The report deals with highlighting the growing hazards that are slowly degrading the health conditions of the staff and workers of BlueScope Steel. The study based on particular five important health hazards that act as the chief catalyst in instigating the problem that is slowly eating into the profitable prospects of the company in the form of reduced number of employees and claims that is costing millions to the company. Narrowing in on the difficulties, solutions provided will act in a positive way to solve the current situation, directly related to increasing meetings between employees and implementing the current requirements (Macdonald et al., 2012)
BlueScope Steel remains one of the chief flat steel manufacturing concerns in Australia, A demerger from BHP subsequently listing itself in the ASX (Australian Stock Exchange) on Monday 15 July 2002. BlueScope Steel has increased its base of operation subsequently with plants in New South Wales, Melbourne and Adelaide and Brisbane. The Company has slowly reached the zenith of the steel manufacturing industry in Australia. Employment in this company remains high, with a staggering number of 16000 employees; BlueScope Steel forms the basis of Steel industry in Australia. It is this concern in question, that the various hazards and problems pointed out are in relation with ("History - BlueScope Corporate", 2017).
The Various Hazards in Question:
A proper and healthy place of work remains the primary importance for the functioning of any concern. The OH&S (Occupational health and safety) principles are an effort to provide for a more secured environment for work, where the employees are safe to practice their trade and profession. BlueScope, though being a big concern has shown certain negligence towards employee safety, various factors in the manufacturing concern has played a vital role in the health degradation of its labours and employees on the same scale. Lines of five major factors lined up, properly indicates the non-compliance regards to the OH&S regulations (McGann, Grzywacz& LaMontagne, 2014). The reflected factors are as follows (Reid et al., 2014):
Noise levels in the manufacturing industries often touch the higher decibels, thought the Work Health Safety Regulations place the limit at 85 decibels but the constant level of exposure can prove fatal. A reported hearing impairment of 16% of the total employees stays a major concern for the business house, which is not only losing millions in the form of claims but also losing ground in the social responsibility sphere, where labours are increasingly trying to detach from the unsafe atmosphere (Carter et al, 2014).
The extraction process of steel in the factories are of great danger to health of the normally the workers, who remained exposed to constant high temperatures which, is likely to cause strokes and dehydrations to a dangerous level. Heat exposures up to 23 degrees remain permissible but temperatures in the BlueScope factories remain beyond that. A proper legislation in this matter is nonexistent but the Work Health and Safety Act specifically in section 19 displays the primary duty of care, which likely be violated if this situation continues (Macdonald et al, 2012).
3.) Confined Spaces and poor Ventilation:
Poor ventilation is a major issue in the industry, where increasing cases of suffocation are coming around, the problem spreads even to the labour zones, which, lack a ventilation systems, and a proper spacious work place to accommodate a large chunk of industrial workers engaged in the production process. The OHS legislation concentrates on employers providing for a proper work place which is devoid of confinements for the workers, violation of which breaches the simple instruction of due care according to the OHS legislation (Macdonald et al,2012) .
4.) Uneven Work hours:
Overtimes and work extensions make it hard for the employees of the business house. The eight-hour work limitation has disappeared slowly in the world of work overloads that comes as bad effect on the health aspects. Once concerned as workers paradise has now slowly degraded, working against the OH&S regulations of an eight-hour working limitation (McGann, White & Moss, 2016).
5.) Medical Treatment:
A lack of medical facilities increasingly makes it difficult to attend injuries at the workplaces. Risks particularly remain with the factory workers exposed to the risk of accidents more frequently than the salaried employees are. Duty of care as enshrined in the commonwealth legislation along with state laws is violated as vulnerability of the workers are not attended (Macdonald et al, 2012)
Some definitive measures include:
The exposure level being 85 decibel, there is a suggestion to decrease that level substantially to 85 decibel, which is considerable. Another general suggestion remains to reduce exposure working hours and providing protective machineries to normalize the situation of high decibels (Toft et al, 2012).
An interview is strictly required with the workers regarding work conditions, providing proper insulation and ventilation remains important to counter the heat problem. Regular inspections and providing exhausts remain important for the management. The final step can be endured is an agreement to be reached between the OHS committee regarding heat reduction and maintenance (Reid et al, 2014).
3.) Confined spaces and poor Ventilation:
An advice given to the employees to not enter the confined spaces and take measures to increase ventilation, because breathing and openness is an efficient way of bringing out the best in an individual(Toft et al,2012) .
4.) Uneven work hours:
The implementation of eight-hour work culture is a necessity in the current scenario. Regulating shifts and increasing employment will put cut off the extra burden on the existing employees. The possibility of work sharing and substitution increases reducing mental pressure. Providing entertainment and giving recreation hours is important to curb these problems (Reid, et al, 2014).
5.) Medical Treatment:
Reports of increasing cases of accidents rendered pressure on the management, increasingly the missing first aid boxes, lack of health facilities and poor infrastructure to deal with emergency rectified with availability of all the requirements as mentioned. An attending doctor is most required in this concern (Macdonald et al, 2012).
To conclude, suggestion of increase in interactions with workers is necessary, interviewing staff and workers to narrow in on the requirements is a necessity. Training sessions conducted to prepare the staff in cases of emergencies that generally ranges from medical to other miscellaneous problems identified by auditors of the concern. Meetings between staff and workers will help the concern to know their difficulties, subsequently identifying different possibilities in existence to solve the situation in the industry. A proper health will develop the industry; a team of ill workers will push for the downfall.
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Carter, L., Williams, W., Black, D., & Bundy, A. (2014). The leisure-noise dilemma: hearing loss or hearsay? What does the literature tell us?. Ear and hearing, 35(5), 491-505.
History - BlueScope Corporate. (2017). Bluescope.com. Retrieved 24 June 2017, from https://www.bluescope.com/about-us/history
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Toft, Y., Dell, G., Klockner, K. K., & Hutton, A. (2012). Models of causation: safety. Safety Institute of Australia, Tullamarine, Victoria.