XYZ Company: A Case Study

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Accidents and injuries are unforeseen circumstances in an organization. As such, carelessness and negligence cause injuries and negatively impact on the workplace. Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) has a crucial role in assessing and mitigating risks and hazards associated in a workplace. Every business is required to comply with the WHS legal requirements. Creating a safe working environment is critical to the long-term success. It helps in retaining staff, minimizes illness and worker injuries. It also reduces compensation costs.

XYZ Company will form the center of the discussion in this proposal. The organization takes workplace health and safety issues seriously. The company deals in manufacturing of plastic products and thus the workers are likely to be exposed to hazards and risks.

Purpose of the Report

The purpose of this report is to identify hazards, assess risk and determine ways of controlling the risks and dangers. The paper will define the WHS policies, procedures and programs as well as WHS consultation. Moreover, it will describe the specific hazards that are associated with the risks and explain the methods of training used in the company. Furthermore, the proposal will define the role of PCBU and give recommendations for enhancing WHS.

WHS Policies, Procedures, and Programs

WHS policies help in providing a safe workplace, assess risk and hazards in order to implement the appropriate measures that are needed in an organization. The policies stipulate that the employer needs to be reasonable and monitor the health and safety of the workplace. The employer has a legal duty of making sure that health and safety are accorded to other people and avoid hazards. Workers also have a duty to comply with the policies, instructions and procedures that are provided by the employer for safety purposes. The policies ensure safety in the workplace as well as provide and maintain safe machinery and materials. The WHS policies offer safe systems and suitable working environments (Chemweno et al., 2016). WHS provide training programs. WHS has programs that are important in equipping the work team with the necessary knowledge on health and safety in the workplace. It carries out training programs, and they are useful in generating ideas for new operational controls.

Hazard Identification Process

In a workplace, hazards mainly emanate from the “physical work environment, equipment, materials, and substances used” (Chemweno et al., 2016). Hazards come from machine failures and chemical spills as well as structural failures. Various methods are used to identify risks including audits, observation, reviewing statistical data and site walkabouts. Consolation and records also help to identify risks. The process involves collecting and reviewing of information about the hazards. Conducting periodic workplace inspection on the workplace in identifying new hazards (Chemweno et al., 2016). Also, the injuries, accidents, and illnesses are investigated and reported. Here, the information on workplace hazards is determined through information that is in the workplace. The safety data sheets are provided and self-inspection and patterns of frequently occurring illnesses, and injuries are tabled. There is also monitoring procedures, and the existing health and safety programs are assessed. Inspecting the workplace safety is critical in hazard identification. The process identifies possible shortcomings in the organizational operations, equipment, facilities and work areas. Photos and videos are taken in order to facilitate later discussions and brainstorm control measures. The process are effective in driving at a safety working environment.

Risk Assessment

Risk assessment involves a critical examination of what can cause harm to employees in the workplace in order to guide the necessary precautions and prevent the risks. The process is vital in workplace health and safety, and its objective is to lower the level of accidents and injuries. The initial step involves identifying the risk. In this process, the person needs to understand the likelihood of the risk occurring. The possible hazards, and perils are identified, and the potential impact they could have on the organizations are stated. Estimating the vulnerability of each hazard is done using various techniques the hazard risk are categorized according to the severity and strategies are developed to deal with the most significant threats. The techniques include probability and impact matrix where a matrix is developed to identify the risks that need quick responses (Fourie & Loggerenberg, 2006). The matrix is customized depending on the needs of the business. Risk data quality assessment is another method where information is collected and analyzed with the competing qualitative analysis of the risks. The project manager identifies the extent of the risk underlying, available data, quality and reliability of the data as well as its integrity. Quantitative risk analysis also analyses the probability and the impact of risks. Risks that require urgent attention are recognized, the quantitative probability stated and impact is determined. This is done through interviewing, cost and time estimation, expert judgment or through a decision tree. These techniques are effective on identifying risks in an organization.

Risk Control

Risk control is done through the hierarchy of control, and this includes actions that are directed to reduce the potential exposure to hazards. The hierarchy of hazard control is used to promote safety in the organization. The control measures include “elimination, substitution, engineering, isolation, administration and personal protective equipment” (Valsamakis et al., 2010). Elimination of hazard is the first step, and this involves physically removing the hazard. The method is the most effective. Substitution is another step, and here, replacement on the factor that causes hazard is replaced with something that does not produce the hazard. The technique does not remove all the risks that are associated with hazard, but the overall harm and health effects are lowered. Hazard isolation is the next step, and here, the process is achieved through restricting access to plant and locking the hazards away under strict control. Use of engineering controls is another method that involves designing a process that will place a barrier between the workforce and the hazard. Administrative control involves “adopting standard operating procedures and safe practices or providing appropriate training instructions” (Valsamakis et al., 2010). Administrative controls is another step and refers to changes in the way people work. It should incorporate employee training and procedural changes. The last step is the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as safety glasses, uniform, gloves, safety footwear and high visibility clothing. According to the hierarchy of hazard control, elimination and substitution are the most effective while administrative control and PPE are the least effective.  

WHS Consultation

Consultations are geared towards increasing awareness and commitment to what is required in the organization. It drives positive working environment, impacts on the decision-making process and leads to greater trust and corporation. The XYZ organization carries out consultation through talking to each other, listening to employees’ concerns and sharing information and views. The management talks to the workforce about the health and safety measures and way of making an effective decision. XYZ Company has also elected health safety representatives whose role is to listen to the employee's apprehensions. The WHS Act identifies specific issues that are likely to trigger the requirement for consultation.  In section 49, it delineates that a person who is conducting a business is required to consult with the workers when identifying and assessing organizational risks and hazards. The section also alludes that workers need to be involved in the decision-making process and in resolving health and safety issues. In section 48, it requires that relevant work athlete and safety information should be shared with workers. Also, workers need to be given a reasonable opportunity to express their views. In section 47 (2), it states that consultation should be undertaken according to the stated procedures. Negotiating is important in the consultation process. In section 52 (3), the purpose of negotiation is to determine the number of health and safety representatives (Valsamakis et al., 2010). Besides, section 52-53, it is stipulated that to establish a workgroup, the individual conducting the business needs to take reasonable steps to negotiate with the representatives. The consultation process is vastly effective in keeping the organization in shape and make it prosper.

Specific WHS hazards and their associated risks

Specific hazards in XYZ Company include chemicals, fire, electric hazards and accidents. Hazards also arise from general housekeeping and faulty equipment. Workers could inhale chemicals substances which can cause adverse effects to the body. Fires could lead to burns, injuries and even death. Electrical hazards also cause injuries and shocks. Electric injuries are mainly as a result of inappropriate use of electric extension cords. Accidents result from falls and falling objects. In XYZ Company, the management correctly addresses the risk through initiating prevention measures such as isolation, elimination and use of PPE.

WHS Training

XYZ organization carries out instructor-led training where instructions are used to facilitate and deliver lessons to workers in workshops. In this method, handouts along with other interactive methods, are employed. Power point presentation and videos are used to explain the topics relating work health and safety. Interactive technique programs are also vital, and here training methods occur in small group discussions.

Role of the PCBU

The health and safety duties described in section 19 are core in “primary duty of care” (Burke et al., 2011). They impose guidelines on “persons conducting businesses or undertakings (PCBUs)” (Burke et al., 2011). Section 19(1) it describes that organizations must ensure that there are reasonably possible safety standards on employees.  PCBU is responsible for ensuring that the work carried out does not risk the health of other people. Supervisors and team leaders are expected to provide and maintain safe systems in the workplace and ensures a safe use, handling and storage of all facilities and structures. The PCBU also provides facilities that aid in maintaining safety. Moreover, it provides training, instructions and information as well as supervision on the safety and health issues in the workplace (Wang, et al., 2014). More importantly, PCBU monitors the health of workers and workplace conditions.  These responsibilities are stipulated in section 21. In section 22, an employer needs to be reasonable and monitor the health and safety of the workplace. In section 23, the employer has a legal duty of making sure that health and safety are accorded to other people and avoid hazards. Moreover, the workers have a responsibility to take reasonable care for their health and safety and that of others. Workers also have a duty to comply with the policies, instructions and procedures that are provided by the employer for safety purposes. XYZ policies support WHS/OHS responsibilities through resolving work health and safety issues, “consulting with workers, monitoring the health of workers and in providing information and training programs”.

Recommendations

XYZ Company needs to create a plan that will promote workplace health and safety through identifying hazards and eliminating them. The management needs to tell the employees what they need to do to improve safety and accidents need to be investigated.

The company has to carry out regular inspections in the workplace through regular checks to determine risks and hazards.

XYZ should also train the employees on the ways of identifying and responding hazards. Offering comprehensive training to the workers will inform the workers and will be a key part of the business operations.

Management has to talk regularly with the workers and discuss the issues concerning WHS.

Conclusion

The proposal has determined that WHS is important in an organization. Identification of hazard in a workplace involves finding out aspects that could potentially cause harm to the workers.  Hazards and risk need to be identified in order to avoid workers encountering accidents and injuries. The employer has a responsibility of ensuring that every employee has a safe working environment. Consultation is a legal requirement, and it is important in health and safety risk management

References

Burke, R., Clarke, S., & Cooper, C. (2011). Occupational health and safety. Farnham, England: Gower.

Chemweno, P., Pintelon, L., De Meyer, A., Muchiri, P., Van Horenbeek, A., & Wakiru, J. (2016). A Dynamic Risk Assessment Methodology for Maintenance Decision Support. Quality and Reliability Engineering International, 33(3), 551-564. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/qre.2040

Fenton, G. A., & Griffiths, D. V. (2008). Risk assessment in geotechnical engineering (Vol. 461). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Fourie, L., & Loggerenberg, F. (2006). Managing Safety in the Workplace. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Valsamakis, A., Vivian, R., & Du Toit, G. (2010). Risk management. Sandton: Heinemann.

Wang, T., Mousseau, V., Pedroni, N., & Zio, E. (2014). Assessing the Performance of a Classification-Based Vulnerability Analysis Model. Risk Analysis, 35(9), 1674-1689. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/risa.12305

January 19, 2024
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Business Economics Life

Subject area:

Company Workplace

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2065

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