Page 1 of 7
The scope and nature of occupational health and safety The study of health and safety involves the study of many subjects including sciences (chemistry, physics and biology) engineering, psychology, sociology and the law.
Define health, safety, welfare, hazard. . . . . . . . . . .
Definitions are: 1. Health
The absence of disease, for example asbestos creates a health risk because if you inhale asbestos dust you may contract lung cancer. 2.
The absence of risk of serious personal injury for example walking under a load suspended from a crane during a lifting operation is not safe because if load falls serious personnel injuries or death could result. Staying out of danger area results safety.
Access to basic facilities, Such as toilet facility, hand was station, changing rooms, rest places and where food can be prepared and eaten in hygienic conditions, drinking water and first aid provision.
An unplanned, unwanted event which leads to injury or loss, for example a worker on the ground is struck on head and killed by a brick dropped by another worker 5 meter high from scaffold or a lorry driver misjudge and hit his lorry with road side barriers. In both examples the act are not carried out deliberately. Any deliberately attempt to cause injury or loss will not call accident.
an unplanned, unwanted event that had the potential to lead to injury(but did not in fact do so) for example a worker drops a brick form 5 meter high scaffold and it narrowly misses another worker standing on the ground. No injury result and brick not even broken. The only thing that separates accident and near misses is OUTCOME of the event. Accident causes loss and near miss does not.
Something with the potential to cause harm. For example a lorry moving around a site road is a hazard because it might run over a worker. Hazard can be classified as: 1. Physical – things which cause harm because of their physical characteristics e.g. electricity, work at height, radiation, vibration, noise, heat, trip hazards. 2. Chemical – things which can cause harm because of their chemical characteristics e.g lead, mercury, sulphuric acid, cement dust etc. 3. Biological – living micro organism that cause disease and ill health e.g. hepatitis B virus, legionella bacteria. 4. Ergonomic – stress and strain put on the body through posture and movement e.g. frequent repetitive handling of small boxes.
Page 2 of 7 5.
Psychological – things that have the potential to cause injury to the mind rather than the
body e.g. exposure to highly traumatic event.
7. Risk The likelihood that hazards will cause harm in combination with the severity of Injury, damage or loss that might occur for example an electrical flex trailing across a busy corridor in a hospital creates a risk. For example an electrical flex trailing across a busy corridor in a hospital creates a risk. The degree of risk can be described as high or medium depending on how likely person might trip over that trailing flex and how badly they might be injured.
A specified event that has to be reported to relevant authority by statute law, even if the event did not lead to fatality or major injury of a worker. For example the failure of the load bearing parts of a crane is a dangerous occurrence even no person hat be injured. This is reportable event.
Environmental Protection: The prevention for damage to the air, land and water
10. Work related ill health
Diseases or medical conditions caused by a person’s work. For example dermatitis is a disease of the skin often caused by work activities especially when the handling of solvents detergents involved.
11. Commuting accident
An accident to a worker that occurs when they are travelling to or from: 1. Their work place 2. The place where they take a meal during working hours 3. Place where they collect their pay.
In order to understand health and safety issue you need to familiar with following things,
The technical background to the issue and have relevant knowledge. The standards that may apply to the workplace The possible strengths and weaknesses of the various options that are available to solve the problem.
Why might the management of an organization not consider health and safety to be a priority?
The barriers to good standards of health and safety in work place are: 1. Complexity 2. Conflicting demands 3. Behavioral issues Complexity: workplace can be complicated. Many people involve in many different work
activities need coordination. Conflicting demands: a common conflict of interest is that between the need to supply a product or a service at an appropriate speed so as to make a profit, and need to do so safely and without risk of people.
Page 3 of 7
Behavioral issues: good health and safety practice often relies on the perfect behavior of
peoples but sometime they do not behave in ideal way. For example a worker on construction site should wear hard hats to protect form falling object but people sometime deliberately do not wear hard hats.
Moral Social and Economic Reason for Health and Safety
Outline the Reasons why an organization should manage health and safety?
There are following main 3 reasons why an organization has to manage health and safety
Moral, Social & Economic 1. Moral
This about moral duty that one person has to another. Many people killed, injured by other people work which is morally unacceptable. 2. Social (legal) Reason related to framework of law that governs the conduct of business and organization. The legal responsibility for health and safety at work rests on primarily on the employer. The employer has duty to provide the following. Safe Place of Work. Safe Plant and Equipment. Safe System of Work. Training, Supervision and Competency of Staff.
Accident and ill health cost money. When an accident occurs there will be direct and indirect costs associated the event. Some of these losses can be Insured against many of them will be uninsured. When an accident occurs there are two types of losses that the organization may face Direct Costs & Indirect Costs
Outline the direct & indirect costs that might arise from a workplace accident?
The business case for health and safety
The business case of health and safety Is simply that accident and ill health cost money. When an accident occurs there will be direct and indirect cost associated with event.
The measureable costs arising directly from the accident, for example first aid treatment, worker sick pay, repairs to or replacement of damaged equipment, fines in the criminal courts
Those costs which are indirectly as a consequences, for example loss of staff from productive duties in order to investigate the incident, prepare reports, deal with relatives attend court
Page 4 of 7 proceeding, loss of staff morale, loss of goodwill of customers and damage to public and industrial image.
It has been estimated that uninsured losses are between eight and 36 times greater than insured losses. Some examples of uninsured losses Loss of raw materials due to accident. Sick pay for injured workers. Overtime to make up for lost production Repair to damaged equipment.
The roles of national governments and international bodies:
The international labor organization (ILO) has set out convention C155 and Recommendation R164 which apply to workplace health and safety standards. Most countries and regions have established legal standards that meet or exceed the minimum standards set out in C155 and R164. Most countries and regions have established legal standards that meet the minimum standards set out in C155 & R164.
The international framework:
In 1981 the ILO adopted the occupational safety and health convention C155. This describes basic policy for health and safety at national and individual undertaking level. The occupational safety and health recommendation 1981 R-164 supplements C155 and provided more details that how to comply with policies of C155.
Outline the legal duties that an employer has to comply with?
1. To ensure that the workplace, machinery, equipment and processes under their control are safe and without risk to health. 2. To ensure that the chemical, physical and biological substances and agents under their control are without risk to health. 3. To provide adequate protective clothing and protective equipment to prevent risk of accident or adverse affects on health. 4. to provide appropriate instruction and training 5. to provide necessary supervision 6. to ensure that the hours of work doo not adversely affect employees health 7. to remove any physical and mental fatigue
Outline the legal duties that a worker has to comply with?
Workers Responsibilities and rights
Page 5 of 7 Article 19 of c155 states that all worker and their representatives have to cooperate with their employers so that he can fulfill his safety obligations
R164 says that worker should:
1. Take reasonable care of their own safety and that of other people who might be affected by the things that they do and the things that they fail to do. 2. Comply with safety instructions and procedures. 3. Use all safety equipment properly and not tamper with it. 4. Report any situation which they believe could be hazard and which they cannot themselves correct 5. Report any work related accident of ill health.
In addition to the basic right to safe workplace article 19 of c155 gives workers the following rights.
1. The right to be provided with adequate information on actions the employer has to taken to ensure occupational safety and health. 2. The right to the necessary training in occupational safety and health 3. The right to be consulted by the employer on all matters of occupational safety and health relating to their work. 4. The right to leave a workplace which he has reason to think presents an imminent and serious danger to his life of health and not be compelled to return until it is safe.
Outline the consequences for an employer of non compliance with health and safety responsibilities?
The consequences of Non Compliance:
A breach of health and safety legislation is usually a criminal offence. Failure to meet legal standards might lead employer to 1. Formal enforcement action 2. Prosecution of the organization in the criminal court 3. Prosecution of individuals such as director, managers and workers.
Formal enforcement action:
An enforcement agency might force an employer either to make improvement within the workplace or stop carrying out high risk activities. failure to comply considered to be an offence in itself.
Prosecution of the organization in the criminal court
Successful prosecution might result in punishment in the form of a fine
Prosecution of individuals such as director, managers and workers
Successful prosecution might result in punishment in the form of a fine or imprisonment
Page 6 of 7
As well as the criminal law consequences there is also the matter of compensation for workers and other injured by a workplace accident.
1. Taking legal action against their employer through the civil legal system and have prove that employer had been negligent. 2. Claiming compensation from national or regional compensation schemes witho no requirement to prove negligence or blame through the use of the legal system.
What are the organizational requirements for effective health and safety management?
Health and safety management system:
ILO OSH 2001 safety and health system we can summaries the key elements of this system 1. Policy 2. Organizing 3. Planning and implementing 4. Evaluation 5. Action for improvement 6. Audit 7. Continual improvement
A clear statement has to be made to establish health and safety as a prime commitment at all level of organization particularly at the top
A framework of roles and responsibilities for health and safety must be created within the organization from top management to down to the floor.
Planning and Implementing:
Detail arrangement must be made for the management of health and safety. Central to this idea is the concept of risk assessment and the identification and implementation of safe systems of work and protective measures.
Methods must be developing to monitor and review the effectiveness of the arrangements put into place. This might be done reactively e.g. by reviewing accident and ill health statistics reports.
Action for Improvement:
Any identified by the review process must be corrected as soon as possible by making any require action
To ensure that all parts are working acceptably well by systematic and critical examination of the safety management system
The intention is safety management system will develop over the time to become increasingly appropriate and useful for company.
Page 7 of 7
Identify the internal and external sources of information about health and safety?
Internal & External Information Sources: Internal information sources:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Accident records Medical records Risk assessments Maintenance reports Safety representative inspections Audit reports Safety committee meeting minutes
External information sources:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. National legislation (e.g. regulations) Material safety data sheet from manufacturers National codes of practice and guidance notes Manufacturer operating instructions Trade associations Safety journals and magazines