Health and Safety Management

Health and Safety Management Essay

The British Airways Company being a member of the European airlines’ royal family, carries cargo and passengers to destinations exceeding 150 in some 75 states from hubs at the city of London’s Heathrow, Gatwick and airports in London city. The carrier does its operations to a fleet of aircraft exceeding 240, which consist mainly of Boeing jets and Airbus. The BA (British Airways) stretches its network and services to destinations that exceeds 400 in total, through agreements of joint business and relationships that are code shared with AMR’s airlines from America and Oneworld alliance members, for instance, Qantas. Iberia, which was Spain’s number one airline, merged with the BA (British Airways) in 2011 that led to the formation of IAG (International Airlines Group).

The company comprises of a workforce personnel who add up to approximately 57,000, who happen to be distributed to several sectors or sections, for instance, the management, customer service, grounds operations, security, finance, and so on. However, BA being a well recognized airline company, my company is an affiliate of it whereby it deals with clearing and forwarding of goods that are being transported. The company does its operations on ground level only mainly for BA airlines, and it has a workforce of about 450 employees. The employees are spread across and all over within the airline’s are of work (grounds only). The company mainly deals with luggage on transport or that are imported or exported, cleaning of the aircraft, luggage inspection and so on.

Health and Safety Management

For every company that has employees or workforce that exceeds five in number, should come up with health and safety management measures as required by law in addition to several other management of safety that are subjected as legal requirements. The British Airways (BA) is one of the companies that are subjected to this. Every year, over 200 people get killed and over a million get serious injuries every year at their work stations or places. Those who suffer from illnesses made worse by or caused by their work are over two million. Forestry industries are the industries that are well known to be more dangerous, and workers in this sector are prone to more dangers that can result to death and/or illnesses when they are at work compared to any other industry or company, for instance, in construction sites or even airports in this case. However, no danger is greater than the other, provided that it can maim or even kill, it is still danger and for that reason, safety and health measures should to be put to safeguard the lives of the workers at the work premises.

Health and Safety Management
Health and Safety Management

The provision of health and safety management training and information has its importance to every individual in instances where it helps to; ensure that workers or employees is not made ill or/and injured by the kind of works that they engage themselves in, developing of a culture that is safe and of positive health, whereby healthy working and safety becomes every worker’s second nature, realizing and finding out how to manage safety and health better and finally, meeting the legal obligation of protecting the health and safety management of workers.

Training the workers effectively also has its significance, whereby; it contributes towards enabling the workers to be experienced in safety and health, assists companies to keep away from stresses that ill health and accidents cause, and finally, help the companies to stay away from financial expenses that are likely to be caused due to ill health occupations and accidents. In addition, it is important to consider that, not all losses are covered by the insurance company. Products that are damaged, production that are lost and workforce that lacks motivation can all be the cause.

Health & Safety in Airports

Health and safety management in airports is paramount in the delivery of every project, and operate a system of safety management. The system of system management adopts the main beliefs of the guidance on successful health and safety management and is controlled in full observance with every current legislation safety. Young and Wells (2011 p. 78) give out a suggestion that, highlighting that is done is normally based on regulations on construction, design and management (2007) with airports gratifying the role of contractor or principal contractor, the assessment of risk for the purposes of identifying hazards, risk evaluation, implementation of harmless and secure systems of work and related controls, providing training and awareness for every employee from every level and finally, controlling of the sub contractors.

Like in most airports, according to Fuller and Varssie (2004 p. 112), the health and safety management and systems, replicates detailed approach to in the provision of work for every employee and the company’s duties to others. The company has a safety record that is of excellence, managers who normally attend course of safe management, are usually trained with perfection. The monitoring and the enforcement of the policy regarding health and safety management performance across every business activity through:

  • Toolbox talks
  • Safety audits and inspections
  • Reporting of accidents and near miss
  • Regular reports about safety
  • The involvement of a member of staff and communications
  • Regular meetings regarding management team, with a resilient stress on performance of safety
  • Regular meetings on management with a resilient highlighting on management, safety and performance

Accident assessment at workplace

According to Ludwig and Ayres (2007 p. 67) they suggest that, there are various common accidents that do occur in workplace. Injuries at places of work that are suffered by workers who work in the airport, are not restricted to scrapes, paper cuts and other negligible issues. A good number of workers (probably thousands) — whether they conduct their work inside an office or at a site that construction is underway — put up with incapacitating, life-changing injuries every year. If anyone or a loved one for that matter, became ill withed an injury when he was on his place of work, he should seek out for the assistance he needs as soon as possible.

According to Ludwig and Ayres (2007 p. 76), waiting excessively for so long to file an allegation, could put one’s capability of obtaining full reimbursement at jeopardy. For example, Hank Barnett of The Barnett Law Firm has important familiarity of helping workers who are injured to obtain their compensation via the compensation system of Georgia’s workers’. As of 1983, he has assisted a lot of clients file winning claims or appeals a refutation of reimbursement benefits of workers’. He figures out the functionality of the system, has familiarity in dealing with companies that handle indemnity (insurance companies) and works hard to defend the rights of his clients at any given time.

Common Injuries Due to a Workplace Accident

A number of law firms, among them, The Barnett Law, Firm have assisted workers with injuries who are from the range of syndrome of carpal tunnel and injuries of repetitive stress to accidents that have caused a catastrophic death of a cherished one. It is understood that that a number of injuries may have need of an employer to create accommodations for instance, an impermanent change in duties of work, at the same time as others averts the injured worker from working for extensive periods of time. Whatever the state of affairs, According to Fuller and Varssie (2004 p. 134), the law will make sure that the injured worker is given the care and reimbursement he necessitates. Other common workplace injuries include:

  • Neck and back injuries
  • Injuries of the spinal cord
  • Brain trauma (TBI) and head injuries
  • RSD (reflex sympathetic dystrophy) and chronic pain
  • Ankle, knee and leg, injuries
  • Occupational / workplace disease
  • Burns or injuries those are chemically-related
  • Psychological disorders
  • Aggravation of pre-obtainable injuries

The law is conscious that one is going through a traumatic time. Therefore, it concentrates on getting results fast and provides the clients with the kind of respect they ought to have (National Research Council 2012 p. 89).

Common examples of accidents at work

Accidents at places of work can occur at whichever time and to any person whether an individual is working in an office, a warehouse or a shop. According to Fuller and Varssie (2004 p. 167), scores of these will rely on the kind of working surroundings, for example, recurring Strain Injury is more probable to occur in an office like place of work and injuries of the back from physical work. Despite the fact that it is the employer‘s responsibility of anyone to minimize the risk of accidents, they do unluckily take place from time to time. There are scores of injuries of dissimilar types that can come to pass in the places of work including:

Trips and Slips

Just about a third of accidents that come about in the places of work are a consequence of trips and slips. Trips and slips injuries take place mainly for the reasons that are relating to wet floors because of bad weather poor or housekeeping, or objects hindering the footpath for example cables or floors that are uneven. Young and Wells (2011 p. 126) suggest that these injuries can vary from negligible bruises and bumps to main fractures. To minimize such incidences or accidents then some measures have to be put to combat injuries that are liable to be brought about by trips and slips. Ensuring that there should be no wet floor and incase of any, then it should be dried up immediately. The floors should be rough like to enhance grip while walking hence no trips will be likely to occur, and finally, doing a thorough housekeeping and ensuring that no object is hindering the footpath. If this is followed, least amount accidents will be witnessed.

Lifting

Yet again this is an additional major reason of accidents in places of work. Accidents that are resulted by lifting are more possible to take place amongst those staff members who have to take on manual management including pulling, pushing, lowering, lifting or carrying huge items on a customary basis. An injury can take place if the maneuver is not done in the approved manner or when an individual has not been shown how to perform the task as it should be in line with health and safety management course of action. People in this particular of environment should be well taught on how to perform these tasks appropriately in order to avoid injuries at work. In addition, the use of machinery should come to place in order to make their work easier when it comes to lifting of heavy objects, for example, the use of fork lifts

Falls

According to National Research Council (2012 p. 109), this kind of accident can consist of falling from stepladders or other platforms that are raised from the ground, for example, scaffolding. Injuries that are obtained from falling can array from slight strains or sprains to major back or head fractures and injuries. In this scenario, there is only one simple step that can keep individuals in the places of work safe, and that is simply them being watchful and careful

Workplace Traffic Accidents

These can take place in any place of work that makes full use of motorized vehicles like for example, in warehouses, and airports for that matter. Injuries can take place if the automobile that is being used, crashes or overturns or when items descend from it. The safety measures for this case are quite strict and should be followed in order to avoid such cases. As Ludwig and Ayres (2007 p. 89) suggests that the staff using the automobile, should acquire appropriate training on how to use the machinery, in terms of the required speed, maximum weight to be lifted (commonly in forklifts) and so on, because when it comes to automobiles, it is required that care and watchfulness should be the order of the duty.

Burns

Young and Wells (2011 p. 117) suggest that individuals who do their works in the kitchen, are not the only ones who can go through major or minor burn injuries, but even those perform electrical work are also capable of suffering from burns typically because of shock caused by electricity. The only safety measures to be put to practice in this situation, is the wearing of gloves at all times and never handling hot or naked wires with bare hands.

Neck and Back injuries

Despite the fact that working in an office can appear safe enough, having the same sitting position from time to time can occasionally result to neck and back injuries. According to Reese (2009 p. 113), this can take place if an individual is not in the appropriate sitting position, for instance, when the chair too low or high for the desk, no support of the back, when the computer too low so drooping over the desk. Getting the appropriate office furniture is the solution on top of sitting in the correct position, normally, 90 degrees and eyes straight to the screen.

Driving accidents – these take place to those individuals, who engage in driving as part of their work, for instance, taxi drivers, dispatch riders, sales rep, fast food delivery and so on. Following traffic rules is the only solution to avoid accidents, which is common sense.

Heavy apparatus – members of staff who work with heavy and plant apparatus for instance industries that deal with construction can put up with major work accidents. The use of machinery should be put to practice and weight balancing should also be put in mind to avoid accidents that are being caused doe to overload.

The RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) – is mainly resulted by excessive use of the arms or hands to do a recurring job for so long without taking a break, for instance, factory work, typing, writing, driving, and so on. Taking a break is important n this case and this allows the body to coordinate well.

Problems with Vision– this injury can frequently take place to the individuals who make use of computers as their working toll on a daily basis. This injury is becoming the most widespread injury because of the frequent exploit of computers in the place of work.

PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) – according to Taylor (2005 p. 167), it is a type of a concern disorder that is able to arise after an individual has experienced or witnessed a shocking and disturbing event that drew in the risk of injury or death. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is more frequent in jobs of, for example, driving as one could possibly be involved in a dreadful car accident, or working in a business that may possibly be held up, for example, banks, post office or bookmakers.

Example of an Accident That Occurred

Not much time has passed since one of the mentioned accidents happened to one of the workers and sustained serious injuries that he obtained from burns caused by electric shock. The worker and his colleagues left their respective places of work late in the night and were headed for the engineering department where all the repairs are done. They normally hang out there as they catch up on old time stories, because apparently, they happened to be friends who were united together by the job that they were doing. It rained heavily that night that the drainage system was becoming a nuisance, so the rain water flooded everywhere and water managed to find its way in the room. Peter accidentally dropped his phone and rushed to pick it up, but without knowing, he supported himself with the wall and his other hand reaching for the wet phone and got an electric shock that was caused by a naked cable that was being used for welding. The burns were so serious that his hand had to be amputated. Following this incident, the colleagues also developed PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) that made them to develop fear of that particular place for the reasons that, it reminds them of that incident.

In such cases, according to National Research Council (2012 p. 78), there are measures that if were put into practice, the occurrence would not have happened. The first thing that should have been done is making sure that all the apparatus that use electricity especially of high voltages, should have been properly checked, managed and repaired, for the reason that any naked wire can result to serious damage as experienced by the staff member. The second thing that should have been done, is ensuring that water drainage system should be regularly checked and corrections should be done upon being spotted, because apart from the shocking incident, water can make floors slippery hence casing someone to trip and fall, something that can bring about head, back or even spinal injuries, and as known, these are deadly injuries with severe results. Lastly, tools must never be left in the open, especially electric tools; they should be disconnected from any source of electricity and be stored and kept in dry places in order to reduce such cases.

References

Fuller, C., & Vassie, L. H. (2004). Health and safety management: principles and best practice. Harlow (Essex), Pearson Education.

Ludwig, D. A., & Ayres, M. (2007). Safety management systems for airports. Washington, D.C., Transportation Research Board. National Research Council (U.S.), Airport Cooperative Research Program, United States,

Ricondo & Associates, Planport GMBH., Two Hundred, Inc, & Flughafen Zürich.      (2012).Airport apron management and control programs. Washington, D.C., Transportation Research Board.

Reese, C. D. (2009). Occupational health and safety management: a practical approach. Boca   Raton, CRC Press.

Taylor, B. (2005). Effective Environmental, Health and Safety Management Using the Team Approach. Hoboken, John Wiley & Sons.

Young, S. B., & Wells, A. T. (2011). Airport planning and management. New York, McGraw-Hill Professional.

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Workplace Health and Safety

Application of Risk Management: In the Perspective of a Workplace Health and Safety Manager

Introduction

The objective of this paper is to discuss the problem related to workplace health and safety. Workplace health and safety hazards are mostly preventable provided proper precautions are taken in proper time to avoid costly losses of life and property. A hazard can be anything causing injury or disease, e.g. a health hazard, a safety hazard or an environmental hazard. The paper discusses about an organization dealing in petrochemicals. It proceeds with the identification of hazards related to the industry and designing a system to manage the heat problem.

Application of Risk Management

Starting in 1987 the US petrochemicals is a Texas Corporation operating in over 30 countries now. The company is operating successfully in meeting the demands of its customers across the globe which is beneficial for the company itself in many ways. The company is known for its timely delivery at an edge cutting price. The company has earned a worldwide reputation for its workplace health and safety management. Common workplace health and safety hazards include: transportation accidents, slipping and falling, communicable diseases, toxic events, chemical and gas exposure, workplace violence, electrocution, getting struck by objects, explosion, repetitive motion, hearing loss and ergonomic injuries, heat stress, etc.

Heat Situation is the most common incident at any chemical industry and the US Petrochemical is not an exception and there is a well-defined and established system to manage risk at the US Petrochemicals which is discussed in detail in the following paragraphs (Crockford and Neil, 1986).

Identification of hazard

At the US Petrochemicals there are various ways for identifying hazards at workplace:

Inspection: A regular walk through the workplace with a hazard checklist is a direct way of identifying many hazards. The inspection should be for physical things as well as the systems of work and work procedures. The action can be taken immediately if any straight forward problem is detected. Sometimes simple matters like non-functioning of risk control or it is not being used  or not things not kept at appropriate place, be detected which don’t need formal risk assessment and immediate action can be taken to control or eliminate the risk. Sometimes the inspection walk-through detects a situation of immediate and substantial danger to working people (Hubbard and Douglas, 2009).

Finding and applying available information: There are many sources of information which can be made readily available for particular industry or job or type of activity. Many organizations which work for the health and safety of the people publish both hard and soft copies of information on a wide range of OHS topics and industries. Industry unions and associations can provide substantial information about industrial and job hazards, this is essential to the workplace health and safety manager.

Testing and measuring: Often measurements are required to decide about any action specially in case of hazards like noise and atmospheric contaminants. For estimating general noise levels simple comparisons can be made. Measuring and testing provide accurate information about the hazard. Simple machines like noise meters, atmospheric testing machine can be used for the purpose.

Surveys of employees and others at the workplace: Information about occupational stress, workplace bullying, muscle or skeletal aches and pains which may be signal for potential hazard, can be obtained from the people by conducting surveys at the workplace.

Analysing records and data: Another way of identifying hazard is to analyse data and records. Records and data of incidents and injuries are valuable source of information about hazards.  Some organizations mostly large ones even have records or data which show trends of injury or incident. There are many safety authorities which publish data and records about the common sources of injury for different industries. Data can also be shared from other similar industries which have it.

Workplace Health and Safety
Workplace Health and Safety

Risk Assessment

The process of developing understanding and knowledge of risks and hazards to take suitable decision to control them is called risk assessment. Existence of understanding and knowledge and understanding of risks and hazards minimizes the necessity of risk assessment. At the US Petrochemicals the objective of risk management is to determine;

  1. What is the level of harm that can occur
  2. How will the harm occur
  3. What are the chances of occurring harm

A risk assessment should be tailored to the organization and the situation in which it is to be conducted. It may be elaborate and formal or simple as structured discussion. It should be done when the knowledge and understanding about a risk or hazard is limited or there is uncertainty about its outcome or everything that may go wrong is estimated or there is uncertainty about the impact of hazards upon each other to produce greater or new risks (Deloach J. 2012).

Risk Control

The risk control strategies vary as per the need of the organization and the situation. The strategies mentioned below can be used in an appropriate combination or independently.  Normally they are used in a combination at the US petrochemicals. They are as follows:

Eliminating Risk – Elimination of risk is the most effective action which can be taken to control risk. This can be done by eliminating the hazard which may not be possible. In such cases as many risks associated with the hazards as possible can be eliminated (British Occupational Hygiene Society Technical guide).

Avoiding risk: Risk avoidance means to avoid activities which may lead to possibility of loss. This is a calculated decision which may also mean to avoid earning profits because no risk no gain.

Preventing Loss: For unavoidable risks, the methods of ‘prevent the loss’ should be used.  Preventing the loss means breaking the sequence of events which cause loss.

Reducing Loss: For unavoidable losses, the methods of ‘minimize the severity of injury or financial impact’ should be used. These methods include activities of pre-loss reduction or post loss reduction.

Reducing risks– Practically it is not possible in many cases to eliminate hazards or risks but steps can be taken for changing the risk to reduce it. It is the most effective way because it is comparatively less reliant on people performing faultlessly. It can be done by substituting the risk with a lesser risk, by changing the process of work, using technology and isolating people from exposure.

Duplication/Separation: The aim of the risk control techniques is to minimize high losses and not to prevent, avoid or reduce any single operation or asset. Separation means isolating one exposure from others, e.g. a business can occupy different buildings at different locations instead of one big building. Duplication means utilizing spares or backups, e.g. a business can store the spares or backup data at different location.

Transferring Risk: Transferring risk means making such contracts with parties, other than insurance companies, such as vendors, service providers, suppliers and contractors which include transferring risk to them. This is also termed as contractual risk transfer.

Changing exposure of people to risk– The behavior of the people or the way they expose themselves to the risk can be changed to control the risk. This does not change the risk but controls it by protecting the people. This can be done by improving the skills of the people which will limit the chance of failure, by limiting the time of exposure and by providing protective equipment to them.

Controlling the risk in heat situation– For heat situation some different and specialized steps are taken like reducing or removing the sources of heat if possible, controlling the temperature, providing mechanical aids for reducing work rate, regulating the duration of exposure to heat by providing breaks or rest facilities, preventing dehydration, providing protective clothing and equipment and by providing special training about heat stress.

Implementing control strategies and assigning responsibility

The responsibility of a workplace health and safety manager is not only to establish only a system to control risk or hazard but also to ensure its proper implementation according to a suitable approach of the organization. At the US petrochemicals there is a detailed guide for different departments of the company for the implementation of control strategies and assigning responsibilities. The guide has key questions like what does the department do, how is the department organized or managed, what is the size of the department, what are the numbers of hazardous processes and hazards, what are the types of risks or hazards, what levels of harm, risks or hazards do, etc. Being a large organization, the US petrochemicals has the benefit of established formal process of implementation which ensures certainty of results and consistency and this is possible due to availability of many hazardous processes, large number of employees and many layers of management (New and expectant mothers at work).

Risk Monitoring

A risk management system can only be effective if there is a structure of reviewing and reporting to ensure the effective identification and assessment of risks and hazards and proper control over it. Compliance of standards, review of standard performance and regular audit of the process is required for improvement. At the US Petrochemicals it is assured by the monitoring system that the controls are in place and procedures are clear to everybody to follow them adequately. Changes are made in the system with the changes in the environment and the organization. The monitoring also determines that the intended outcomes were achieved, appropriate information was collected and appropriated processes were implemented and the decisions taken were appropriate according to identification and assessment (A handbook for workplaces).

Conclusion

Workplace health and safety is a key issue for any organization and the US Petrochemicals is not an exception. The responsibility of a workplace health and safety manager is tremendous and keeps him on toes because the things in the business world are changing fast and with this organizations are also changing and it is a challenge to keep changing the risk management strategies according to the organization. The US Petrochemical is a big organization with large number of staffs and different layers of management which makes the implementation of risk management strategies accurate. The risk management involves various steps like identification of risk or hazard, assessment of risk and hazard, control of risk and hazards, implementation of strategies of risk and hazards and finally the monitoring of the process. All these steps require serious and careful attention to avoid any incident and ensure health and safety measures.

References

A handbook for workplaces, Controlling OHS hazards and risks, Edition No.1, November 2007

British Occupational Hygiene Society Technical guide, No 12 The thermal environment (Second edition) H and H Scientific Consultants Ltd 1996 ISBN 0 948237 29 5

Crockford and Neil, 1986. An Introduction to Workplace Health and Safety Management (2 ed.). Cambridge, UK: Woodhead-Faulkner, pp; 18, ISBN 0859413322.

Deloach J. 2012. Key Elements of the Risk Management Process and Workplace Health and Safety.

Dorfman and Mark S. 2007. Introduction to Risk Management and Insurance ,(9 ed.). Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-224227-3.

Hubbard and Douglas, 2009. The Failure of Workplace Health and Safety Management: Why It’s Broken and How to Fix It. John Wiley & Sons.,pp; 46.

New and expectant mothers at work: A guide for employers HSG122 (Second edition) HSE Books 2002 ISBN 0 7176 2583 4

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