SafetyPlan Case Study
Asthey undertake their duties, employees should be provided withmaximum safety and favorable working atmosphere to avoid work-relatedillnesses. In the case of city’s health department, the warehousemanager seems not to adopt effective safety measures thus, exposingthe workers to hazards and illnesses. As a safety and occupationalhealth professional, I would create a plan of action that willestablish the actual causes of the problems and come up with asustainable solution.
Thefirst aspect that I would investigate is the safety measures in thewarehouse, especially when operating the forklift. According toOccupationalSafety and Health Administration (OSHA), individuals operatinghydraulic dollies and forklifts should put on fitting eyewear andhard hats. Since there are gaspowered forklifts in the warehouse, it is vital to check whetherthere is enough respiratory protection equipment and if the employeesare using them when performing their duties. The safety measures inthe refrigerated section should also be scrutinized. A refrigeratedchamber should not only be sufficient for an individual to enter, butit should have four safety measures (Goetsch,2015).First, there should be adequate air penetration that eliminates theexcessive pressure and heat. Since the production line operatescontinuously, there is the possibility of excessive heat which makesthe surrounding uncomfortable for the workers. My objective will beto check how the workers are reacting to such condition and the rolesupervisors play to alleviate the condition.
Theproblems faced by workers emanate from various possible causes.First, there is a possibility of gas leakage as the forklifts arebeing operated. Once the workers inhale the gases, they experiencedizziness which can cause accidents, falls or even result in deaths.Secondly, even though the manager argues that they have special sealson the loading dock doors and throughout the warehouse, it ispossible that some seals are not properly fixed and the toxic gasesare accumulating in the warehouse without the knowledge of thetechnical team. Due to lack of sensors, which could detect excessivegas or heat, the workers are exposed to an unfavorable workingcondition which makes them feel sick. Poor heat regulations couldhave resulted in the accumulation of heat thus, making the employeescomplain of dizziness. Lack of awareness in the warehouse is also apossible cause of the problem. The employees are not vocal on safetyissues and how to identify hazards while working. It is worthy tonote that staff members should be encouraged to be regularly aware ofwhat surrounds them and communicate to the managers in case they aresuspicious of anything harmful.
Myopinion on the likely cause is excessive heat within therefrigeration section and gas leakage. Even though the departmentuses forklift as a major safety precaution, when lifting goods, thetechnical team has not adopted the proper technique to monitor theflow of gas. The temperature in the refrigeration section is about40 degrees F. Therefore, the lack of temperature regulation hascontributed to the high level of heat thus, worsening the workingcondition.
StandardsApplicable to Possible Sources
Duringthe production process, there is a possibility of gas leaking. Inthis regard, OSHA has outlined clear regulations coded as 1910.134.1910.134 (a)(1) indicates that to control occupational diseases thatare caused by breathing contaminated air due to dust, fumes, gases,vapors and fogs, employers should adopt measures to preventatmospheric contamination (United States Department of Labor, 2017). This involves putting in place effective engineering controlmeasures for example, substitution of less toxic materials andimproving local ventilation. In addition, appropriate respiratorsshould be used in areas with a huge volume of dust and dangerousgases. Regulation 1910.134 (a) (2) indicates that employer shouldprovide a respirator to every worker when the equipment is requiredto protect the health of such worker. Furthermore, the regulationmaintains that employer should establish ways of maintaining therespiratory protection programs. 1910.134(c)(1) provides that in any workplace where employees require usingrespirators, the employer should establish a respiratory protectionprogram which provides specific procedures that should be followed(UnitedStates Department of Labor, 2017).Other standards that relate to respiratory protection include1910.134(c)(1)(i) which indicates the procedure of selectingrespirators for use by workers, 1910.134(c)(1)(iii) for fit testingprocess, 1910.134(c)(1)(iv) for proper use of respirators,1910.134(c)(1)(vi) for procedure to ensure adequate air and properflow of breathing air and 1910.134(c)(1)(vii) that provides guide totraining of employees in areas of respiratory hazards.
Inreference to OSHA 3220-10N 2004, employers are authorized to maintainsafety measures to protect the employees in a warehouse. Loadinglock doors should be properly sealed to ensure that employees areprotected from excessive heat. Similarly, the regulations cover poorergonomics which can cause hazards such as improper lifting whilerepetitive motion can lead to muscular disorders (Goetsch,2015).
Asoutlined by 1910.217 App A, the employer must provide validation ofsafety systems and sensing device during production and mechanicalprocess. As noted in the case of city’s health department, thereare no sensors or environmental monitors except in refrigerationsystems. As a result, gas leakage or excessive heat is not noticedan aspect that has negative impacts on workers’ health(Goetsch,2015).Presence sensing device initiation (PSDI) ensures that safety systemsare installed as per the regulations of 29 CFR 1910.217. The keyissues that are considered by PSDI include controls, operator,safeguards, and environment. The environmental limits that should beof concern are temperature, vibration, relative humidity, andcompatibility of fluids with other materials.
Asnoted earlier, employees should be trained on safety and the way tocommunicate about hazards that may occur in the course of theirduties. According to OSHA 1910.332 standards, employees who face arisk of electricity shock or other related hazards should be trainedhow to deal with them (Goetsch,2015).1910.332(b)(1) standards also indicate that employees should be provided withsafety-related work practices that are connected with theirassignments.Such training would make the employees come up with ideas on how tomaintain their own safety, including using respiratory equipment andgloves. Likewise, employees should have the skills to report anysuspicious hazard.
Itseems that the city’s health department has no written safety planthat complies with OSHA. To solve the problem, the manager shouldcome up with a written safety plan that describes the health andphysical hazards that cause harm to the employees. The written planwould effectively deal with safety challenges being faced by thedepartment since it encompasses safety programs such as HazardCommunication (29 CFR 1910.1200(e), Fire Prevention Plan 29 CFR1910.39, respiratory protection strategies and HAZWOPER Safety andHealth Plan (29 CFR 1910.120(b), all of which are outlined by OSHA.Basic elements that the plan should cover include policy statement,hazard identification, a list of individuals who are responsible,safe practices, emergency response, employee communication and recordkeeping.
Goetsch,D .L. (2015). Thebasics of occupational safety(2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
UnitedStates Department of Labor (2017). OccupationalSafety and Health Administration(OSHA).Retrieved from https://www.osha.gov/