“Developments of Health and Safety Management in your chosen profession in the past decade: Contemporary Issues, Trends and Strategy”
|Marking Scheme for Assignment 2 Sections||Weighting|
|Main body of report should contain Aspects of Health and safety development and trends Well-developed logical arguments should be demonstrated in your work – implementation of theories In your submission say how you will mitigate against the problem (i.e. solve the problem).||65 %|
|Discussion and conclusion||15 %|
|References and bibliography||10 %|
|Total Marks for Assignment||100 %|
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Globally, it is acknowledged that having a job is good for an individual’s health and welfare. However, not all people know that a healthy place of work is beneficial to staffs too. Most workplaces focus on making profits and fail to prioritize employees (Burke, Clarke, & Cooper, 2011, p.115). For instance, in today’s modern world, globalization and new technologies are much embraced with some of the health concerns being disregarded. It is of vital importance that employers get to understand an environment that is conducive enables one to work efficiently with minimal stress levels and accidents. It is also of advantage to an employer as a safe working environment prevents absenteeism and an unhealthy workforce. In this case, it saves upon costs in regards to not only time but also costs. For a reason, there are reduced recruitment expenses, employee turnover and minimal sick leaves (Laberge, MacEachen, & Calvet, 2014, p.252). Establishing a positive, healthy and safe environment for workers elevates an employee’s morale and boosts a business’s level of productivity.
Aspect of health and safety development
Health and safety laws are set to protect both the employee and the employer. The Health and Safety at Work Act is the primary legislation that covers the welfare of workers at work. According to the piece, business owners have a responsibility to look carefully at staff’s health, safety, and well-being. The law specifies the role that an employer has to a worker, members of the public and consumers while in the working environment. Also, the Act states that employees also must keep themselves as well as others safe. Nevertheless, the law limits an owner’s duty to what can be regarded as “reasonably practical” (Smith, & Lee, 2015, p.26). Hence, id the needed measures to protect a worker and the public are technically improbable, and then one does not have to adopt them. The Act requires the management to utilize the element of common sense in determining the risks and remedies.
Some of the provisions that the legislation requires include safe use, handling, and storage of hazardous products. Also, sufficient training of personnel, adequate wellbeing provisions for employees at work and maintenance of secure access and way out to the place of work. Furthermore, it demands that safe operations of systems and industrial plants are observed. It is also expected that injuries, illnesses, and hazardous occurrences are reported to the relevant authorities. Both the employer and the staff are held responsible for these. Such is helpful in enhancing the working environments.
Psychological hazards and stress
Today, occupational related stress is quite common in working places and is known to cost a lot in regards to an employee’s health and performance at work. As much as stress is not an illness, it is the initial sign of an existing problem. It can bring about long-term damage to the body organs and systems especially if the body does not rest and cannot recover. Some of these include loss of memory, musculoskeletal disorders, high blood pressure, ulcers and heart conditions. It can also result in cancer development as it can even alter one’s immune system (Reese, 2015, p.97). Consequently, this issue is responsible for significant morbidity rates, mortalities, use of healthcare and disability.
These factors include constrained postures, repetitious tasks, and forceful exertions. Such can lead to the development of the musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) and repetitive motion injuries (RMIs). For a reason, these risks make it quite hard to maintain balance for individuals (Laberge et al., 2014, p.254).
There are numerous kinds of hazardous chemicals such as in the form of a liquid, flammable materials, vapor, and fumes. Routes to exposure include an explosion, inhalation of fumes, ingestion, and even poisoning. Exposure to them in work settings can have unintended repercussions for workers. Such brings about acute as well as long-term health impacts. Depending on the compound, the risk involved varies. Increased period of exposure increases the likelihood of developing chronic illnesses like hypertension and heart diseases (Reese, 2015, p.71).
Health and safety strategy and trends
Over the years, there have been substantial advances in the places of work which have significantly transformed work throughout the globe. The impacts of such transitions on occupational safety and health (OSH) in workplaces have also been significant. In some instances, traditional risks have been eliminated whereas in other cases new hazards have been created. A common trend in the country is the aging workforce. In fact, it is projected that in the next five decades, the elderly population is likely to double from 87 million in the year 2010 to about 152 million in 2016 (Burke et al., p.279). As a result, the number of those retiring will drastically shrink over the years. Therefore, there is a high likelihood of increased rates of injuries and morbidities as a result of falls, harmful exposures, and assaults. For a reason, older employees are more exposed to numerous hazards compared to the other workers in the same place of work. More so, older staffs tend to suffer severe injuries compared to the younger counterparts. Hence, they require recovery periods which are longer than others’.
Over the last few years, workforce migration has been rising globally. Research shows that this has increased by over five percent in most countries (Laberge et al., 2014, p.254). In turn, positive consequences have risen. Some of which include the creation of a competitive workforce as this increases of personal qualifications for the staffs. Nonetheless, adverse repercussions which are threatening to one’s health have risen. Mostly, staffs migrate to low-income countries which are in turn unable to protect the migrant’s rights to the appropriate care of health. Also, this could be detrimental to staffs as the aspect of psychological risk is involved. Some workers may find it quite challenging to adapt to a foreign environment. Besides, separation from family and increased workload would make it worse and increase one’s levels of stress. Subsequently, this may bring about cases of mental conditions such as depression.
Innovations such as wearable and visualizing technologies have been increasingly implemented in the recent years. Wearable technology includes safety vests, glasses as well as hard hats. These tend to capture data and give out feedback. They have been quite effective in ensuring occupational health and safety. Wearable, in fact, can be exploited to identify if a condition is job-related or not (Wilson, 2014, p.15). Such is particularly essential with cumulative conditions like respiratory diseases, skin disorders, poisoning and hearing loss. Also, this has been critical in determining areas that are hazardous though the creation of outdoor Global Positioning System (GPS).
On the other hand, Visualization technology has been critical in enhancing how events are perceived and help expect them. It allows employees apprehend a hazardous environment without necessarily being in that area. For instance, the construction sector exploits this to encounter a space that is not yet constructed physically. Virtual reality (VR) helps in the analysis, interaction, and prevention of hazards. Nevertheless, adverse health problems have risen within workplaces where some of which entail ergonomic concerns. For example, the emitted blue light from screens results in sleeping problems and eye fatigue. In turn, this creates a dangerous working environment as the concentration level decreases. Hence, accidents such as falls become more frequent (Wilson, 2014, p.17).
One of the drivers of the economy globally is globalization. As a result, there has been increased competition, downsizing, economic pressures and job insecurity According to Reese (2015, p.98), mental health problems have been on the rise due to this trend. In fact, one out of ten employees suffers from depression, burnout, stress, and anxiety leading to unemployment in some cases. Also, this has brought about the issue of increased environmental pollution which is harmful to the community as well as the employee. Global trade has forced companies to lower their product prices. As a result, especially where there is no tight regulation, corporations result in cheaper inputs which can be detrimental to one’s health through emission of gases during manufacturing.
Implementations of Theories
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
The theory can be related to health safety at work. It was established by Abraham Maslow as a model of motivation in the domain of psychology. Abraham believed individuals moved through distinct phases of five needs which motivate their action. Maslow named these essentials, from bottom to top respectively, psychological, safety, belonging, self-esteem and self-actualization. He believed that every necessity had to be met before proceeding to the next. For instance, before financial stability becomes a priority, basic psychological needs must first be met.
In Maslow’s hierarchy, safety needs include security and protection. When psychological essentials of food and water are met, then the safety ones tend to dominate one’s acts. In today’s’ world, safety essentials can depict themselves as aspects of insurance policies, well-being, job and financial security. The theory shows that humankind carries out various activities to accomplish self-fulfillment which is the most top need. When a personnel’s health is at risk, that is the place of work is not safe, one’s competency at work reduces. Thus, this leads to poor performance and overall decreased productivity. Therefore, health and safety give a staff a chance to meet this need hence accomplishing not only organizational but also individual goals. Organizations thereby need to design healthy and safe working environments. Working conditions should be favorable to boost one’s morale levels as a worker (Abunaw, 2015, p.53).
Theory of Behavior-Base Safety
The Behavior-Base Safety (BBS) theory is exploited to minimize accidents in workplaces and fatalities. According to the approach, safety in working places entails a combination of three measurable elements. The components involve personality, behavior, and environment. BBS shows that observation and analysis of the interactions between employee’s actions and the working place, it is possible to determine dimensions which encourage safe and unsafe practices. Also, the model argues that by transforming the surrounding to promote safe actions the number of minor injuries and lost time can dramatically minimize. For these to be successful, the approach should involve all staffs from the most basic position at work since changes cannot be well implemented without including everyone. Some of the critical factors of the BBS program encompass common objectives for worker and reinforcement for enhancement of goals. It is essential to understand that that the BBS program is a commitment to an environment that is much safer and reduced injuries (Abunaw, 2015, p.55).
Heinrich’s Domino Theory
According to the model, accidents can be prevented by following the three “E” S. These include engineering, education, and enforcement. Engineering entails control of risks by process transition and product design. In regards to education, workers should be trained concerning all aspects of safety. On the flip side, enforcement involves ensuring that both internal and external rules and regulation are followed throughout the company (Abunaw, 2015, p.56).
Enterprises prioritize profitability and productivity. Many of these companies fail to realize that occupational health (OH) is a significant driver of a desirable economic development. Unfortunately, they perceive OH as a luxury and not as one of the factors needed for compliance. Subsequently, businesses suffer massive losses as a result of time wasted and finances. Breaking down of machines is quite expensive to replace or even repair. Also, giving out of sick leaves leads to loss of time that can never be recovered. Therefore, organizations should be significantly dedicated to changing the situation. Companies should understand the risks and transformations involved. Employers should incorporate safety measures in every stage of engineering.
Moreover, firms should learn to take their employees as their critical assets in a company. For without employees, a company would not survive. With a content workforce, customer satisfaction is achieved resulting in increased profit margins and productivity. Consequently, there would be a reduced scale of disorders related to ergonomics risks. In this case, firms need to invest in establishing social support systems in places of work. For a reason, studies mirror an increase in morbidity rates of psychological conditions due to occupational related stress. Employees should commit to both individualized and collective programs (Meswani, 2008, p.3).
There are high levels of illiteracy in regards to occupational health risks. It seems that the industries are led by the desire to make daily earning rather than one’s welfare. Thus there is significant need not only to sensitize people but also train them. Individuals need to understand the consequences that arise as a result of some activities that are mostly ignored. It is about time that people realized that health is of paramount importance compared to any other asset. Further, proper training should be done to familiarize with all the company’s assets and to prevent any avoidable loss (Meswani, 2008, p.3).
In conclusion, a healthy and safe working setup is not only beneficial to both an employee and the employer. A workplace that is not conducive to an employee brings about adverse effects which can deter one’s productivity. Besides, this could be quite detrimental to one’s health as it would result in diseases and injuries. Business owners, on the other side, would suffer financial losses and loss of competent staffs. It is essential to understand that it is not only an employer’s duty to ensure safety levels at work but also an employee’s. A company should there be committed in ensuring that the setup is conducive enough for its workforce. In this case, its laborers should be well exposed and trained to all the aspects of the company.