Employees are the assets to any organization, hence every employee is important for the organization. Proper care and attention by the employer need to give to the upbringing of human capital. This will make the employee to be more dedicated, disciplined, committed and responsible towards his/her work which will in turn help in the growth and development of the organization.
Every employee should be happy and comfortable with the work what they do and the workplace where they work. The workplace plays an important role in shaping and motivating the employees; so it should be a safe and healthy place to work.
The workplace should be hazard-free and for making it a hazard-free place, the employer needs to identify the hazards, which helps in rectifying and resolving the problems and issues. Now, in this chapter we will discuss and put more light on identifying the hazards of the organization.
Preparing for the Inspection is the initial step. The success of workplace inspections depends on having the needful information. There should also be a general system of management controls which is pliable enough to allow for changes to be made, for example in equipment or work practices, when required.
To properly recognize hazards, the person or persons managing the inspection should have the mandatory training, which should include the plant arrangement – a floor plan is helpful in drawing up for the inspection, and recording findings. The possible hazards related with the various machinery, equipment, materials, and processes and the prevailing controls, applicable standards and regulations.
There is a need to examine the planned inspection route before undertaking the inspection. Review where inspection team members are going and what they are searching for. This removes the need for arm gestures, shouting and other disappointing procedures of communication during carrying out inspection.
For inspections, wear personal protective equipment (PPE) where needed. If you do not have PPE and cannot get any, do not undertake the area. List this as a deficiency during the inspection. Re-inspect the area when PPE is given.
Look for divergence from accepted work practices. Use statements such as, "an employee was noticed setting off a machine without a guard." Do not use information obtained from inspections for corrective measures.
Here is a list of some common poor work practices −
Using machinery or tools without power
Working at risky speeds or in other breach of safe work practice
Detaching guards or other safety devices, or giving them vain
Utilizing defective tools or equipment in dangerous ways
Utilizing hands or body instead of tools or push sticks
Adjusting equipment that is in action, under pressure, or electrically charged
Standing or working under suspended loads, scaffolds, shafts, or open hatches
Generating unsafe, unsanitary, or unhealthy conditions by improper personal hygiene, by using compressed air for cleaning clothes, by poor housekeeping, or by smoking in official areas
Overburdening, crowding, or failing to stabilize materials or handling materials in other unsafe ways, including improper lifting
While conducting inspections, follow these basic principles −
Draw attention to the presence of any instant danger in the immediate surroundings.
Shut down any hazardous items that cannot be brought to a safe working standard until mended.
Look up, down, around and inside. Be well organized and thorough. Do not spoil the inspection with a "once-over-lightly" approach.
Distinctly describe each hazard and its exact location in your rough notes.
Ask questions, but do not disturb work activities. This may interfere with efficient assessment of the job function and may also generate a possibly hazardous situation.
Discuss as a group, "Can any problem, hazard or accident created from this situation when looking at the equipment, the process or the environment?" Decide what corrections or controls are appropriate.
Do not try to notice all hazards simply by depending on your senses or by looking at them during the inspection.
Take a photograph if you are unable to clearly describe or sketch a specific situation.
To make a report, first copy all incomplete items from the previous report on the new report. Then write down the noticed unsafe condition and endorsed methods of control. Enter the department or area inspected, the date and the inspection team's names and titles on top of the page. Number each item successively, followed by a hazard classification of items according to the chosen plan. State precisely what has been perceived and accurately recognize its location.
Make the Management aware of the problems in a short, accurate way. The Management should be able to understand and assess the problems, allocate priorities and quickly turn to decisions. Take immediate action as required. When permanent correction takes time, take any temporary measures you can, such as roping off the area, tagging out equipment or posting warning signs.
After each listed hazard, state the recommended disciplinary action and establish a definite correction date. Each inspection team member should review for accuracy, clearness and thoroughness.
Review the information acquired from regular inspections to recognize where instant corrective action is needed. Identify trends and obtain timely feedback. Survey of inspection reports may show the following −
The health and safety committee should review the progress of the recommendations, importantly when they affect to the education and training of employees. It is also the committee's responsibility to study the information from day-to-day inspections. This will help in recognizing trends for the preservation of an effective health and safety program.