Occupational Safety and Health
• OSH Legislation
• Safety Audits
• Influenza A (H1N1) HIRARC We need to know about OSH because: 1. It is a requirement under the law (OSHA and its Regulations); 2. We need to make provisions for securing the safety, health and welfare of our colleagues; 3. We need to make provisions for protecting our clients against risks to safety or health in connection with our trade and activities.
In order for us to achieve the objectives of OSH we need to look into HIRARC which is the basis of occupational safety and health.
HIRARC is a compound word which is made up of three consecutive activities running one after the other. The activities consist of Hazard Indentification, Risk Assessment and Risk Control. Hazard indentification is the recognising of things which may cause injury or harm to a person. Risk assessment is the looking at the possibility of injury or harm occuring to a person if exposed to a hazard.
The introduction of measures which will eliminate or reduce the risk of a person being exposed to a harzard is known as Risk control. We need to know about HIRARC because:
• it is the core business of all OSH personnel, safety committee members, supervisors… etc.
• it is a DIRECTIVE from the Chief Secretary of the government service to all government departments and agencies through its letter of directive: UPTM 159/267/50 Klt. 4 dated 20th of August 2004. Before the proccess of identifying any hazards begin, it is necessary to know how to classify what is hazard, risk and danger.
Hazard – anything that can cause harm.
• Risk – a probability of harm actually being done.
• Danger – the relative exposure to a hazard. Hazards can be sub-classified into health or safety hazards. Examples of health hazards are:
• Physical (noise, heat, radiation, vibration, pressure, machinery, electricity … etc. );
• Chemical (gases, vapours, acids, alkali, poisons, aerosols, irritants … etc. );
• Biological (pathogens, fungi, other micro organisms … etc. ;
• Psychosocial (stress, social problems, accidents at workplace/home, fear of failure, retrenchment … etc. );
• Ergonomic (workplace design, layout of workstation, excessive manual handling, design of tools … etc. ) Examples of Safety hazards are:
• Mechanical (cuts, entanglement … etc);
• Heights (falling objects … etc);
• Electrical (shock, burns … etc);
• Fire/Explosion (burns, injury, death … etc);
• Confined space (poisoning … etc) Hazards can be identified through the means: 1. Risk analysis 2. Workplace inspection . Safety audits 4. Job safety analysis 5. Feedback from workers 6. Observations 7. Advice from specialists 8. Accident records 9. MSDS/CSDS … etc. Risk assessment can be achieved by: 1. Gathering information about each hazard identified 2. Using of the information to assess the likelihood and consequence of each hazard 3. Producing a qualitative or quantitative risk table Hierarchy of risk control: 1. Elimination 2. Substitution 3. Isolation 4. Engineering control 5. Administrative control 6. Personal protective equipment
Do you know that it is the duty of our employer under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 0f 1994 to: a) Ensure our safety, health and welfare at our workplace by: o the provision and maintenance of plant and systems of work that are safe and without risks to health; o making of arrangements for ensuring safety and absence of risks to health in connection with the use or operation, handling, storage and transport of plant and substances; o the provision of such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure the safety and health at work; o maintaining the workplace in a condition that is safe and without risks to health and the provision and maintenance of the means of access to and egress from it that are safe and without such risks; o the provision and maintenance of a working environment which is safe, without risks to health and adequate as regards to facilities for our welfare at work. b) Formulate safety and health policy: o as often as may be appropriate revise a written statement of his general policy with respect to the safety and health at work; o arrangements for the time being in force for carrying out the policy; o to bring the statement and any revision of it to the notice of all of his employees.
c) Employ a competent person to act as a Safety and Health Officer at the place of work exclusively for the purpose of ensuring the due observance at the place of work of the provisions of the OSHA and its regulations and the promotion of a safe conduct of work at the place of work. ) Establish a Safety and Health Committee at the place of work if there are 40 or more persons employed at the place of work. e) Consult the Safety and Health Committee with a view to the making and maintenance of arrangements which will enable him and his employees to co-operate effectively in promoting and developing measures to ensure the safety and health at the place of work of the employees and in checking the effectiveness of such measures. f) Notify the nearest Occupational Safety and Health Office of any accident, dangerous occurrence, occupational poisoning or occupational disease which has occurred or is likely to occur at the place of work. Nevertheless, it is our duty as employees to: ) Take reasonable care for the safety and health of ourself and of other persons who may be affected by our acts or omissions at work; b) Co-operate with our employer or any other person in the discharge of any duty or requirement imposed on our employer or that other person by OSHA; c) Wear or use at all times any protective equipment or clothing provided by our employer for the purpose of preventing risks to our safety and health; d) Comply with any instruction or measure on occupational safety and health instituted by our employer or any other person by or under OSHA or any regulations made thereunder. How to create a safe workplace 1. Anticipate the hazard 2. Identify the hazard 3. Assess the risk 4. Implementing control measures 5. Reviewing of control measures