OSH Matters

Growing interest in Occupational Safety and Health

UWI is ‘RISKY’ Businesss 😎


Hey You!

   Yes You…..

I want you to stop for a second and consider, are you entirely safe from risks of any type when you attend classes at your beloved University of the West Indies (St. Augustine)?

Well, we the members of Coloured hair hazard are here to inform you, each day you arrive at home safely from classes at U.W.I, is a gThey. Why do we say this? Well we have conducted a risk assessment which comprehensively outlines several hazards located in particular classrooms and lecture theatres.

Before we move on to the actual risk assessment, do you know what a risk assessment is?

According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational health and safety, Risk assessment is the process where you:

  • Identify hazards.
  • Analyze or evaluate the risk associated with that hazard.
  • Determine appropriate ways to eliminate or control the hazard.

In practical terms, a risk assessment is a thorough look at your workplace/premise to identify those things, situations, processes, etc that may cause harm, particularly to people. After identification is made, you evaluate how likely and severe the risk is, and then decide what measures should be in place to effectively prevent or control the harm from happening.

So why conduct a risk assessment?

Firstly, because team Coloured hair hazard is concerned with all possible elements which are not considered as harmful by the average student, but are indeed harmful. At the end of the day we are a group that love our fellow colleagues and so we rather see you informed rather than not. The main reasons anyone conducts a risk assessment, however, are as follows:

Risk assessments are very important as they form an integral part of a good occupational health and safety management plan. They help to:

  • Create awareness of hazards and risks.
  • Identify who may be at risk (employees, cleaners, visitors, contractors, the public, etc).
  • Assess the severity of the risks.
  • Determine if existing control measures are adequate or if more should be done.
  • Prevent injuries or illnesses when done at the design or planning stage.
  • Prioritize hazards, control measures and keep record of risk.

Therefore, the aim of the risk assessment process is to remove a hazard or reduce the level of its risk by adding precautions or control measures, as necessary. By doing so, you have created a safer and healthier workplace/premise.



Figure 1: The photo above shows Teachers Learning Complex (TLC) at UWI

In our research we found TLC to be the lowest rated risk area in the school. We gave it a risk rating of an ‘E’, one shy of an almost perfect rating of an ‘F’, seeing that we actually identified two hazards which could lead to potential risks. Firstly, to identify the hazards, the main hazards discovered were ergonomic and physical in nature.

Ergonomic Hazard: In our assessment of TLC lecture theatre C and lecture theatre A we discovered the seating was a tad bit too close. Hence several times we discovered if a person wanted to get into a seat within a row which was occupied by a couple of people it would be generally difficult to get to the that seat. It would also cause a great degree of discomfort to persons already seated, as they may have to shift all of their belongings or in some cases get out of their seat entirely.


Figure 2: The photo above shows the closeness of seating can be deemed a risk worthy hazard

Evaluating the risk:

  1. What is the hazard? – Ergonomic by nature, it deals with the poor spacing between seats which results in persons having difficulty getting to their desired seat.
  2. Who does it affect and how? – This issue affects each student that has a class in any lecture theatre in TLC. It would mean that they would always have trouble getting to seats particularly in the middle and they would generally disrupt others in doing so.
  3. Level of risk? – We felt that this hazard did not merit too much risk as it solely inconvenienced the seated party. However, it did not even affect the seated party as in some cases, individuals were able to remain seated and allow others to pass by to seats located in the middle.
  4. Do control measures exist and should any be implemented? – Control measures do not exist as it’s a minor issue which generally isn’t given much attention. I guess individuals are simply happy with being bothered each time someone else needs to pass by. The control measure which should be implemented is a system for filling up the lecture theatre. The management team of TLC or the lecturer at the time should implement a system where individuals come in and sit in the middle seats firstly. This would ensure that no one is disturbed by persons attempting to get to middle seats, in particular during lectures.
  5. Is it high priority? – Generally speaking this issue is not high priority because there aren’t enough complaints about the issue by the students,  however these issues should be monitored to ensure that they don’t cause extreme harm.


Figure 3: The picture above illustrates the typical ergonomic issue. Redman is a slouch and most evident he is the odd guy out who doesn’t want to move while Green arrow wants to get to the seat just past him. As a result, he has to cross over him, how unfair to the great green arrow.

Physical HazardIn conducting our risk assessment on the lecture theatres of we discovered possible risk factors associated. The first hazard is the possibility of an individual losing his/her footstep due to the oddly crafted staircases in the lecture theatres. The second issue is a person’s visibility being obscured due to the odd positioning of some of the lights in the theatre, along with the underutilization altogether, of the lights.


Figure 4: The photo above shows an irregularly patterned staircase at a lecture theatre in TLC.


Figure 5:The photo above shows a lighting system which is generally not utilized, and as such hinders or obscures the views of students at times.

Evaluating the risk:

  1. What is the hazard? – Physical by nature, it deals with the inconsistent design of the staircase. Although it enables the staircase to be flatter, the different design to an average staircase can possibly result in physical pain. (i.e. twisting of one’s ankle) The issue of the lighting may possibly hinder students. It can also, in the long run, result in individuals having optical issues.
  2. Who does it affect and how? – This issue affects each student that has a class in any lecture theatre in TLC. There is the possible risk of individuals facing unfortunate leg injuries. The poor lighting on the other hand may possibly result, in some cases, in individuals having visual issues in the future.
  3. Level of risk? – These hazards are not really risky. This is evident as there generally have never been any unfortunate mishaps of this nature regardless of the staircase placement or the lack of usage/positioning of the lighting technology.
  4. Do control measures exist and which should be implemented? – Control measures do not exist as it it’s a minor issue which generally isn’t given much attention. I guess individuals are simply happy with being bothered each time someone else needs to pass by. A control measure which should be implemented for the staircase issue, however, should be that management should place signs stating that students should be sure to utilize hand rails.
  5. Is it high priority? – Generally speaking this issue is not high priority because there aren’t enough complaints about the issue by the students, however these issues should be monitored to ensure that they don’t cause extreme harm.


Figure 6: Above illustrates the manner in which the lights should be operating to ensure optimal viewer-ability of the students.


Figure 7: Above illustrates the possible risk of not properly utilizing the handrails, all due to the irregular positioning of the staircases.

Altogether TLC is generally extremely compliant with the stipulations of and therefore surely consider proper risks where possible hazards are concerned. However, just maybe it’s because TLC was completed after the initial release of the OSH act in 2004. As opposed to almost every other building at U.W.I St. Augustine. 😢

Centre for Language Learning (CLL) Building- Tutorial Room

Physical hazard

At CLL various physical hazards could be found  or THEY COULD FIND YOU IF YOU AREN’T ALERT OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS! The first hazard found was open electrical units (see figure 8). The second hazard was the possibility of being struck by or against a television position directly above the seating area (see figure 9). The third hazard was possibly falling over wires that ran between the classroom desks (see figure 10).

Electrical hazards


Figure 8: Above shows an open electrical unit at CLL

According to the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association electrical hazards are a dangerous condition where a worker could make electrical contact with energized equipment or a conductor, and from which the person may sustain an injury from shock and burn.

Evaluating the risk-

In some of UWI classrooms open electrical outlets with visible wires were seen as a hazard, if these wires were bare it would put students/ lecturers/ tutors at high risk of getting shocked or burn if they touch it. EVEN THOUGH AS ADULTS WE SHOULD KNOW NOT TO TOUCH THESE THINGS, SOMETIMES CURIOSITY GETS THE BEST OF US….AND AS THEY SAY CURIOSITY KILLS THE CAT OR IN THIS INSTANCES SHOCKS THE CATS.

A person with knowledge in this area and responsible for maintenance of electrical units at the university should ensure that outlets are secure and covered, as well as have regular checks to ensure that electrical units are not tampered with.

Just in case curiosity gets the best of you here is a link for some treatments http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/electric-shock#3-6 however, prevention is better here is a link for that as well http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/electric-shock#3-8.

Struck-by Hazards

According to the OSHA Training Institution (2011) struck-by injuries are produced by forcible contact or impact between the injured person and an object or piece of equipment.

Evaluating the risk-

In this class at CLL a television/ monitor is positioned directly above the seating area for students is a struck-by hazard because if for some reason the structure that connects the television to the wall becomes unstable, there is a possibility that the monitor/ TV could fall on someone/student’s head and injure them e.g. they could get a concussion or a more severe injury like a serious head trauma.

The severity of this injury depends on three factors the velocity of the impact e.g. how fast the television falls, the characteristics of the object e.g. the TV and the body part impacted e.g. the head

Aside from this type of hazard a student could bump their head on the monitor as they are about to sit or stand in the seat directly beneath the TV (struck-against). To reduce these hazards the TV could be removed by a trained UWI staff and positioned at another location in the classroom or the chairs and table be moved away from the monitor. Students should stay  AHEAD of this hazard and ensure that the matter be dealt with as they are the ones at risks.


Figure 9: Shown above is a television hanging directly above seats

Fall Hazard

Evaluating the risk-

What is the hazard? -Running Wires on floor which could cause person walking  in the class to fall.

Who might be harmed? – Students and teachers most likely runs the risk of being harmed as they are the one who basically utilizes the classroom, however it runs a risk to anyone else visiting the classroom.

What is the risk level?  The likelihood of someone tripping over these wires are minimum as on most occasions you may be alert, however if someone does trip over they run the risk of getting severe bodily damages.

What is the risk control measures? – The wire could be positioned closer to the walls so persons wouldn’t be tripped or the wires could be run underground. there should also be a recording of the measures put in place a well as continually seeking ways to improve them.


Figure 10: Shown above is running wire on floor in tutorial room


Figure 11: The above shows seats offering poor back support


Ergonomic Hazard

What is the Hazard? -The seats offer poor back support when one is required write on the desk attached to the chair.

Who might be harmed?- The persons affected by this hazard are mainly students, however anyone who sits in these seats could become a victim of strains on the back muscle,  shoulders and arms from continuously leaning over to write notes. This can cause long terms pains to the back..

What is the risk level? – This is a medium risk level due to the fact that students and others could position themselves in a way to avoid strain.
What is the risk Control? – The university  could replace these seats with ones that have better support to the body. Persons sitting in these seats could also position themselves in a matter to avoid strain.

Psychological hazard

Overcrowding and anxiety

As mentioned some of the university’s seating designs create overcrowding (ergonomic hazards). Some of the seating arrangements (the circle arrangement) which are aimed at facilitating and encouraging discussion/communication, participation and learning also can become a psychological hazard for some of the students with social phobia/ social anxiety disorder. According to WebMD social anxiety disorder also called social phobia, is an anxiety disorder in which a person has an excessive and unreasonable fear of social situations. Anxiety (intense nervousness) and self-consciousness arise from a fear of being closely watched, judged, and criticized by others. To help reduce the high risk of this hazard with these students who face this phobia they could inform their tutor/lecturer of their condition and change classroom and or seek psychological help from the university counsellor.

For information on how social phobia is treated click this link http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/mental-health-social-anxiety-disorder?page=3#1


Figure 12: The circle seating arrangement at CLL which could cause anxiety in persons with social phobia.



Temporary Classroom Building 2 (TCB 2)

Physical Hazard


Evaluating the risk-

This a a high risk situation as it is the norm in TCB to have the malfunctioning air conditioning. This situation in the classroom poses many risks as students cannot focus on what is being taught,  teachers dismiss classes earlier than expected, student leave class before the lecture is over, all negatively  impacting on the person’s education and poses many health risks. This can be prevented if the air conditioners were working or placing windows in the classrooms for proper ventilation.



Fig 13: Above is a opened classroom door as the Air Conditioner is not working.

Ergonomic hazard

An Ergonomic hazard is a physical factor in the environment that harms the musculus-skeletal system.

Evaluation the risk-

Many students and teachers are exposed to this hazard in the TCB mainly due to the damaged furniture and lack of furniture. Many of the chairs provided for students are damaged, making students sit in very uncomfortable and risky posture for a two to three hour lecture. Teachers face this hazard by standing continuously for the same two to three hour lecture, which must take a toll on their body. Experiencing these conditions on a regular basis affect the muscles, nerves, blood vessels, ligaments and tendons. This is a moderately risky situation as there are good chairs also.  There are many health disorders related to this hazard which include epicondylitis and tendinitis. To reduce the chance of injury, broken chairs should be repaired or replaced in a prompt manner, work tasks should be designed to limit exposure to ergonomic risk factors, teachers should also have a chair to sit at times.



Fig 14: Above shows broken chair at TCB.

Biological hazards

Biological hazards, refer to biological substances that pose a threat to the health of living organisms, primarily that of humans.

Evaluating the risk-

Biological hazards pose great risks for persons occupying TCB because of the many adverse health effects.  TCB is a biological hazard because as mentioned the air conditioners are problematic, and this can be because they are not serviced or cleaned properly. When the air conditioner works properly for one day and the next day it blows hot air, trapped water together with humidity  will cause mold to accumulate inside of the air conditioner.  This is a high risk situation as this can affect persons which are not even aware they are breathing in mold. Air conditioner mold can spread throughout the classroom once it is on and exposure to mold can lead to numerous health problems because most biological agents are inhaled which causes respiratory disorders and allergic reactions. Prevention of  the development of mold in the first place is what should be done, by letting the relevant persons regularly service the air conditioners in a manner that will keep them working properly reducing the hazard.

Many hazards are faced in the Temporary Classroom Building affecting all who occupy it negatively. However to reduce these risks these hazards pose is simple, if proper maintenance in done.

Psychological Hazards

Noise and distraction


Evaluating the risk-

The AC unit distraction have become such a norm at UWI that many of us no longer hear it. Is this habitation (when you no longer respond to a repeated stimuli e.g. AC unit) or is it secretly harming us? According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, ambient noise also affects people’s health by increasing general stress levels and aggravating stress-related conditions such as high blood pressure, coronary disease, peptic ulcers and migraine headaches. Continued exposure does not lead to habituation; in fact, the effects worsen. OH MY GOSHHH UWI IS CONSCIOUSLY AND UNCONSCIOUSLY STRESSING US OUT…… WHATTTTT!!!

Prolong exposure to the loud AC unit greatly affects our health as it relates to stress. To reduce this risk the university needs to get professionals to service the units around campus or replace them if needed and once fixed maintained should be regular.

To read more about noise and distraction click this link https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ask-the-brains-background-noise/


Figure 15: The above show the AC unit which noise comes from

C4 building and the Student Activity Centre (SAC) Study Room.

Physical hazards

Evaluating the risk-

As a result of poor electrical practices, can inflict burns, injury or electrocution to the members of the student population as the result of open and exposed live wire. The classrooms examined are occupied by a variety of students, some of which may be unaware of the hazards in their immediate surroundings. For example, the increase use of smart devices among students would result in the in the need for an electric port to recharge said device. If a student uses the port in figure 15 he/she could be sustain serious injuries.


Fig 16: The above shows the electrical plugs available in the Student Activity Study Room

“Working on equipment may result in removal of components and parts that provide protection for people against electric shock when the equipment is in normal use”[1] The images show that after the tinkering with electrical wiring by workers. It can clearly be observed that the necessary wires were not properly placed back in their respective positions. To reduce the level of risk posed to the students these electrical sockets and live wires must be adequately labelled and identifiable by the student. For example, the bellow image shows some of the signs available in the C4 building to communicate safety to the students of the Nuclear Magnetic Radiation Room.


Fig 17: Shows the signs displayed on the entrance of the Nuclear Magnetic Radiation Room.

In the risk assessment of the University these signs were placed to warn students of the dangers of the room which shows the high severity of risk. However, as each individual have a different level of resistance to the flow of current within their body for the prevention of injury it should be established that electrical insulation are checked regularly and maintained by a  competent individual. A data entry or log book should be kept to indicate the last inspection of these electrical components.

The risk assessment of the C4 building and SAC study room may be subjected to change. These classrooms have not been recently modified and the level of voltages supplies to an area might unable to withstand the demands if the electrical equipment.


Fig 18: Shows proper labeling of electric sources in the C4 building as well as exposed





Biological Hazards

A Biological hazard as defined by  the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management is the  “processes of organic origin or those conveyed by biological vectors, including exposure to pathogenic micro-organisms, toxins and bio-active substances, which may cause the loss of life or injury, property damage, social and economic disruption or environmental degradation.” Plant, birds, humans, bacteria, insects and viruses are the agents of this hazard which are living organisms that spread harmful substance.

At SAC building right above the classrooms doors bat and bird droppings could be seen. There is the possibility that some of these droppings could have landed on the door handles which is in constant contact with students’ hands who have classes at this location. This contact could lead to serious skin infection and illness if contaminated hands touches food which then enters the mouth and body. To deal with this extreme risk to students and staff and anyone else who comes in contact with these dropping the university could get persons who have knowledge in this area give them advice on how to deal with the issue, as well as help get rid of the bats and birds and put measures in place to keep them away. The students could also wash and sanitize their hands regular when they come in contact with SAC facilities and properties.



Figure 19: Bio-hazard-Bird feces at the top

 of SAC classroom door.

Work cited

ODPM. “Disaster Cycles: Mitigation and Preparedness.” Environmental Hazards and Disasters Contexts, Perspectives and Management (2011): 157-96. Web.

Risk Assessment. “OSH Answers Fact Sheets.” Government of Canada, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. Canada. CA, 2016. Web. 24 Oct. 2016.

“Social Anxiety Disorder.” WebMD. n.d. http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/mental-health-social-anxiety-disorder. Accessed 24 Oct, 2016.

“Electric Shock.” WebMD. n.d. http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/electric-shock#3-6. Accessed 24 Oct, 2016.

Rugg, Michael., Andrews, Mark A. W. “How does background noise affect our concentration?” Scientific American (2010). https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ask-the-brains-background-noise/. Accessed 24 Oct, 2016.

“Physical Hazards.” Australian Government Comcare

https://www.comcare.gov.au/preventing/hazards/physical_hazards.  Accessed 24 Oct, 2016.

[1] “Electricity at Work – Safe Working Practices – Guidance …” N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2016.



26 thoughts on “UWI is ‘RISKY’ Businesss 😎

  1. Great finds here guys, a lot of these issues have been in existence since I was obtaining my undergrad degree between 2003 and 2007. We can clearly see UWI’s main objective is to maximize capacity within the existing facilities without any consideration for safety and health. Sadly it seems that they may only address these hazards when something devastating occurs.


  2. A very interesting and detailled read. I appreciated that the risk assessment touched on many issues that affect students daily and has been going on for quite some time. As a student of UWI from 2009- 2013 then resuming in 2015, I can safely say that these risks have been present for quite some time and surprisingly not been addressed since. I have known of a couple cases where students have been injured in CLL from tripping on chords and sitting uncomfortably in classrooms however nothing has been done to resolve the issue, As years go by, it is important to monitor the amount of outlets in use as more and more students walk with their own electronic devices and leave chords lying around and there is also an increased voltage use.
    UWI is also “risky business” in terms of the exterior infrastructure such as broken pavements, uneven ramps for wheel chair users and slippery floors in Admin building. The risk assessment really puts UWI life under perspective now.


  3. Thank you for highlighting issues that most of the student population is blind to. Unfortunately the administration seems to have very little will power with respect to making the necessary changes for a safer learning environment.


  4. This was excellent! Also, one would not believe that a newly created, modern designed building as TLC would have risks!

    Also, as past undergraduate students, we think that even the tables attached to the chairs pose as ergonomic risks. The table is just too small to accommodate a repetitive task such as writing. Lectures that are two to three hours long that require a lot of note taking and writing are made very uncomfortable with these small tables, to the point where it hampers the learning of students as they are not able to properly focus and take accurate notes.

    In addition, with open the open electrical units in CLL, one does not have to touch it to be in harm’s way. In an instance of extremely high, unregulated current, these live wires can emit sparks. These electrical sparks can make contact with students who are seated nearby causing not only burns to their skin but deadly muscular contractions.


  5. Interesting presentation Guys I like your dramatic start to captivate your audience and your ability to hold the attention of your fellow bloggers. OHSA is an eye opener for most people we never realised the danger of a hazard until it is almost upon us. As a current student at UWI St Augustine this blog has equal importance to me. Personally, I agree with your risk assessment on ergonomics hazards of the TLC theatre lecture rooms where there is not much leg room for someone to pass and could easily trip. When attending my lectures at TLC I purposely sit at the end of the row to avoid any near or impending danger of someone tripping and falling on top of me causing a crush hazards which can cause some serious bodily harm. In my opinion and in agreement with your contribution of the stairway it is definitely oddly crafted and if not manoeuvre carefully one could seriously damage or hurt oneself. Your presentation was very informative great work to the members of the “Coloured hair Association.”
    p.s. How do I become a member? lol


  6. The blog post ‘UWI is RISKY Business’ by the Coloured Hair Hazards, highlighted a variety of risks and safety hazards that are present in areas such as the Teachers Learning Complex (TLC), the Centre for Language Learning Building (CLL), Temporary Classroom Building 2 (TCB 2) and the C4 Building and Student Activity Centre Study Room (SAC) in the University of the West Indies St. Augustine campus.

    In our assessment of the post, we observed that Coloured Hair Hazards made a fair attempt at analyzing the potential risks at the locations stated above. Their attempt in conducting a risk assessment was commendable, however we believe it needed proper structuring throughout the post, as well as use of valid academic referencing and classifications to add depth to their assessments. Additionally, throughout the post the Coloured Hair Hazards failed to link the risks and hazards identified with violations of the OSH Act (2004), as well as they failed to clearly state the risk rating classifications they used to evaluate the level of the risks identified. It was also evident that they failed to put forward a clear recommendation and action plan to be presented to the management of the University to assist them in addressing the risks and hazards identified.

    Whilst conducting their risk assessment of the TLC, Coloured Hair Hazards identified “…poor spacing between the seats which results in persons having difficulty getting to their desired seat…” as an ergonomical hazard. Ergonomical hazards refer to physical factors within the work environment that have the potential to cause harm to the musculosketal system. In keeping with this definition, we recommend that Coloured Hair Hazards reconsider the classification of this hazard, as we believe the hazard would be more suited classified as a physical hazard, more specifically a trip and fall hazard. The OSH Act (2004) Part I, 17(i) provides for provisions against falls and the small walkway between seating rows in the TLC, that when occupied by students creates a trip and fall hazard as students seated creates an obstruction to the path of other students trying to get to a seat. This hazard is clearly illustrated in Figure 3 of the blog post. The mitigation stated (in number 4. under Figure 2 in the post) for the proposed ergonomical hazard would be applicable to mitigating the trip and fall hazard we identified. This mitigation would be classified as an administration control method.

    Coloured Hair Hazards also spoke about physical risks brought on by hazards like electrical units, wires, the poorly positioned television in the CLL classroom which can be classified as struck-by hazard and so on, however no mention was made to the potential fire hazards. The risk assessment should have examined the likelihood of fires occurring and whether these specific areas have measures in place to deal with the possible fire outcome. It is expected that areas recently constructed like TLC and CLL would have fire and smoke detectors should any dangers arise as well as emergency exits and escape plans already drafted in the case of a disaster striking, however, investigations into these matters need to be conducted. If areas like SAC and TCB 2 have absolutely no precautions or plans set up, then such strategies and plans in this regard need to be drafted preferably in accordance with the OSH Act to ensure that they not only comply with the rules and regulations stipulated by the decree but also ensure the health, safety and well-being of students, teachers, members of staff, visitors, and the public on a whole.

    In the assessment of the Temporary Classroom Building 2, Coloured Hair Hazard, identified the malfunctioning AC units as a physical hazard. This hazard can also be classified as a ventilation hazard that is in violation of the OSH Act (2004) Part IV 36. We recommend the inclusion of the sick building syndrome hazard in the risk assessment of the building, whereby due to the nature of the classroom and with the seating arrangements and poor ventilation all visitors in the room are susceptible to a catching a contagious illness if one person in the room has a contagious illness for example the flu.

    Overall, Coloured Hair Hazards made a commendable fair attempt to conduct a thorough risk assessment of the buildings listed above, we that with the inclusion of the proposed amendments and recommendations, the risk assessment would successfully contribute to UWI management’s safety policy on the campus.


  7. Congratulations for a job well done! This thorough assessment was a wake up call that we should be more observant of our surroundings because as a first year student being new to the UWI LIFE these issues are important to know so that when you are in a specific area you will proceed cautiously because you are aware of the harm that can be caused if you don’t proceed with caution.
    I hope that the findings of this assessment is forwarded to the relevant personnel in charge of health and safety at the university, so that these issues can be dealt with in a timely manner to avoid any serious case of injury or illness.

    Best regards,


  8. This was an interesting read. It is a good eye opener to the many risks students are exposed to at the university. To be completely honest I am not a particularly observant person an so most times I am quite oblivious to the many risks present in my environment. Reading an article like this really assits in sensitizing people of the many risks present, not only at the university but everywhere. Knowledge is power so now that I know better I intend to pay more attention (particularly at my place of employment) and try to take measures to remedy/reduce some of safety hazards present. Also, the relaxed tone of the article made it an easy read.


  9. Firstly, job well done to the team. I personally loved the way in which the information was presented. Definitions were clearly stated and it was presented in way which made it enjoyable to read, even for someone as myself who usually gets bored quickly while reading long articles.

    However, a few points to note;
    – Some of the hazards were misrepresented, as pointed out by The Avengers. For instance the seating issue in TLC is an interesting point and one that is definitely a hazard, but it should not be classed as an ergonomic hazard, as stated in your post. In my opinion, the greatest risk with respect to the seating should be the fact that due to the cramped space and tight fits, trips and falls are very likely to occur. Some attention could have also been brought to the fact that most students usually place their bags on the floor, cramping the already smalls space and effectively creating opportunities for fellow classmates to fall.

    – The analysis of CLL was done in depth and it covered most of the hazards and potential hazards available. However I didn’t see any mention of the fountain on the ground floor of the building. The floor right around the fountain is usually wet from excess water spilling out. Given that this is a high traffic area, I believe this poses a great threat for slips and trips.

    – The analysis of TCB was fairly thorough and well done in my opinion, I don’t really have much to add as all the hazards and issues I can wrap my mind around were all covered.

    Overall, great post and it is definitely something that UWI should pay attention to as all points raised were vital and can be literally life changing. Kudos again.

    *S Racha – 813002044


  10. This blog captivared me from the very beginning with its dramatic start. This group used had a very unique and fun way of highlighting the “risky business” at communal areas shared by both teachers and studentst UWI St. Augustine. This risk assessment the firstly began by giving a detailed description of what it is and the reason for conducting it. In each area the assessment was conducted they evaluated each risk and answered questions that may have been in the mind of the reader. It was interesting to see the risks that many users of these areas are exposed to in environments whose core purpose is that of the learning experience. Most users I am sure come into these areas and are unaware of the risks/ hazards they are exposed to daily.
    The use of pictures and the characters gave an interesting feel to this assessment and gave the reader a visual of what the possible risk/ hazards are. This very well executed, great job.


  11. Waynelle Richardson


    This blog was well done in my opinion, all information was well understood and was easy to follow. This blog was very organized and well thought out. I appreciated how the blog started off by speaking to the different people, for example in the blog, they started off with “Hey You! Yes You….. I want you to stop for a second and consider, are you entirely safe from risks of any type”. Viewers could have appreciated what the blog was trying to say as it captured the reader’s attention by speaking to them immediately and posing a question at the start to make them think about whether they are safe or not in their organization. This for me was very well done.

    I also particularly liked their funny ironies and drawings in their various colours, which were shown in the pictures that illustrated the many dangers in the University lecture rooms and tutorial classrooms. It made me laugh which captured my attention more but it also pushed me to read even further into its analysis.

    I also appreciated how they defined risk assessment and outlined the underlying questions, like why organizations conduct risk assessment should and why it is important and integral for organisations. This would allow readers to see why doing risk assessment for their organisations is important and they showed how easy one can be done. This was a very good idea.

    Figure 5 in this blog showing the photo of a lighting system which is generally not utilized, and as such hinders or obscures the views of students at times. This was very well done as it evaluated the risk in 5 point and explanation form which I really liked as they clearly identified the risk and assessed it also known as a risk assessment.

    One weakness in the blog content that in my opinion was not emphasized much on was that they didn’t reference much of the OSH Act as other blogs did. There were mentions of some guidelines but there was no specific link or match to the OSH guidelines and the different safety issues presented. I also thought that there could have been more recommendations and it should have been given a separate heading and listed in detail under the heading. Though there were recommendations, I could have seen a bit more in the blog analysis.

    Overall I enjoyed this blog and found it very interesting and informative. Good Job!


  12. This post was my favorite as being a student that has had classes in some of these spaces it was quite relatable. When I first entered UWI as an undergrad I was appalled by these poor conditions for students and surprised as I was of the belief that I was entering an institution of international standard but I was wrong.

    Firstly, kudos for the bloggers for capturing the attention of readers with “Hey you” it worked. I appreciated that although there were funny pictures and use of language and dialogue to be relatable to students, the bloggers themselves did not stay from providing the information and they executed this greatly as they evaluate all the risks and inputted recommendations.
    The use of the pictures was also a bonus as it made me reminisce on my first-year days at UWI as I shared almost the same thoughts as the bloggers when I saw the countless safety risks at UWI.

    My biggest take away being a new postgraduate student is, according to the blog, because I am aware that UWI has many risk it’s a norm for me to overlook this issue and go to classes and forget about my safety in the classroom itself, but this blog has reminded me the importance of looking around and being mindful of the safety risks here and there around campus. This is further to say that I do agree with the hazards pointed out in around campus

    Overall, this post was well done and geared towards students and it most likely opened the eyes of brand new students to the hazards of campus which is a plus. One recommendation however, is that the bloggers should be mindful that regional and international students may read this post and may not understand some use of the dialect and conversational phrases use but still a great post!


    812 000 614


  13. This article was a good read, it was evidence that the author(s) of the blog would have demonstrated a strategy for the evaluation the Risk identified.
    I wanted to take this opportunity to share a tool that I often to use to ensure and demonstrate that the risk associated with Hazards identified are managed to a level “as low as reasonably practicable”, also know as ALARP.

    When a risk assessment tool is used, each risk is evaluated for likelihood and severity and this provides a more credible outcome.

    Eg. Evaluating the risk:
    1. Hazard – Ergonomic by nature – poor spacing between seats
    2. Risk: a) Students having difficulty getting to their desired seat.
    b) Students may trip over another student in trying to obtain a seat
    C) Student interrupting others while obtaining a seat
    To credibly determine the level of risk it is important to determine the likelihood of the risk occurring (this can be determined based on past history experience or incidents) and the severity of the risk (if it was to occur, this can be based on People, Environment, or where applicable business or school). This can be measured in a ‘Risk Matrix’.

    By using the ‘risk matrix’ you can now determine if your risk levels are unacceptable, acceptable with mitigation or acceptable. Once this is determine you can now apply the level of controls required for each risk. This would demonstrate to the reader how with controls or mitigation plans identified it reduces the level(s) of risk for the hazard(s) identified.

    I am certainly contactable for any further tips or piratical further discussion on the above.



  14. Good day. After reading this blog, I must say that I found it to be both informative and easily understandable in the assessment safety of persons at the University of the West Indies. Many of these everyday risks in UWI are easily overlooked by many (including myself at times) and I thought that this post was effective in making me (as well as others) aware of the common hazards within our university. I have had classes in ALL of the classrooms mentioned (with the exception of C4) and can say that I have noticed many of the safety hazards listed above (e.g. stairs in TLC, exposed electrical sockets and wiring at CLL and even the bird and bat droppings in SAC classrooms). However the risk of the growing mold in the air conditioning units at TCB 2 was a key problem that I was unaware of until reading this post.
    For me personally, I felt like the information was presented in a simple and effective manner, which I enjoyed. Additionally, even though the topic being observed was an unnerving one, the use of visuals (pictures of the different classroom hazards), as well as light humour (stick drawings and quote bubbles) made it even easier to internalize. I also appreciated the definitions for the more technical terms. However I did find some weaknesses with this blog. Firstly there were many grammatical errors such as poor punctuation and phrasing. Another problem that I had with the blog is that at times some of the points being made (e.g. descriptions of the risk evaluations) seemed a bit redundant. I felt that some things could have been said with fewer words.
    Overall I thought that this blog did a great job alerting the reading to the dangers that lurk within UWI’s classrooms and believe that with the notification of the right personnel, these risks can be dealt with accordingly, making our university much safer in the long run.



  15. This is an excellent risk assessment done. A lot of interesting areas looked clearly these issues have been present for a long time and nothing is being done about it. UWI needs to take into consideration the health and safety of all its students and quite frankly, that doesn’t seem to be one of its main objectives. More needs to be done to ensure that these risks do not reach a devastating stage where a student(s) get seriously injured. Information was gathered thoroughly for this blog and effort was put into the assignment and clear details were presented. I do hope that UWI take these issues into consideration in the near future.


  16. Good way to start to capture the audience’s attention to read the blog. It is very organized and well written. I like how definitions were given at first and how it was explained followed by its findings. It was very informative for the UWI students in particular, now we know what hazards to look out for and how to be cautious. Everything was well explained with examples and figures. Overall the structure of the blog was well organized and flowed nicely. I like the humor of the writer. It keeps the reader interested. I agree with their risk assessments and I hope that UWI will upkeep it’s premises and fix all the hazards. But in reality, I don’t think it would be done until it’s too late and something disastrous happens. But I know funding is low and maintenance is a big expense on such a large compound but maybe we can offer an opportunity to raise funds or have students do a campaign in “up keeping” the campus.


  17. This blog was truly an eye opener. I can related to some of the issues that was highlighted especially the stairway in TLC, many times while walking down that stairway i will often lose my step because it is designed in such a poor way.
    The mold issue in TCB was shocking to me as I often had classes there as an undergrad and it never occurred to me that I was exposed to such a health issue.
    The bat droppings in SAC was another thing that I was exposed to and completely unaware of the risk associated with it.
    The issues highlighted in this blog showed you how many risks you can be exposed to everyday as a student of UWI and not be aware of it as these things are more than often overlooked by a student. Even a simple thing like the seating arrangement in class never struck me as a health issue because I was unaware that it can affect persons with social phobias.
    What I would have liked to see added to this, is the issue of students slipping and falling when the ground close to the food court is wet because it has a smooth surface. Also I see that you all gave TLC a rating on a ‘risk scale’ but I did not see it for the rest of buildings.
    Overall this blog was done in a creative manner as it kept me as the reader interested and I did not get bored by it. Well done!



  18. Your article was well done. I like the fact that you provided definitions before getting into your finding. This article personally appealed to me as I experienced some of the hazards you highlighted. For example the classroom seats with the pull out table on the right hand side. I was amazed that this type of seating was used at a tertiary level institution. I leave every class with back pains due to the poor ergonomics of those seats. Additionally, the work space in insufficient. I am not sure if there were any left handed pull out desks. I did not see any at my class. If this is not available at these classes, this would put those who are left handed at a disadvantage.
    Your comments on TCB was quite appropriate. I agree with you that the noise in those classrooms is too much to hear your lecturer. This can pose much stress on the students. I certainly hope that your recommendations are accepted and implemented.
    Good job!


  19. This was an interesting read. It is a good eye opener to the many risks students are exposed to at UWI. To be completely honest I am not a particularly observant person an so most times I am quite oblivious to the many risks present in my environment.

    After reading this article i was able to reflect on the classes that i attend presently (not located in the classrooms discussed in this article) and I could definitely relate. Particularly to the psychological and ergonomical hazards. In the MD3 classroom for instance throughout the entire three hour lecture a loud humming sound supposedly coming from the central a/c units could be heard competing with the lecturers voice so much so that I was compelled to leave the classroom and walk to the food court for a break. The sound was veryyyyy distracting. Also the seating arrangements is quite uncomfortable, I usually sit at the end of the row for ease of access to the washroom. The table for this seat however is very small and rests quite close to the occupant when retracted/opened.

    Reading an article like this really assists in sensitizing people of the many risks present, not only at the university but everywhere. Knowledge is power so now that I know better I intend to pay more attention (particularly at my place of employment) and try to take measures to remedy/reduce some of safety hazards present. Also, the relaxed tone of the article made it an easy read.


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