Health, Safety, Environment and Training in Manufacturing (OHS Quest 2)
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5 People From My Workplace

5 People From My Workplace | Health, Safety, Environment and Training in Manufacturing (OHS Quest 2) | Scoop.it

Food Manufacturing Company:

 

I have interviewed five people that I work with, all from different departments on site, regarding safety issues they specifically face in their individual roles.

 

This page illustrates what came up in my discussions with them.

 

There are also some site wide safety issues that these five people, as well as all employees on site face, which I have discussed below.

 

 

 

Jessica Mangan's insight:

 

Site Wide Safety Issues:

 

- Age of Site: Recently our company announced that in 2016 they plan to close our site down.  The site is approximately 75 years old, and there are quite a few areas in disrepair requiring constant maintenance work.  Due to the announcement of the impending site closure, the more cost effective and short term maintenance plans have been put into place, as repairs only need to last another two years.  The traffic management plan was due for upgrade proir to the announcement of site closure, but has now only been scaled down to critical repairs.  This leave a lot of uneven ground on site.  Whilst there are no major issues, this does leave the hazard of slips, trips or falls for anyone walking around the site, should they be distracted.  Surprisingly enough, incidents are very rare.  Employees on site are vigilant when working to current conditions, and take great care when moving around site.

 

- Operator Complacency / Distraction: Most of our employees are very long term employees, with I believe approximately 70% of the workforce having been on site for 15 years or more.  This, teamed with the recent news of our site due to close (causing distraction) could lead to operator complacency in the coming two years.  Operators could begin making decisions while distracted, leading to more risks being taken in the workplace.  Although I have not seen any evidence of this as yet, I am preparing techniques to keep employees engaged and safe as we continue production for the next two years.

 

- Snakes: Our site is near a creek, and on the edge of a lot of bushland.  Snakes make a regular appearance on our site, and sightings are often reported.  All staff have been trained in how to handle a snake sighting, and emergency numbers are displayed in the areas most likely to house snakes.  Again, I have not seen an incident in my time at this site, and our employees follow the procedures they have been trained in when snakes are spotted.

 

- Noise: There are several noisy areas on our site.  Earplugs are required PPE in certain sections of site, and this is clearly signed where necessary.  We also conduct a noise audit with an external consultant every 12 months (and update required PPE in areas if necessary) and have audiometry testing for all staff every 2 years.

 

 

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Jason - Packing Room Operator

Jason - Packing Room Operator | Health, Safety, Environment and Training in Manufacturing (OHS Quest 2) | Scoop.it
Jessica Mangan's insight:

Jason is a Packing Room Operator and the Health and Safety Representative for his shift.  My discussion with him pointed out the following:

 

- Manual Handling:  Packing room operators are required to lift packaging, product, waste product and other heavy items as part of their role.  There is a rule on site which requires a two man lift for any weight over 20kg, and Jason says he follows this and assists those around him when required also.  Operators use the correct manual handling technique and team leaders often inspect methods used to look for areas or people that could improve. Prior to any employee starting work on our site, they must complete a pre-employment medical examination to ensure they are able to complete the tasks required of them without putting them at risk of injury.

 

- Repetitive Movements:  Operators quite often will work on one production line for a whole day, which can involve turning, lifting etc.  Operators are required to take regular breaks (rest every 30 minutes) away from the machine they are working on. 

 

- Slips / Trips / Falls:  Some of the product we make on site is oil, and machines in the packing room often need to have the product drained from them to clean and change the product in the tank. This can cause very slippery floors, and possibly lead to slips / trips / falls in the packing room.  Operators follow procedures to use warm water and soap to clean any spills as soon as they happen, and to also use signage to alert the others in the area.

 

- Hot Water Hoses: Operators use hot water to clean up spills, and to clean the factory on regular occasions.  Operators ensure they are wearing the correct PPE to keep them safe from any burns, and use the hose in a safe manner, never spraying water above shoulder level.

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Eddie - Refinery Operator

Eddie - Refinery Operator | Health, Safety, Environment and Training in Manufacturing (OHS Quest 2) | Scoop.it
Jessica Mangan's insight:

Eddie is one of our Refinery Operators, spending most of his time at a computer terminal (controlling machinery), but is also required to manually work with some of the refinery equipment.  We discussed the following safety matters pertaining to his role:

 

- Hot Oils / Pipes: The refinery contains a lot of pipes which contain hot oil and other substances.  Refinery operators ensure long pants and sleeves are worn when outside, safety glasses and earplugs if necessary in that area.  Any pipe or valve leaks are reported and repaired immediately.

 

- Chemicals:  The refinery uses a lot of chemicals for certain processes and cleaning.  All operators are familiar with the Safety Data Sheets (SDS) kept in the area, and have a chemical shower alarm grid in the office, to alert them if one is being used.  They are also aware of the emergency procedures and who the first aid trained staff are in their area.

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Les - Forklift Operator

Les - Forklift Operator | Health, Safety, Environment and Training in Manufacturing (OHS Quest 2) | Scoop.it
Jessica Mangan's insight:

Les is a forklift and truck driver on site.  He is also the Health and Safety Representative for the Logistics department.  Les had the following comments on safety in his role:

 

- Vision Obstruction: Vision is the biggest challenge for any forklift operator.  Quite often forklifts carry loads that seriously obstruct their vision, but even without a load, it can be hard to see some areas.  Les combats this by travelling a slow speeds, completing a thorough visual inspection before commencing work in any area, takes close notice of who is working in the vicinity and notices any changes in personnel, uses his mirrors and sounds his horn to alert others of where he is working.  Although there is a site wide rule that all pedestrians and other traffic must give way to forklifts, Les still drives as though someone could walk out in front of him at any moment.

 

- Road Conditions: As a forklift and truck driver on site, Les is more familiar than anyone with the deterioration of our roads in some areas.  There are potholes and uneven ground, which if left unnoticed or travelled over too quickly, could cause a jarring injury or a back injury for the drivers.  To overcome this issue, Les travels at slow speeds, goes around the hazards where possible, points these hazards out to those around him, and reports them immediately ensuring they are repaired as soon as possible.

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Luke - Maintenance Fitter

Luke - Maintenance Fitter | Health, Safety, Environment and Training in Manufacturing (OHS Quest 2) | Scoop.it
Jessica Mangan's insight:

Luke is one of our Packing Room Maintenance Fitters and probably faces some of the more high risk safety challenges in his role:

 

- Lock Out Tag Out (LOTO) and Isolation: Isolating a piece of equipment you are performing maintenance on is very important.  We use personal danger locks and tags on site, and all Maintenance personnel have been trained in their use.  Using these locks prevents any other employee starting up a piece of equipment that someone is still performing work on, stopping injuries and any equipment damage also.

 

- Ammonia Gas:  One of the processes our product undergoes during production requires ammonia gas, which is stored near the packing room entrance.  When performing work on the machinery that uses ammonia gas, this is a hazard for Maintenance personnel.  To keep an eye on this situation, fitters use gas detectors and work in pairs, or groups to look out for each other in case there is a gas leak, or emergency situation.

 

- Working Alone:  We work on quite a large site, some areas quite isolated from where others work.  Occasionally some of our Maintenance Fitters may need to perform repairs on their own.  The procedure we have in place states that everyone must carry a radio on them when working alone, and regular updates with a nominated person who knows where they are.  This issues also arises on night shift, when there are minimum staff on site.  In this instance, fitters inform the guardhouse, and regularly check in with them.

 

- Working at Heights: Some Maintenance personnel have been trained in working at heights, which we run through an external training company.  Employees know they must follow what was learnt during these training courses, and keep their qualification current prior to accessing anywhere considered ‘working at heights’. Employees also are aware of the need to fill out a permit if working at heights is required.

 

- Confined Space Entry: Some Maintenance personnel have also been trained in confined space entry, which we run through an external training company as well.  These employees know they must keep their competency current, complete a permit prior to entry, and follow the procedures and what was taught during training sessions.  Fitters also know that gas testing must be done prior to entry.

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Dale - Controls Systems Engineer

Dale - Controls Systems Engineer | Health, Safety, Environment and Training in Manufacturing (OHS Quest 2) | Scoop.it
Jessica Mangan's insight:

Dale is an Electronic Engineer.  Although he doesn't have to deal with any high voltage on our site, some other safety issues he faces are:

 

- Ensuring Safety Devices Remain Connected: Dale is responsible for the design of equipment wiring panels, which involves disconnecting and moving different fuses and connections.  Dale explained that he has to be very mindful of safety devices (emergency stop buttons, alarms etc) and making sure they are not disconnected during redesigning these panels.

 

- Electricity in Hazardous Areas: Although Dale does not hold the necessary competency to work on electronic devices within a hazardous area, he must be mindful of the requirements in these areas, and ensure a qualified contractor is employed to complete these tasks.

 

- Burns: Dale works closely with equipment that is surrounded by steam pipes and hot oil pipes.  Due to the age of our site and the constant maintenance work that is required, Dale said there are often steam leaks from pipes and valves he works near.  To combat the risk of burns from these pipes and occassional leaks, Dale wears the necessary PPE (long pants and sleeves, safety glasses) and completes a visual inspection of the area he is about to enter.  Dale also reports any leaks to the maintenance department if discovered.

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