Occupational health and safety
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whs-consultation-cooperation-coordination-cop-2011.pdf

George Clouston's insight:

I have added this scoop, although it is generic to all work areas, I believe that it pertains in particular to Mark's work area. 

 

The code of practice scooped ties all the other scoops together because effective consultation requires that the worker has a knowledge of the hazards in the work area. History is littered with cases of workers and also occasionally business owners not being aware of the hazards related to the business, for example the workers in the Coca Cola factory in Brisbane did not know that the static eliminator used to remove dust from bottles was leaking Polonium 210. At no stage before this was discovered did the workers know that there was a  radioactive source in the eliminator (Quinlan & Bohle 1995).

 

The point is, that if Mark is not aware of the hazards in the workplace, he will not consider the risks and consequently no controls will be implemented. In safety ignorance may be bliss, but the consequences of ignorance may be fatal. 

 

Consultation , the understanding that it is a legal obligation and a workers right,enshrined in the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, will empower the workers to take ownership of their workplaces and be proactive in safety.  The Code of practice outlines the processes for consultation and clearly outlines Marks rights and obligations to  raise safety matters with his employer. The code of practice also explains the process that Mark can use to have disputed safety issues  resolved. 

 

References.

 

Bohle, P & Quinlan, M 1995, Managing Occupational Health and Safety in Australia, Macmillan Education, Melbourne Australia.

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performreduceriskmusc.pdf

George Clouston's insight:

As many of Marks tasks involve the risk of manual handling injuries. The (PErforM) handbook would be a valuable tool in identifying Marks hazardous manual tasks, associated risks and then putting controls in place.  

This  guide defines the manual work 5 risk factors  below as; 

a. repetitive or sustained force
b. high or sudden force
c. repetitive movement
d. sustained or awkward posture
e. exposure to vibration,

by defining and further detailing these 5 risk factors the handbook enables Mark to identify the hazardous tasks that he would be undertaking that could combine one or more of these risk factors.

A very important step in understanding and controlling hazards is to understand the nature and mechanisms of injury. 

 

The risk assessment tools in the appendix  which includes a worksheet  and a body map combined with the 5 risk factors score sheet, in which each of the factors are scored and the body part most effected identified.  These tools would enable the OHS practitioner and Mark to identify risk areas and what part of the body is most at risk. 

 

The handbook would assist Mark and his supervisor to implement controls based on the tools described above and using the hierarchy of control described in the chapter, Controlling the risk. The Handbook Focuses firstly on elimination followed by substitution and engineering controls, with an emphasis on design and work station layout.

 

Manager commitment and consultation are crucial in the implementation of controls in Marks work area. This would also improve the strained relationship that often exists between management, safety and the workers. 

 

Implemented, the handbook would enable the safety team, management and Mark to reduce manual handling risk and injuries in the workplace.

 

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welding-processes-cop-2013.pdf

George Clouston's insight:

My insight is that this is a great document, it is well laid out in a practical and easily understood format. The code of practice follows a familiar format - following hazard identification , risk assessment , control, monitoring and review. The document clearly links into the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and Regulation outlining  the PCBU's requirements by referring to sections in the legislation that are directly applicable to the hazards found in the welding process.

The code of practice also links to applicable standards, particularly those for PPE requirements.

 

For Mark , this document clearly explains the hazards he will be exposed to , and provides direction into what controls must be in place. For example section 3.8  Lead, where the substance will be found, the symptoms of lead poisoning and the legislative requirements that the PCBU must meet. the document clearly outlines the controls including the requirement to notify the regulator within 7 days of lead risk work being undertaken.

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Mobile road repairs

Mobile road repairs | Occupational health and safety | Scoop.it
George Clouston's insight:

 

Name :   Glen Wenham

   

Date: 26.03.14                         

                                                                                              

Work area/type:Mobileroad repairs. Paveliner

 

What is their work - What do they do?

Plant operator, mobile road repair.

 

What OHS issues do they have in their work area?

 1. Traffic - Glen expressed his concern over traffic and how some members of the public act, some vehicles run right up behind his plant.

He had an incident with one such vehicle when he backed into the bonnet of a private car.

2. Pedestrians Glen recalled an incident where a woman ran into the road in front of the plant to retrieve a puppy; he narrowly missed both woman and puppy. Children are also a worry, and both he and the safety observer have to be vigilant when working in town.

 3. Power poles, trees and power lines. Overhanging trees can cause damage to the plant, especially the warning beacon light as well as obstruct the lights.

Glen stated his concern over overhead power lines, when the plants gravel bin is half full; he has to tip the bin up to get the gravel to the back of the bin. It is at his time that the plant is most vulnerable to striking overhead power lines. The safety observer is particularly important during this stage of the operation.

 

What are their insights into OHS

Glen felt that the organization had done all they could to ensure their work area was safe. The controls in place as he described them are

warning beacon lights on the plant, high visibility clothes and PPE, all work is undertaken under the minimum standards set out in the MUTCD, a safety observer accompanies Glen both have radio communication, a rear view camera, competency certification, traffic controller training and SDS files for the emulsion and other chemicals used.

Glen did not know of any other improvements that could be implemented to make the work safer.

 

My insights

My insight is that the organization has done all that is reasonably practicable to ensure that its workers undertaking this task are safe.

Manual handling, sun safety and the danger of workers on foot working in traffic have been substantially reduced by the application of this mobile road repair technology and work efficiency has been improved.

 

The unforeseen new risk is that with workers undertaking such sedentary tasks, is that on the rare occasions when manual work is required the risk of musculoskeletal injuries rises.

 The organization is also seeing an expanding waist line on many of its workers who now do little physical work, introducing a new range of occupational health challenges.

 

The new OHS challenges involve psychosocial hazards and the risks these present to the organization and its workers. The challenge to OHS professional is to manage and oversee the successful implementation of wellbeing programs. This will involve getting senior management commitment and the necessary resources. OHS professionals will need to submit clear and sound economic rationales to senior management to secure resources and commitment.

 

The 2007 report by PricewaterhouseCooper Health Research institute found that as work becomes more sedentary the workforce becomes fatter, sicker and less productive due to chronic health conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular and other diseases. The biggest contributors are lack of physical activity, stress, poor diet and smoking, yet only 3% of industrialized nations spending goes on prevention (Cole K 2010).

 

The reality is that fit healthy people respond better to stress, take fewer sick leaves, recover from illness or injury quicker, live longer, have a better quality of life and most importantly for the organizations increase its bottom line (Cole K 2010).

 

 

List of references

 

Cole, K 2010, Management theory and practice,4th edn,Pearson,Australia.

 

 

 

 

 

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Competence

Competence | Occupational health and safety | Scoop.it
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Name : Ken Kruger   

 

Date: 07.04.14                         

                                                                                                

Work area/type: Regulatory staff.  Training and assessment officer

 

What is their work - What do they do?

Ken organizes training and training schedules.

He also undertakes competency certification for the organizations workers.

 

What OHS issues do they have in their work area?

  1. One of Ken's biggest OHS concerns is operator error. He believes that communication is very important in the workplace and operator failure to communicate effectively can result in serious work place incidents.

Operator errors also occur when operators get lazy, fatigued and take short cuts.

 2. The next OHS issue Ken has is related to general safety awareness. Workers remembering to obey the signs. Workers being aware of the work environment and the safety requirements within that environment. This is particularly relevant to construction environments, busy depots and other high risk environments such as confined spaces. 

 3. Ken has noticed the heavy traffic in the depot in the morning as everyone comes into work. There are scooters, bicycles, cars, trucks and sometimes heavy equipment all moving in an uncontrolled traffic flow environment.

He has identified that the risk of collision and serious incidents are increased by the increased flow of people and plant, especially in winter when the sun is low on the horizon obscuring vision.

 

What is his insight into OHS?

Safety is a thing that we have to have; Ken believes that we cannot do without it.

Legislation is necessary to ensure safety is implemented.

 

My insights.

My insight into Ken’s observations is that all his safety issues relate fundamentally to an organizational culture.

 

Organization culture is defined by Cole (2010, p. 92)    ’… the shared values, beliefs, attitudes, understandings and behaviors by which employees in an organization operate - is made up of employees shared assumptions, mindsets and way of working.’

 

This definition, when placed in an OHS context will reveal the safety culture of the organization. Senior managers are the key drivers of an organizations culture, they set the tone by their action or inactions, by what they tolerate or do not tolerate. This is then translated down the organization to the line manager and workers. The line manager’s attitude and training toward safety is crucial, as they control the work environment in which the work occurs.

 

Operator error in terms of poor communication, laziness, fatigue, short cuts and a lack of general safety awareness is directly related to the attitudes of the leadership of an organization.

 

This relates back to Kens observation on operator error and safety awareness. The workers will conform to the work culture in which they work.

 

I have observed in an organization, new employees operate forklifts without using the seatbelts and without completing the required prestart checks, all while under the observation of senior employees.

 

The safety culture of how we do things is communicated to new employees by verbal and nonverbal communication.

 

List of reference’s

 

Cole, K 2010, Management Theory and Practice, 4th edn,Pearson,Australia

 

 

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noise-preventing-hearing-loss-cop-2011.pdf

George Clouston's insight:

Mark expressed more concern over the short sharp loud noises that are made in his work area than over any weighted average noise , for which he uses hearing protection. The short sharp loud noises are generated by Mark having to strike metal with a hammer during the welding process to improve the fit. This usually occurs when his hearing protection is not in place, exposing him to very loud noises over very short periods of time.

 

The code of practice would enable Mark to better understand the concept of the weighted average noise exposure standard of LAeq,8h of 85 dB(A) and the  LC,peak of 140 dB(C).  While Mark uses PPE for tasks that are noisy , he is still be exposed to the risk of hearing loss by not protecting himself from  short sharp noises such as hammering which can generate peak noise values of above 140dB and cause immediate hearing loss.

 

The code of practice will assist Mark in understanding that hearing loss is usually gradual but always permanent.  The information will encourage Mark to wear hearing protection prior to commencing any tasks that may involve short sharp loud noises.

 

 

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WeldingFumesGases_1990_PDF.pdf

George Clouston's insight:

This document, while older, published in 1990 is however still current in that basic welding technology is still the same. This document as its title implies is a far more detailed document than the Welding code of practice as it is specifically focused on the hazards of fume and gas generated by welding processes.

Appendix 4, provides a detailed description of the atmospheric contaminants and their health effects. This information will provide Mark with the necessary knowledge to understand the hazards in the workplace , and consequently it will allow him to put controls in place, which may include substituting products or declining a product or task if the controls available to him are insufficient.

 

This document describes the different welding processes, and how each one relates to gas and fume generation. It covers welding techniques to reduce the gas and fume generation. The document makes recommendations on product use to lower the hazards, for example the use of an Argon Carbon dioxide gas mixture which reduces welding fume formation by approximately 20% over pure carbon dioxide use.

 

The document covers health effects, dealing with short term effects such as metal fume fever , exposure to ozone and nitrogen oxides. It then covers long term health effects such as respiratory , nervous system,  cardiovascular and carcinogenic illnesses.

 

Effective consultation can only occur in a workplace where the workers are informed of the hazards, and are aware of the required controls. Mark was given this document,  has read it and has an understanding of the different gasses and fumes generated and their health effects. The SDS file has been updated to reflect these gases.

 

 

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Men at work

Men at work | Occupational health and safety | Scoop.it
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Name :  Ken Smith                  Date: 04.04.2014

                                                                                                       

Work area/type: Workshop.

 

What is their work - What do they do?

General maintenance of the organizations equipment, The supervisor has to priorities work, liaise with stakeholders and ensure the safety of the work area.

 

What OHS issues do they have in their work area?

 1. The one issue he raised that was of concern to him was that of psychosocial hazards.

 He has been asked not to discriminated against a particular individual, the problem is that as a supervisor he has no understanding of the definition of discrimination, has had no training on how to handle psychosocial hazards and has been left to rely on his own interpretation of what discrimination is.

Ken believes that by applying tack, respecting confidentiality and by being aware of the feelings of others he would meet best practice requirements.

 2. Faulty equipment, Ken ensures that no faulty equipment is allowed in the work place. Any equipment that is found to be unsafe, both by required regulatory testing or visual inspection is destroyed and replaced.

 Ken's philosophy is that the replacement of equipment is far cheaper than a funeral or the cost of injury to the organization.

 

What are their insights into OHS

Ken's insight is that his staff must be safe; they should be able to come to work and return back home again in the same condition.

 Ken is annoyed by what he perceives as stupid safety. He likes to understand the reason behind the action required.

  

My insights

Workplace discrimination, while falling under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991and clearly defined in sections 10 and 11, as direct or indirect discrimination also has relevance in the WHS Act 2011 section 19, in which the  primary duty of care, requires the person undertaking a business or undertaking to ensure the health and safety of workers.

 

This duty is further expanded in subsection 3 of section 19, as the provision of a work environment without risk to health and safety. Health is defined in schedule 5 of the WHS Act 2011, as both physical and psychological.

Subsection 3 further requires that training, information and instruction be provided and that the health of workers be monitored for the propose of preventing illness or injury (Work Health and Safety Act 2011).

 

Discrimination whilst not specifically mentioned in the WHS Act 2011, would clearly be aligned to a psychosocial hazards, with proven long term ill health effects.

 

 Psychosocial hazards in the OHS context has come to mean hazards created in the work environment (Way K 2012).

 In this instance we see a merging of two sets of legislation, which invariably leads to confusion in the application of either.

 

This confusion and lack of training paralyses the supervisor as he has no means of knowing what constitutes discrimination, he consequently has to rely on his own judgement, which may or may not be correct.

The organization should establish clear policies and procedures that are aligned to the legislation. These procedures should then be communicated to the supervisor empowering him to act in an appropriate way, and meet the legislative requirements.

 

My second insight into the responses about stupid safety annoying him is that this statement is actually an indictment of two underlying safety management system failures which are;

1. The safety staff may not be sufficiently skilled practitioners or confident enough of the organizations safety culture to tackle real safety issues, but feel more comfortable in concentrating on minor regulatory matters, such as fire extinguishers and first aid kits.

2. A poor consultative culture, which will undermine safety initiatives and feeds negative perceptions.

 

List of references

 

Health and safety Professional Alliance (HPSA) 2012, The core body of knowledge for generalist OHS professional, Safetyinstitute ofAustralia Tullamarine.

 

Department of Justice and Attorney-General, Work health and Safety Act 2011.

 

 

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Welding with style

Welding with style | Occupational health and safety | Scoop.it
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Name :   Mark Glasby                                                                    Date 26.03.14

                                                                                                       

Work area/type: Welding shed.

 

What is their work - what do they do?

Boiler maker - Fabrication, modification and repairs.

 

What OHS issues do they have in their work area?

 1. Welding fumes. Mark expressed concern over the fumes that are released when welding.

 Mark is concerned that doctors do not consider welding and resultant exposure to welding fumes a serious health risk.

 2. Angle grinder dust, Mark expressed concern about the dust generated by angle grinders used to prepare the metals for welding. This dust may contain lead, if old or imported machines are to be repaired or modified. Galvanizing must also be ground off prior to welding, generating zinc laden dust.

 3. Hearing protection, Mark works alone and doesn't use  hearing protection all day, his concern is that at times he has to strike metal with a hammer to get a better fit and may not always at the time have  hearing protection on. The noise, which is sharp and loud leaves his ears ringing.

  

What are their insights into OHS?

Mark feels that safety focuses on the small trivial issue such as:

Lids on spray paint cans.

Unlabeled paint.

Open paint tins.

 while failing to consider his real workplace hazards and the risks he is exposed to, especially longer term health risks. This relates back to his concern over the welding fumes he is exposed to.

  

 My insights

I believe that while many of the hazards and associated risks that Mark faces are well known and easily measured, (manual handling) the most difficult to measure hazard Mark faces, is his exposure to airborne contaminants and its long term health effects

 

The (Welding processes code of practice 2013,p.10 ) states:

 

The health effects of exposure to fumes, dust, vapour and gases can vary. Effects can include irritation of the upper respiratory tract (nose and throat), tightness in the chest, asphyxiation, asthma, wheezing, metal fume fever, lung damage, bronchitis, cancer, pneumonia or emphysema.

 

Studies of welders indicate that they may experience a 30 - 40% increase in lung cancer compare with the general population. Since smoking and exposure to other agents influenced the results, it is not conclusive that welding represents a significant lung cancer risk (National Occupational Health and Safety commission Welding fumes and gases 1990).

 

There is however sufficient evidence that uncontrolled welding fumes will lead to short term illness, and potential long term disease.

 

The WHS Regulation 2011, in section 49 states that no person is to be exposed to a substance, mixture or an airborne contaminant that exceeds the exposure standard of the substance and or the mixture (Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011).

 

My insight is that because the health affects are not visible, and the health outcomes not easily associable to welding, that it will be difficult to secure effective control measures and that any control measures implemented will not have direct measurable outcomes. The only way the organization can meet its obligation is to monitor the gas levels, put safe work practices in place, but most importantly put engineering controls in place to ensure that ventilation is effective.

 

Finally it will be necessary to undertake risk assessments of each welding process performed, and if possible introduce less dangerous products to reduce the toxicity of the gas fumes generated.

 

I believe that Mark, while using his PPE correctly, is at low risk, PPE is however the least effective control method.  It would therefore be advisable for the PCBU to install a higher level controls in the near future.

 

List of references

 

Department of Justice and Attorney-General, Work health and Safety Regulation 2011.

Department of Justice and Attorney-General, Welding processes code of practice 2013.

National Occupational Health and Safety Commission 1990, Welding fumes and gases.

 

 

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Too wet to work

Too wet to work | Occupational health and safety | Scoop.it
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Name :  Gavin Brookes                Date 27.03.14

                                                                                           

Work area/type: Ganger Concreting crew.

 

 What is their work - What do they do?

Concreting - sewer work - storm water drainage, gulley pits and general concreting.

 

What OHS issues do they have in their work area?

  1. Working in trenches at depths greater than 1 m, but particularly deeper than 1, 5 m.

 The nature of the soil in Dalby which has high clay content. This increases the risk of slips and trench side wall collapsing after rain.

 The soil becomes unstable and greasy when wet.

 2. Workers working around mobile and stationary plant. Most of the plants on the construction sites have hydraulically mounted booms and attachments, which increase the risk mechanical impact injuries to workers.

 3. Working around services, including

Gas linesOverhead electrical linesUnderground electrical cables.

 

What are their insights into OHS?

Gavin works in the organisations concreting crew as the ganger, his insight into safety is that he sees safety as everyone doing the right thing, to ensure that everyone gets home.

It is about looking out for his mates.

 

My insights

My insight is that in undertaking their work, this crew will often work under the requirements of the Electrical Safety Act 2002 and its supporting legislation. This legislation in its specific work context transcends the WHS Act 2011.

 

There will however be times when in the course of their work, both safety Acts will apply, for example the crew is currently digging a 4 m deep trench for storm water drainage.  Working in a trench greater than 1, 5 m and working near traffic, both of which are defined as high risk construction activities covered by the WHS Act 2011. In this same high risk construction work, they are working under overhead electric services covered by the Electrical Safety Act 2002.

 

The danger of working near electrical services is highlighted by the fact that between July 2000 and 31 October 2011, 321 people died from electrocution, more than half of these being engaged in paid work (Chennell S & Dunn C 2012).

 

The need to comply with 2 sets of legislation highlights the requirement for well-trained safety advisors and a good consultative frame work to ensure that those in leadership understand and meet their legal obligations.

 

My comments on Gavin's insight is that he correctly understands the basic common law tenants of safety, that each one of us owes each other the basic duty of care to ensure that we all work in a safe environment. 

The only addition I will make is that for workers and managers to do the right thing, they need to know what the right thing is. I believe this is where the OHS Generalist Advisor becomes an invaluable asset to the organization.

 

The WHS Act 2011, in section 19 outlines the principal duty of the PCBU to provide the information, instruction and training to workers that is necessary to protect workers from the risks arising out of the work that is carried out by the organization (Work Health and Safety Act 2011).

 

This information would definitely include an understanding of the specific requirements of the differing sets of legislation.

 

List of references.

 

Department of Justice and Attorney-General, Work health and Safety Act 2011.

 

Dunn, CE 2012, Australian master work health and safety guide, CCH Australia North Ryde, N.S.W.

 

 

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