OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH
The purpose of this assignment is to develop learner’s ability to:
You are required to answer TWO (2) questions. These assignments should be completed individually.
Read the news update below and answer both questions.
Occupational safety for Industry 4.0
The world’s three past industrial revolutions evolved from the invention of the steam engine followed by the electrification and expansion of industries for mass production and then the digital revolution produced by computers and information technologies.
The 4th Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) is being driven by the convergence of advanced technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage and quantum computing.
It is evolving much faster and with greater impact than any of the three previous industrial revolutions. Businesses would need to retrain their staff to pre-empt them for what’s coming, and educational institutions would need to change the way they deliver their curricula.
Most jobs would be affected, particularly in sectors that rely on automation such as automotive, manufacturing and the fast food industry. The spread of Artificial Intelligent and automation would also require workers to quickly adapt to different roles within their current sector or risk facing unemployment.
Employers in all sectors must bring more automation to safety management compliance and make safety equipment smarter in line with Industry 4.0.
To support the transformation process under Industry 4.0, all parties would need to embrace the latest technology on occupational safety and health (OSH) and slowly discard the traditional ways of doing things, such as the paper-based process of manually inputting OSH data.
The latest advancements in connected safety technology would enable businesses to protect workers more effectively and help them achieve a competitive advantage by reducing many safety management-related costs.
In response to these challenges, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) organised COSH 2018 and SciCOSH 2018. For COSH 2018, the theme was “Enhancing OSH in the New Digital Era” while for SciCOSH 2018 it was “Engaging OSH in Industrial Revolution 4.0”.
Last year, Malaysia unveiled its National Policy on Industry 4.0, known as “Industry 4WRD”, in response to the call for digital transformation of the manufacturing sector and its related services.
Industry 4WRD is a pivotal step as Malaysia seeks to strengthen its on-going structural reforms to become a developed nation that is equitable, sustainable and inclusive by 2025 or even earlier.
Source : The Star ,3 July 2019
Accidents at construction sites are increasingly alarming. Statistics on Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) showed that 1,662 people had been killed since 1999. The average of 99 death occurred a year in Malaysia between 2011 and 2015 and the highest number of deaths was recorded in Selangor.
Based on the above scenario, you are required to to obtain the information about the chosen organisation that has been in operation for more than three years in Malaysia. The information can be obtained either on the basis of your knowledge and observation and / or interview and / or based on the written reports or magazine / newspaper articles about the organisation.
Prepare and submit a report which should consist of the following in sequence;
Cover in detail: Name of the chosen company, type of business, organisation structure, mission and vision, number and type of employees, name of the person interviewed (the HR manager) and his/her background. (Suggested to have pictures, graphs, tables etc, to illustrate the information)
Contents of the report
Report the findings based on the following;
Suggested programme to the organisation
Relevant suggestions to improve the organisation’s future OSH practices so as to increase the effectiveness of the OSH programme in the chosen organisation.
Sum-up all of the key points of the assignment and highlight lessons learned.
Use of APA style, language structure
Assignment Format :
Follow the following format in preparing for your report:
The assignment will be graded based on both content as well as presentation. You may receive low marks due to poor presentation, even if the content is adequate. Presentation includes spelling, grammar, sentence and paragraph structure, continuity and transitions between paragraphs, headings, and other mechanics of expository writing.
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.
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 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)
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.
The organisation face some internal and external challenges associated with OSH. These are as follows.
The existing OSH programs at the company that is available to the employees and communities imparts specific benefits which are as follows.
The organisation's future OSH practices can be improved, thus improving the effectiveness of the existing OSH framework by implementing the following suggested programs.
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.