Occupational health and safety is a multidisciplinary field that is associated with the welfare, health and safety of the people at work. The goal of occupational health and safety is to foster a healthy and safe working environment. This assignment will discuss the various aspects and elements of occupational health and safety that will include the technical developments, codes of practice, health and safety legislation, control procedures and risk assessment as my reflective account for assessment of my work duties and responsibilities with respect to the heavy lifting and construction industry.
Being an HSQE professional, the first step that will be taken by me for development of risk assessment and adding the control measures by making sure that they meet the necessary statutory requirements, best practice of the industry and the organizational requirements. I will be involved in training and implementation of the available workforce, conduct workplace inspections, identify and evaluate hazards and monitor systems related to health and safety. I will be maintaining several types of records relevant to the project that will be acting as the resources for accessing the health and safety legislation and best practice. Hazard identification control, assessment of task risk and the associated control measures are the ones required for meeting the industry best practices, organizational requirements and statutory requirements. The resources that will be made available are the list of legal requirements according to the ADMA/OSHAD and the UAE Federal Law, JSA of the individual employees dependent on their job roles, audit and workplace inspection records, minutes of the TRA meetings with client comments and the other suggestions and comments from the HSQE professionals. Apart from these, other documents as records and evidence that have to be used are equipment checklists for all the equipment available in the organization like fire extinguishers, ballast pumps and ladders, compliance checklists, performance review records, training matrix and internal memos. The Federal labor law of UAE encompasses the health and safety of the workers in the articles 91 to 101 (Elaws.gov.ae). These are the resources that will be reviewed by me in on a regular basis as per the legislative and statutory requirements. By reviewing these resources, I will be able to identify and detect gaps in the existing system if it fails to comply with the Federal Laws and other legislative requirements of UAE and being a professional, I will be able to take the necessary steps to ensure that the organization complies with the latest legislative requirements.
Health and safety are part of every business just like quality and production. Being an HSQE professional, it is my responsibility to manage the health and safety in the organization by using and evaluating the available health and safety information that will be followed by undertaking research for developing the organizational requirements. I will be setting the objectives of health and safety and develop plans for achieving them by making someone responsible for getting things done. The responsible will be provided with the resources and skills for doing the job and it will be supervised by me that the objectives are met (Bowal and Ariel). For making the system more effective, I will be modifying and evaluating the available resources, consult with the employees and document the entire system.
Information gained from the resources will investigate the findings and implement the required actions by me for the identified gaps by communicating with the stakeholders related to the health and safety of the organization. Communication will be made with the workforce for motivating them for maintaining and developing a safety culture in the organization. The contractors will be communicated with for providing health and safety training with induction prior to commencement of the work with heavy lifting. The visitors will be adequately communicated with to ensure that they are quite familiar with the requirements of health and safety considering requirements of the non-English speaking visitors who have disabilities and are illiterate (Goetsch). The customers will be communicated for providing them with the necessary health and safety precautions while supplying them with the services, substances and articles. These are the essential activities that will be carried out by me for ensuring the implementation of the findings from the conducted research.
In my organization, the vital information regarding health and safety in a heavy lifting and construction will be passed on through various communication methods that will include formal training, induction training, posters and notices, signs, handouts, letters and emails and face to face communications. Information will be communicated with respect to the equipment checks will be done by the written safe procedures with the assessment of the PPE (personal protective equipment) (López-Alonso et al.). For this, I will be communicating the employees with the job steps, potential hazards associated and the recommended procedures for safe job as heavy lifting involves a lot of hazards. A follow up training and audit will be conducted for ensuring that the equipment will be in the same working state as it was when bought. I will carry out an investigation to determine the accidents with the near misses that are involved with the equipment to identify the root cause and prevent the future occurrence risks. The findings will be communicated to the responsible stakeholders through training and signs and symbols. I will be classifying the products that need certificates and data sheets based on the type of construction and heavy lifting or the material as required maintenance levels, component design life and failure effect categories for their usage. This will alert the client regarding the usage and implication of the products regarding their maintenance and durability (Manu et al.). I will pass over the information about new safety campaigns and initiatives for their implementation by working out the elements required for engagement of the staff members, designing training manuals that are highly effective, producing posters that have high impact and creating video content that are engaging for all the employees for the purpose of heavy lifting activities.
The methods and mediums of communications that are to be used in the heavy lifting organization need the consideration of the access of the individual and the group workers to a particular method. I will choose the communication method considering its effectiveness in the construction site and the ease of the method. The golden rule that I will consider is that I will not make use of a single method and will use multiple communication channels for ensuring that content of the message is rich (Andreasen). Some of the communication methods that will be considered by me are verbal, non-verbal, electronic, written, informal and formal. The examples of the mediums will include Toolbox talks, emails, fax, memos, posters, phone conversations and minutes of the meetings. It has been noticed in the construction organizations that majority of the staff members do not regularly access their email accounts and therefore, I will not give email as a priority for communication. For heavy lifting organizations, Toolbox Talks are the most effective medium of communication as they can be conducted at the job site and the meeting will be short in duration (Yates). For the employees who do not regularly access their emails, I will be setting up posters, memos and minutes of the meetings on a billboard for communication and it will also be used for gathering ideas from the employees. In case the employees are not available for direct communication, phone conversations will be used for communicating them with the information and I will use fax for a much similar purpose.
The stakeholders are the ones who are affected by the actions of the organization as they have the concern or interest in the organization. Accidents at the construction site due to heavy lifting can be reported immediately either over the phone or online with all the relevant details to me as I am the HSQE professional. Thereafter, I will enter the details in the accident book for ascertaining the occurrences. In case the employee needs to be referred to a hospital or doctor after providing the first aid, I will be notifying the case immediately to the senior company representatives present on site and the company office through phone conversation. A thorough investigation will be carried out by me along with the other company representatives and that will be followed by the introduction of control measures for avoiding future problems.
Incidents and accidents will be communicated to me by the various departments and sites engaged in heavy lifting regarding the fatal and non-fatal injuries. I will be reporting the dangerous occurrences, major injuries and fatal accidents to the designated or nearby healthcare facility that is out of my organization. The Ministry of Labor in UAE requires the organization to report the cases of work-related injuries to its office within 24 hours of their occurrence (Mol.gov.ae). Therefore, it will be mandatory for me to report the occupational injuries to the MOL which will also include the diseases that are enlisted in the agenda of the occupational labor disease of UAE.
The process of regular maintenance of the heavy equipment in heavy lifting and construction sites requires accurate and complete records and checklists of servicing. The process of outlining the protocols will involve servicing the machinery pieces for the construction services and the details will be entered in the maintenance records. I will make arrangements for recording the repairs and tracking inspections in the maintenance records so that there will be a track for the maintenance requirements of the equipment (Ahamed Mohideen and Ramachandran). For example, mobile heavy equipment will have different maintenance records compared to the power tools. Goods with certificate, contractor application, defects in products and records of repairs are the other records that will be maintained by me for health and safety that are related to the input materials, services, goods and equipment. The information generated from the various records will be stored in computers as it is a highly efficient system for management and storage of information and placing the information in the first place. The records of health and safety information will be maintained in spreadsheets and word documents in various databases. Information gathered from vendors regarding repairing and maintenance will be maintained in maintenance database and information collected from clients regarding the services provided will be saved in client management systems. I will be maintaining archive documents, confidential documents, electronic documents and print documents for long-term storage that will be used for long term storage. According to the security policy of the organization, there will be an access control policy that will allow only authorized personnel to access the records and resources pertaining to the health and safety of the organization. This is a part of the risk management strategy that will specify the access privileges and identify the authorized users of the health and safety information.
I will develop a communication strategy where the employers will be linking the strategic plan with the communication procedure that will include the values, vision and mission, the organizational brand and its objectives and goals. Personally, I will manage the communication in the heavy lifting organization by safeguarding credibility for building trust and safeguarding credibility. I will listen to the members of the leadership teams and the employees for gathering inputs and maintain consistency for establishing a strong brand of employment. I will provide feedback on the communication theory after seeking input from all the associated constituencies. The managers will be recognized as the organizational leaders and they will be endowed with the responsibility to maintain the communication chain of their respective departments. The information and communication systems can be ensured to work as intended for ensuring effectiveness by developing basic skills speaking, listening, providing feedback and asking questions. Collecting feedbacks will keep me up to date of the project status in action and help me to conduct regular follow-ups. Monthly meetings are efficient in bringing up the problems that are affecting the company and can be solved with effective communication. Clarity and brevity are the requirements of concise and clear communication so that everyone in the organization will interpret the messages ambiguously. These will ensure me that the information systems are working as intended for ensuring effectiveness in the heavy lifting organization.
Health and safety policies are constantly promoted by me by training and engaging the workforce involved in heavy lifting activities for achieving healthy and safe working conditions with the promotion of best practice by being practical. I will stay committed to provide adequate resources for assessing, monitoring and training for the safety and health performance of the company for delivering the set of objectives for the sake of continuous improvement. I will provide health and safety information in such a form that will suit the various needs of the workers, managers and staff members, as per the protocol. The information will be provided through computer terminals, print and training programs (Fang, Dongping and Haojie). Along with this, the workers will be so trained that they can be provided with the information that is necessary for deciding how to act in a specified situation. Information about the health, physical and chemical hazards will be available at the site of work in different languages that will facilitate the better understanding of the workers including Arabic (Sherratt et al.). I will do the implementation and revision of the health and safety policy on a quarterly basis or as and when required for the new employees. During this period, the staff members will be empowered and motivated to work safely that will protect their long-term health other than taking the measures for avoiding accidents. My implementation procedure will underpin the effective participation and involvement of the staff members through appropriate consultation, safety representation system and usage of the safety committee. I will promote competence that will allow the employees for making an informed and responsible contribution to the efforts of health and safety.
According to the Labor Law of UAE, I will report incidents involving damage to property or personnel to the local authorities which will be followed by a police investigation. The police will seek for the statutory technical report from the local authorities regarding the details of the submitted report. For the external constructions working at the construction site for heavy lifting activities, I will carry out a visual inspection of the personal protective equipment and the working equipment prior to commencement of the work as per the regulation. In case faults are identified, I will immediately report the issue to the DWTC health and safety division and a copy of the report will be sent to the supervisor of the employees. Further proceedings of the work will be carried out only after the repairs have been made as it is essential under the Dubai Municipality local order of 1991 (Holt). Additionally, during the course of employment, if any employee suffers from injuries that include poisoning or loss of limbs due to heavy lifting activities, I will report the case to the labor department and the police for further investigation. Certain ministerial decrees will also have to be informed who deals with the practices of employee protection against the risks and hazardous works in the construction sites. Death cases will be reported to the labor department and also if the employee is absent from the workplace for three or more consecutive days due to his inability to work. On a quarterly basis, I will be reporting the labor department regarding the account of occupational diseases and injuries at work.
To comply with the requirements and legal standards, I will have to establish systems for identifying the changes in the law and keeping the organization up to date with the changed legal requirements. Through our websites and journals, the members of the trade associations will be kept updated. Adequate means of communicating and distributing the welfare, safety and health information will be obtained for the trade organizations displaying the new techniques required for prevention of accidents, codes of practice and new legislation requirements and for capturing the evidence (Biggs et al.). Guidance can be obtained from the trade association seeking and identifying hazards in the heavy lifting activities. I will communicate the voluntary bodies about the health and safety practices of the organization and a report will be submitted as evidence. A volunteer will be appointed for providing health and safety leadership in the organization by the voluntary body for capturing evidence where he will be reporting all the concerns of health and safety to the organization to identify the areas of changes. The health and safety information will be communicated to the interested parties in the form of manuals to inform them of the standards adopted for ensuring occupational health and safety for the equipment, property and the people. Interested parties including industry representatives, government agencies, consumer organizations and media will provide opinions as a part of interactive communication that will be captured as evidence. I will have to be aware of the language competency and cultural barriers as it is a sensitive issue in UAE and it impacts communication on an individual basis. Health and safety messages will be conveyed to the individuals in the form of compliance codes for complying with the law (Cooper et al.).
I will communicate the internal and external stakeholders about the health and safety information of the products and services through presentations, meetings and emails. Communicating the messages of health and safety to the stakeholders will provide greater clarity among the stakeholders and therefore, meetings and presentations will be the preferred tools for communication over email (Zhang et al.). Visually engaging, concise and clear presentations will be delivered in the meetings that will help to gather feedback from the stakeholders regarding their understanding of the concept and that will be captured as evidence. Telephonic meetings can also be conducted with the external stakeholders for informing them about the health and safety protocols of the organization and keeping them updated.
Responsible waste management activities are an essential aspect for sustainable business development in construction business. Therefore, it is essential that the stakeholders are communicated about the waste management instructions. I will make use of the similar communication tools of presentations and meetings to demonstrate the system of waste management followed in our organizations. Feedbacks and inputs from the audiences will be collected as evidence for identifying the areas of improvement. Commonly used method for waste management in construction and heavy lifting is landfills that do not affect the environmental health and safety and emails will be sent to the stakeholders to have their opinions regarding the hazardous perspectives. Waste management procedures other than landfills can be implemented based on the opinions and suggestions from the stakeholders. Based on the evidence, newer environmental policies will be adopted by me to promote health and safety.
Since construction and heavy lifting activities are prone to accidental hazards, therefore the contractors and visitors have to be well communicated with the site rules. On arrival at the site, I will provide them with a brief demonstration and induction about the site map along with the restricted areas, hazardous substances, location of emergency equipment and first aid facilities and evacuation procedures (Sujan et al.). They will be provided with the organizational handbook along with a tutorial and assessments will be done to capture evidence of their gained knowledge. A similar procedure will be followed for communicating the emergency procedures to the contractors and visitors which will include apart from the general procedures, a brief training program. Health and safety information will be provided in the training tutorials and information will be provided on what to do in case of an emergency. In case the contractors have a long duration of stay in the site, I will send a copy of the site rules well in advance to them and have a quick recap of the lessons on their arrival regarding the risks and hazards, the alarm and first aid procedures. Regarding the waste disposal system, I will provide the induction to the visitors and contractors and a detailed plan of the disposal system will be displayed at the critical areas for their appropriate knowledge. Since most of the disposals are done through landfills, the environmental, health and safety procedures followed by the organization will be discussed in the induction process.
Communication is the key to timely completion of projects and enhancement of productivity in the heavy lifting sites and for that, it has to be developed to make them more effective. There are several means of communication strategies that I will be using in the construction site and therefore, will develop an action plan for improving the individual parameters that collectively contributes towards the betterment of communication for improved health and safety in the workplace. The information resources will be improved by me by initiating a brainstorming session with the employees, creating a charter, developing a state process map, creating evaluation and data sheets, designing future state process and development of implementation plan. Improvement in the ease of the workforce for obtaining information will include conduction of surveys that I will be doing either in person, email or by mail. These surveys conducted by interviews and focus groups will reflect the gaps in the existing information system that I will be collecting and working on the process to improve them. Frequent meetings, improved databases and improved toolbox talks can also help to develop the existing communication system for making health and safety information more effective.
While developing a communication strategy, I will consider the identification of the target audience based on their differing knowledge and level of understanding for imparting health and safety information. When greater interaction is required with the target audience, verbal communication will be the tool of choice however, it can include human errors in the process that might ignore the cultural and linguistic barriers in a mass audience (Lingard). In comparison, written communication can be effective while communicating with the senior management members of the organization to cope up with their busy schedule and retaining the gained information for future reference (Doloi). However, there are chances that the written information can get lost and it can be targeted only to the senior members of the organization, considering their higher levels of literacy. With the increasing complexity of the job of heavy lifting, health and safety information can be effectively communicated through electronic communication. I would prefer this mode of communication because of its mobility by which the employees can be communicated whether they are on or off the site with laptops and cell phones with storage and retrieval of data (Mittal, Sharma and Mittal). However, security can be a major threat that can cause to leak the company information through cyber attacks. Therefore, depending on the situation and the type of situation, I will use the best-suited method of communication for delivering the health and safety information.
The construction and heavy lifting industry is undergoing rapid changes in UAE and therefore, several external factors are coming into play that is influencing the communication system of my organization. Mobile phone apps provide a facsimile solution that promotes collaborative communication with the stakeholders who are either on site or away from the site of heavy lifting. I will be implementing mobile phone apps in my communication system as they can be influencing for communicating the health and safety risk assessments, practices and control procedures, best practice and technical developments. The promotional activities for health and safety that are relevant to the organizational needs can be communicated to the employees effectively through mobile phone apps. I will be focusing on the legislative and moral obligation of my organization and therefore, changes in legislation will be applicable to the communication system that will encompass the new and proposed health and safety legislation, standards and codes of practice. I will also include the legislative changes in the statutory reporting of the health and safety requirements for an organization. The product information provides will also have an influence on my communication system in terms of the health and safety statutory information requirements particular to the product including its services and waste disposal. It will also impact on the health and safety procedures and standards of an organization relevant to the contractors that are used by my organization.
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