BMOS5103 Occupational Safety and Health of MWSC Assignment 2 Answer
OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH
a) Opinions on occupational safety for the organisation under industry 4.0
The 4th industrial revolution is demanding significant changes in the way occupational safety and health is approached by organisations because with this industrial revolution many new technological changes have paved the path for doing things in a different manner. Industrial functions are also approached in a different manner, thus changing the health and safety concerns and demanding a more updated approach to OSH than previously done. At first, organisations can embed personal protective equipment with radio frequency identification technology and sensors which will help in speeding up the data accumulation process. At the same time organisations can also use wireless technology in addition to cloud and software technology which will enable the OSH managers to monitor the Osh environment of the organisations such as how workers are handling equipment, working with the types of machinery whether they have adequate expertise or not in real-time using a laptop or a SMART phone reducing the need for constant physical presence at site. It will not only increase safety and efficiency but would also reduce the required time for risk and safety review (NST, 2019). The emphasis should be put on information and communication technology (ICT) skills, knowledge and applications involve OSH approach. Not only industry standards associated with OSH approach needs to be updated but also educational, and training programs associated with OSH must be revised in order for training and curricula to support industrial demands. In this aspect, the concept of lifelong learning should be emphasized and promoted. Overall, it is necessary that organisations discard the old ways of approaching and handling workplace safety and wellbeing and adapt to new ways while embracing the new technological solutions for managing organisational safety and meet the changing safety needs presented to the organisation as a result of rapid technological revolution seen in the current age of industrialisation (NST, 2019).
b) Discussion on how organisations address the challenges posed by Industry 4.0
The fourth industrial revolution imposes a number of challenges on the organisations functioning in the different industries with respect to the health and safety at work provisions. The production systems under industry 4.0 involve increased complexity and thus accounts for an increased amount of safety-related concerns. Technological categories under industry 4.0 involve different types of safety concerns such as big data involves issues in relation to data reliability, selection criteria and confidentiality of personal and sensitive information. IoT and Cyber-physical systems involve issues like network reliability and cybersecurity, ‘Cobotics’ involves major issues like unpredictability associated with worker reliability, proximity and interactions with devices as well as the absence of standards, AI involves issues like uncertain reliability, possible drift in calibration and absence of standards. Simulation imposes issues of uncertain reliability and robustness of models. Moreover, challenges also involve lack of updated legal framework addressing the needs of changing OSH demands because the current legislative framework is falling behind (Badri, Boudreau-Trudel, &Souissi, 2018). Considering these aspects, organisations can address these challenges in the following ways.
- Organisations must re-examine the OSH management systems present and embed the concept of real-time risk management in the OSH management system at the dynamic industrial settings. Therefore, the OSH integration must consider combining virtual task analysis, dynamic evaluation of occupation hazards and risks and skill management tools in future (Zhong, Xu, Klotz& Newman, 2017).
- Organisations should also focus on reviewing business management models in light of the rapidly changing human and social factors through embedding more interdisciplinary research in all organisational aspects and then design and configure a new work environment imparting minimal physical, social and psychological risks (Zhong, Xu, Klotz & Newman, 2017).
- Organisations must unitise the technological aspects of industry 4.0 like IoT and augmented reality (AR) for improving worker safety at the organisations though improved training and onboarding. This can be done by bringing off-site classroom-style training at onsite factory settings enabling on the job training (Ptc, 2019).
- Organisations can rethink the way work-instructions are provided at work and impart the concept of 3D work instructions by augmenting machine changeover, assembling process instructions while overlapping those with physical assets and environment which would help the workers to better understand the instructions (Ptc, 2019).
- By increasing the accessibility to remote experts by using various technological solutions which will connect an onsite worker with a remote expert for executing the task safely and efficiently thus reducing the complexity challenge imposed by industry 4.0 (Ptc, 2019).
- Organisations should consider training the existing workforce on the aspects of equipment configuring, handling and monitoring and help them to adapt to the changed requirements in a safe manner. This would likely reinforce worker motivation and expertise, creating a safer work environment for all while reducing the safety challenges imposed by manufacturing divisions by industry 4.0 specifically (Ptc, 2019).
- Moreover, to ensure the continuous safety of the workers. Organisations can consider developing adaptive interfaces and emotion sensors, enabling real-time monitoring of workers and ensuring their safety continuously. A serious need for modelling human behaviour, interactions and reaction to stress is present, and emotion sensors can enable fulfilling these needs (Zhong, Xu, Klotz & Newman, 2017).
- Lastly, companies must consider enabling real-time monitoring of machines, facilities, manufacturing functions in order to save time and reduce associated risk at real-time context rather than waiting for old-school monitoring and risk review process.
c) Examination of a company
Male' Water & Sewerage Company (MWSC) was established in 1995 and has since been regarded as the pioneer of instituting water production and management system in the Maldives. At MWSC, OSH is considered as a major concern despite Maldive's lack of a legislative framework of OSH, and thus the company ensures hazard control in their production and management system for water at three different levels. These involve engineering controls, administrative controls and use of personal protective equipment (PPE) (fig 1).
Figure 1: OSH at MWSC
Source: (Occupational Health & Safety at MWSC, 2019)
The first level of hazard control is executed by enabling engineering control that involves designing and redesigning systems in order to remove the hazard from the process, substituting less hazardous materials and modification of existing processes. The next level is administrative control imparted through induction of new employees, providing adequate training, instruction and supervision, directing them regarding hygiene and housekeeping guidelines and ensuring availability of Material safety data and work safety procedure. PPE involves the last level of control, ensuring worker protection and safety from hazards, incidents related to hazardous materials. The company also considers safety requirements at labs and developed 11 standard considerations for lab safety as illustrated in the following fig 2 (Occupational Health & Safety at MWSC, 2019).
Figure 2: Lab Safety at MWSC
Source: (Occupational Health & Safety at MWSC, 2019)
While a considerably standard approach to OSH is followed at this company, considering the new challenges imposed by industry 4.0, following steps are suggested that owners and workers should take in order to overcome the challenges as discussed so far.
- The first step would be to re-examining the OSH framework and tallying those with industry-specific needs and redesigning the systems as per the needs. For instance, the company should consider discarding the paper-based process for OSH data input.
- Next, the company should use wireless technology in addition to cloud and software technology. This will enable the OSH managers to monitor the OSH environment of the organisations such as how workers are handling equipment, working with the types of machinery whether they have adequate expertise or not, in real-time using a laptop or a SMART phone reducing the need for constant physical presence at site (Badri, Boudreau-Trudel, &Souissi, 2018).
- Followed by this the administrative control should consider training workers in the matters of how needs are changes and what changed approaches must be adapted and how these can be practically imparted in order to create a workforce that is able to deal with the new challenges imposed by the Industry 4.0. For example, training should make use of IoT and augmented reality for creating virtual classrooms where workers can be trained in the job training context (Badri, Boudreau-Trudel, &Souissi, 2018).
- Lastly, embedding personal protective equipment with radio frequency identification technology and sensors needs to be considered by the company as this will help in speeding up the data accumulation process.
- In addition to all these, the company in order to ensure the continuous safety of the workers should consider developing adaptive interfaces and emotion sensors. Such sensors would enable real-time monitoring of workers and ensuring their safety continuously as well as actualise real-time monitoring of machines, facilities, and manufacturing functions which would not only save time and reduce associated risk at real-time context but also help in discarding the old-school monitoring and risk review process existing in the company currently (Zhong, Xu, Klotz, & Newman, 2017).
The chosen company is Male' Water & Sewerage Company (MWSC) which was established in 1995; it is the pioneer of instituting water production and management system in the Maldives (Mwsc, 2019). The corporate vision and mission of the company are as follows.
Corporate Vision: The vision of the company is providing safe and sustainable water and sewerage services in the Maldives, which is also affordable and environment-friendly.
Corporate Mission: The mission of the company is contributing to the continuous development of the Maldivian Society, while improving the quality of life of its people, through the provision of safe water and sewerage services (Mwsc, 2019a).
Organisational Structure: The following figure illustrates the organisational structure of MWSC.
Figure 3: Corporate structure of MWSC
Source: (Mwsc, 2019a)
The company’s total employee strength on direct pay role is 827 while projects employ 91 people with 91 people employed under temporary pay role. A detailed breakup is given in the following table.
Table: Employee details
Source: (Author’s own research)
For the purpose of this report, two employees were interviewed, and their details are given as follows.
|Details||Staff 1||Staff 2|
|Name and designation||YoosufNaleez General Manager, Human Resource & Administration||Mohamed Eyman Assistant Manager, Quality|
|Educational Qualification||Master of Business Administration with a specialisation in Strategic Human Resource Management||Master of Business Administration|
|Job responsibility||Responsible for overseeing the Human resource and administration function of the Company, which includes daily tasks relating to Human resources, Secretariat, Property management and Security.||Responsible for overseeing the Quality Assurance &Control function of the Company, which includes daily tasks relating to assuring Quality standards are met in the Bottled and Desalinated water provided by MWSC.|
Table: Background details of the staffs interviewed
Source: (Author’s own research)
b) Contents of the report
The organisation’s Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on OSH, objectives and functions
The standard operating procedures at MWSC are detailed as follows, including the objectives and functions of the mentioned procedures.
1. MWSC-IMS-P-01-01: This Procedure has the objectives like Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment & Determining control (HIRADC) Procedure which involves the procedures to identify health and safety risks in the organisational processes. The function of this procedure is detailing the methodology following which the committee conducts identification and assessment of OHS risks though HIRADC activities. It also ensures that risk registers are developed individually for each and every department, and the register is implemented through a control strategy(Mwsc, 2019b).
2. MWSC-IMS-P-08-01: This is the Operational Control General Procedure, the objective of which is to mitigate health and safety risks within the risks. The function of this SOP is to detail the relevant operational control for all general procedures for example laboratory procedures such as using lab coats, eye protectants, different types of gloves and so on(Mwsc, 2019c).
3. MWSC-IMS-P-08-02: This is the Work Environment Monitoring and Control has the purpose of ensuring that work environment factors and conditions at all different work stations are determined and managed appropriately following a proper guideline. The function of this procedure is to detail the included parameters of work environment assessment in relation to the physical work environment of the office and other areas as well as social and psychological factors(Mwsc, 2019d).
4. MWSC-IMS-P-09-01: This is the Emergency Preparedness & Response Procedure the objectives of which involve establishing and maintaining documented procedures for evacuating workers in an ordered manner in case of emergency, establishing an action plan, identifying the potentials associated to response of incidents and accidents, implementation of prevention and control mechanism and responding to an actual emergency(Mwsc, 2019e).
5. MWSC-IMS-P-12-01: It is the SOP for Incident Investigation Procedure the purpose of which is defining an effective investigation, reporting, analysis and follow-ups process in order to provide the opportunity of learning from incidents, using the information to take corrective action, and preventing reoccurrences of similar incidents in the company(Mwsc, 2019f).
6. MWSC-A5-GL-02 Rev 00: This SOP indicates the Guideline for Taking Water Samples having the objective of detailing the process for water sample collection for chemical and microbiological analysis and the function of the SOP is ensuring water safety through following prescribed guidelines relating to safety(Mwsc, 2019g).
7.MWSC-A5-WI-04 Rev01: The purpose of this SOP is to detail the process for Total Coliform and E.coli test using m-ColiBlue24® broth from water samples. The functions involve detailing generals and specific safety guidelines(Mwsc, 2019h).
8. MWSC-A5-WI-12 Rev 00: The purpose of this SOP is to conduct DCMT Test Using IPT Methylene Chloride Tester for pipes following the ISO 9852 standard of quality (Mwsc, 2019i).
9. MWSC-A5-WI-25 Rev 00:The objective of this SOP is to operate autoclave for sterilizing of items with microbial contamination(Mwsc, 2019j).
10. MWSC-A5-WI-06 Rev01: The objective of this SOP is detailing guidelines for conducting pH and Conductivity test using SevenExcellence (Benchtop).
11. Lastly, SOPs in relation to the tests conducted involves specific safety precaution such as for Boron Test BoroVer 3 Reagent is used in a fume hood or with sufficient airflow, Safety Data Sheets (MSDS/SDS) is reviewed for chemicals used, and reacted solutions are disposed of using local, state and federal regulations.
Internal and external challenges faced by the company related to OSH
The organisation face some internal and external challenges associated with OSH. These are as follows.
- The awareness regarding OSH requirements among staff is lacking
- The language barrier and educational levels of lower level staffs, especially labourers, have imposed difficulties in training staff regarding OSH issues, process and concerns.
- Safety is considered secondary to the management and employees, suggesting a lack of seriousness.
- The organisational staff lacks specific OSH training relating to industry procedures despite them being trained in general OSHAS requirements during the induction process.
- Insufficient monitoring and control procedures with respect to physical health and psychological wellbeing of workers, burnout rates and loss of time as a result of accidents and incidents during work.
- The performance of staffs is not aligned to the OSH.
- Lack of standard legislative and regulatory framework for OSH at the Maldives.
- Lack of government and industry-approved training centre and certification courses with respect to OSH in the country.
- Suppliers and contractors due to lack prescribed format for OSH hardly ever consider OSH as a concerned matter, making it difficult for the company to find suitable suppliers and contractors of machinery and equipment.
Benefits of current OSH programs to the company, employees and community
The existing OSH programs at the company that is available to the employees and communities imparts specific benefits which are as follows.
- The current OSH programs outline a safe work environment for workers ensuring a motivated and efficient workforce.
- The existing OSH programs through engineering and PPE controls eliminate hazards, prevents accidents and incidents, thus avoiding financial costs associated with these while increasing profitability.
- OSH programs can also be used as a marketing tool to attract skilled workforce as well as ensure that leaves taken by employees for accidents, incidents and being sick are considerably reduced (Mwsc. 2019b).
- OSH programs ensure that the legal framework is followed, thus avoiding legal risks and costs.
- OSH also protect the community and enhances organisational reputation where employees enjoy a safe and stress-free work environment.
- Informs staffs, community, customers, and contractors about the necessities of OSH.
c) Suggested programme to the organisation
The organisation's future OSH practices can be improved, thus improving the effectiveness of the existing OSH framework by implementing the following suggested programs.
- To increase sincerity in relation to OSH, as the organisation displays low levels of sincerity and considers this provision as secondary OSH needs to be included in the performance appraisal framework while appraising the performance of department heads are being considered.
- The company needs to first identify the industry-specific OSH needs and then develop and implement industry-specific OSH training.
- Further, the company should consider regular monitoring of existing OSH framework by conducting periodic reviews, surveys, and risk assessments.
- The company can organise OSH day every year in order to increase awareness regarding the matter and display their commitment towards OSH and the wellbeing of their staff and community.
- The company should include safety precaution in SOPs of all processes of the company as well as hire a medical personal either full-time or part-time, which should include psychological experts. This would encourage the staffs to engage with the medical team.
- The organisation must consider including OHS perspectives in the early stages of new projects or investments. For example, ergonomically sound workplace design should be considered in this aspect.
The chosen company MWSC is a well-established organisation providing water production and water management system in the Maldives with considerably large worker strength. Despite lacking legal framework of OSH at the Maldives, the company has implemented standard OSH procedures which involves certain benefits to workers and the organisation but also involves various internal and external challenges. To reduce these challenges, some suggestions for system configuration associated OSH programs have been detailed in the report. It is hoped that improvements can be achieved by implementing these suggested provisions. Through the report, an evaluation of OSH practices for a particular organisation has been done by interviewing a professional of an industry 4.0 organisation.