Above is an inquest into the death of a Queensland trolley boy, who died in 2007. The citation states that the deceased man passed away due to heatstroke. This man was overweight and was also on medication, however this wasn't proven to be linked with the mans death.
In my opinion, informing staff who work in trolley departments know of these kind of incidents happening can be a valuable lesson and can possibly assist them in the future. Introducing them to a real life story that claimed someones life from a work environment hazard, can open there eyes and make them realise how important it is to maintain and provide a safe work environment.
Standing in the sun for long periods of time can not only cause harm or injury to Sam, but can also kill him. This is why it is crucially important to act smart, follow protocols and wear corrective PPE while exposed to climate hazards.
Above is a Hazard/Risk Management Process diagram that would help assist Sam in managing and maintaining OHS issues or future OHS issues in his work environment. The concept would allow Sam to identify the hazards by breaking down the system step-by-step. This Safety Risk Management system is put in place for the interest in safety management.
Upon reading through the Code of Practice for Safe Management in order to assist Sam in his work environment, It's come to my attention how important it is to maintain a safe working environment so Sam and others like myself aren't exposed to hazards. There is a number of OHS systems put in place to ensure that the safety and health of those involved isn't jeopardised. An examples of these systems include: information, instructions and training by supervisors, which enables staff to correctly perform their job.
The risk management strategies stated within the Code of Practice state that Sam should be provided (by the employer) with PPE equipment and clothing. However Sam was not provided with a hat when being employed, therefore was made to by his own. The Occupational Health and Safety act specifies that it is in fact the employers responsibility to ensure Sam is equip with this PPE. This is abiding by the legal requirements.
Climate hazards are exposed to Sams as his work environment involves being outdoors, meaning wet weather work, exposure to the sun and working in dark lighting at night. These hazards cannot be eliminated therefore Sam needs to be very careful when carrying out his duties and is very aware of his environment.
The photo above is not a picture of my work colleague Sam in his work environment, but a mimic of what he does on a daily basis at Woolworths. (He refused to get a photo). With many hazards being exposed to Sam like; climate, pushing and pulling of heaving trolleys and working within confined spaces, Sam has to be very careful when doing his job.
My colleague who collects trolleys from the car park and other surrounding areas of Woolworths, says it isn't as easy as it seems. Sam deals with temperatures up to 40 degrees, does his job within confined spaces and pulls up to 20 trolleys at a time, "because someone has to do it". Not only does this put strain on Sam's back from pulling and pushing the trolleys, but also because the weight you are pushing means you lean down for more control and strength. Especially when it comes to slopes in the road.
The environmental factors can cause dehydration if it is hot and also can cause him to faint. Fatigue can also be an issue in a hot environment. The risk of slipping over an causing injury if it were raining is highly possible as roads/tiles get slippery, no matter what PPE shoes you have on. Having to work within confined spaces which included having to dodge traffic and pedestrians can also cause injury to Sam and other users in the car park and walkway.
Its come to my attention that in Shopping centers that facilitate more customers, there is more trolleys. There is a cart that comes and pick the trolleys up at these bigger shopping centres, which saves the manual handling of workers, pushing trolleys for hours at a time. Can the task be done in a different way at a smaller shopping market with less trolleys?
This image is a photo of my Dad Jeff, who is playing/renovating our backyard. This involves lifting, moving items and also disposing things too.
Courtney Charlton's insight:
Above is my dad attempting to lift a fossil stone feature piece, that approximately weights 60 kg's. One of my dad's favorite recreational activities, is playing in the backyard.
Now firstly, the position and posture of my dad's back is a hazard waiting to happen. Lifting with his back and not his legs can put his back out of place, pull muscles and cause serious damage. Poor manual handling skills are lacking in this photo. With this object being large and difficult to grab, this makes it a hazard with chances of dropping this heavy object on your feet.
This is very preventable injury and actually a safe task when done correctly. Dad could have asked for help to lift the object, making it safer and easy to carry. Lifting the piece using his leg muscles would take the weight off his back and also allow the piece of be closer to him, giving him more balance.
Who uses pushing and pulling motions at work? Are there any statistics to show how common injuries are from pushing and pulling activities? Are there any "limits" for the amount of force one should exert?
Courtney Charlton's insight:
This article discusses the recommended force limits that Sam should abide by when at work. Following tables 1 and 2 in the article will prevent him from causing injury or harm to himself and others. These tables are designed to show the limits that should or shouldn't be exerted.
One of the OHS issues that Sam faces is pushing and pulling heavy trolleys. Workplace procedures are put in place to protect people from hazards, however even sometimes those systems fail and people get hurt. Most of the time this is due to human error. Therefore, following these guidelines preventing manual task injuries will assist Sam. .
The manual handling Code of Practice discusses disorders sustained from hazardous manual handling. Ranging from long term or short term injuries/diseases, I personally think this code of practice would assist Sam in maintaining the OHS issues in his environment. Being aware of these injuries, which happen to be the most common workplace injury across Australia, would make Sam significantly more aware of the dangers and hazards he is exposed to when in this environment.
The hazardous tasks carried out by trolley boy workers require:
repetitive pushing and pulling of heavy objects, high force and sudden force e.g cars approaching the car park, awkward body postures and exposure to vibrations from the gravel. These are just few of the hazardous manual tasks that lead directly to stress and injury.
Making him aware of the manual handling Code of Practice will give him guidance on maintaining a physical work environment that doesn't put his health and safety at risk. Sam needs to identify and eliminate hazardous manual handling tasks before they arise. These procedures can be done correctly if he has the relevant knowledge.
This is a picture of my friend Annalise cleaning her house.
Courtney Charlton's insight:
The picture above shows Annalise mopping the floors in her thongs, in a dark environment which is her living room. Visiting Annalise while she was cleaning, of course made her lose concentration but she continued.
There are many hazards that could happen within this photo. With Annalise wearing thongs that are very slippery and have zero slip resistance, this environment is very dangerous and can cause her to slip, trip or fall and cause injury to herself. No lighting in this room is a risk as not being able to see the floor properly, can cause her to slip over and hurt herself. Located beside Annalise is a large glass table. If she were to slip on the wet floor, she would fall back and hit her head on the table. This may lead to head injuries and concussion. Taking annalise's attention away by being at her house while she was mopping, can also lead to her slipping, tripping or falling over as she wasn't fully concentrating. The cord that can be seen touching her foot, is also a tripping hazard.
Appropriate Personal Protect Equipment like slip resistance shoes should be worn when mopping the floors. Opening the curtains/blinds so she can clearly see where she has already mopped could also prevent injury. Because Annalise is very easily distracted, I could of perhaps visited after the mopping so she has full concentration while doing this activity. With the cord being a hazard, using the device's component to rap the cord not needed onto the handle of the mop would be the safest option.
Many hazards and risks that can be eliminated from this photo and task, if done safely. Assisting this environment first could potentially save money, bruising and angry family members.
This is a picture that captures Carol, a lady who was helping her husband concrete our backyard.
Courtney Charlton's insight:
Watching Carol cement our backyard for a short period of time was eye opening. With Carol's husband, 'business owner' popping out to pick equipment up from Bunnings, Carol was left unattended for twenty minutes to half an hour.
I dont know if its the fact thatCarol had hair covering her face making it very difficult for her to see or the fact that she was mixing cement without glasses on. But before Carol started leveling the cement, she made up another batch of cement by proceeding to tip a bag of cement into the mixer, without glasses on. Being a windy day, the dust came back in her face (exposing her to chemicals) and if it wasn't for the quick reaction to shut her eyes it would have caused great injury to her eye sight.
Carol should have her hair tyed up and free of her face to see properly. Correct PPE should be worn when in an environment like this, being safety glasses when dealing with dust/chemicals. I also wouldn't think wearing a watch/jewelry while cementing would be the safest thing to do, as getting your watch caught on the spinning mixer is a hazard and may break your arm. This lady had no supervision with her so if something was to go wrong, no-one would be alerted.
It is obvious Carol wasn't experienced enough to be left unsupervised, even if it was for a short period of time. Perhaps she wasn't trained and put through OHS training as it was her husbands business.
To the left is a picture of my little sister Tayla, who is seen to be reaching to grab vitamin tablets.
Courtney Charlton's insight:
Tayla is standing on a plastic chair to reach Vitamins from on top of a high cupboard. The chair she is using is not stable and doesn't have rubber stoppers on the legs, making it very easy for the chair to slide out underneath her (as we have tiles that are slippery from the cold weather). The way she is reaching up high and at an awkward position is dangerous. There is many things that could go wrong in this environment, being a kitchen.
The hazard in this picture is gravity. If Tayla was to fall from the chair she could cause serious injury to herself. Being in a confined kitchen, the possibility of falling back and hitting her head is very likely. The second hazard would be the way Tayla is twisting her back to reach the tablets.
Having these tablets in an appropriate place could cause serious harm to Tayla and others. Using a stepping stool or putting these tablets in an accessible place where Tayla doesn't have to go out of her way to reach them would be a more sensible idea.
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