only restricted to the construction sites only but it is also found in places where the raw materials are kept. It is very difficult to prioritise the hazards available at the workplace. However, to justify the requirement of the task the two-selected hazards in the chosen organization are as follows (Bahn, 2012):

  1. Lifting of raw materials by crane at the construction site
  2. Noise

Definition of a Hazard

The workplace environment is divided into two sections such as the official premises and the construction sites. The official premise is for the official persons such as those takes care of the back end operations. The backend operations include various operations such as the stock maintenance, customer service, frontline services, IT services etc. Construction sites mainly deals with the construction process, which is participated by various workforce such as the crane operator, heavy motor machine’s operator, site supervisors, safety officers, labours etc. The construction sites used to be highly polluted with the various resources of pollution such as the noise pollution. The noises of crane operation and the operation of heavy machines cause the sound pollution to happen at the construction sites (Golmohammadi et al., 2013).

Lifting of raw materials is the most frequent resource of risk, which happens because it is done with the help of crane. There are cases, which provide the evident of such risks. One of the most recent examples of such incidents is the fall of an entire crane on the some part of the area, which is popularly known as Al-Haram (Rahman et al., 2017). Al-Haram is very popular among the Muslims. This is one such instance, which states the threat of hazard present at the construction sites. One of the most hazardous places in the chosen organization is the construction sites where it uses the crane to lift the required raw materials. This is hazardous because it is a resource to risk.

Noise is the other resource to risk in the chosen organization. This is less evident physically; however, it is highly evident with the employees who have been in long-term participation with the company. It is highly injurious to hearing capabilities. It gradually develops with the passage of time. Noise pollution is highly visible at the construction sites, which is created by various means such as the cranes, the numbers of labours working at the sites and the other heavy motor machines (Seixas et al., 2012). The most dangerous of all the noises are the noises created by the heavy motor machines that use to process the mixing of cements with sands. These all processes are the requisite for the construction process. It is also not feasible to reduce the level of risk in such cases, as the heavy motor machines are required for mixing up the raw materials. 

Lifting of raw materials is hazardous because it can anytime fell down upon someone. The risk of the hazard can be prevented such as by carefully looking after the lifting process. However, circumstances are there that even test the risk prevention method implied at the construction sites. The falling down of the entire crane on the some part of the Al-Haram is a good evidence of such facts (Rahman et al., 2017). Construction sites can have reduced risks, which is very much possible with the implementation of safety parameters or the implementation of some codes of practices at the workplace. However, it is never practical to entirely nullify the effect of hazard, which is present at the workplace of PACT Construction’s working sites.

Workplace Environment

Noise is hazardous because it would hamper the listening capabilities of those who work at the construction sites (Hussin, Rahman & Memon, 2013). It is a long process; however, it is very vital because it becomes a reason for a physical damage in human body.

The hazards were identified with the help of information provided by some external body such as the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) (Friend & Kohn, 2014). OSHA is primarily focussed on providing a healthy working environment where employees could work under a highly secured atmosphere. They do provide a set of hazards that are probable with the different industry in Australia. The information on the hazards supplied by OSHA has helped to identify the two risks, which have been discussed earlier in this study. Various other ways have also helped to gather information on the hazards present at the different construction sites of the PACT Construction Company. Such different ways are as follows:

  • Operating manuals on different machineries and equipments used at the construction sites
  • Records generated on previous cases of injuries, such as the records supplied by OSHA 300 and 301 logs (Reese, 2015)
  • Compensation reports and records of Workers
  • Existing safety capabilities of the organization

These all methods have helped to gather different information on hazards. The reports supplied by OSHA and the record of injuries in the past have helped immensely in identifying the two hazards that have already been discussed in this study.

The mentioned Hierarchy of Control is a good weapon to control the hazards at the workplace and to reduce its adverse effects on the workforce. The hierarchy of control measures is divided into six different procedures such as the follows:

  • Elimination of the hazard- The elimination of hazard is not entirely attainable. However, efforts can be given to reduce its adverse effect on the workforces. The one initiative can be taken such as the selection of a highly skilled crane operator. The human resource department of the PACT Construction needs to revise their recruitment criteria for the crane operators. The highly experienced crane operators should only be selected (Dörfler, Simpson-Porco & Bullo, 2016).
  • Providing some barrier to reduce the risk- The use of alternative option may help to reduce the effect of hazard to some extent. This is a very good option for many hazard related prevention. However, in the chosen case it is not highly viable. In such cases, it is advisable to adopt some effect reducing process such as the use of heavy cranes. This would reduce the risk of meeting with an accident as the load lifting capability would then be enhanced. Noise reduction is not possible; it is rather bound to happen. However, PACT Construction can initiate the health check-up campaign on quarterly basis. Workers can be encouraged to attend such check up campaigns to know the status of their hearing capability (Dörfler, Simpson-Porco & Bullo, 2016).
  • Hazard isolation- Isolation is another effective process, which could help to reduce the risk level of hazard. Such as placing the noisy heavy machines in an enclosed glass chamber if it is possible. This would prevent the sound from travelling to the workers. Similarly, workers should be strictly ordered to be away from the operation area while the lifting of materials is under process. This would also reduce the risk level (Dörfler, Simpson-Porco & Bullo, 2016).
  • Using the engineering controls- Using the engineering tool, risk level can also be reduced. Such as selecting the remote areas for constructions. This would keep the operation away from the population. Hence, this would reduce the risk level of the hazards, which is in high proximity while working within the population (Dörfler, Simpson-Porco & Bullo, 2016).
  • Using the administrative system- The risk level could also be reduced by implementing some changes in the organizational practices. This would include but are not limited to such as training on the safety parameters, adopting an appropriate operating system guided by few codes of practices and cancelling the participation of workers who are unfit (Dörfler, Simpson-Porco & Bullo, 2016).
  • Implementing equipments for personal protection- Personal protecting system would be a better idea to reduce the risk level. Such as the use of earmuffs while operating near to the heavy machines. This would protect from the noisy atmosphere, which is a better way to be prevented from the loss of hearing capabilities (Dörfler, Simpson-Porco & Bullo, 2016).

The implementation of the Mobile Crane Code of Practice 2006 can help the PACT Construction Company in reducing the risk level of the identified hazard. This is an approved code of practice under the Act for the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (Zhou, Whyte & Sacks, 2012). However, the implementation of the mentioned code of practice depends on the following duties:

Officers- The directors of the chosen company needs to take some responsibilities to ensure that the implementation of the mentioned codes of practice is widely used at the workplace. This also includes the assurance of all the required equipments or strategies, which is needed to ensure a less risky work environment (O'Neill & Wolfe, 2014).

Workers- Workers need to take care of their own safety as well as their colleagues. They need to adhere to the safety codes of pactice to ensure a safe working environment (Barak, 2016).

Duty holders- It is the responsibility of the management to enquire the safety related precautions used by different responsible positions in the chosen company. This would ensure an appropriate and steadily flow of safety parameters at the workplace (Cooper, 2012).

Description and Classification of Identified Hazards

The implementation of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 would encourage the employer to implement the recommended quarterly health campaign at the workplace. This would also encourage the workers to adhere to the code of practice. The chosen Act encourages the facilitation of a safe working environment for the workers. This also encourages the workers to attend the health campaigns to remain healthier.

Conclusion

The PACT Construction Company needs to initiate the implementation of some safety parameters such as the use of equipments like earmuffs to avoid ear from the harmfulness of the noisy machines. On a similar note, the company needs to adopt some codes of practice such as the “Mobile Crane Code of Practice 2006” and the “Work Health and Safety Act 2011” to implement a safe working environment at the workplace. This would not only ensure the safety of workers but would also speed up the progress of the project.

References

Bahn, S. (2012). Workplace hazard identification: what do people know and how is it done?.

Bahn, S. (2013). Workplace hazard identification and management : The case of an underground mining operation. Safety science, 57, 129-137.

Barak, M. E. M. (2016). Managing diversity: Toward a globally inclusive workplace. Sage Publications.

Cooper, T. L. (2012). The responsible administrator: An approach to ethics for the administrative role. John Wiley & Sons.

Dörfler, F., Simpson-Porco, J. W., & Bullo, F. (2016). Breaking the hierarchy: Distributed control and economic optimality in microgrids. IEEE Transactions on Control of Network Systems, 3(3), 241-253.

Friend, M. A., & Kohn, J. P. (2014). Fundamentals of occupational safety and health. Bernan Press.

Golmohammadi, R., Mohammadi, H., Bayat, H., Habibi Mohraz, M., & Soltanian, A. R. (2013). Noise annoyance due to construction worksites. Journal of research in health sciences, 13(2), 201-207.

Hussin, J. M., Rahman, I. A., & Memon, A. H. (2013). The way forward in sustainable construction: issues and challenges. International Journal of Advances in Applied Sciences, 2(1), 15-24.

Mills, A., Smith, J., & Love, P. (2012). Barriers to the Development of SME's in the Australian Construction Industry. Construction Economics and Building, 2(2), 71-79.

O'Neill, S., & Wolfe, K. (2014). Officers' Due Diligence: Is Work Health and Safety an Accounting Problem. Journal of Health & Safety Research & Practice, 6(1), 15-21.

Rahman, J., Thu, M., Arshad, N., & Van der Putten, M. (2017). Mass Gatherings and Public Health: Case Studies from the Hajj to Mecca. Annals of global health, 83(2), 386-393.

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

Scheer, D., Benighaus, C., Benighaus, L., Renn, O., Gold, S., Röder, B., & Böl, G. F. (2014). The distinction between risk and hazard: understanding and use in stakeholder communication. Risk Analysis, 34(7), 1270-1285.

Seixas, N. S., Neitzel, R., Stover, B., Sheppard, L., Feeney, P., Mills, D., & Kujawa, S. (2012). 10-Year prospective study of noise exposure and hearing damage among construction workers. Occup Environ Med, oemed-2011.

Zhou, W., Whyte, J., & Sacks, R. (2012). Construction safety and digital design: A review. Automation in Construction, 22, 102-111.

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