OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY

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Abstract

This presentation is aimed at establishing the knowledge and understanding of the operation and functions of an effective Occupational Health and Safety Management System.  It is in different sections addressing Occupational Health and Safety Legislation, Occupational Health and Safety Planning, Occupational Health and Safety Responsibilities and to conclude with, the summary of how these are enrolled into operations of Occupational Health and Safety systems and how they are interrelated to one another.

 

OHS Legislation

            The relevant legislation for my place of work being a manufacturing company is the Occupational Safety and Health ACT, 2007. The organization takes the responsibility when its operations in business or in any other form to which it is in control over are of adverse impact on any parties that transact business with it. The management ensures that adequate consultations are made concerning any occupational safety and health regulations that are prospected on. This is done by formulating a strategic plan concerning the same and by ascertaining that the strategy is convenient for the entire organization and the partners it involves in business.

Parts of the legislation are in the Occupational Health and Safety Act 23(3) which states that “The Director shall ensure adequate consultations on proposed occupational safety and health standards regulations and codes of practice,” (OSH Act. 2007, p. 15).

The other section is 23(4) which accords the director the task of developing a strategic plan for improving the occupational safety and health, and ensuring that the plan in itself meets both the present and the future needs of the entire business and the community it partners with.

OHS plans from the workplace

OHS plans at the workplace are minimization of workplace injuries and infections. This has in it formulated strategies – by execution of a system that records hazardous events electronically – to help reduce work related injuries and infections that may arise from the same. Secondly, there is a plan similar to the Monash University OHS Plan (2010) that concentrates on the improvement of the processes of risk management by formulating and executing a hazard checking and risk assessing model, and constant upgrading of emergency information documents within the organization.

OHSM Manager ensures that the organization and the job are kept safe to all people therefore maintaining the organization’s people in the job. They ensure that every one is empowered to drive results home with the aid of OHS software. They provide reports on the OHS systems, carry out analyses on the OHS standards and identify features that help single out problems. Without any form of prejudice, the organization also keeps maintenance of all its facilities and systems so as to check on health risks. Before it absorbs anyone into its workforce, it conducts a mandatory training which is inclusive of health and safety measures to disburse relevant information to its workforce concerning their health and safety. This also helps advice its employees of the potential health and safety risk areas. It also halts any operations that are consistent in exposing the employees to dangers. Alongside pinning of safety and health measure instructions on the notice boards, fire extinguisher gadgets are also put in place.

OHS Planning

The organization pairs up all the staff as accountability partnership to ensure all the employees’ whereabouts are known. There is also a chain system that links all the employees so that in case there be an emergency each employee is to call the next person in the chain to inform of the emergence of a disaster at some section of the organization. It assists in knowing the whereabouts of all the people in the organization in instances of disasters. In addition, periodic roll-calls are conducted both in the mornings and evenings to ascertain the presence of employees.  Alongside these, there is OHS systems specialists OHS implementation as they provide guidelines on how to ensure good OHS practices, planning and management, (Lewis-Jones, T. & Leclere, d., 2009).

The organization offers training through retreat initiatives aimed at bringing together the views from the employees in an interactive manner. It takes a facilitative approach as this helps in the understanding of the concepts in details by involving the staff in a participatory mode, (CTIED, 2001). This further gives understanding of the situations and challenges for effective OHS systems. This gives quality training which offers support for the practice of effectiveness among the workers and gives sufficient understanding of attitudes towards injuries and accidents, (IW&H, 2010, p. 3-4).

During radical changes, there should be timely communication to the parties that may be affected. There should be arrangements for the implementation of the changes well in advance with proper guidelines to the persons under transition and the management as a whole. They should be oriented into their respective areas of engagement concerning the safety and health issues. There needs to be consideration of the employee views or opinions especially along the safety and health concerns to ensure there is no opposition and reluctance.

Flowchart showing how to resolve the issue(s) from the plan

OHS problem definition

OHS conception / formulation

Agenda setting

Review if fails        Decision making

Execution / Implementation

OHS impact assessment

 

OHS Responsibilities

The employers have the duty to keep the workplace safe in the exits and entrances, providing information and instructions necessary for safety and health of the entire workforce and putting in place sufficient facilities for the well0being of the employees.  These will ensure that no one is exposed to any forms of risks. The employees on the other hand need to be mindful of their health and safety by involving their employers at all levels of compliance. Through these, OHS is responsible for the detailed authority in reducing risks, exercising of accountability in reduction of occupational risks and structuring of the evaluation systems.

Code of Practice applicable to your workplace

One code of practice applicable to my organization is seclusion of certain sections of the organization to particular persons for example access to strong room is only allowed to two individuals who also are entrusted with the key to the strong room. Indeed, no any other person gains access to the room unless otherwise it is meaningful enough and only after a process that follows the protocol of management before any permission is granted. A section of the codes which is not adhered to on the other hand is being in particularly identified sections of the promises alone at given moments like past the normal working duration. This is not abided to by most of the staff staring with the top management to the bottom.

The relevant sources of information on the Occupational Health Management Systems for my organization are the World Health Organization (WHO) the National Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (COHS). These sources help in ensuring that the OHS plan enjoys commitment from the top management, that there is clear definition of the assigned persons on the occupational health and safety guideline, that there is a proper framework for assessing the identified hazards and the relevant control instruments, and finally identifying objectives for executing the OHS processes for the organization.

Three hazards identified and reported include leakage of water pipe just by a sewerage line, cracks on the walls of the organization’s premises and faulty electric connection. These were carried out through identifying their causes, designing, developing and testing of strategies for handling them, testing, implementing and evaluating the strategies.  A committee to look into the same was formed and their report disseminated to all the departments in the organization

Biological agents

The most common way through which they get into our body system is through inhalation. During breathing process in any human, the air that is inhaled has a potential of introducing living organisms into the human body through the respiratory or gaseous exchange systems. The air in the atmosphere comprises many micro-organisms apart from the air components. These micro-organisms are of different types and some are harmful to human health especially by causing us diseases like the respiratory diseases. Biological agents are also introduced into the human body through consumption of infected food and drinks. In addition to these, such agents get into the body through exposure of open places like wounds on the human skin or transmission from one person to another in cases of physical contacts or close association for example the transmission of disease causing viruses and bacteria. These are detrimental to human health as each of them comes in with its unique infections.

Chemical agents

Chemical agents are the easiest to get access to the human system and mostly get in through exposure to chemically polluted or contaminated environments. The water we drink has the greatest potential of dissolving almost everything and when we drink it in many cases, we not only drink water but other chemical elements that get dissolved into it. Like water, any other drink that is consumed by man has to a certain extent some composition of chemicals in it. When one is consistent in drinking a particular soft drink or even the alcoholic types, the chemicals in the drink actually gets to accumulate in his body and these also come with their own implications to human health. The chemical agents when in the human body may and do change the chemical status of the human body fluids in which they get in touch with.

Physical impact

The physical impacts we acquire are mostly out of one hitting or knocking himself upon an object. However, there are circumstances where people have had objects getting into their body for instance when one is involved in a road accident he may have pieces of glass into the body. These can be carried by blood and may get to the brain thereby causing brain interference. Though physical objects, one may be infected by other health complications like tetanus especially through impact of dirty objects.

Emergency Management

Within the organization, fire hazard is comprehensively planned for. Other hazard s that has been focused on is collapse of buildings and radiation emissions linked to the advanced computer system in the workplace. In place are a number of fire extinguishers which are frequently checked on and changed. A section in the compound is singled out as a fire assembly. Besides, there are indicated directions for exit in case these hazardous events are experienced. There is introduction of chambers within the premises that are deemed safe in case a building may collapse. All these have been encompassed with a detailed training on disaster management and mitigation which is conducted for all the employees A specialist that would be employed in assisting an organization in preparing for hazards is a disaster management and mitigation expert.

Feedbacks on the improvements on the performance of emergency procedures provided include an assessment on the employee satisfaction on the safety measures and standards of the organization on the basis of the job types in the organizational setting. This had concentration on the levels of protocols in relation to the levels of safety measures accorded to each one of them. Being in questionnaire form, more genuine views and opinions of the employees are obtained. It was quite relevant since it offered an opportunity to pin point on the safety and health issues that deemed to be taken for granted for long.

The organization carries out check ups through delegating a section of its personnel to keep responsibility of the monitoring, assessing and evaluating the emergency response instruments and systems. The guideline documentations are normally reviewed annually after the report on evaluation and assessment is completed.

Project Summary

In summary, planning in the occupational setting is useful in ensuring a given organization’s employees and clients are kept safe and healthy as it helps in understanding the state of the health and safety condition. It consciously attempts to solve potential health and safety problems and control of the future events by foresight systematic thinking, investigation and exercise of value preference in choosing among the alternative lines of actions. Along with the OHS responsibilities, it prepares viable guidelines for achieving better formulation of health and safety measures and instruments as designed through the OHS responsibilities of authorization and accountability.

Planning being future-oriented focuses helps evaluate the present and past incidents therefore offering a continuous process of evaluation and analyses that change with time. Through planning decision making processes are facilitated well thereby ensuring sustainability of the occupational health and safety management systems in an organizational setting and among the organization’s people. The OHS responsibilities on the other hand provide a reliable means of defining the best goals for the occupational health and safety management systems in an organization. Planning therefore functions with the objectives to achieve goals in accordance with the available resources for OHS management and it helps in devising and selecting from among alternative actions in the management process of health and safety systems. It organizes thus providing necessary coordinating the systems and gives functional directions for management and guidance.

OHS responsibilities help mobilize and inspire the workforce by maintaining efficient communication and accountability. It is useful in controlling and evaluating the performance of the OHSM instruments. Furthermore, OHS responsibilities help drive everything as it forms the basis of concentration. This assists in relating means to ends as it offers an oversight into how the roles and the approaches achieving a healthy and safe occupational environment as formulated.

OHS is driven by the legislation since it is only through legislated regulations that clear definition and designs of encountering health and safety issues can be achieved. Organizations therefore do find the relevance of involving experts for instance safety and health specialist in cases of any occurrences of emergencies and accidents. Through legislation, it is easy for organizations to execute mandatory procedures into their systems like carrying out obligatory medical examinations on the workforce, health and safety assessments within the organizational setting and involvement of proper auditing procedures for health and safety management in all cases that are encountered.  Activities like mandatory medical examination on the employees are enhanced since the legislation provides guidelines for the same.

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