OSH Matters

Growing interest in Occupational Safety and Health

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Concussion: The Truth Hurts

Concussion Cover page for blog

Source: Image from the movie (Concussion, 2015)


The movie Concussion(2015), directed by Peter Landesman, was based on a True Story and presented a forensic pathologist, Dr. Bennet Omalu, who made the first discovery of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy(CTE), a football-related brain trauma in a famous player, Mike Webster. CTE is a deteriorating disease of the brain caused by repetitive trauma to the head, which accumulates tau proteins in the brain, leading to mental instability.

Other athletes faced with the same diagnosis led to the doctor raising awareness of the CTE disease. However, Omalu’s results appeared to threaten the corporate interests of the National football League (NFL), as they covered up and undermined the developing scientific evidence linking the activity of Football to significant health concerns.

In the following blog Strategic Thinkers focused on the five categories of Hazards: Physical, Biological,  Chemical, Ergonomic, and Psychological.

Physical Hazards

Physical Hazards are factors within the environment that threaten your physical safety. They are the most common and are present in most workplaces at one time or another. In the movie Concussion, many physical hazards were present.

  • Two-day drills – According to Mike Webster in the movie, it was painful playing football and understandably so. One of the hazards that was spotted in the movie Concussion was the fact that the NFL players had to undergo two-day drills of consistent and intense training in the heat of summer. These intense training sessions, combined with the unrelenting heat of the sun has the potential to cause severe heatstroke and fatigue, which can result in dizziness, loss of consciousness or even death. Therefore, it is recommended that adequate rest periods be taken in between such training sessions to allow the players to recover and hydrate themselves so as to replenish their stamina, as well as regulate and maintain normal body temperature.
  • Collisions – Perhaps one of the most notable, albeit extreme, quotes that came from the movie was when Dr. Bennet Omalu (Will Smith) stated “God did not intend for us to play football”, but is it really so far-fetched? A human being would get concussed at 60g (gravitational force) but a common head to head contact on a football field generates a g-force of 100. He goes on to say “No part of our anatomy protects us from such force”, thus as shown in figure 1 below, there exist many potential physical hazards when playing football. These direct collisions, as shown in the clip above, can cause severe brain damage, resulting in CTE and other injuries such as broken or fractured bones and ruptured internal organs. Therefore, given the brutal nature of the game where the body, most notably the head, is used as a weapon, we recommend that the personal protective equipment be redesigned to better absorb such force in order to mitigate the impacts, or implement a policy where no one player should play more than 2 games consecutively per month.


Source: Clip taken from movie (Concussion, 2015)

  • Headset while performing autopsy – Another hazard that was identified in the movie was in the scene where Dr. Bennet Omalu was performing an autopsy with a headset on. This posed a potential hazard as he is operating with sharp blades and tools, and the cord from the headset can potentially entangle his arms, preventing free movement of his hands or even cause the sharp tools to be flung from his hands due to an unexpected restriction from said headset. We recommend that a wireless headset be utilized while in the operating room to prevent cases of entanglement.
  • Speeding into oncoming traffic – Following that, we were presented with a scene where NFL player, Justin Strzelcyk was speeding into oncoming traffic on the opposite side of the highway. Multiple hazards were present in this scenario, starting with the issue of him driving on the wrong side of the highway where he could easily get into a car accident. Compounded on that was that fact that he was also speeding, greatly increasing the risk of a fatal accident, endangering himself and others. Unfortunately, this did result in a fatal accident, claiming both his life, and the life of the other motorist who was also on the road as shown in the clip below. We therefore recommend that persons should refrain from speeding and stay within reasonable range of the speed limit as well as adhere to all road laws & regulations while driving on the correct side of the road.


Source: Clip from Movie (Concussion 2015)

Biological Hazards

Biological Hazards include bacteria from organisms or samples of body tissues or fluids which can adversely affect human health through direct or indirect contact with susceptible persons. Common examples of biological hazards include stinging insects, pest infestations, harmful plants, HIV and medical wastes.

  • Unsanitary Living conditions – A biological hazard observed in the movie Concussion was the unsanitary living conditions of Mike Webster. He became homeless, living in a truck with one of the windows replaced with a garbage bag and tape. Surrounded by trees and bushes, Mike Webster was potentially at risk of envenomation or bites from snakes, spiders or other insects.

WhatsApp Image 2018-11-13 at 9.39.34 AM

Source: Image from Movie (Concussion 2015)

  • Improper use of protective gear – Another biological hazard seen in the movie was in the scene where Bennet Omalu and his family were gardening in their backyard without using gloves and other protective gear. Soils contain bacteria and fungi with the potential to cause harm when it is entered in the body through cuts, scrapes or splinters. By not using proper protective gear, this can lead to infections such as tetanus or sepsis.

WhatsApp Image 2018-11-13 at 9.39.35 AM

Source: Image from Movie (Concussion 2015)

Chemical Hazards

A Chemical Hazard can be defined as a type of Occupational Hazard caused by exposure to Chemicals in the workplace. With respect to the movie, the Chemical Hazards identified were:

  • Ammonia Inhalation – Early in the movie we saw Mike Webster inhaling ammonia to remain awake as he did not want to go to sleep. However when inhaled, ammonia will react negatively with the human body, as it is very corrosive and will damage the cells in the body once contact is made. Although he was trying to solve one problem he would end up exposing himself to Ammonia Poisoning, and by extension create multiple other problems such as Lung Damage, irritation in his nose and throat or even death.


  • Ingesting of Antifreeze – Terry Long proved to be in a great deal of pain, so much so he committed suicide by drinking Antifreeze. Antifreeze can be dangerous even in the smallest amounts and may initially seem harmless but that just means the body is starting to break it down releasing substances that react negatively when in contact with your blood, lungs etc. By ingesting Antifreeze Terry was basically trying to put himself out of his misery. He no longer wanted to suffer and he saw it best to commit suicide, releasing himself from the pain he felt.


  • Issuance of Medications – Another chemical hazard identified within the movie was the misuse of medication being identified by Dr. Julian Baines. “Whatever it takes to keep them in the game” is what he said, not that he supported it but it was basically his job. They would therefore inject needles into the players or issue medications through other means, and it included but may not have been limited to Vicodin, Toradol, Lidocaine, Percocet, Lexapro and Zoloft. Introducing the players bodies to chemicals that had no right to be in their bodies; It is especially hazardous and toxic because they were issuing medication to solve a non existent problem. As they would have stated before, they believed the players were suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s and so they would have been issuing medication to treat that diagnosis when that was not even the issue. The players therefore become at risk because their bodies might react negatively to the medication they were receiving as well as there is the possibility of them overdosing on the medication for the sake of keeping them in the game.

Ergonomic Hazards

An Ergonomic Hazard is a physical factor within the environment that harms the musculoskeletal system. Ergonomic hazards include repetitive movement, manual handling, workplace design and poor body positioning.American football is a high energy contact sport where the most common sites of injury were the ankle, shoulder, knee, spine and hand. Injuries can occur during both practice and games played. Some common injuries are strains, sprains, fractures, dislocations and just as the movie is named (yes – you’ve guessed it!) Concussions. Concussions and cervical spinal injuries can be caused by helmet to helmet collision as well as impact against other players’ knees and against the ground. However, protective equipment such as helmets, shoulder pads, knee and thigh pads and gloves are worn to reduce the severity of injuries occurring.


Psychological Hazards

In the movie Concussion, one of the major psychological hazards was the negative impact former NFL footballers faced from being a part of the football industry. Most of the former famous athletes in the movie suffered from stress which resulted in mental illness. This illness was concluded as a psychological hazard that was brought upon four athletes that later resulted in deaths. Psychology has to do with the human mind that may influence the behaviors and actions of a person. The psychological hazard caused Mike Webster to be stressed, as well as he suffered with severe headaches, had doubled vision and heard voices in his head. Mike Webster’s psychological symptoms caused him to die from CTE caused by multiple concussions he received due to the constant banging of his head in collisions while playing American Football during his twenty plus football career.

Another interesting scene in the movie was the death of Justin, who also was diagnosed with having CTE due to the concussions he received playing in the NFL. He agonized the same mental symptoms especially hearing voices in his head saying to his wife “They are telling me to kill you” while strangling her. To avoid such illness from playing in the NFL, it is recommended that players should be aware of the risk (death) in playing American football and take into consideration the effects of consistently banging of their heads from collision on the field.








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Is “Mission Impossible” Possible?


Source: Image from the movie (Mission Impossible 2, 2000)

For our risk assessment vlog, the group used a movie entitled “Mission Impossible 2”, directed by John Woo to identify different types of hazards. Initially, a risk assessment is simply a term used to describe the process of identifying hazards and risk factors that may cause potential harm, analyze and evaluate the risks identified as well as suggesting appropriate procedures in order to eliminate or control the hazard. Mission Impossible 2, a movie produced in the year 2000 starring Tom Cruise and other well-known actors was used to assist us in identifying and examining physical, chemical, biological, psychological and ergonomic hazards.


Physical Hazards can be categorized into 4 types

  • Mechanical Hazards
  • Falling and Lifting Hazards
  • Electrical and Fire Hazards
  • Temperature and Pressure Hazards

Mechanical Hazards

So, what exactly is a mechanical hazard? Mechanical Hazards refers to moving machinery which can cause injury and possible death. A mechanical hazard that was noticed during the movie is the atrium dive scene where the louvers opened and closed within a certain time frame. Ethan’s plan is to enter the building and destroy the virus without being detected. The only way for him to achieve this is by entering the building via an entrance where there is no security. Ethan chose to enter the building via the louvers of the atrium which can only remain open for a total of 40 seconds before sounding the alarm. This seems impossible to achieve, right?  This is a potential hazard because if he didn’t time the louvers properly, the louvers could’ve injured him, or the rope could’ve been caught on the louvers resulting in him falling and getting injured. Luckily for Ethan he was able to enter the building and clear the rope before the louvers closed. A clip of the scene is attached below.

osh atrium

Source: Clip taken from the movie (Mission Impossible 2, 2000)

Recommendation: Ensure persons are not working near these areas and those who are should be wearing proper personal protective equipment and harness if they are working near the vent. This might save them if they accidentally fall in the atrium.


In addition to the fire hazard from the explosion mentioned above, also comes a temperature hazard. A temperature hazard is simply any extreme and unusual fluctuations in the atmosphere. The fire explosion would have undoubtedly caused the temperature levels to rise rapidly creating a wave of heat spreading inward into the enclosed underground room. This fiery heat wave would have lead to a depletion of oxygen in the atmosphere and possibly resulting in suffocation or Hypoxia for Hunt, Ambrose, Stamp, McCoy, and their respective apprentices. It is recommended that in such an enclosed space, fans that act as a vacuum to draw the hot air out and help the area maintain its regular temperature should have been used. The image below shows the propulsion of the fire carrying heat after the explosion.


Source: Clip taken from the movie (Mission Impossible 2, 2000)



Source: Clip taken from the movie (Mission Impossible 2, 2000)

Have you ever been on an airplane, thinking you will never need to use oxygen masks when you hear,  “Should the cabin experience sudden pressure loss, oxygen masks will drop down from above your seat. Place the mask over your mouth and nose.” Well at the beginning of this movie it was definitely necessary! When the cabin pressurization system fails on an aircraft this altitude raises above the safe level. Emergency oxygen systems consist of individual oxygen masks stored in compartments, accessible for each passenger. The scientist in the movie refused to put on his mask when it was required. The aircraft was falling as the pilot was unconscious, hence the oxygen level decreased drastically. This acts as a pressure hazard since it exposes the scientist to hypoxia, which is basically oxygen starvation. (Porter, 2018) It is difficult to notice that this is happening to you unless you can no longer breathe and fall unconscious. Some other symptoms of hypoxia include nausea, headaches, and euphoria. It is recommended that one ALWAYS listen to the safety announcements and abide by them when necessary.



Source: Clip of Ethan rock climbing from the movie (Mission Impossible 2, 2000)

Watching Ethan Hunt Climb that mountain was just NERVE-RACKING!!! There are countless mishaps that could have gone wrong in this scene, thankfully it’s just a movie! Ethan climbed this mountain in a vest and basic trousers. As can be seen in the gif above, he took an enormous risk by jumping from one rock to the next. I would assume that he got a lot of bruises and scratches on his arms since his attire was not conducive to his actions. Heat exhaustion and dehydration would most likely occur under these conditions since he is in direct sunlight. His body would consequently lose too much water and would not be able to get rid of the heat fast enough (Hot weather hiking tips, 2018). He can begin to feel very thirsty and dizzy and can even lose consciousness, which in this case will lead to death. It is recommended that he wears proper hiking gear including; proper shoes with effective grips, gloves, a long sleeve jersey and pants that would allow better mobility. Furthermore, from the looks of it, he does not have a backpack with water or a first aid kit which is also a necessity!

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Source: Helicopter image from the movie (Mission Impossible 2, 2000)

Not too long after, when he finally reached to the top of the mountain, a helicopter approached him, with a man standing on the edge of the helicopter to shoot a package to Ethan. This in itself is a hazard, supposed the pilot took a sharp turn? He could easily fall out of the helicopter! And since he did not have on any gear to hold him back from falling this hazard would have led to death. It is recommended that when performing these dangerous tasks, proper safety equipment must be used. In this case, a helicopter harness, shown in the image below would be appropriate.


Source: Image showing a helicopter harness

After successfully sneaking into the atrium, Ethan Hunt made his way down to the lab where he began destroying the Chimera virus. he was unfortunately interrupted by Sean Ambrose and his apprentices who initiated a mass of gunshots at Hunt. This resulted in the glass platform on which he stood to shatter, spraying bits of glass all over the floor below. This shattered glass acted as a foreign object on the walking surface and could have caused Hunt, Ambrose, Nyah or any one of the other assailants to slip and fall. In such an environment as expensive as this lab, the shatterproof glass should have been used to prevent bits of glass from being spread all over the floor and creating a fall hazard. furthermore, in the event that this shatterproof glass was not used and there is glass on the floor, the area should be cordoned off so as to prevent anyone from entering and ultimately being injured. The picture above shows the shattered glass bits on the floor surrounding to the instrument that held the €37,000,000 virus.


Source: Image of shattered glass on the floor from the movie (Mission Impossible 2, 2000)

After the riveting motorcycle chase mentioned earlier that brought Hunt and Ambrose to the coast, both men leaped off their respective motorcycles and collided in mid-air before plummeting to the sandy and rocky ground below. Both men or either one of them could have easily landed on a rock, covered in the sand or not, and suffered critical injuries to the body such as broken bones or even a concussion. As such, both riders should have been wearing protective gear especially a helmet to prevent head traumas. The following image displays the scene where both men hit the ground.


Source: Image of both men plummeting to the ground from the movie (Mission Impossible 2, 2000)



Electricity can cause severe shock to the human body which can result in various damages to the body. Exposed electricity can even be a potential fire hazard since it has the ability to cause fire and possible explosion if exposed to the wrong area. In the movie, during the battle between Ethan and Sean for the last set of the virus. It was noted that after the entire fight, Nyah picked up the virus under the instruction of Sean. It is seen that behind her, there were sparks of electricity which shows that there are open wires which can shock and injure persons near it. Another instance, where electrical sparks are noticed was at the beginning of the fight scene when Ethan slid down the cables, electrical sparks are seen behind him.


Source: Clip showing electrical sparks behind Ethan from the movie

(Mission Impossible 2, 2000)


Source: Image showing electrical sparks from the movie (Mission Impossible 2, 2000)

Recommendation: Ensure all electrical wires are properly secured and if they are exposed, the electricity should be turned off in the building. Breaker panels should be accessible to do this. Persons working near this area should also be wearing proper PPE.

Another nerve wrecking moment during the movie is when the bomb was placed Luther Stickell’s van. While Luther was busy helping Ethan, one of Sean’s guards placed a bomb under the van which he was working from. Luckily, Luther was able to spot the bomb and decided to evacuate the vehicle and grabbed his things, however, while trying to exit the vehicle, a cable caught on his jersey which could’ve resulted in his death. But Luther was able to free himself on time and exit the vehicle as soon and the bomb went off.


Source: Clip showing bomb explosion from the movie (Mission Impossible 2, 2002)

Recommendation: Ensure that there are no persons near the bomb to prevent further loss of lives. The bomb in this scene was set with the intention to kill, however, if this is used for another reason such as destruction of old buildings, certain measures should be put in place before using it and building must be thoroughly evacuated. Nearby areas should also take precautions since fire can easily spread.

Following Ethan Hunt’s invasion into the secret hideout, he set off an explosive device that was thrown at the door to a room. This was in an attempt to stop the deal from happening between Sean Ambrose and Mr. McCoy to sell the Chimera virus and its antidote. This explosive device was considered a fire hazard as once it was set off, it is able to create a fire explosion categorized as a Class C. When the device exploded, a large fire engulfed the doorway which could have been deadly to those in the room which included Ambrose, Stamp, McCoy, and their apprentices. Fire extinguishers should have been made readily accessible around the compound allowing persons to out any fires before they grow to an uncontrollable state as what was depicted in this scene. The fire as a result of this explosion can be seen in the clip below.


Source: Clip of the fire that engulfed the doorway from the movie

(Mission Impossible 2, 2000)

In the movie, another incident where a fire hazard is noticed is the hazardous waste tanks during the scene where Ethan tried to escape with the virus and antivirus. What is hazardous waste you may ask? According to VanGuilder (2018), hazardous waste is defined as a solid waste that poses substantial or potential threats to public health and the environment. It poses characteristics such as ignitability, reactivity, corrosivity, and toxicity.  In the movie, while Ethan was trying to escape, Sean’s guards tried to stop him. Ethan chose to shoot the hazardous waste tank located on the premises. As you can see in the clip below, the tank was properly labeled and possessed the symbol indicating what the tank contained. Once the shot was fired at the tank, there was a huge explosion which injured Sean’s bodyguards possibly resulting in their deaths.


Source: Clip showing explosion from the movie (Mission Impossible 2, 2000).

Recommendation: Store hazardous waste in an area away from buildings and where persons usually work in order to prevent accidents from happening.  Another recommendation is to ensure that employees are aware of the location of possible flammable substances and ensure they wear protective gear when working near or with the substances.

After interrupting the deal and stealing the Chimera virus along with its antidote, Hunt attempting to evade Ambrose and get off the compound on a motorcycle. To do this, he had to cross a narrow bridge on which a car filled with shooting assailants was approaching in the opposite direction. Luther Stickell shot a propelled explosive at this car which caused it to explode off of the bridge. Ethan then jumped over a gate and rode through this class B fire. Ethan’s clothes could have easily caught ablaze by the fast-spreading cloud of flames resulting in him suffering many burns about the body. The clip below shows where Ethan harmlessly emerged from this explosion.


Source: Clip of Ethan escaping on a motorcycle frm

Nearing the end of this movie, an exciting motorcycle chase between Hunt and Ambrose brought them to a rocky and sandy part of the coast. This led to a face-off between both men which caused them to collide and one of the bikes explode after its fuel line was shot earlier. This class B fire and explosion could have effortlessly propelled the exploding bike in an unknown direction and unto the men. This would have obviously resulted in them sustaining severe burns as well as the possibility of being crushed by the motorcycle. Below is a clip from the movie that displays this scene.



An agent of biological origin that has the capacity to produce deleterious effects on humans, animals, plants, and insects.  These include microorganisms, toxins and allergens derived from those organisms; all allergens and toxins derived from insects, animals, and plants. Biological hazards pose threats to living organisms. In the movie Mission Impossible: Fallout, it was difficult to find any biological hazards as the movie was more geared to physical hazards since it is an action movie according to the genre. However, a few minutes into the movie the main character, Ethan Hunt is seen sticking a needle to draw blood. Infected needles cause quite a number of diseases such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV.

Another biological hazard is that open wounds could get infected if not treated immediately. There’s a bathroom scene, where three characters were engaged in a fight. Wounds that seem persistent will likely have some sort of complication associated to the healing process. This can include:

  • Excessive inflammation – swelling that affects the area around the wound.
  • Infection – heat, smells, pain, and other symptoms could indicate infection
  • Slowed healing– slow wound progression during open wound treatment can mean any number of problems including autoimmune disease, malnutrition.


Psychological hazards arise from the worker’s failure to adapt to an alien psycho-social environment. Frustration, lack of job satisfaction, insecurity, poor human relationships, emotional tension are some of the psychological factors which may undermine both physical and mental health of the workers.

Imagine working in an organization where you ask a question and someone threatens your life… Pretty Crazy right?  What if that person was your supervisor or your boss? It becomes even more dangerous. Because of the person’s psychological state, they actually have a tendency to act out aggressively, which creates a hazard in the working environment. Workers would feel unsafe and become more fearful when working under these conditions.

Sean Ambrose is an extremely intelligent and skilled agent. He worked for the Impossible Mission Force (IMF). In his time at the IMF, he acted as a double for Ethan Hunt on various missions on which Ethan was unable to attend. This led to a lot of conflict with his employer as he was almost never allowed to show his real face during his role as Ethan. In his level of stress, anger, and frustration, he left the organization and decided to embark on a more cynical path.

Aggression and Violence
Sean’s mental state has become very unstable and dangerous after he left the IMF. His frustration, obsession and abuse of power put innocent persons and even his right-hand man Hugh at risk. In the clip below, Hugh’s in a fearful situation, where Ambrose threatens to cut off his finger. Hugh’s conflict with Sean over the reason as to why she is here causes Sean to react violently. His obsession with Nyah and his reaction towards Hugh instills Hugh with fear. He cuts the tip of his finger to remind him, not to question him and how quickly his life can be endangered.

Clip 1: Fear created through Sean’s Actions

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Recommendations: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to address ones violent and aggressive behavior.

Suicidal Feelings:
Nyah is a highly skilled thief, who is recruited by the Impossible Mission Force. Her former relation with Sean Ambrose sees her as a priority to the IMF in obtaining information regarding the later mentioned “Chimera Virus.”
She finds herself in a situation that places her under tremendous pressure and is not related to the objective of the mission. Seeing that there is no way out she decides to inject herself with the virus “Chimera.” In future scenes, Ambrose releases her in Sydney to initiate an epidemic. She then decides on possibly committing suicide, as she believes it’s the best decision to be made. The emotional turmoil she experiences, the danger that she believes she poses to others and the demands imposed by her job are all aspects that has led her to make this decision. Her decision would also affect those who care and are concerned for her. This is because the loss of someone has the tendency to impact on a person’s psychological state.

Clip 2: Nyah’s intentions to commit suicide

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Recommendations: Therapeutic programmes to help Nyah deal with negative feelings and thoughts related to suicide. Develop a safety plan, in which she commits to. This plan should include any triggers that may cause her to potentially commit suicide and what actions she can take to avoid it. It must also include contact numbers for friends, family, and professionals. These forms of support are important to a person’s recovery during this time.


An ergonomic hazard is a physical factor within the environment that harms the musculoskeletal system. In the movie, it can clearly be seen that Ethan Hunt was faced with mainly physical hazards being an action movie. However many people tend to ignore ergonomic hazards or do not realize that there are ergonomic hazards taking place right in their work because it is a hazard that is not really known of or spoken about. This is probably due to the fact that ergonomic hazards are something that happens over time. In the movie, there were a few ergonomic hazards that were noted which you might not have even realized or paid attention to. If you ever watched the movie and didn’t pick up on them, don’t worry that’s what this blog is here for.

Firstly, Ethan Hunt being a spy was assigned a dangerous task that involved a lot of fighting throughout the whole movie. This could have possibly led to Ethan Hunt experiencing sore muscles as a result of using continuous physical force. To reduce the amount of physical force he had to use, the mission could have been assigned to a few members, that way he did not have to fight all the members by himself and reduce the impact of physical force since he had help.

The noise was also found to be another ergonomic factor in the movie. The movie consisted of a lot of shootouts against the bad members. These gunshot sounds tend to be very loud and could have affected Ethan Hunts hearing. This could have been avoided if Ethan Hunt made sure he was properly equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE) such earplugs to reduce the impact of the gunshot noises.


A chemical hazard is a type of occupational hazard which entails exposure to various chemicals in the workplace environment. In Mission Impossible (MI2) Ethan Hunt is a secret spy who lives his life on the ‘edge’, which is why his occupation fits him so well. Fortunately, Hunt’s job requires him to be on the move, allowing him to take on numerous tasks in varying locations. This means he is not confined to one work area where he may be exposed to routine industrial chemicals. On the other hand, he is a spy, which means he is exposed to far worst chemicals, as seen in MI2!

  • Oxygen masks- This was the very first instance in the movie where Ethan Hunt and his team were on board a flight and controlled an entire op. The pilot dropped oxygen masks in which the oxygen was compromised and another chemical was present, causing the passengers to completely pass out! This allowed Ethan Hunt and his team to escape with their ‘loot’. But wait, was that really Ethan Hunt?
  • Chalk Dust- Though this was not in the vicinity of ‘occupation’ and that of recreation, it is still a topic up for discussion. This is where Ethan was rock climbing, and utilizing chalk dusk for grip. Though this is quite effective, what about the inhalation of this dust? This can potentially affect the respiratory system causing ‘choking’ and ‘dry coughs’ and in even worst cases, depending on if the individual has asthma, be fatal.
  • Ammunition Warfare in a Chemical Lab- What was Ethan thinking? This is where Ethan and his team came together and invaded ‘Biocyte Pharmaceutical Lab.’ During the invasion, the security became aware of his presence and dreadfully attacked him! Through all this drama no one stopped to think maybe they were exposing themselves to toxic chemicals. Though not listed in the movie, it is understandable with the destruction of a chemical lab, comes the destruction of containers and storage cases, improper destruction of course. As listed by the OSH act on chemical substances, that such containers must be effectively disposed of in a controlled manner.
  • Ammunition Warfare Outside a Lab– They were at it again, when Ethan disguised himself as Sean Ambrose’s right-hand man, Hugh Stamp, and was out for the escape! When he was close to entering the helicopter, Ambrose’s fellow men began shooting at him in the presence of what was listed as ‘Hazardous Waste.’ Ethan upon noticing this began shooting at the canisters and they blew up into a huge explosion! In my opinion, there’s a large difference between ‘Waste’ and ‘Explosives’ or even ‘Flammable’, but that’s just all part of the action at hand.

An important note to be taken is that there is a difference between Chemicals and Biological Hazards. Chemical hazards entail exposure to different chemicals in an environment which pose a threat to health when inhaled, absorbed, ingested and injected where-as Biological Hazards are ‘mutations’, viruses or bacteria that pose a threat to the lively hood of organisms, especially humans. Though MI2 included a great deal of hazards, the majority of it was based around a Biologically engineered virus called ‘Chimera’. Therefore, even though a lot of lab scenes were seen, with a great deal of lab equipment, the focus was placed on Biohazards.





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“Can You Cheat Death?” – An Examination of the OHS hazards in the 2000 horror movie “Final Destination”.

dfa3e1b8437a6e94fdf6c2343c01123a(Final Destination, 2000)



It is oftentimes perceived that movies in the horror genre, immensely exaggerate the unfortunate circumstances under which a person can meet their end.  But is it just the overactive imagination of filmmakers? Most times we dismiss the doomsday movies with the common phrase “It’s just a movie, that can never happen”.  However, I ask you now to revisit that statement with these questions, how likely are these situations to occur in real life? And are you equipped to deal with them?

Voltaire, French dramatist, poet and philosopher, born in 1694 said: “The danger which is least expected soonest comes to us.” This could not be truer regarding safety. Therefore, we emphasize preparation versus the potential saving grace of a premonition, like the movie we will later examine.

The movie we selected for our analysis is a 2000 American supernatural horror film directed by James Wong called Final Destination. The movie begins with Alex and a group of high school students take a flight to Paris for a French class trip. Before they set off, Alex has a premonition of the plane bursting into flames minutes after take off. He tells everyone to get off the ill-fated aircraft and 7 people including Alex, are forced to disembark the plane. Moments later in the departure lounge, the students witness the plane explode before their very eyes. He and the other survivors have briefly cheated death. However, as the movie progresses each one of the aeroplane survivors is gruesomely killed by a series of tragic accidents.

These accidents mirror a plethora of hazards that actually exist in real life.  Hence, it was of utmost importance that we use this blog as a means of debunking the idea that “that can never happen”. We hope to achieve this feat by evaluating these various hazards depicted in the movie “Final Destination”, which serves to highlight how true to life some of these risks can be. 


Image Warning.jpg

Source: Image Retrieved from URL(https://www.redstate.com/).

Please be guided that some of the images depicted in the post are graphic in nature. 

Risk Rating:

Severity scale[ 1 -Minor -5 Severe]

Likelihood scale[ 1 -Unlikely -5 Hihglylikely]

Physical Hazards


An incident occurred in the movie that we have chosen, where one of the seven people who was forced to disembark the plane, slipped at his home in his bathroom, due to leakage in the water supply valve, which caused him to fall into a bathtub and resulted in his death. The fact that the bathroom was tiled, was the main cause of his slippage due to the liquid substance on the floor. This is known as a physical hazard as slipping and falling are two factors of such.

This hazard could have affected any of his family members, as well as visitors. The risk rating of this hazard is three likelihood and one severity since the chances of it occurring is moderate but extreme at the same time. Since this risk is high it needs to be fixed within a few days in order to prevent another hazard from affecting someone else.

To address this risk, the water supply valve can simply be replaced with a new one that does not cause any water to leak on the floor preventing any further problems. Also, having a bathtub handle could have mitigated the risk of him falling and also aid in preventing young children or other family members from drowning in the event that they slipped in a tub that was filled.  Being careful and taking the necessary precautions in your environment is also important in any surrounding, in order to ensure your safety.



Source: Image from the movie (Final Destination, 2000).


Figure 1 Leakage of water supply valve:

Source: Image from the movie (Final Destination, 2000).

Did you know? 

Someone drowns in a tub nearly every day in America. According to Seattlepi.com, An American drowns nearly every day in a bathtub, hot tub or spa, and the deaths occur disproportionately in Western states. (Morea, 2018).


It is oftentimes said that planes are the safest mode of transport. However, we all know that planes are not free from the potential threat of danger. The image in Figure 2, showcases a space between the plane and the walking ramp where you can visibly see ground support equipment driving below, this is observed by Alex on boarding the plane. Why is this a problem? This space though very small can pose trip and fall hazards for anyone boarding the plane. This risk has a likelihood of two and a rating of three since it not very severe. It also can cause items to fall from passengers husting to board, which can drop down to the take-off area of the plane. In order to mitigate this risk, the ramp should be re-engineered or repositioned to ensure that space is as small as possible. This alleviates the changes of objects falling through and lessens the chances of passengers slipping and falling in the space. 


Figure 2

Source: Image from the movie (Final Destination, 2000).


Additionally Figure 3 indicates another faulty plane mechanism observed when Alex takes his seat. He attempts to secure the tray table, which is always a requirement of passengers on takeoff but fails to do so since the locking mechanism came apart in his hand. This is requested of passengers because “It’s actually an FAA regulation that all tray tables must be moved to the upright position before movement on the tarmac,” Morgan Johnston, JetBlue’s corporate communications manager. (Lieberman, 2018). This is to ensure that during takeoff and landing the tray tables do not block passengers from evacuating in the event of an emergency.

If a speedy exit is required, you don’t want to be impeded by a barrier of tray tables. Hence, this faulty tray table should be fixed in order to comply with safety practices and avoid legal ramifications. This risk has a likelihood of three and a rating of three since it not very severe. However, the appropriate fix should occur with immediate effect in order to avoid a future casualty. 


Figure 3

Source: Image from the movie (Final Destination, 2000).



Frequent flyers should be familiar with the announcement during the flight that overhead luggage might have shifted and passengers should be careful when opening the compartments. This can pose fall hazards for any passenger. Hence, this risk has a likelihood of three and a rating of three. In order for the risk to be mitigated, passengers should always proceed with caution when opening these overhead compartments and should avoid leaving their seat while others are removing their luggage. 

Biological Hazard


Figure 4: No PPE Used

Source: Image from the movie (Final Destination, 2000).

Figure 4 shows a syringe being pulled out of a dead body by a mortician who uses his bare hands to perform the exercise. This can allow him to get in contact with diseases from the dead body which is known as a biological hazard.

Any person who is in his position must always wear gloves as well as other safety gear necessary to prevent them from getting in contact with biological hazards. The risk rating of this hazard is three likelihood and two severity since it is moderate.

According to the OSH Act under safety, workers must always wear protective clothing and devices (Occupational Safety and Health Administration [OSHA], 2004). To address this risk from becoming a hazard, one should be well organised for the job procedure to be carried out. To mitigate this risk, it should be required and enforced by the supervisors that all workers for this type of position must wear the appropriate gears at all times in the workplace.



Electrical hazard

One of the individuals that survived the plane explosion is unaware that her teacup filled with vodka is broken and dripping. The alcohol substance leaked all over the floor and on the outside of her computer monitor which seeped inside the wired compartment, leading to an electrical malfunction within the system and causing it to explode.

The individual was a victim of the explosion in which particles of the computer from the outburst punctured her body. When the computer exploded the wires from the computer were no longer grounded. The exposed live wires posed a great threat because it increased the chance of an electrical fire.

The alcohol substance in contact with the electricity caused the explosion which is considered as another electrical hazard. This has a high-risk rating of five due to its severity since it could cause major damage and even death. In order to prevent this hazard, keep flammable materials away from electrical equipment and outlets especially highly flammable solutions and also double check your drinkware particularly when moving around.

Additionally, be aware of certain types of equipment if they blow a fuse, trip a circuit, smoke or spark when being used and unplug it immediately. Lastly, use surge protectors which would help regulate the flow of electricity to appliances this can reduce the chance of an electrical fire.

The following images represent the sequence of events the lead to the incident. 





Source: Images from the movie (Final Destination, 2000)

Fire hazard


Source: Image from the movie (Final Destination, 2000)

In this scene, the individual is damaged and the alcoholic substance which leaked on the floor ignites from the exposed live wire. The fire then spreads to the kitchen where an open bottle of vodka on the kitchen counter comes in contact with the fire and it exploded damaging the individual even more.

The fire continues to spread through the house while she is lying helplessly on the ground. This fire has a very high-risk factor because as it spreads rapidly it is exposed to liquid petroleum gas in the kitchen that eventually explodes. The risk rating is clearly a five because of the severity of the situation.

Anyone could have been a victim of such a fire or explosion and it can be detrimental. The bottle of alcohol needed to be properly covered and stored in a safe place. Flammable items and solutions should be kept far away from cooking stoves. This hazard could have been further avoided by installing fire extinguishers and smoke alarms which can alert someone nearby of the situation. The individual can then notify the fire service to prevent the situation from getting out of hand. Finally, one must be aware of their settings and have a proper evacuation plan always keeping the escape pathway clear.

Chemical Hazard 


Figure 5

Source: Image from the movie (Final Destination, 2000).

The location depicted in Figure 5 is the garage of Clear Rivers, the fictional character of the Final Destination Movie. In this scene, there are numerous bottles and boxes and a vast number of other objects lying around in the midst of cluttered space. That doesn’t at all sound threatening right? we all have things lying around in our garages. Wrong! This poses the risk of a chemical hazard, since, a cluttered space creates the opportunity for chemicals to be misplaced, expired and forgotten. This is problematic as chemicals can be dangerous to humans and chemical clutter can pose severe risks. Chemical clutter poses the risk of eroding through the material in the garage. If not sealed, they can emit harmful fumes which can be harmful to your health. 

Another problem which can arise, are the risks associated with combustible chemicals. Most common garage items can fuel flames, paint thinner, pesticide and gasoline are only of examples the many chemicals of the combustible variety we often have lying around. The likelihood of this type of risk is five as it is highly likely and a rating of four since it can have severe consequences.

To mitigate this risk, it is essential that we first, identify the combustibles and then organize them. It is suggested that these items are properly stored in their original containers or a safety container made to hold the product. Next label these containers so you would remember what is in them. Then, dispose of those you don’t need properly. Finally, it is advised that you should have a Class B/C extinguisher that will work on grease, gasoline, oil and other flammable liquids. 

Did you know? 

Between 2006 and 2016, there were 7,659 hospital discharges attributed to hazardous substances exposure in New Zealand – an average of 696 per year. In 2016, there were 689 hazardous substances-related hospital discharges. (Health effects of hazardous substances, 2018).


Violence Hazard 


Risks relating to violence on planes are not unheard of.  People in their everyday lives may be frustrated by the lengthy and sometimes mentally taxing process through airport security and this leaves them irritable onboard. Other passengers might have had different intentions for the flight and the different circumstances surrounding the sate of their mood. Hence, tensions can sometimes be very high. The likelihood of this type of risk is five as it is highly likely and a rating of four since it can have severe consequences.


Figure 6

Source: Image from the movie (Final Destination, 2000).

In this scene, we can see a fight occurring on the plane (Figure 6).  Alex and his friends and engaged in a full out fist fight while the flight crew desperately attempts to contain the situation. Mitigating violence is often difficult because it is completely circumstantial. However, passengers should take due care to find coping mechanisms to handle anger and stress during their flight. The flight crew should also ensure that the environment for passengers is safe and risks are as low as reasonably practicable.

Did you know? 

Airlines reported 10,854 incidents during 2015, up from 9,316 in 2014 – or one for every 1,205 flights. By comparison, there were 5,416 in 1997 and just 1,132 in 1994. Physical aggression towards staff members or fellow passengers, or damage to the aircraft, was reported in 11 per cent of cases. (Smith, 2016).

Stress Hazard 

Stress is inevitable, we experience it in our everyday lives whether it is caused by social interactions with others or internal issues that we face about ourselves. Though stress is not a disease or injury, it can very well lead to mental and physical health issues. This can be seen in the degradation of the character Alex.


Source: Image from the movie (Final Destination, 2000).

He experiences a series of traumatic events, as the unfortunate curse of predicting the death of his friends comes at the cost of damaging his mental health. The police constantly bring him in for questioning, as they believe that he has something to do with the death of his friends. This is because he happens to coincidentally be in the same place when the victim is found. The officers do not believe his claims of having apparent “psychic abilities”. Hence, he is instead chased and harassed by the officers in their attempt to solve the mystery of who is behind the string of crimes committed. This causes Alex immense stress and frustration. 

The stress hazard in this scene could be alleviated by ensuring that the police engaging in the duties do so in a more empathetic manner. Although solving the crime is of utmost importance, drilling a student who has endured some much with countless questions is legal but can be considered unethical. Alex, on the other hand, should seek help and find ways to manage the stressful time he is enduring. Stress can be alleviated in a number of ways, some can include counselling, mentorship and exercise. 

Psychological Hazard 


 Figure 9

Source: Image from the movie (Final Destination, 2000).

Here in figure 9 one of the main characters witnesses his friend’s decapitation. It is easy to presume that if a person was to witness this, especially after the previous scene where watches his teacher died right in front of him, this would have some type of effect on any individual psychologically.

Any person would worry about if the next step they take would be the last. It can also strike fear into their minds and leave them in a hopeless state of extreme paranoia. Witnessing that kind of graphic death and much worse, watching everyone that survived slowly die one by one can turn you into an emotional wreck. This is a psychological hazard that has many underlying factors. No person could go through this amount of stress and survive it without seeking help.


Source: Image from the movie (Final Destination, 2000).

Even in cases with officers of the law who may kill an offender or witness a murder, it is recommended that they go see a psychiatrist. A study ” to examine the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder and possible risk factors of PTSD in 320 Danish high school students (mean age 18 years) 7 months after witnessing a young man killing his former girlfriend in front of a large audience,” using a method of “Harvard Trauma Questionnaire (HTQ), the Crisis Support Scale (CSS), and the Trauma Symptom Checklist,” they found that “Prevalence of PTSD 7 months after the incident was 9.5%. Furthermore, 25% had PTSD at a subclinical level”.Knowing the deceased girl intimately, the feeling of fear, helplessness and horror from witnessing the killing; plus lack of expressive ability about these events; feeling let down by others; negative affectivity resulting from PTSD;  predicted 78% of the variance of the HTQ total scores.” (Psychotraumatol, 2013).

Hence, psychological hazards are no joking matter as they can pose lifelong effects to persons. Therefore, seeking help and knowing when to seek help for others is key in order to evade these types of problems. 



Source: Final Destination GIF Retrieved from URL(https://giphy.com).

The images and the facts listed in this post were not meant to scare you into hiding due to fear of the unknown. They were meant to sober up everyone reading this blog, from the fog that exists which says that movie accidents are not real. Yes, some of them are certainly just crafty delusions by expert movie makers but many of them can be very real. They can very well affect you or someone you care about. Therefore we hope that in evaluating this movie, this information was both insightful and impactful. Though we may not have given you the secret on how to “Cheat Death”. We are certain that some of these tips might very well save your life someday.    


Elklit, Ask, and Sessel Kurdahl. The Psychological Reactions after Witnessing a Killing in Public in a Danish High School. Article. January 9, 2013.

Fernandez-Morea, Alejandra, and Scripts. “Someone Drowns in a Tub Nearly Every Day in America.” Seattlepi.com. February 26, 2018. Accessed October 18, 2018. https://www.seattlepi.com/national/article/Someone-drowns-in-a-tub-nearly-every-day-in-1201018.php.

FINAL DESTINATION GIF. Accessed October 18, 2018. https://giphy.com/gifs/final-destination-alex-browning-1-1CzCzZHkcZqco.

“Health Effects of Hazardous Substances.” Environmental Health Indicators. Accessed October 17, 2018. http://www.ehinz.ac.nz/indicators/hazardous-substances/health-effects-of-hazardous-substances/.

Jeremy Anderberg “A Complete Guide to Home Fire Prevention and Safety” November 7, 2013. https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/a-complete-guide-to-home-fire-prevention-and-safety/
Rainbow international restoration “7 Ways to Prevent Electrical Fires” https://rainbowintl.com/blog/7-ways-to-prevent-electrical-fires

Taylor, Chad. “4 Kinds of Clutter That Are Harmful in Your Garage.” Arizona Garage Doors. April 17, 2017. Accessed October 17, 2018. https://www.arizonagaragedoors.com/4-kinds-of-clutter-that-are-harmful-in-your-garage/.

 The Government of T&T. The OSH Act of T&T (2004) as Amended (2006). (2004). Accessed October 17, 2018. http://rgd.legalaffairs.gov.tt/Laws2/Alphabetical_List/lawspdfs/88.08.pdf

“The Real Reason You Have to Stow Your Tray Table Before Takeoff and Landing.” Travel Leisure. Accessed October 18, 2018. https://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/why-tray-tables-must-go-up-takeoff-landing.

Warning Graphic Content. In Oklahoma Releases Shocking Video Of RB Joe Mixon. Warning: Graphic Content. December 2016. Accessed October 18, 2018. https://www.redstate.com/mickeywhite2/2016/12/16/oklahoma-releases-shocking-video-rb-joe-mixon.-warning-graphic-content.



































Cat(GAS)trophic Hazards

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Major Hazards at Cunupia NP Gas Station


Trinidad houses an amalgam of diverse cultures and beautiful scenery and don’t talk about the food! As a people we practice acts of kindness, compassion and of course we practice our right to “get on bad” for carnival. Though these are such positive attributes of the citizens, we as a people fail to practice correct safety measures!

Trinidadians are laid back and always in a good mood, I mean how can we not be? After all we are islanders, unfortunately our laid-back nature has translated in our safety ethic and the lack thereof is seen all over, whether it being corporate companies, construction sites and believe it or not, even gas stations!

Now you are probably thinking, Gas stations? How could safety rules even be breached? How are there even hazards present in a gas station other than just not using “yuh” phone or smoking. I write this being utter flabbergasted myself, but there are MANY, MANY hazards present in a gas station, ones which can affect both the workers and the customers of the establishment.

In order to enlighten the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago and by extension other countries on the hazards and risks present at gas stations, an investigation on the hazards and risks present in the NP Gas station located in Cunupia, Trinidad  was conducted. The investigation comprised of analyzing the risks and hazards present in said gas station. The results of this finding is discussed throughout this report, hazards included are: Fire, Physical, Psychological, Chemical, Ergonomic and Biological.


A fire can be catastrophic and can cause harmful risk and destruction to the environment, infrastructure, and destroy businesses which can result in the loss of human lives causing enormous economic costs and psychological trauma.

A gas station fire can be equally catastrophic and is caused by highly flammable vapors that ignite from static electricity and heat in the atmosphere.

In visiting the gas station of interest, it was noted that several indications of fire hazard were evident on site.  It was observed that fuel was soaked into the floor of the gas station probably from previous refills or spills which if heated by a spark or ashes from a discarded cigarette can easily ignite thus causing a fire, refer to figure 1. There are very visible signs which indicated no smoking or no cell phone use, yet however, can you believe that customers sat in their cars and still used their cell phones, with no regard or concern for themselves or other customers?

Additionally, on site there is a fuel storage tank located just beneath the surface of the service station floor containing highly flammable substance that is pumped via underground mechanism into customers vehicles.  For this reason, persons are told to turn off their ignitions once they drive into the service station.  Upon observance it was noted that one or two customers did not immediately turn off their engines upon pulling up to the gas service station which is very hazardous as heat vapors/fumes from overheated vehicle engines can send heat waves and static electricity into leaks located in the floor that can bleed into fuel storage that may cause an explosion.  Refer to figure 3 for a better understanding of possible explosion hazards from leakages from underground storage.


fig1Figure 1: Photos shows fuel leaks onto floor of service station from overfull storage underground tank & spillages




Figure 2 Gas spill/leak


Figure 3: Example of side elevation of a petrol station illustrating hazardous area zones/underground fuel storage reservoir.


There are many physical hazards in a gas station. Some are very visible while others are not as visible. The first physical hazard that can be seen in the picture below is a gas spill on the ground. When fueling gas, it is a common occurrence that most drivers experience excess gas spills on the ground, this can cause customers and employees to slip and fall causing physical injuries.  There are also times when drivers whose gas tank is on the left side of the vehicle will use a pump for a gas tank that is on the right. In this instance due to the distance it can cause gas spills causing the slips and falls.

In addition to the gas leaking when fueling from the wrong pump, if a vehicle is parked at a gas pump that fuels on the right side of a vehicle but the customers gas tank is on the left, the customer may have to maneuver the gas hose and this can cause a physical strain to the customer or pump attendant’s hand. The impact of this can cause the hand of the customer or pump attendant to be strained or injured.

Carpal Tunnel syndrome can be defined as a medical condition that causes numbness, pain and discomfort in the hand. This syndrome may be caused by continuous repetitive movements or by fluid retention. In most NP gas stations throughout Trinidad and Tobago there are gas attendants employed to assist customers in fueling gas. As a gas attendant the continuous pumping of gas can give the employee

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.


Figure 4 showing a customer fueling gas and pump customer using the wrong pump .

Another physical hazard that occurred in this gas station is trips and falls. There are many times when pump attendants and customer who fuel gas themselves may leave the gas pump hose carelessly scattered on the pathway, this may cause the same pump attendants and customers to fall if they are to trip on the loose gas hose.

The final point on physical hazard is that of bad posture when fueling gas. It has become a habit of many drivers to bend their back in a strenuous posture that causes physical harm to their back and can cause strain to their spinal cord as well. This issue may not directly hurt customers who fuels gas once per week as compared to the pump attendants that fuels gas for hundreds of customers on a daily basis.

Some physical hazards can be avoided if pump attendants, customers and owner of each gas station take interest and initiative in up keeping the gas stations and ensuring that it is safe for operations.


A psychological hazard is any hazard that affects the mental well-being or mental health of a worker by overwhelming their individual coping mechanisms and impacting the worker’s ability to work in a healthy and safe manner.  At the site, it was observed that the cashier is secluded away from all other employees, veiled behind a heavily tinted window, inside a tightly fitted booth.  It is therefore noted that a scenario as this can illicit symptoms of claustrophobia that can hinder and deter that employee’s work performance.  Claustrophobia is an anxiety disorder, in which sufferers can experience panic attacks founded upon the fear of having no escape or being closed in.  This can be detrimental to an employee and their mental well-being having to encounter these experiences on a daily basis, if not brought to light and remedied.

Additionally, workplace stress can impact on an employee’s psychological health.  Workplace stress at the gas station can be caused by negative interactions with clients and customers while attending to their needs.  Drivers may show up at the gas station, faced with their individual issues and challenges, which may manifest itself via negative attitudes vented toward pump attendants, resulting in a chain reaction, with the pump attendant facing psychological issues due to workplace stress.

Furthermore, the workers at the gas station are susceptible to the threat of violence from the public which can create a fear of minimal sense of security. The gas station, being a largely open structure, leaves employees open to attacks from criminal elements as there is no security presence on site. The safety of the aforementioned cashier’s booth can become a structure in which one can become trapped in an emergency situation, thereby inhibiting Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Furthermore, because of the constant stream of traffic into the gas station, employees are thus exposed to some level of noise on a daily basis.  This can range from a gentle disturbance such as chitter-chatter amongst customers and staff, to heavy annoyance from vehicular engines and blaring of vehicle horns and alarms.  Infrequent occurrences of this may be tolerated, but to encounter these noises on a daily basis can leave employees susceptible to its effects.  Effects such as irritability and headaches can impact upon workers’ quality of life, thereby diminishing their productivity at work.


Hazardous chemicals in the workplace are substances, mixtures and materials that can be classified according to their health and physicochemical risks and dangers (Comcare). A wide range of health hazards are caused by chemicals and toxic substances. A few chemical hazards were noticed at the NP gas station. These hazards can affect the customers, employees and the general environment.

The first chemical hazard that was seen was gas spills. These spills can be a result of refilling your vehicle’s’ gas tank and over filling them; the gas flows from the tank of the car to the ground. It can also result through leakage from the gasoline nozzle when replacing the nozzle to the station. The leakage of the gasoline and diesel contains harmful chemicals including benzene, a known human carcinogen. Did I mention that ‘Benzene is highly flammable’?  It also evaporates into the air also causing another hazard. These droplets of gas can cause a fire hazard if it comes into contact with any flames such as smoking. The gas spills leave a stain on the pavement and it can be seen around all pump stations. It’s almost certain that it can be seen in all gas stations. Over inhalation of benzene can result in drowsiness and can damage the immune system by changing someone’s blood level. “Yes, that’s right!”  This poses a big threat to all employees as they are exposed to this hazard on a daily basis.

Another hazard that was seen was spillage/leakage of oil from parked cars awaiting to be serviced. These oils can cause someone to skid or even cars to skid, which can cause  slips and falls, a skidding accident or even a fire if heated.

In order to prevent these hazards from occurring, customers should take caution while refilling their vehicles and stop the gas from automatically filling when the tank is almost filled. This can prevent leakage and spills on the ground.


Figure 5: showing oil leakage from parked cars



Figure 6: showing water and fuel around pump station


An ergonomic hazard is a physical factor within the environment that harms the musculoskeletal system. Ergonomic hazards include themes such as repetitive movement, manual handling, workplace/job/task design, uncomfortable workstation height and poor body positioning. During our visit to Np gas station, we observed that the cashiers were slouching in their chairs and extending their arms to receive payment repetitively- being in this position for a regular 8 hour shift can have adverse effects on the bodies of the cashiers. The poor posture can result in back aches and swollen ankles which can jeopardize the employees’ health.


A biological hazard can be defined as, an organism or substance produced by an organism that is able to pose as a threat to human health. It can be anything that is able cause harm to people or animals. These hazards are most commonly found in workplaces that include conditions such as: unsanitary environments, working around or with other people, labs , and in the environment. (safetylineworker.com)

Some examples of biological hazards are:

  •   Body fluids
  •   Sewage
  •   Bacteria and viruses
  •   Parasites
  •   Fungi

These sources can be hazardous to human health and result in effects such as infections and diseases.

While performing a risk assessment at the NP gas station, a biological hazard was identified. While on the site, one of the employees was asked if there was a bathroom on the premises that was available for use. It was then noted that the employees did not have proper or sanitary bathroom facilities. It was then seen a while after that the employees often go to a neighbouring location to access proper bathroom facilities.

figure 7figure 7

Figure 7: shows inadequate bathroom facilities

The images above are pictures of the improper and unsanitary bathroom facilities that are available to the employees of the gas station. The bathroom is not properly ventilated. In addition to that, there is no sink for the employees to wash their hands afterwards. Also, there is a leak in the ceiling, hence the bucket that was placed in the corner on the floor to catch the dripping water.

With reference to the lack of a sink in the bathroom. The employees interact with each other and touch the gas pumps all day, if any of the employees at work have an illness or disease, the absence of a sink makes those illnesses and diseases a lot more transferable to both the employees and the customers.

Toilets are known to be a playground for germs as there tends to be an abundance of germs that linger. The floor, the toilet seat, and even the doorknob act as transmitters of germs and harmful bacteria such as gut infections, lung and skin infections, viral infections and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD).


Chemical hazards. Comcare.gov.au. Accessed 05 October, 2018.  https://www.comcare.gov.au/preventing/hazards/chemical_hazards

Comcare.gov.au. (2018). Ergonomic hazards. [online] Available at: https://www.comcare.gov.au/preventing/hazards/ergonomic_hazards  [Accessed 17 Oct. 2018].

Safety and Health Topics | Chemical Hazards and Toxic Substances | Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Osha.gov. Accessed 05 October, 2018. https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/hazardoustoxicsubstances/

“Workplace Hazards Series: Biological Hazards.” SafetyLine. April 25, 2017. Accessed October 17, 2018. https://safetylineloneworker.com/blog/workplace-hazards-series-biological-hazards/.


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Oops: The World Is At Risk


According to safeopedia, Occupational Health and Safety (OSH) refers to, “the laws, standards, and programs that are aimed at making the workplace better for workers, along with co-workers, family members, customers, and other stakeholders.” In businesses, nothing is more important than safety and health of fellow human beings especially since work plays a central role in people’s lives given most workers spend at least eight hours a day in the workplace, whether it is on a plantation, in an office, factory, and so on. Therefore, work environments should be safe and healthy, yet this is not the case for many workers. There are different types of hazards, such as, physical, chemical, ergonomics, psychological and biological. Each industry has to negotiate unique hazards, specific to its core activities. Occupational health and safety programs that should be of utmost interest to the organizations are scientific analysis of the risks at the workplace, working from heights, working near moving parts, working in chemical processing, occupational heat exposure, occupational noise exposure, injury and illness prevention programs, injury and illness record keeping and reporting requirements, and so on.
Mission: Impossible Fallout is an American action spy thriller film that was announced after the success of Mission Impossible Rogue Nation; it is the sixth installment in the Mission Impossible film series. It starts off at an IMF safehouse in Belfast, Ethan Hunt receives details of a mission to intercept the sale of three plutonium cores to members of the group, who are acquiring them for their latest client, fundamentalist John Lark how was working with the Apostles; the mission fails and results in the Apostles escaping with the plutonium. The team captures and interrogates a nuclear weapons expert, Nils Debruuk and tricks them into giving them the Apostles’ next move. At Ramstein Air Base, Erica Sloane Director of the CIA, instructs Special Activities operative August Walker to shadow Ethan. They jump into Paris where they infiltrate a fundraiser party where Lark is set to buy the cores from the Apostles, with the arms dealer known as the White Widow acting as a broker. Ethan and Walker track Lark to a bathroom where in the subsequent fight, Lark is killed by Ilsa Faust. To complete the mission, Ethan impersonates John Lark and meets the White Widow. Contract killers have been sent to kill Lark by the White Widow’s brother, he escapes but White Widow tasks Ethan with securing an asset; the price of securing the plutonium is the extraction of Solomon Lane from an armoured convoy moving through Paris. Ethan and his team attack the convoy and loyalties of the team are tested; Ilsa reveals that MI6 wants Lane dead. The mission to extract Lane is successful, whereupon White Widow instructs the team to deliver Lane, as well as Ilsa, to London. At the safehouse in London, Alan Hunley, Secretary of IMF, confronts Hunt about being Lark, which Ethan denies and incapacitates Hunley to continue the mission. After being asked to monitor Lane, Walker unwittingly reveals himself to be the real John Lark, in association with Lane. Sloane also notices and instructs a shadow CIA team to take Lane, Walker and Ethan’s team in. The CIA team is in fact infiltrated by the Apostles and Walker orders them to attack the IMF team. With the help of Benji, Luther and Ilsa, Ethan pursues Walker across the city’s rooftops, from St Paul’s Cathedral to Tate Modern, where Walker escapes to a medical camp in Kashmir with Lane, but not before threatening the life of Ethan’s estranged wife, Julia. In Kashmir, Benji and Faust reveal the two remaining nuclear weapons can be defused as long as the countdown is running, but as they are synchronised, if one is defused, the other will detonate. To bypass this, the fuse must also be pulled from the detonator before the countdown reaches zero, otherwise the weapon will detonate. At the medical camp, where the abundance of radiology equipment is being used to disguise the radioactive signature of the bombs, Walker has also engineered for Julia and her new husband, Patrick, to be onsite to raise the stakes for Ethan. Lane activates the weapons, giving the detonator to Walker. Ethan takes off in pursuit of Walker in a helicopter leaving Benji, Luther and Ilsa on the ground to find the weapons. Luther finds the first weapon and Benji finds the second weapon and gets into a fight with Lane nearly being killed before Ilsa rescues him and subdues Lane. Ethan and Walker engage in an aerial helicopter chase, the two then fight on a cliff edge, where Walker is eventually killed by a winch. With only one second to go, Ethan manages to remove the fuse, successfully aborting both detonations.

A physical hazard is defined according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration as a factor within the environment that can harm the body without necessarily touching it. Therefore, as spies for the American government, Ethan and his team encounter many physical hazards whilst carrying out their duties. (Hardwood,2009)

An instance of a slip hazard in this movie is within the bathroom fight between Ethan, Walker, John Lark and Ilsa, where Lark is shot by Ilsa, his blood pools onto the floor, creating a slippery surface upon which the remaining agents could slip upon whilst egressing from the room. If any agent stepped into that pool of blood, losing traction and their footing, they could have fallen onto their backs and hitting their coccyx or even their heads, whilst additionally being covered in a stranger’s blood. Appropriate warning signs should be placed so that individuals are aware of the hazard and avoid it.


Figure 1. Agents standing around pool of blood.
Another instance of a slip and fall hazard is atop the Kashmir mountains where Ethan and Walker crashed their helicopters in Ethan’s attempt to retrieve the bomb controller. The mountain range was covered in snow, creating a slippery surface for both agents to move upon. This was especially dangerous with the erratic movements of both men who could have easily lost their footing and fallen onto the hard rock or even plummeted to their deaths over the cliffside.

Fighing on Cliff.gif

Figure 2. Ethan and Lane fighting atop the Kashmir Mountains
Late into the movie, the team reveals that Solomon Lane and Walker have planted two nuclear bombs at a village being treated for smallpox in Kashmir. After finding a way to disarm the bombs, the team arrives at the village dressed appropriately for the temperature in the village. However, as Ethan pursues Walker into the Kashmir mountain range, they fly higher into the mountains and are exposed to lower temperatures and lower air pressures. Low temperatures can cause symptoms such as drowsiness, confusion, shallow breathing and a lack of coordination. Ethan and Walker are both seen to be having these symptoms during their fight as they move unsteadily and have uneven breathing. If exposed to such low temperatures for extended periods of time without the proper clothing, as both agents were improperly protected from the elements, their heartbeats could slow down enough that not enough oxygenated blood is pushed to their extremities and they would lose motor functions. This is also an overlapping ergonomic hazard as this situation could have been avoided by wearing more robust clothing to suit the temperature and protect their bodies from rapid heat loss.


Figure 3. Ethan wearing attire that does not match his environment
Throughout the movie, many windows are broken by the hijinx and fights that Ethan and his team are involved in. These shards of glass, whether they be broken by a blunt object or a projectile are seen to be scattered in many sharp pieces strewn about the floor and other surfaces. These shards of glass, when in contact with any human skin or even clothing can cut through and damage a person’s body. This is especially dangerous in the bathroom fight scene where the mirrored glass is shattered in an enclosed area where many people are moving about. This is a risk to anyone in the immediate area.

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Figure 4. Breaking of glass during the fight
Throughout the movie, radioactive Plutonium is seen to be carried around in a small black box. This is insufficient material to protect anyone from being exposed to the radioactive material . As such, in their pursuit of the Plutonium, Ethan and his team members come into contact with the Plutonium, openly, within the transport boxes and activated within the nuclear bomb structures. Radiation can have many negative effects on the human body such as nausea, headaches, vomiting and fatigue. If however, the body is exposed to a higher dosage of radiation, the blood cells within the body begin to die. This can only be remedied by blood transfusions and antibiotics, which can also fail in repairing the damage and lead to uncontrollable bleeding.


Figure 5. Exposure to radioactive plutonium

To begin, psychological hazards are any threat that affects the mental well-being or mental health of the worker by overwhelming an individual’s coping mechanisms and thus, impacting on the worker’s ability to work in a healthy and safe manner. In the movie, Mission Impossible – Fallout, psychological hazards were presented in various forms namely, death of a colleague, being shot at hence, in danger of death, mistrust, anger and agitation.

DEATH OF A COLLEAGUE – In an attempt to save Ethan Hunt from getting shot, IMF Secretary, Alan Hunley battled with Special Activities Division operative, August Walker. After this serious encounter, Alan was stabbed when Walker pierced his knife into Alan’s stomach. Benji Dunn alerted the others that Hunley was ‘down’ and quickly Ethan forgot about shooting and sprinted to meet the IMF Secretary as soon as possible. Upon arriving at Alan’s moribund body, Ethan ceased to think of Walker’s escape but Luther notifies him about this. In the scene, it was vivid that Ethan’s mindset was far from his mission as both Alan and Ethan’s eyes were fixed while Hunley placed his hand on Hunt’s heart before it slipped and fell to the ground. Hunt still stared at Alan’s dead body, trying to fight back his sorrow. Luther kept saying that Walker was escaping and eventually Ethan mustered his courage and went in search of August.


Figure 6. Alan Hunley’s death
BEING SHOT AT/ IN DANGER OF DEATH – On numerous occasions, several characters were being shot at hence, in danger of death. One notable instance was when Ilsa Faust shot at Solomon Lane hitting him close to his ear. Ethan Hunt was also in danger of death since Ilsa was shooting from the side view of the car. Ethan experienced an adrenaline rush causing heightened senses and increased strength which was evident from his reckless driving. He was aware of the severity of Lane’s death and therefore, he had to drive expeditiously in order to achieve his objective. Additionally, both were at a higher risk of getting shot and possibly dying since they had a direct encounter with Ilsa’s gun. Ethan was forced to collide with Ilsa in order to escape their death. This was truly a nerve-racking ordeal.

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Figure 7. Ilsa shooting at Ethan and Solomon Lane

MISTRUST – This attribute was portrayed by August Walker who was supposed to assist Ethan secure the plutonium but instead he ‘turned his back’ on Ethan’s team. This lack of trust eventually lead to Alan Hunley’s death which was discussed earlier. Walker’s betrayal strengthened Ethan to succeed in his mission as he chased after him but was futile. After reaching within close proximity to Walker, the life of Hunt’s estranged wife was threatened. Therefore, this increased the pressure on him which was hazardous to his mental health and he had to work efficiently and effectively to deactivate the bombs.

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Figure 8. Walker’s mistrust and willingness to assassinate Ethan
ANGER – Ethan’s pretense anger intensified when the team captured nuclear weapons expert, Nils Debruuk and learnt that he built three portable nuclear weapons for the Apostles. Although Ethan was aware of his team’s plan to gather crucial information from Nils, he still expressed his rage by grinding his teeth, glaring eyes filled with fierceness and rushing furiously towards the nuclear weapons specialist before his colleague, Luther held him back. These actions definitely increased his anxiety and blood pressure thus, negatively impacting on his health.


Figure 9. Ethan’s rage upon hearing Lark’s plans
AGITATION – At the beginning of the movie, Benji Dunn vividly conveyed his discomfort through one of his evident actions by rambling on and on and on! The first words to escape his mouth was, “It’s late” and he evidently expressed that he was harassed, worried and not to mention hysterical when he stated that he didn’t like the environment since it gave him the creeps. Another example is when he exclaimed, “It’s entirely possible to be relaxed and extremely uneasy at the same time,” which shows that he was indeed troubled. Additionally, he pretended to laughed when Ethan assured him that he wouldn’t let anything happen him. Eventually, the men arrived and Benji, Luther and Ethan failed to secure the plutonium. Therefore, it can be concluded that Benji’s agitation may have posed a threat to him since he could not cope well with the task at hand. Moreover, Ethan tried to keep Benji safe and with a gun pointed towards Luther’s head, Ethan decided to save Luther and ended up losing the plutonium.


Figure 10. Benji’s apprehension at being used as bait
An ergonomic hazard is a physical factor within the environment that harms the musculoskeletal system. Ergonomic hazards include themes such as repetitive movement, manual handling, workplace/job/task design, uncomfortable workstation height and poor body positioning.(Comcare, 2014) Some ergonomic hazards identified in the movie Mission Impossible: Fallout was water at freezing temperature, improper halo jump suits and handling chemical explosives without equipment.

WATER AT FREEZING TEMPERATURE– In an attempt to free a terrorist named Lane from police custody, Ethan Hunt crashed a truck into the police convoy which resulted in the truck with the terrorist being thrown into a river in Paris where the water was freezing cold. The terrorist was both handcuffed and had chains to his feet and did not have a proper seating. This could have been hazardous to Lane since he was in an awkward position, being unable to move, while the entire truck was filling with water. Improper seating can cause injury to your back by giving your back aches in the short run and a hunch back in the long run. In addition, if the cuffs were too tight on Lane’s ankle and wrist, it could have stopped the circulation of blood. Furthermore, apart from drowning, due to the freezing temperature of the water; Lane could have suffered from hypothermia and eventually die. Hence the agents had to extract him as quickly as possible and also feed him oxygen in the process to prevent any severe or fatal injuries.


Figure 11. Solomon Lane being trapped in the water

IMPROPER HALO JUMP SUITS– Both Ethan and Walker prepared themselves to jump out of an airplane at an altitude of 25000ft. However, just before they were about to jump, they noticed that they were flying through a storm. Ignoring this hazard, they both still jumped as it was part of their mission. Jumping at an altitude this high is very dangerous due to the lack of oxygen in the atmosphere. There halo jump suit could allow them to make a safe jump however, they didn’t account for it to have a storm. During the jump, lightning stuck Walker and the hose that connect his mask to his air tank became lose. Therefore, due to the lack of oxygen, Walker suffered from hypoxia and became unconscious falling to the ground at a high rate of speed. Ethan used all his strength to reach Walker in mid-air and share his oxygen with Walker while manually opening Walker’s parachute and ensuring that he landed safely. Ethan himself could have suffered from hypoxia during the process of sharing his oxygen. If it wasn’t for Ethan’s forceful exertion, the jump could have ended in fatality. Both Walker and Ethan could have avoided this hazard if they had aborted the mission when the noticed the storm. Moreover, they could have HAHO (high altitude high opening) jump suits rather than Halo since they are the most appropriate suits for conditions at high altitudes.

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Figure 12. Ethan wearing the HALO suit

HANDLING CHEMICAL EXPLOSIVES WITHOUT EQUIPMENT– Both Luther and Benji had to disarm two bombs that contained plutonium. Plutonium is a radioactive chemical element. They were not 100% certain that the bomb will be disarmed and they did not have the proper gears in that situation. As a matter of fact, all they had was a pair of pliers. This could have been an ergonomic hazard because there could have been a certain level of stress that could have been present because of the situation they were both in. This stress could have affected them both mentally and physically which could have resulted in them making a mistake. For instance, either Luther or Benji may have felt so pressured, that they mistakenly cut the wrong wire which could have triggered the bomb. Not only killing them but thousands of people in the village of Kashmir. They could avoid this hazard by wearing the proper protective equipment for example an ABS (Advanced Bomb Suit) and in order to combat the level of stress, Luther and Benji could have tried various relaxation techniques like deep breathing. (Safety Line Lone Worker, 2018)


In the movie, ‘Mission Impossible – Fallout’ someone should have explained to Ethan and his IMF team of the various dangers they could have experienced because of biological hazards which they faced throughout the movie. To begin with “What exactly is a biological hazard?” This is any organisms or substances produced by these organisms such as parasites, viruses, bacteria, fungi, sewage and airborne pathogens that are harmful to humans and their health. They usually exist in environments that involve people operating in unsanitary conditions and should always be prepared to deal with them. Throughout the movie Ethan, Luther, Benji and Walker were exposed to different biological hazards including air borne pathogens, blood borne virus and body fluids as well as bacteria, mould and fungi.

In the scene where Ethan is seen fleeing from armed assailants, he is left with no escape route when confronted by them and his only option is to jump into an underground sewer entry hole which happens to be close by to him. Luckily, Luther and Benji were on a small boat inside the sewer ways waiting for him. Although they taught their escape was successful, they all exposed themselves to pathogenic bacteria including mould and fungi. Microorganisms such as fecal coliforms, e coli and salmonella found in faeces and sewage water are harmful and can cause diseases like hepatitis A, salmonellosis and typhoid fever to name a few. Meanwhile the sewer canal walls were filled with mould and fungi along with hydrogen sulphide gas known as “sewer gas” which is present when waste material is broken down. Exposure to these can cause fatigue and irritability which Ethan experiences throughout the rest of the movie. Couple these symptoms with Ethan’s tiredness after escaping and it could have been detrimental towards him. So next time when planning a super cool escape plan, the crew should keep in mind these hazards.


Figure 13. The team driving through a sewer

Recommendations to reduce bacteria, mould and fungi hazard.
To reduce this hazard various engineering controls can be used to eliminate the risk through physical means. The crew should have equipped themselves with proper personal protective equipment such as protective clothing, respiratory masks and gloves in such an environment. The IMF agency should have developed policies requiring its agents to always adhere to such protocols for protective gear in potential dangerous situations to reduce the risk of losing its employees. If unable to adhere to this, a simpler solution can be to always have a backup plan which in Ethan‘s crew case, was to develop an alternative route that is less risky. They could have chosen to take a car or bus which has lower exposure to bacteria hazards.

Ethan and Walker throughout the movie are constantly getting into physical altercations with its rivals, from a billionaire who supposedly was John Lark to hundreds of armed men wanting him for bounty. However the most danger for Ethan, Walker and the crew which they experienced was exposure to unidentified blood and the lack of sanitation during the medical procedures. This exposure could have many risks associated with it like blood borne diseases. These BBV’s are viruses that people carry in their blood and can spread to other individuals through contact with the blood. During the movie, Ethan and Walker are inside a bathroom looking for the unknown Lark to prevent him from the important meeting involving the plutonium balls with the White Widow. However upon discovery and a brutal encounter both men were exposed to unidentified blood splatters.
In another scene, Solomon Lane is captured and injected in the neck prompting him into deep slumber. This procedure was done quickly with no proper sterilization of the medical equipment. It was later performed several times afterwards for inserting and deactivating tracking chips unto Solomon Lane with further lack of sterilization after each use. Both these incidents could have led to diseases such as hepatitis B, C and D. The HIV/AIDS virus could also have been contracted as Ethan and Walker’s exposed skin and blood from several punches and bruises were in contact with the unknown blood which could have been contaminated. Poor Ethan and Walker who after defeating Lark with great difficulty could have been potentially infected with one of these diseases.


Figure 14. The pool of stranger’s blood
Recommendation for blood borne viruses and body fluid hazard
To help reduce this risk of contact, appropriate policies for measures regarding contact with unidentified blood and improper sanitation of medical equipment should be created and enforced. The use of clean, unused needles for each medical procedure and adequate PPE like face shields and gloves to protect hands during physical combat, can be practised throughout the agency and its many work environments. Along with various administrative controls through the use of immunization programs at the workplace to protect against viruses. In addition, agents can be equipped with proper training on safe practices when in contact with unknown blood as this helps to reduce the likelihood of contamination.

During the climax of the movie, Ethan and his crew travelled to a camp site where the deadly bombs containing the ever so dangerous plutonium balls were to be located and disarmed. What the team didn’t realize was that, they were present in a medical camp for smallpox patients. This type of exposure can cause air borne pathogens to be visible and affect those who are not equipped physically for such situations. Pathogenic microbes are discharged into the air from the infected persons which are extremely small and easily transferable to other individuals by simple means of coughing, sneezing and close contact with the infected. In the crew’s case neither Ethan, Luther, Benji nor Ilsa had any proper protective gear for themselves and was oblivious to the infected smallpox patients as their main concern was deactivating the bombs. However the smallpox disease is a highly contagious disease that is incurable and is a severe hazard to the health of the members which was overlooked.
Recommendation for Air borne pathogens hazard
To help reduce the spread of airborne pathogens especially in high levels of exposure, proper and regular practice of respiratory etiquette is necessary. This would involve the use of respiratory masks to prevent the spreading of germs through sneezing. The practice of hygienic etiquette like sanitizing hands and using protective gloves and coats with the infected persons helps with reduction of such diseases. This was clearly demonstrated by Julia during treatments and in contact with the infected persons. Now only if the agents of the IMF agency could copy and follow proper protocol like Julia did. In addition the IMF agency can take preventative measures via education of such diseases and its dangers. As well as by requiring vaccination programs for all its employees as this would protect them from such situations as Ethan and his crew clearly demonstrated at the medical camp.

A chemical hazard exists in the workplace where there is exposure to any toxic substance that can cause long term and short term detriments to a person’s health. In Mission Impossible: Fallout, Ethan Hunt is exposed to many chemical substances which could have harmed him.

In the first instance, at the beginning of the movie, Ethan is given a mission directive hidden inside a small book. After the directive is given, the message self destructs, emitting smoke. This smoke, when inhaled by Ethan could have damaged his lungs due to its toxic nature. Smoke inhalation can cause asphyxiation and irritation that may cause respiratory distress. This can be very severe if exposed to over an extended period of time.


Figure 15. Smoke emitted from the message giving device


Another chemical hazard witnessed within this movie is the spraying of hot engine oil into Walker’s face. The engine oil in this instance is a hazard due to its toxic nature as it contains carcinogenic materials, PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) with can disrupt cellular metabolic processes, which may lead to the formation of cancer.


Figure 16. Hot engine oil being sprayed into Walker’s face


“Ergonomic Hazards”. 2014. Comcare.Gov.Au.

Hardwood, Susan. 2009. “Systems Of Safety For Materials Handling”. Osha.Gov. https://www.osha.gov/dte/grant_materials/fy10/sh-20839-10/circle_chart.pdf.

“Psychological Hazards And Controls For Rehabilitation Professionals”. 2011. Physiotherapyalberta.Ca.

“Workplace Hazards Series”. 2018. Safety Line Lone Worker. https://safetylineloneworker.com/blog/workplace-hazards-series-biological-hazards/

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Jurassic Park: A Prehistoric Playground. An analysis conducted on the 1993 classic from Steven Spielberg and an international hit, Jurassic Park.

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Source: Image from the movie (Jurassic Park, 1993) 


Can you imagine sharing habitats with animals the height and size of some of our most monumental buildings? What about having one of the most dangerous predators known to man, in your backyard, or at your local theme park? Imagine the psychological and physical effects that can be derived from interaction with a Tyrannosaurus Rex (commonly known as a T-Rex).

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Thankfully, through the imagination of Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park (1993), this visualization was brought to life. 

Jurassic Park entails a specially select group with paleontologists and an intelligent mathematician, chosen to tour an island theme park populated by dinosaurs created from long-dormant DNA molecules. While the billionaire creator of the park assures everyone that the facility is safe, they find out otherwise when various ferocious predators break free and go on the hunt. 

The movie is set around the adaptation of bringing Dinosaurs into the modern world with today’s technology. The purpose of this analysis is to outline the various Occupational Safety and Health issues that were seen in the movie and find ways of mitigating the risks of workplace hazards. We will look at the types of hazards that existed, identification of the hazard, relation to the OSH Act and recommendation to mitigate the risks.

Types of hazards associated with working on an Island with recreated Dinosaurs, some very dangerous and some not. There are four types of hazards persons can encounter when working with genetically modified creatures that scientists are still learning about, these are physical, electrical, ergonomic and biological. 

Facts to note! Image result for taking down notes gif

  • Did you know that T-Rexes were outnumbered? Plant-eating dinosaurs such as the Triceratops, Dracorex, Stegosaurus and Moschops heavily outnumbered the meat eaters.
  • New evidence suggests that some dinosaurs were, in fact, closer to warm-blooded like mammals. Since the environment did not regulate their temperature like a cold-blooded animal they were not able to sustain the continuous growth of a warm-blooded animal. This was only the case with a small number of dinosaurs, most of which were predatory in nature.

Since we now know both background into the movie and a bit about these prehistoric beauties, let us now explore and analyze some of the hazards observed in the film.

The aim of this analysis is to point out several hazards and analyze them according to how it was depicted in the movie set; in it we were able to ascertain the hazards and identify them whilst relating it to the Occupational Safety and Health Act and recommending ways in which to mitigate the risks in the scenes outlined.

Physical hazards

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Figure 1.  Climbing without a harness or safety equipment. Source: Image from the movie (Jurassic Park, 1993) 

One of the most common hazards seen in the workplace is physical. Physical hazards can be any factor that has the potential to cause bodily harm to an individual. Some examples of this type of hazard are slips, trips, and falls, noise, and heat. It can be noted, that physical injury can occur without physical contact between the factor and individual. In the movie, Jurassic Park started with workmen surrounding a metal structure that inhabited presumably one of the species of the dinosaur. As seen in the snippet above, a workman is seen climbing one of the structure without sufficient support such as a harness. This workman faced the risk of falling due to this malpractice. Eventually, he fell and succumbed to his death. It can always be argued that “I have enough balance” or “it’s not THAT high” when coming to some heights. However being that a ‘simple’ fall can contribute to injury and in the circumstance discussed above, even worst, it’s always a great idea to be prepared and follow the necessary protocol. It can save your life!

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In relation to the Occupational, Safety and Health Act, it suggests that the employer is negligible in ensuring that there were proper safety requirements in place. The act goes on to state that in “subsection (2) where a person dies, is critically injured or develops an occupational disease in consequence of an employer, occupier or owner having contravened this Act, the employer, occupier or owner shall, without prejudice to any other liability or right of action arising out of the death or critical injury or disease, be liable to a fine of one hundred thousand dollars, or of an amount equivalent to three years pay of that person, whichever is greater, and the whole or part of the fine may be applied for the benefit of the victim or of his estate, or otherwise as the Court may determine.” As in the case at the beginning where the employee fell off the cage and died when the raptor attacked him. Due to this incident experts were called in to verify and attest to the safety of the park.

Recommendations and Mitigation to reduce falling hazards.

In order to prevent accident or injury, employers must provide proper safety barriers or harnesses to facilitate climbing workmen, to lower the probability of risk associated with performing such tasks in the workplace. Employees and higher management are also given the role of ensuring these are worn and practice good safety measures within the operation. In this scene, there could have been the prevention of the workman’s death when the structure he was standing upon shifted.


Physical Hazards while flying

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Figure 2. Riding the helicopter Source: Image from the movie (Jurassic Park, 1993) 

A Helicopter ride can be a very invigorating and fun experience, especially when you are able to see the “Dinosaur World” from a bird’s eye view. Yet, an obvious risk that can be identified in figure 2, safety.  The use of seat belts and ear plugs are vital for takeoff, en route and landing when in a flight of a helicopter to block out the noise that is caused from the engine and turning of the propeller blades. Referring to the picture, earplugs nor seat belts can be identified.  It is noticed that the flight is also over water, for over water flights, the location and use of flotation gear is necessary it anything should happen to the aircraft in mid-flight.

The Beginning of The End


Figure 3.  Centrally located control room Source: Image from the movie (Jurassic Park, 1993) 

In Jurassic Park, the vital components involved in the running of the park; power, security, and transportation are closely linked and are controlled through one central control room. The safety of the park patrons then becomes at risk when the electric fences, transportation system and all overall security is turned off by a ne’er-do-well employee to benefit himself. Due to the presence of one centrally located control room, it allows for the easy tampering of equipment and leaves the entire operation very vulnerable, as rogue employee Dennis Nerdy made very apparent.

When examining the hazards within the film it can be seen that using a central controlling unit, without a fail-safe switch or device to override any action taken, can result in catastrophic events as it leaves the patrons, employees and the park open to harm and destruction.


Electrical Hazards and Protection

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Figure 4. Lack of protective wear – Source: Image from the movie (Jurassic Park, 1993) 

Another example of a physical hazard in the film is observed when the characters are seen running in an attempt to escape one of the prehistoric beasts and stumbled on the electric fence. The stability of the fence is unknown and protective wear is not present. According to Part 4, subsection 23 of the OSH Act 2016, it states that “all persons entering an area in an industrial establishment where they are likely to be exposed to the risk of head, eye, ear, hand or foot injury, injury from air contaminant or any other bodily injury, shall be provided with suitable protective clothing or devices of an approved standard and adequate instructions in the use of such protective clothing or devices, and no person shall be permitted to be in any such area unless he is wearing such protective clothing or device” hence it is important in the workplace to ensure that no individual approaches dangerous machinery without proper protective equipment.

For electrical instances, insulated gloves and clothing are recommended.

Ergonomic Hazards

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Figure 5. Man viewing monitor.Source: Image from the movie (Jurassic Park, 1993) 

An ergonomic hazard is any physical factor within the environment that harms the musculoskeletal system. Ergonomic hazards can be caused by continued and prolonged contact pressure, exposure to vibration, awkward or sustained postures or forceful exertion or strain. As seen in Fig. 5. above, it can be seen that the user of the computer system is viewing the monitor at a somewhat questionable angle.

This hazard that may come as a result of this would be possible neck aches, backaches, and eyestrain. Although frequently overlooked these aches can sometimes develop into permanent discomfort.


Figure 6- Source: Image from the movie (Jurassic Park, 1993) 

It’s often said that a picture tells a thousand words. How many hazards can you spot in the picture above?

The slab of wood looks pretty heavy, not to mention, there’s also a person standing on it, adding extra weight but don’t worry, we’ll get to him in a bit! Although the single guy on land seems to be pulling the rope with ease, he is putting himself at tremendous risk. From an ergonomic standpoint, the strain of pulling such a weight without the help of any equipment is undoubtedly a dangerous hazard. However, if you look closer, you will see that the rope is looped around his neck! This also poses as a physical hazard since he can be choked if the rope tightens.

Now, the guy who seems to be casually standing on the plank might feel he’s getting a free ride at the expense of the other man. However, he also faces physical hazards. He appears to be keeping his balance quite well, but a small slip can cause him to fall into the water and maybe even hit his head on the thick wooden plank. Also, given the nature of this movie and considering the creatures that may be lurking in that river, that’s the last place he might want to be.  

Recommendations and Mitigation to reduce ergonomic hazards

In order to prevent these circumstances to occur to employees, it is advised that employers provide suitable seating and sufficient desks to facilitate good safety practices while working. It is also up to the employees to adhere to the rules and arrangements put in place by management. See fig. 7 for proper demonstration of viewing a computer monitor. Also, for pushing and pulling weights, that management ensures that there is proper equipment available, both for the transportation of persons and that the employees are well trained and equipped with handling these.


Figure 7. Demonstration of viewing a correct computer viewing angles. 

Biological & Physical hazards

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Figure 8. Entering cove without headgear or proper ventilation.Source: Image from the movie (Jurassic Park, 1993) 

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Figure 9. Investigation of animal feces being made without a face mask. Source: Image from the movie (Jurassic Park, 1993) 

Biological Hazards are any biological substances (this may include but not limited to, samples of a microorganism, virus or toxins) that poses a threat to the health of living and breathing organisms, mainly that of human and other animals. Some examples that may be a cause of biological hazard is dust and dirt that may circulate allergens, mold, blood, animal or bird droppings or sewage.

In both snippets, it can be seen that persons are not practicing good safety protocol against biological and physical hazards.

Figure 8 shows persons in a mining cave without proper headgear such as hard hats entering a fully active mining cove. Not being equipped with any sustainable ventilation sources poses risks associated with hyperventilation, progressive massive fibrosis and cave walls caving in compromising physical health as well. Also, there is no protective wear provided for workers’ or visitors’ eyes. 

Referring to figure 9 – it can be seen that although the actress is using long plastic gloves to investigate the animal’s feces, there is no protection provided for none of the characters seen in the image against the inhalation of gases such as methane. Although it is being examined by a paleontologist, there is still the possibility that there can be other harmful gases contained in the fecal matter.

Recommendation and Mitigation

When assessing unknown substances, it is advisable that examiners use respiratory masks to mitigate dangerous gases and substances.


Safety should always be at the forefront of everyone’s mind when approaching any situation. Safety precautions that ensure the lowest probability of accidents and incidents should be utilized and implemented by management and adhered to by employees. Hazards should always be observed and mitigated to ensure holistic health for employees. In Jurassic Park, there was a massive disregard for safety which resulted in fatalities and injuries.


“Dinosaur Facts.” AMNH. Accessed October 17, 2018.



              ACT, rgd.legalaffairs.gov.tt/laws2/alphabetical_list/lawspdfs/88.08.pdf.

“Safety In and Around Helicopters – Passengers.” Helicopter Flight Training. November

            28, 2015. Accessed October 17, 2018. https://www.danubewings.com/safety-in-                      and-              around-helicopters-passengers/.


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Hazards are one of the major concerns that exist in a work place environment. ‘Safetym’ looked at examining a wood workshop located in south Trinidad West Indies name Carlton’s woodworking. The wood workshop consists of taking raw materials and then making a final product. The ways at which the employees at the workshop go along creating these final products require the use of manual and automated labor, to get their work completed. But by doing so it entails some hazards along the way.

These hazards are:

  1. Electrical Hazards                                                  21
  2. Fire hazards
  3. Mechanical hazards
  4. Ergonomic Hazards
  5. Health hazards
  6. Falling and Crushing hazards
  7. Chemical hazards




Electrical Hazards is defined as a dangerous condition where a worker can or does make electrical contact with energized equipment or a conductor. Electricity can be seen in two forms if being electrocutes can cause life threatening injuries and they are alternating current and direct current. If the individual is exposed to large amounts of electricity it can be lethal for them. Electrocution, shock, arc flash, arc blast, and death are a result of being exposed to large amounts of electricity. The effects of being electrocuted have detrimental effects on the human body, apart from death if you survive an electrocution which is seen as electrons moving through the body creating a current it can damage the insides of the human body thus causing the tissue to burn and also interferes with the natural electrical signals in the body. These electrical signals have to do with the body’s nerves, muscle fibers, and neurons. By this occurring, it can, therefore, damage the nervous system. Some causes of electrical shock are due to contact with a bare wire which isn’t insulated, improper grounding of electrical equipment and using equipment in damp or wet areas due to water being the main conductor.

It was observed in Carlton’s wood work shop there were many electrical hazards.  It was observed that there were wires that were not insulated due to them being bare and covered up with some form of a tape. See figure 1 below.

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It can be noted that the power supply cord to the grinder was broken and as a result, masking tape was used to cover the exposed wire. This tape is not insulated.

The tape was again used to mend an electrical extension outlet. This can create an electrical shock for the individuals that are operating in the wood work shop. It can be seen that the worker isn’t wearing insulated shoes so if he was to get electrocuted his body will be affected and it’s a possibility that electrons may pass through his body. See figure 2 below.



In figure 3 below the casing for the electrical outlet is damaged therefore it can cause the individual to be electrocuted if the individual comes into contact with the metal. As a result, he can get seriously injured or worst case scenario death.



In figure 4 below tape that is not insulated is used to cover bare wires that were previously exposed. If the electrical equipment isn’t repaired or replaced it can cause harm to individuals.



In figure 5 below it can be seen that there were broken wires and masking tape was used to extend the life of the electrical equipment. This can cause harm to individuals if it isn’t handled correctly.

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In figure 5 below it is observed that there is a piece of electrical equipment may have been damaged badly overtime and in order to lengthen the lifespan of the equipment, a tape which wasn’t insulated was used.


In figure 6 below it is noted that electrical cords are disheveled and strewed about on the floor with tape that is not insulated on the damaged parts. These cords contain a steady flow of electricity and if the individual is exposed to this type of current he can and will be detrimental to the life of the individual.

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In figure 7 below it can be seen that there is a faulty outlet together with an electrical cord that is damaged due to the cord being stressed. This can cause serious harm to individuals.

OSH 2.jpg


It can be seen clearly in Carlton’s’ Wood work shop that there were various faults in the electrical equipment. If this isn’t rectified it can cause a fire, damage to workers and destruction to the business due to fire. Here are some recommendations that can be used to prevent harm and injury.

  • Repair and replace all electrical cords and outlets.
  • The shop can use insulted tape to cover all the exposed wires. It is advisable to double insulate the damaged cords.
  • Even though it is a wood working shop, it is advisable that the removal of dust namely saw dust and other various dust to be clear from electrical equipment.
  • Seeing that the shop uses a lot of machines, it is advisable that they purchase GFCIs in order to protect the business from fire.
  • Implement the use of PPE into the business in order to safeguard the workers.

The illustration here under describes the effects of an electrical shock on a human body.

Current (mA)         Effect On Person
0.5 to 3 mA            – Tingling sensations
3 to 10 mA             – Muscle contractions and pain
10 to 40 mA           – “Let-go” threshold
30 to 75 mA          – Respiratory paralysis
100 to 200 mA     – Ventricular fibrillation (may lead to death)
200 to 500 mA     – Heart clamps tight
Above 1500 mA    – Tissue and organs start to burn




A fire hazard is a material, substance, or action that increases the likelihood of an accidental fire occurring. Because of the types of materials that can be found in wood shops, there are many fire hazards that people should take note of. Flammable materials can be categorized into two types: “those that burn readily and can feed a fire that has already starts, and those that can start a fire all by themselves.”

Even though wood is a combustible material, solid planks are harder to ignite. Although it may take a while for a fire to build up with these materials, it is still a fire hazard. As seen in the picture below, this wood shop has a pile of scrap wood stacked high in a corner. This would fall into the first category of flammable materials. Furthermore, there is a cord with a socket on the ground very close to the pile of wood. If the workers are not careful, one spark from that socket may ignite the wood.

wood stacksAlthough solid wood takes a while to ignite, when it is broken down into smaller particles it is highly flammable. Saw dust and wood shavings are two of the most dangerous materials in the workshop. The dust acts as the fuel so if there is an ignition of some sort, for example, a spark from the electrical socket, there is a high chance of a fire igniting which will spread rapidly throughout the entire shop since there is sawdust all over the floor.

3 ITo lessen the chances of a fire, the wood should be kept away from electrical sockets. Also, the workers should keep the workshop clean. They should prevent the build-up of sawdust on machines and in the workshop in general by wiping down shelves, walls, equipment and by cleaning the floors on a regular basis. They can also invest in a dust collector that can suck up the sawdust as the equipment is being used. This will minimize the amount of dust on equipment and the floor.


As mentioned above, electrical sockets can cause sparks which can lead to the ignition of flammable materials. The following pictures show some fire hazards that are related to electricity.


This first picture shows a wall socket that is broken. It is dangerous because the wires on the inside of the box would be exposed which is a fire hazard because if dust gets in there and the wires spark, there will be a fire. Also, if any liquid is spilled on the outlet, there can be a spark as well. To prevent this, the workers should ensure that all outlets are properly covered and any old outlets with cracks should be replaced.

These pictures below show electrical plugs and outlets that have been wrapped in masking tape which is flammable. Instead of using masking tape, electrical tape should be used as it is not flammable, therefore, there would be less of a risk of a fire.




In the pictures below, it can be seen that the workers always use masking tape to provide a quick fix to broken cords and wires. This combined with them being on the ground doubles the fire hazard because of all the saw dust. They should be wrapped in electrical tape as well.




Another fire hazard that can be found in the workshop is cans of paints, oil finishes, solvents, stains, varnishes and other chemicals. It can be seen that there are several on the shelves and on the floor. These substances are fire hazards because they are flammable and can act as fuel to a fire making it spread quicker and even causing explosions. They also fall into the first category of flammable materials which is those that burn readily and can feed a fire that has already started. If a spark was made by one of the cords, it could cause the can of varnish or thinner to catch on fire or explode.


It is recommended that these products are to be stored in a special cabinet like the one below. They should also be securely closed to prevent any leakage or accidental spillage. These metal cabinets are designed to protect flammable materials during fires. They are double walled and made of steel which helps them to lengthen the time it takes for the fire to reach the products.

chemical cabinet

In the event of a fire, certain measures should be put in place for the safety of the workers. Firstly, there should be an evacuation plan and all employees should be aware of it. There should also be fire drills to ensure that the workers understand exactly where to go which should be called a muster point a location that is far away for any danger or harm to the employees, visitors and whomever else in the building.

In this workshop, the fire extinguisher is located outside of the shop. It should be placed inside of the workshop where the workers can access it quickly in the case of a fire. If it stays outside, they may not have enough time to reach it and the fire would get out of control. The fire extinguisher should also be checked regularly to ensure that it is in good working condition.


A sprinkler system and smoke detector should be installed to warn the workers if a fire breaks out and to help detect and extinguish fires.


All in all, keeping the workshop clean will reduce the risk of fire hazards significantly. There would be no loose sawdust on the ground and on surfaces, scrap would wood be stored neatly and away from possible ignitions and cans and bottles of flammable materials would be stored away neatly. The workers should also try to replace old cords, plugs and sockets to make the area safer and as fire free as it can be.



Mechanical hazards are hazards related to the use of automated or manually power-driven machines. The moving parts of these machines consist of sharp edges and or hot surfaces that are hazardous to employees. This type of hazard occurs at the point in which the operation is carried out on the material being used.

At the woodwork shop there are a few mechanical hazards at the workplace which are illustrated in the pictures below:


The image above shows an employee placing his fingers right where the wood is being cut. This can be a hazard because if for some reason he forgets or get distracted he can actually cut off his fingers seeing how close his fingers are to the blade another hazard from this would be if the saw gives a kickback effect meaning is when the wood suddenly propelled back towards the person operating the saw with no warning. The saw in the picture above is known as a table saw which consist off a motor, table or base, power switch and a blade. When the saw is operated the motor that drives the rotation of the blade an operator would be pushing the wood towards the blade and if the operator is not aware of how close his fingers are getting towards the blade it can cause him/her to lose their fingers or hand. From a kickback it can cause injury to the operator head, torso or chest.

To prevent the kickback effect the operator should use a riving knife which is a blade that is a thin piece of metal shaped like a shark fin which prevents the wood from getting caught in the back of the saw drifting away causing a kickback. Also if there is a kickback the operator should be wearing personal protective equipment especially a hard hat in this instance.

The image below shows how a riving knife looks:


In order to prevent the operator from getting his/her finger or hand being sliced off they should look at using a stick to push the wood instead of their hands directly by the blade. Also the operator should always be aware of what he/she is doing and do not for no instance let their guard down when operating the machine.

To add on to the table saw the image below shows that in order to start the table saw the operator has to pull start the motor the because the capacitor in the motor spoiled. This can be a mechanical hazard because the operator has to put the fan belt back on the motor to get the blade moving. In other words the operator can get his/her hand caught in between the fan belt and the pulley which is illustrated by the red arrow in the image on the right hand side. To prevent this injury the employer need to get the capacitor fixed or replaced before any injury occurs.

















The image above shows a miter saw also known as a mounted circular saw is a saw which is used to help cut materials in different angles. The miter saw can be turned on by an on/off switch on the arm that the operator simultaneously presses when using the saw. When turned on the saw blade starts to rotate at high speed. When the switch is released the blade slowed down and the rotating arm returns back to its initial position.

Some of the injuries in which this type of saw can cause are: eye injuries from flying projectiles, cutting off fingers or hand and it can also cause injuries to the ear because it is a loud machine when turned on. In order to prevent these injuries the operator needs to wear safety googles, ear plugs and always stay alert when operating this machine because it also requires the operator to push against the material when cutting so when the material is finished cut it tends to go straight down or straight through the material quickly.


The image above illustrates a nail gun being operated.  This can be a hazard if the operator of the nail gun is not aware of how to properly use it or if they are not aware of the occupational health and safety requirements for operating a nail gun, which is an issue because they can accidentally staple the nail into their skin which can cause fractures to the bone it goes into. Therefore the operator needs to be properly trained on how to handle a nail gun. In a statistic pole ran by the CDC it is said that injuries from nail guns are responsible for an estimate of 37,000 emergency room visits in the United States of America.

The image below shows an x-ray of a nail gun incident:





The images above illustrate a wood planer which is a machine that cuts wood into different thickness that is required to create perfect parallel surfaces. This machine can be a mechanical hazard because it requires the operator to push the piece of wood towards the machine, the operator can crush his/her hand or fingers under the stock while feeding it in close to the in-feed as shown in the second image where his hand is very close the in-feed.

There can also be a kickback effect where the wood that is being pushed in is thrown back towards the operator from the in-feed side. In order to prevent a crush injury the operator can hold the piece of wood by its edges furthest away from the in-feed. To prevent the kickback effect the operator should check the anti-kickback fingers to see if it is working properly. If the operator does not know what or how to check the anti-kickback effect he or she should check the owner’s manual for further information.


The image above shows a random orbital sander which is a hand held machine used to sand the wood surface. This can be a mechanical hazard if the operator is not aware of holding the sander or is wearing lose clothes it can be caught up into the sander pulling the clothes which can cause some sought of injury to skin, also dust particles would be flying especially saw dust from sanding the wood. In order to prevent any injury from the sander the operator should wear proper safety equipment especially eye wear, a dust mask and proper clothes meaning no long sleeve.


The above image above shows a grinder which is a hand held machine that is used to cut about anything but in this instance it is used to cut wood. It can be a safety hazard because if the blade is not tighten on properly it can become lose and fly back and caused serious injuries, decapitation can be one of them. Another injury would be if it is not used properly the grinder can actually slice of fingers or even a hand if not operated as how it should be operated. Therefore in order to prevent these injuries before use the operator need to make sure and tighten the blade and also it should be required by the employer that the operator went through some sought of training to operate the grinder.


Therefore for mechanical hazards there are a lot of potentials for injuries to be caused most of these injuries can be avoided if the operator of these machines notice any potential problems with them they should notify there supervisors who should see about the matter immediately.  It should be required no matter what personal protective equipment are to be worn all the time. Also all the operators should be trained before using the equipment and before the start of a work day or job there should be time to take risk assessments and ensure that all risk and issues are brought up and discussed in toolbox talks. To add on there should be regular maintenance check up on all equipment time to time. There should also be danger signs placed on all machinery and around the workplace.

Examples of these signs should look like:






An ergonomic hazard is a physical factor within the environment that harms the musculoskeletal system. Ergonomic hazards such as repetitive movement, manual handling, workplace/job/task design, uncomfortable workstation height and poor body positioning.

Ergonomics is the evaluation of how the workplace, the equipment used there and the work environment can be best structured in terms of comfort, efficiency, safety and productivity. In most cases we can improve our levels of comfort and productivity with adequate but simple changes.

The main areas of concern in the wood workshop employees are:

  • workstations (sitting and standing)
  • equipment layout and operation
  • noise
  • maintenance tasks performed on plant items.

The image below shows an ergonomic hazard as the employee has to constantly move the sander up and down as he stands, which also sends out vibrations to his hands.


Ergonomic hazards can vary with a wide range of concerns some of them are; the physical design of workstations, work spaces, the working environment, tools, vehicles, computer programs and plant. It may involve cognitive processes such as individual’s task with workload, decision making, skilled performance and stress.

The main focus will be on musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs).

MSIs is a result of improper lifting or handling heavy loads and is the major source of sprains and strains. Body parts such as neck, back, and shoulder injuries can be affected and injuries such as these can affect people later on in their lives.

Employers are required to assess MSI risks by understanding the factors that can lead to injury, including the following:

  • The size, shape, and weight of the object being lifted
  • Whether the worker needs to bend, twist, or reach
  • How long (the total time) the worker will be doing the task
  • How often the worker is required to do the task

If an MSI requires medical attention or time off work, the employer must investigate the cause to prevent recurrence.

MSI signs and symptoms:

Employers and workers need to be able to recognize the early signs and symptoms of MSI. The sooner treatment starts, the better. Signs and symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Stiffness or loss of range of motion
  • Difficulty moving a particular body part

Workers must report early signs or symptoms to a supervisor, manager, first aid attendant, or safety representative. Employers must have a system in place for keeping detailed records of MSI signs and symptoms — these records could be entries in the first aid book.

Safety tips

  • Avoid manually lifting, carrying, or pushing awkward or heavy objects. Instead, use mechanical devices such as cranes, hoists, dollies, or hand trucks.
  • When performing repetitive lifts such as unloading wood stock from a truck, stop to stretch and rest your back every so often or vary the task with another job that uses different muscles.
  • If it makes sense, work with a co-worker to share the load. Communicate clearly so that your co-worker knows what movements to expect. The helper on a lift is often the one who gets hurt as a result of a misunderstanding.

Safe lifting technique

When you do need to lift something manually, use the following safe lifting technique:

  • Place your feet apart for good balance.
  • Bend your knees so that the stronger muscles in your legs take most of the load.
  • Balance the load you are carrying between both hands.
  • Minimize the distance you reach when picking up the object.
  • Get a good grip. Use your hands, not just your fingers.
  • Hold the object as close to your body as possible, between your knees and shoulders.
  • Lift smoothly and slowly.
  • Don’t twist your back. Pivot your feet if you need to turn while carrying something.


Working in storage areas

  • When stacking items, stack the heaviest objects between knee and chest level to minimize lifting.
  • Make sure stacked objects are stable.
  • Use a ladder or step stool to reach high items.
  • Take short breaks, stretch, and vary the load by alternating heavy and light items.



A health hazard can be defined as hazards associated with the exposure to certain substances, excessive noise, or vibrations. In the wood shop a variety of health hazards stood out, which include:

  • Wood Dust
  • Excessive Noise
  • Excessive Vibration 

Inhaling wood dust can cause respiratory effects such as chronic bronchitis, asthma attacks and possibly cancer. Exposure to certain species of hardwood such as Oak, Mahogany and Beech has been reported to cause nasal cancer in wood workers, especially when the exposure is high. With reference to the OSH act 2004, section 25 subsection (4), a confined space in which there is likely to exist a hazardous gas, vapor, dust , fume or an oxygen content of less than eighteen per cent or more than twenty-three per cent at atmospheric pressure, shall be entered only when the work space has been cleanse and ventilated to provide a safe/healthy work atmosphere for employees and a worker adequately trained in artificial respiratory within easy reach of.

The pictures below illustrates that Carlton’s wood shop is not properly ventilated and the work space is not cleansed which can cause harm to its employees.






Excessive Noise can damage hearing and may lead to stress related disorders such as nervousness, chronic fatigue, increased blood pressure, and impaired concentration and mental function. According to research, there are two primary factors that act together to make noise hazardous- Volume (intensity) and Duration. The louder the noise, length of exposure can increase one’s chance of potential hearing loss.



The picture below displays a hand saw that creates excessive noise that can be unbearable. Unfortunately, employees were not using any protective ear gear.




Too much vibration can cause a person to have issues with their hands, this can lead to a disease known as “White fingers” or Raynaud’s Syndrome, this happens when the blood vessels in a person’s fingers are damaged. Both hand-held and stationery tools that transmit vibration can also cause Hand Arm Vibration syndrome (HAVs), this occurs if a person is exposed to vibration for a prolonged period. Persons’ may lose sensibility in their hands and loss of grip.




  • According to the Osh Act Part VI section 25 K, an employer must ensure that his employees are provided with health surveillance as it is appropriate having to assess the risks to the employees safety and health which can be identified by frequent risks assessments.
  • Another recommendation would be that the employer of the wood shop should require the employees to undergo a medical examination as a pre-condition of permanent employment, or to determine fitness for work. A pre-placement medical evaluation would be recommended to assess medical conditions that could be aggravated or may increase the risk when a worker is exposed to wood dust.
  • PPE- Personal Protective Equipment is required. We realized the employees hardly use proper equipment when working. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that all employees use appropriate equipment in the wood shop to increase the safety levels. Respirators should be used when working around dust and chemicals. For excessive noise from machines, employees should wear hearing protection to isolate the ear from harmful effects. And lastly engineering controls for the vibrations such as vibration isolators, which reduces the amount of vibrations from the machines. Employees should be allowed to take at least a 10 minutes break away from machines to decrease their chances of getting HAVs.




Figure 1 Showing Electrical cords on the floor

Cord image

The image above shown several electrical cords placed along the floor of the workshop. Here, it displays that these cords are scattered all over a potential pathway for workmen to walk through. This makes the journey though these cables increasingly difficult as the worker must navigate their way without stepping on any lines. This creates a huge possibility that an employee’s foot can get tangled up in between the cords and therefore losing their sense of balance and fall. This can result in spinal and back injuries as well as the employee can damage his/her wrists while trying to brace for the impact.


Solution: These electrical cords should be placed at the side of the walkway or be tapped to the ceiling or walls to along the workshop. Also, when these electrical lines are of no longer in use, they should be immediately picked up and moved to a secure area out of the workers general vicinity.

Figure 2 Showing employees at work on a cutting machine

saw dust image

This image shows an employee using a machine to cut a large piece of wood into smaller pieces. Due to this, he creates a great amount of wood shavings on the ground. As these shavings accumulate, it can lead to the ground area becoming slippery. This is a huge potential hazard as the workers usually wear slippers instead of boots with good grip. This increases the likelihood of slipping on the wood shaving and not having the proper gripping strength to stay on your feet. Also, the machine is in operation, this mean that any sudden slip and the worker would not have the reaction time to move away from the sawing machine and would end up cutting off a figure or even having his hand amputated


Solution: There should be at least two workers at this station as all times, one to continue the cutting process and the other to sweep up the wood shavings before they accumulate. Also, the machine should be equipped with a safety mechanism either in a blade cover or a sensor which can stop itself when it feels that there is potential for human life or damage.

Figure 3 Showing substances in their respective containers


Figure 4 Showing workers in their footwear at the workshop


The image shown above is a few containers holding of wood vanishing and oil substances where it is seen that there is some residue left on the ground of the tins which can potential reach the floor of the Workshop. This is a perfect example of a potential falling hazard. A slip falling hazard occurs at ground level where the walking surface is contaminated with materials and mixed with water has the potential to lose traction of an employee’s footwear. This has great potential for causing serious injuries, not only to the employee but to customers as well. As seen in the second image, the employees are not wearing their proper PPE as they are wearing slippers instead of their skid resident shoes. This also increases the likelihood there is little to no chance of resisting the falling process with a slippers or sandals as seen in the picture. However, this workshop realizes the potential of an incident and has performed practices to over this issue. The first image shows that all containers are firmly tightly and securely closed to prevent any leakage as well as in the occurrence of any employee knocking them down by accident. Also, on of the containers is inside a half-cut bottle meaning that in the event of any spillage, the probability of this substance touching the ground would be minimized.



What is a Crushing?

According to Safeopedia, Crushing is the result of pressure from a heavy object onto a body part, or the compression of the body part. Crushing is often referred to as a crush injury.

Figure 5 showing a stack of unused wood piece at the side of the workshop

wood stacks

This image shows a large stack of unused would being piled up against a storage cupboard at the workshop. These stacks of wood can be highly dangerous. They are not properly secured and therefore any little movements via a hit from other pieces of wood or by an unexpected earthquake, these stacks of wood can fall immediately and with no warning. This can lead to an employee being crushed under the weight of the wood pile. Also, many of these pieces contain nails and sharp edges which can break the skin of the workmen and cause infection and diseases not to mention the skull fractures and broken bones as these employees were not wearing their safety helmets as well as coveralls to prevent the nails and splinters from reach the surface of their skin.

Figure 6 showing an air compressor being held up by two pieces of unused pieces of wood

air compressor

This image is another example of a crushing hazard. It shows a gas tank being held up by two pieces of wood. This has potential to fall at any moment and cause physical and internal injuries to organs of the workmen.

Solution: The wood stacks should be disposed of immediately after use to prevent the pile up or even recycled for future wood working jobs. Also, if these stacks are piled up for a reason, they should be in a secured and safe area away from human encounter and nails should be removed at all time.

The gas tank should have its own independent secure mechanism to hold it in place, preferable made from steel so it can hold up the tank and prevent it from falling. Also, this tank should be in a cage like structure away from human activity.



A chemical hazard is a type of occupational hazard produced by exposure to chemicals in the workplace which in turn can cause illness injury or an emergency. Exposure to chemicals in the woodworking industry can cause acute or long-term detrimental health effects. There are many types of hazardous chemicals, which includes: neurotoxins, immune agents, dermatologic agents, carcinogens, reproductive toxins, systemic toxins and asthmagens. Many woodworkers expose themselves to toxic levels of products because they don’t understand the product, appreciate the risks, or take adequate precautions.

Woodworkers are frequently exposed to toxic levels of various chemicals. Sometimes this is because of the worker ignoring warning labels, but most times, it’s because they are not educated enough about the chemical products they utilize to know about the risks involved and take suitable precautionary measures. Toxic chemicals are found in a variety of woodshop supplies, including adhesives, paints and varnishes. Some chemicals used in the woodworking industry are classed as hazardous by the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 and have specific safety requirements. These include substances that are used for treating, preserving and removing paint, varnish, stain, lacquer, clean, seal and glue furniture and wood products. More thorough advice on the chemicals in each of these substances should be obtained from the manufacturer’s Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). This sheet must be provided by the supplier and made readily available for people working with or close to the chemicals.

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)

MSDS provide vital information that is necessary for the safe

use of substances which are hazardous in the in the workplace. Encompassed in it

are important information that permits a hazardous substance to

be utilized safely. This includes:

  • Details of the company – e.g. Address, Name, emergency phone
  • Identification – e.g. product name, other names, number, poisons schedule and dangerous goods class
  • Physical properties – e.g. appearance, vapor pressure,
  • boiling point, solubility.
  • Ingredients – e.g. chemical name, CAS number (a unique

number assigned to an individual chemical)

  • Health effects – e.g. time frame which could be: long term, short term.
  • Precautions for use – e.g. ventilation, exposure standards and other engineering


  • Personal protection – e.g. eye, respiratory and skin protection.
  • Storage & transport – e.g. storage conditions, dangerous

goods class.

  • Spills and disposal – e.g. clean up measures and

safety measures, disposal.

  • Fire & explosion – e.g. firefighting recommendations,

decomposition products.

MSDS must be produced by the manufacturer and it is compulsory to be provided to the workplace by the supplier. Employers are accountable for procurement of MSDS and providing them to employees for all chemicals used at their workplace. Employers must ensure that employees understand any information provided to them. If there are no MSDSs readily available, the employee should ask for them.

Exposure To Chemicals

Majority of the chemicals that is applied to wood may enter the body through different ways such as breathing, swallowing or skin contact.


The individual in the image above is exposed to the lacquer-based substance. Due to the not using PPE, this substance can enter his body via inhalation skin contact and swallowing.

Inhalation (breathing in) is the most significant route:

  • Chemicals such as adhesives, paint strippers, paints,

varnishes, stains and water-based wood preservatives are

all chemicals that can be inhaled either in the form of droplets or


Absorption via skin contact:

  • Wood preservatives and various solvents can be absorbed through the skin. Materials such as epoxy resins and some timber preservatives can cause skin effects such as dermatitis


  • This is usually because of lack of personal protective

equipment or also poor personal hygiene. Chemicals can be

swallowed when contaminated fingernails are bit, eating

or smoking with hands that are contaminated and wearing

contaminated clothing.

It also occurs when dust containing preservatives such as copper chrome arsenic is swallowed.


Chemicals used in the wood working industry have variable health effects

and information on these can be found in the MSDS.

Chemicals used fall into the following categories:


Solvents are used to clean wood products (e.g. thinners) and paint stripper.

Solvents possess the following health effects:

  • Solvent droplets or vapors irritate the eyes, nose and


  • When solvent fumes are inhaled, they have a narcotic effect and display Symptoms of dizziness,

headaches, light-headedness and nausea. They can cause unconsciousness and even death at high concentrations

  • Prolonged or repeated skin exposure can cause dryness, cracking and dermatitis.
  • Solvents can be absorbed into the bloodstream through skin contact. Broken or cut skin may allow solvent to be absorbed more quickly.
  • High exposure may cause damage to the nervous system, liver and the kidneys.
  • Most solvents utilized in the woodworking industry are highly flammable.
  • Methylene chloride which is also known as dichloromethane is found in some paint strippers. It is not flammable; however it is listed as a supposed carcinogen (cancer causing agent) by the National Occupational Health & Safety Commission.


Controls should be designated in this order for effectiveness:

Elimination – A chemical shouldn’t be used if you don’t need to.

Substitution – hazardous chemicals should be replaced with a less

hazardous one.

Isolation – The work should be isolated. Those who are working and those who are in the general area should be separated.

Engineering controls – general dilution ventilation, local

exhaust ventilation or spray booths.

Administrative controls – reduction of the time length of exposure

by means of job rotation, rosters etc.

Personal Protective Equipment – appropriate ppe such as respirators,

Gloves goggles and protective clothing should be used

to achieve higher levels of protection.

The MSDS will advise you of the types of controls suitable for each chemical.


Brush application may be an alternative method for some work.


General principles should involve storing hazardous substances in a cool, lockable, enclosed area with adequate ventilation, storing incompatible substances separately and avoiding risks of mixing and cross contamination, ensuring all labels remain intact on all containers and packaging. when chemicals are decanted into smaller containers, the new container must be adequately labelled. As a minimum the label must contain the name of the product, risk and safety phrases. limiting access to chemical storage areas to authorized people only ensuring flammable, explosive or toxic substances are stored away from possible sources of electric spark, heat or flame.


Signage of a chemical storage area



From analyzing ‘Carlton’s woodworking’ there where a few safety concerns which was presented above. To add on to the hazards listed above ‘Safetym’ would like to recommend that the business establishment look at solving these issues as they can end up leading a major work accident.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is a major concern that is needed for the business; hence they should look at getting PPE as soon as possible. Safety signs should be posted up around the establishment as well as regular maintenance schedules be carried out.

The image below show examples of PPE that should be worn in the wood workshop:





CDC. (2018, October 14). Nailing Down the Need for Nail Gun Safety. Retrieved from Centre for diseases control and prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/features/nailgunsafety/index.html

Dahl, T. (2018, October 13). How to Prevent Injuring Yourself from Table Saw Kickback. Retrieved from Popular Mechanics: https://www.popularmechanics.com/home/tools/how-to/a19188/how-to-prevent-kickback-avoid-injuries-table-saw/

Miter saw judge. (n.d.). Common Injuries from Miter Saws. Retrieved from Miter saw judge: https://mitersawjudge.com/injuries-associated-with-miter-saw/





Net, Secura. n.d. “Woodworking: Addressing the Safety and Health Hazards.” Secura Insurance

Companies. https://www.secura.net/secura-erater-vm/pdf-files/prevention







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