The Safety Institute of Australia has called for a crackdown on the amount of health and safety breaches that have resulted in injuries. Mal finds that when laziness is involved from workers in securing large and heavy objects either into/ on-top of a truck, on a crane or other lifting device objects have been prone to be too heavy for the ropes/chains and snap to result in injury or death. He in the past year lost one of his workers due to heavy pipes releasing from a truck and crushing the man which unfortunately is not the only case Mal has encountered.
Almost four dozen people have suffered crush injuries at work, WorkCover NSW research has revealed.
Bella Saintbrook's insight:
"The study shows in the 12 months from August 2012, 46 incidents occurred whilst people were working around large machinery or heavy vehicles."
The statistics on this article of the amount of 'crush' injuries at work from heavy machinery and objects that affect workers are far too high. The article discusses the due diligence that company's need to improve on for the safety of their workers as the amount being injured is on the rise.
Assessing noise levels, noise control policy, hearing conservation program and worker awareness.
Bella Saintbrook's insight:
When involved in the mining industry workers are constantly confronted with loud, un-avoidable noises which can after time ruin their hearing and give them headaches. Mal found in his workplace earplugs are supplied to all workers nearby the machines which can help reduce the affect it has on their eardrums. Although they are supplied with earplugs Mal finds that they don't always help and many retired employees find themselves half deaf or very hard of hearing.
This is Mal, he is a Fabrication Superintendent in China. He oversee the fabrication of Australian steel products, managing expatriates and Chinese national staff in various workshops. His duties include; managing schedules, quality, budgets, safety practices during the fabrication process and staffing levels. He has a trade background but now is in management. The hazards that he is exposed to in his workplace are: · Eye injuries from grinding spark and foreign metal objects, · Working at heights – falls · Chemical burn to hands and other parts of the body · Back injury due to incorrect lifting procedures or welding in UN-ergonomic positions. · Electrical hazards – electrocution from power leads with water on the floor. · Not wearing personal protective equipment. ·Dust and fume hazard – from welding and paint fumes; includes galvanizing. · Fire and explosion hazards – from unsafe practices during welding and cutting. Further grease and oil accumulation on oxy bottles. Poor housekeeping due to not removing consumables from the work area.
To eliminate eye injury Mal has undergone extensive training to increase his knowledge and awareness of risks, such as knowing and using the proper eye safety wear for the task. When Mal works at heights he uses his advanced knowledge of scaffolding, scissor lifts, harnessing and procedures to eliminate risks. To eliminate chemical burns Mal is aware of the MDS, which outlines the risks and safety precautions which must be followed, such as; working in a well ventilated area, when double eye protection (mono-goggles and face-shield), rubber gloves and noting where safety showers and eye washers are located. Mal eliminates the possibility of back injury by properly stretching before work, ensuring the work itself is set up ergonomically safe, he using mechanical lifting equipment when the load is heavy or uses two people when the load is awkward or heavy. Electrical hazards are eliminated by ensuring all electrical equipment is tested and run through an earth leakage device. All leads are suspended off the floor to eliminate tripping. Mal looks for water spillages before using electrical equipment so he knows the area is dry and safe. Dust and fume hazards are eliminated by the use of fans, working in a well ventilated area and using the correct respirator where required. Fire and explosive hazards are eliminated by making sure all flammable liquid and consumables are removed from the area prior to any grinding or cutting. The oxyacetylene bottles are stored upright and secure. Ensure there is no oil or grease on bottle, gauges or hoses in the work area. Ensure flashback arresters are installed in the gauges and hand pieces of the oxyacetylene and hoses are in good working order. Further fire extinguishers are close by to the work area.
Introducing Pizza Capers worker Shauna. Shauna works part time at her local Pizza Capers restaurant which requires her to serve and look after customers by taking their orders and taking out pizzas to them, preparing ingredients to go on pizzas, cleaning throughout the store, and making pastas and salads. She’s worked at her job for 1 year now and has had no major injuries as she states “it’s a pretty safe place to work cause we are told what to/not to do when working with the machines and implements. Some hazards that Shauna did identify to be around her workplace were:
- Slipping on wet/ oily floors
-Physical pain when lifting object such as pans, fruit/veg/meat boxes and sometimes large pizza orders.
-Overheating due to the small room and large oven where the pizzas are prepared.
-Burning on skin when reaching over oven to retrieve pizza orders.
-Oil splattering from hot pizzas onto skin when being pulled out of the oven.
- Sharps hazard- when using knives and other blades to prepare food and ingredients.
-Getting fingers caught in the dough rolling machine.
Shauna says that the safety implications in place to reduce the risks of these hazards from occurring are ‘simple but they work’. She is required as a uniform to have her hair tied back, no excess jewelry (face, necklaces, rings), enclosed shoes with rubber soles and appropriate length shorts/ pants. When dealing with food she is required to wear gloves to reduce the risk of contamination or sickness spreading. When Shauna is working near or around the oven; heat resistant gloves must be used to reduce the risk of burning on her hands/ forearms. Every 4 hours Pizza Capers ensure their employees have a short but adequate break to re-hydrate and replenish themselves which enables its workers to stay productive and motivated throughout their shifts to prevent fatigue which would then lead to unnecessary mistakes and injuries (hazards!!).
Forty Percent of Job-Related Eye Injuries Occur in Growing Fields of Manufacturing, Construction and Mining
Bella Saintbrook's insight:
Mining falls under one of the most common industries prone to eye injuries. The article discusses that 40% of all eye injuries are in this industry along with manufacturing, construction and mining.
Mal in his work often is confronted with these eye injuries, although he has never experienced the type of injury he says "A large amount of new/ young workers experience it from lack of concentration or not paying attention to their surroundings or what they're doing".
Coal miners were carrying out retreat operations in the Brody mine in Wharton, WV when the coal mine collapsed, killing two men who were trapped inside.
Bella Saintbrook's insight:
This news article shows just how dangerous it is for workers in the mines; and their safety and well being also spreads to affect family and friends.
This mine in particular had violations of safety but these workers still continued to do their jobs which resulted in the loss of two of them. Reasons why they were still permitted to work under these conditions are being investigated.
Say hello to Pat, he is a motor mechanic at a local service station in Brisbane. His duties involve the general maintenance and repair of motor vehicles. He has to clean and repair of motor vehicles and diagnosing problems that customers have with their vehicles while liaising with them. Pat is constantly exposed to use of equipment such as hoists, floor jacks, electric drills and welders, flammable liquids such as petrol and degreasers. ·Excessive noise was an issue due to the vehicles themselves of the use of grinders and compressors. ·Slipping hazards – spilt oil or other chemicals ·Tripping hazards – vehicle parts being left around · Cutting hazards – such as brake discs and drums. Cutting metal. · Heat hazards – working around exhaust systems and engines. Lifting hot gear boxes or using coolants. ·Lifting hazards – back pain due to lifting heavy objects or leaning over cars for long periods. ·Chemical Hazard – battery acids, using degreasers and cleaning equipment for motor vehicles. Engine oil is classes as a chemical hazards due to additives. · Respiratory hazards – exhaust fumes, welding fumes, battery charging fumes and cleaning products .
Pat minimizes the noise hazards with the use of protective ear muffs and ear plugs. This doesn't eliminate the noise but minimizes it. The compressor has a sound proofer over it to elimate that noise. Slipping hazards are eliminated by ensuring those particular surfaces are cleaned with dry powders and cleaning products, as well as wearing protective footwear. Tripping hazards is a difficult hazard to eliminate in this workplace. Pat ensures clear pathways are made by removing car parts and machines. Pat minimizes cutting hazards by being attentive to the work itself, ensuring protective gloves are worn and putting sharp materials in a safe area when not in use. Pat is careful when around objects that are excessive hot or cold. He uses protective equipment which includes gloves, arm protection, safety glasses, thick overalls and steel capped safety boots. Pat is aware of the chemical hazards and uses the above mentioned safety equipment. He also makes sure the area is cleaned to reduce fire hazards if sparks occur during battery charging. Pat is aware of the respiratory risks around his workplace. He ensures he worked in a well ventilated area; doors and windows are open, sometimes uses masks, especially around asbestos which was used in clutches and brakes of older vehicles.
This is Molly, she is a part-worker at a Donut King store. She works approximately 10 hours per week while at university. During her work hours her duties include customer service, making donut dough and cooking donuts, making beverages such as; milkshakes and thick shakes, as well as, hot foods like hot dogs. The identified hazards in her workplace include:
· Hot oil burn from the donut machine, · Heavy lifting injury due to lifting heavy sacks of donut powder and donut mixture, · Hot water splatter from hot dog making · Muscle strain from scooping hard ice-cream from inside the freezer · Slips on wet or dirty surfaces,
Molly tries her best to eliminate potential injury risk in her workplace. She is careful when around the donut making machine, ensuring no oil splashes up onto her during the cooking process and uses the tongs provided to sugar and place the hot donuts into the bags. The floor of the store is often littered with oily crumbs and liquid spillages which are potential injury risks. Molly and her fellow work colleagues try to do their best to mop up any spillages to minimize slipping risks. Molly is also careful when using the hot dog maker. She uses the correct work procedures to minimize any burning risks to herself during hot hog making. Molly tries to use good work practices when she is lifting heavy loads of donut mix or mixture, she often has to ask for assistance in carrying out these procedures so minimize muscle strain. The ice-cream freezer is ergonomically unsound. Unfortunately, Molly must endure the scooping of hard ice-creams, trying to keep her posture and core strength stable to minimize possible injury.
This is Kylie, she is an Oral Health Therapist working in a dental practice that specializes in periodontal disease and implant management. Her duties include the treatment and prevention of periodontal disease. Her main skill involves the of scaling and cleaning of teeth and their supporting structures in the prevention and control of periodontitis . She also takes radiographs, impressions of patients teeth, extracts baby teeth, checks bone density and growth for implants.
The hazards that she is exposed to in her workplace are:
- Radiation exposure
-Excessive noise through the use of ultrasonics
-Slipping hazards if water is spilled.
-Sharps hazard while using needles, curettes and other hand instruments.
-Physical pain – back strain due to poor postural practices
-Chemical splashing during dental procedures, into eyes and onto clothing.
-Respiratory hazards; due to inhalation of sprays and other chemicals.
Kylie aims to minimize these risks by abiding by personal protective equipment recommendations. She uses masks, safety eye wear, covered shoes, gowns and gloves during her work day. Kylie is aware of the radiation safety guidelines which instruct her to use lead aprons, stand behind the provided lead lined walls or standing at a safe distance, 9ft away from the source and not in direct line of radiation. All workers are aware of water and other fluid spillage risks and endeavor to identify these risks when they occur and they deal with the spillage immediately. There are sharps handling procedures that are followed to minimize sharps injury, including the disposal of the needle heads into sharp containers which are provided. Ergonomic chairs are provided and physical stretching and resting is on Kylie’s agenda to help alleviate back strain. The excessive noise is monitored but is difficult to prevent as ear plugs are often impractical.
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