OSH Matters

Growing interest in Occupational Safety and Health

Accident Free Analyzes the Implementation of OSH Practices in the SLDD Building at UWI, St. Augustine Campus

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Hey, students of the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine! Have you ever questioned the safety of your university? Have you ever wondered whether you are safe when going to the SLDD for assistance?  Well today is your lucky day! Accident Free is here to take you on a ride which will have bumps, but also smooth patches because we are investigating and highlighting all of the negatives as well as the positives in the SLDD building. Most students are unaware of the hazards in their school until they fall victim to it. Let’s learn about safety and health issues together because occupational safety and health matters.

Hope you enjoy the ride with us 🙂

Here is a brief introduction of The Student Life and Development Department (SLDD):

The building is a fairly new administrative division in the University of the West Indies. This Unit falls under the Office of the Deputy Principal and was started in 2006 as a part of the University’s commitment to providing equal opportunities to all students. The SLDD offers two main services which are: Providing Academic Support to students of the UWI St. Augustine campus at all levels of their academic career, and ensuring equal access (infrastructure/academic) to all students who enter the University system with a disability. Furthermore, 2016 has made it one decade since this department has been operational thus, our group decided to analyse the implementation of occupational safety and health practices both inside and outside the building of this unit.

A risk assessment was conducted where we identified the varying hazards that existed; namely physical, biological, chemical, ergonomic and psychological. Additionally, we investigated if necessary requirements from the Occupational Safety and Health Act of T&T as amended 2006 were being met. These include safety, health, welfare and fire provisions of the Act. 

RISK ASSESSMENT

  • Physical Hazards

Physical hazards are the most common hazards around us and are more than likely present in most, if not all industrial establishments. Examples of this type of hazard include: constant loud noise, vibrations, heat stress and trip and fall.

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Image 1 illustrates physical hazards in the footpath for workers



The Employer has responsibilities to the employee that he must uphold according to the OSH Act. Image 1 depicts the crudely constructed bridge over an open trench that workers must traverse daily. Firstly, this bridge is not fastened to the ground but instead simply placed over the gap. This can shift and cause a serious fall to occur. Secondly, the open trench contains protruding metal rods that can cause serious damage to anyone that falls into them. These should be covered as soon as possible to limit the risk to persons. Finally, the bridge contains no hand rails. This means a person has no way of steadying themselves if they become unbalanced on the bridge.

 

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Image 2 illustrates worker wearing improper head gear and absence of eye wear

The OSH Act, as stipulated in Section 23 (1) gives clear guidelines about the use of proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when on a job site. These guidelines are present in law to prevent persons working on the site and those visiting, from being physically hurt in a myriad of ways. However, these PPEs can only be effective if they are used in their intended purpose. The pictures attached show that the employer has indeed provided his workers with PPE such as fluorescent vests, boots, gloves and eye-glasses but some workers were not using the PPE in an effective manner and thus, exposed themselves to physical hazards. Image 3 below shows that although the worker is wearing his vest, he is not wearing gloves to protect his hands from abrasions and cuts, neither is he wearing his eye wear properly exposing his eyes to damage from dust and flying debris. Image 2 shows a worker accurately using his gloves and vest however he was not wearing the correct headgear and thus was exposing his head to physical harm. Both images show that the workmen aren’t wearing any face masks to protect themselves against dust. Extended exposure to inhaled dust can cause sensitization of the respiratory membranes leading to asthma, allergies or bronchitis, (Johnson, 2016).

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Image 3 depicts the absence of head gear and gloves. The worker is also not wearing protective eye wear

RECOMMENDATIONS

Our investigations show that while OSH is being implemented at the job site there is still room for improvement. Proper implementation of the OSH principles would reduce the risk of job site injuries tremendously. A safety officer should be assigned to the site to ensure full compliance to the requirements of the Act at all times. For instance, ensuring that the workers wear their personal protective equipment where necessary.

  • Biological Hazards

Biological hazards are organic material that potentially have the ability to harm or kill living things such as human beings and other living organisms. Most firms look past this hazard leaving the public, their employees and themselves at risk.

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Image 4 shows a very clean eating area where the employees enjoy their meals

The assessment of the biological hazards within this firm was favourable, meaning the firm went beyond required measures to reduce possible risk. They provided a separate room for employees to warm or prepare their meals and a dining room where employees were able to sit and enjoy their meals.

Individually, these rooms are spacious, clean and well equipped with sanitizing material. Clean counter tops, the provision of hand washing liquid, access to a clean supply of running water are all examples of how the firm limits exposure to organic material that could possibly cause/spread diseases, viruses, infections and possibly even death.

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Image 5 illustrates a sanitizer dispenser 

 

 

This organization teaches its employees the importance of human hygiene. Each bathroom within the department is not only clean, but offers its users the luxury of utilizing sanitizing dispensers, strategically placed on doors of the bathroom, on the wall beside the sink and the utility room entrance reducing the possible risk of individuals being exposed or exposing others to bacteria that can be harmful to them.

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  • Chemicals Hazards

Chemicals hazards are injuries and or illnesses that can be caused by chemicals within an organization. Dish washing liquid, hand soap and all other cleaning solutions may seem to be harmless to the naked eye but when investigated closely, one can see that the misuse of any of these chemicals can lead to major reactions and cause major issues.

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Image 7 illustrates a sink area with dish washing liquids and lack of rubber dish washing gloves

The kitchen the company provided for its employees is clean and well equipped with cleaning solutions. Unfortunately, the firm failed to supply the suitable complementary material for employees to use with the cleaning supplies. The lack of rubber dish washing gloves exposes its users to the chemicals within the cleaning product. Persons can suffer hand burns, skin cancer and even allergic reactions from coming into contact with the material.

 

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Image 8  depicts cleaning supplies in a separate room known as the “Store Room”

 

Fortunately, the firm properly stored most of its strong cleaning chemicals and supplies in a room that was properly labelled. The storing of such hazardous material in a secured room limits human contact with such products and reduces the risk individuals within this firm could possibly have faced if these materials were not properly secured.

 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

There were little risks with respect to chemical hazards. Therefore, the management and staff of the SLDD should continue to safeguard themselves from this type of hazard by actively utilizing their store room. However, we recommend that they assess the toxicity of each cleaning material they use and ensure appropriate protective gear is provided for employee use such as rubber dish washing gloves.

 

  • Ergonomic Hazards

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Image 9 depicts seating for indoor workers

According to the University of Chicago’s study on Environmental Health & Safety, Ergonomic hazards refer to workplace conditions that pose the risk of injury to the musculoskeletal system of the worker. It was seen in the SLDD building that sufficient seating was provided for those who worked inside the building. However, some employees, when asked, complained of back pains due to the type of seating and the amount of time they were required to sit to do work.

Another thing that was noticed was that the University provided these employees in this department with a spacious work area, thus, ‘confined space’ was not something that they had to worry about.

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Image 10 depicts a spacious indoor work area

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Image 11  depicts insufficient seating for construction workers

Although adequate seating was provided for workers inside the building, it can’t be said that the same was provided for the construction workers outside the building. We see in Image 11 that there is limited seating available for the workers and that one of the two seats available, is actually being used as a stand for their water cooler. This perhaps would lead workers into sitting on the ground or wherever they find a spot which may cause strain to their backs, necks and other parts of their bodies.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The University should look into providing for the indoor staff, more ergonomically comfortable seats which would result in less strain to their backs and other body parts especially when they have to work for long hours. Another recommendation could be to provide more chairs for the construction workers which would prevent them from sitting on the ground or on any other inappropriate surface when taking a break or having lunch.

 

  • Psychological Hazards

During the period of construction, the workers of the Student Life and Development Department building were still required to work through all of the noise, the dust and also the inconvenience. Due to this, stress arose amongst the workers as they were very uncomfortable working under these conditions. The noise level was very distracting and it was extremely hard for them to concentrate on their required duties under these conditions. Workplace stress can lead to anxiety, aggression, poor decision making skills, absenteeism, and low productivity. Therefore, as small as it may seem, stress is a very important factor that organizations should avoid within their organizations as it affects it all around.

In addition to the noise level effects from the construction, we conducted brief interviews with members of the staff and they also complained about the workload as they are currently understaffed. Therefore, most days even without the noise level of the construction workers, they experienced some level of stress.

RECOMMENDATIONS

In order to avoid workplace stress happening again due to work done outside of the building, the manager should ensure that all of the employees are to be transferred into another building for the duration of any of the building’s construction. Moreover, giving the construction men their freedom to perform their duties and also the employees of the building would be in a peaceful environment until their building repairs are done.

 

The OSH Act

  • Safety

Safety is the condition of being protected from anything that could cause hazards, threats, and injury to someone. After taking a closer look at the OSH Act, the University of the West Indies was able to meet most of the requirements needed for the safety of its staff.

As it pertains to section IV number 32, Protective “clothing and devices”, the workers in the building met the standards required by the Act for a safe working environment to prevent any hazards. However, the workers outside of the building failed to meet the requirements. Some of the workers worked with no gloves as they continued to dig the drains. The wearing of gloves could aid in the prevention of cuts while lifting rough objects like bricks, and while interacting with objects with sharp protrusions like steel and wood.

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Image 12  portrays a worker wearing no safety gloves while dealing with electrical lines

 

Another safety issue is that these workers worked in close proximity to electrical lines. Some of the workers had on proper gloves but some did not have on appropriate electrical gear to work with electrical wires while digging the drain. This was another important safety issue. Additionally, the employer should provide proper work gears for all his workers and should also ensure that all workers wear it to prevent any accidents from happening.

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Image 13 shows a worker wearing no safety mask or protective eye wear to prevent dust 

 

 

 

In section VI “the Removal of Dust and Fumes”, both the workers inside the building and outside the building were forced to work in the dusty environment. Neither the workers inside nor outside had on proper working gear, such as ventilation/dust masks as they continued to work. The dust mask would have prevented the persons from inhaling the dust on a daily basis. This amount of dust inhaled is unsafe and could affect the workers in both the long term and the short term with diseases such as respiratory diseases.

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Image 14 shows a worker wearing no face mask to prevent the inhalation of dust nor gloves to protect his hands 

In Image 14 above, you could see the dirt dug by the workers on the sight. There were no nets or any other item used to cover the dirt. As a result of this, the dust could easily travel with the wind to the workers as well as staff and students who park in close proximity to the work site on a daily basis. It can also be seen that the worker in Image 14 above, is shoveling the dirt without a face mask or gloves on. This lack of personal protective equipment was the norm on the site.

RECOMMENDATIONS

We recommend that the employer  puts a system in place for example, hiring a safety officer, to ensure that the workers wear their protective gears at all times while they are working.

 

  • Health

The OSH Act states, under Section 32 of the Health Regulations that ‘Respiratory protection of an approved standard shall be provided and maintained, where necessary, for use by all persons in the industrial establishment.’ A respirator is a protective device that covers the nose and mouth or the entire face to guard the wearer against hazardous atmospheres. Employees require respirators to work in environments with insufficient oxygen or where harmful fogs, smokes, mists, fumes, gases, vapours, sprays or in this case, dusts are present.

Respirators protect workers against these health hazards which may cause cancer, lung impairment or even death. The Act requires employers to provide an effective respirator for use by all persons to protect against workplace hazards. Different hazards require different respirators, and employees are responsible for wearing the appropriate respirator.

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Image 15  depicts a worker wearing an improper respirator mask

Image 15 shows a construction worker without a respirator mask. Some were even seen, as in the same image, with their own personalized respirators which entailed covering their nose and mouths with a t-shirt. Having that type of respirator is equivalent to having a defective or damaged respirator which is almost as good as wearing no respirator at all.

The employees inside the building were subjected to a variety of irritating sounds from work being conducted on the outside of the building. These sounds not only contributed to stress and loss of concentration in the workplace, but it can also cause hearing impairment depending on how high the level of sound is. The Act states, under Section 34, that ‘Every owner, occupier or employer shall take adequate steps to prevent hearing impairment caused by noise, and diseases caused by vibration, from occurring to persons in, or in the vicinity of, his industrial establishment…..’ This means that the employers have a duty to protect employees from the risk associated with excessive noise. In this case employees were placed at risk of hearing damage from the noise at work. Imagine working in a building where digging and pounding was going on right outside the door. This is what the employees were exposed to on a day-to-day basis.

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Image 16  depicts a sledgehammer that contributed to noise

Ventilation is another very important aspect when dealing with health and safety in the workplace. Proper ventilation provides clean air drawn from an external source outside of the workplace and circulated throughout the building. These sources include natural or fresh air or by a functioning air conditioning system, in which it dilutes and removes humid air and provides sufficient air movement to give a feeling of freshness without causing a draught.

In addition to proper ventilation, companies also need to ensure that their workplaces are maintained at an appropriate temperature. The weather to date can be very unpredictable. Some days there is heavy rain which leaves the place extremely cold and some days the weather is scorching hot. This can increase the level of carbon dioxide and decrease the level of oxygen which in turn can cause fatigue, headaches, sinus congestion, dizziness, shortness of breath and can affect the employee’s ability to concentrate. A proper working ventilation system is then needed to accommodate this.

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Image 17 portrays a proper ventilation system which is subject to occasional break downs

At first glance the air conditioning system seen in Image 17 looks like a well-functioning system but it was said by the employees inside the building that it was prone to occasional break downs. Thus, employers did adhere to some extent the regulations stipulated in the Act under Section 36 which states ‘Every occupier of an industrial establishment that is not ventilated by a functioning air-conditioning system shall secure and maintain therein adequate and suitable ventilation by the circulation of fresh air.’

RECOMMENDATIONS

Poor ventilation is a hazard. And like all hazards, it poses a risk to one’s health and safety and thus, must be eliminated or controlled. In cases such as this when the air conditioning system is not functioning properly, especially in extremely hot weather temperatures, installing fans in specific areas of the work room can be a solution to eliminate or minimize the effects of the heat.

 

  • Welfare

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Image 18 shows that there is  adequate,  clean and cool drinking water provided

In terms of the welfare provisions specified in the OSH Act, it was found that The University of the West Indies met some of the regulations identified. The Act states under S. 39 (1) that, “In every factory, effective arrangements shall be made to provide and maintain at suitable points conveniently situated for all persons employed therein, sufficient supply of cool, wholesome drinking water.”  It is clear that provisions were made for both employees working inside the building as well as the construction workers.

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Image 19 shows a very clean washroom area with accompanying soaps and suitable hand dryers

It was found that the University did in fact provide washing facilities in accordance with S.40 of the Act which states, “The occupier of every factory shall provide and maintain separately for men and women employed therein, adequate, clean and easily accessible washing facilities, which are provided with soap and suitable hand drying materials or devices and such other provisions as are prescribed.”

Additionally, to some extent, the University also complied with the provisions stated under S. 45 (1), “In every factory the occupier shall provide and maintain for the persons employed therein, adequate and suitable restrooms or lunchrooms and lunchrooms shall be convenient for the eating of meals and shall be provided with adequate lighting, ventilation and drinking water.”  This is so because only lunchroom and restroom facilities were made available to persons working inside the building and no facilities were made available to the construction workers. Therefore, the construction workers were forced to take lunch in the area where they work. This is extremely unsanitary and dangerous as the area could possible contain biological and chemical hazards.

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Image 20 depicts a worker eating on the site

It is also important to note that there were no First Aid appliances present within this building. This is in fact a direct violation of the Act under S. 43 (1) which states that, “In every factory, there shall be provided and maintained so as to be readily accessible during all working hours, such number of fully equipped first-aid boxes of cupboards as may be prescribed.” This presents a serious problem in the event that an accident occurs. Furthermore, as the building is also a construction site, first aid appliances are a necessity.

The University did, to some extent, adhere to the regulations stated under S.5 (1) of the Occupational Safety and Health (Welfare) Regulations which states, “Where any employed persons have in the course of their employment reasonable opportunities for sitting without detriment to their work, there shall be provided and maintained for their use, suitable facilities for sitting sufficient to enable them to take advantage of those opportunities.”

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There was adequate seating for workers inside the building but not enough for the construction workers outside of the building as seen in the slideshow above. Of the two seats seen in the picture present outside the building, one of them acted as a stand for the workers’ water cooler. This is a clear indication that there was neither adequate nor suitable seating provided for these construction workers.

RECOMMENDATIONS

In light of the findings, some obvious recommendations would be to have a first aid box which would aid in the prevention or worsening of any injuries. Additionally, the construction workers should be provided with better seating arrangements and should not be eating in the same place where they work. Perhaps a tent a decent distance away with a table and sufficient seating could be provided for the workmen to have lunch where it’s much cleaner and safer.

 

  • Fire

The industrial establishment in question properly implemented the fire provisions of the OSH Act with respect to means of escape in case of a fire and adequate fire fighting equipment. Even though the fire section which is part V of the Act does not apply to this industrial establishment, it is impressive that they still comply with its provisions which will mitigate all risks encountered as a result of a fire. There are many exits which indicate that the employees in the building are well prepared to escape a fire.

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Image 24 portrays a door in the kitchen area of the building as a means of exit in the case of a fire

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Image 23 portrays the main emergency exit in the building

 

Image 23 above shows that there is an exit in the main area of the building, which is the Emergency Exit and it is wide enough to accommodate all of the employees. Also, the emergency exit is clear of any obstructions which may slow down the escape process. Additionally, there is an exit in the kitchen area of the building, as shown in image 24 above.  It shall also be noted that the doors that are provided for use as fire exits are, while work is in progress left unlocked, and is secured in such a way as to be capable of being readily and quickly opened from the inside. It was reiterated by the Health and Safety Authority of the US that all workplaces must have clearly identified means of escape in the event of fire. These escape routes must be kept clear at all times to ensure that everyone can exit the workplace in the event of a fire or other emergency, (2016 Health & Safety Authority).

There are also ample fire extinguishers in the building. Therefore, members of staff are well equipped to protect themselves in the event of a blaze.

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RECOMMENDATIONS

We therefore recommend that all members of staff be well educated on how to use the fire extinguishers and that fire drills be practised every now and then, since an interview conducted with one member of staff, revealed that they never had a fire drill before. However, they are well protected to guard themselves against any arm from a fire and they should continue implementing and adhering to these safety and health laws.

Conclusively, it was clear that this department made it their legal and moral duty to implement key OSH practices to their unit. However, it was evident that aspects of the office can be improved to minimize risks as low as practically possible. We recommend that these paramount improvements be addressed immediately so that health and safety will no longer be compromised.

Always remember – “Precaution is better than cure”. ~Edward Coke

Sincerely,

Accident Free 🙂

CITATIONS

  • OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ACT 2004 AS AMENDED 2006

https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3079/osha3079.html

http://www.takeonestep.org/Pages/yoursafety/safenotsorry/workplacehazards.aspx

http://www.webmd.com/asthma/asthmatic-bronchitis-symptoms-treatment

http://safety.uchicago.edu/tools/faqs/ergonomics.shtml

https://www.google.tt/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=safety+

http://www.workplacesafetyadvice.co.uk/ventilation-in-the-workplace.html

http://www.hsa.ie/eng/topics/fire/emergency_escape_and_fire_fighting/

 

 

 

You are all welcome to share your thoughts with us because only with feedback, we’ll know if we have educated you on safety and health issues.

 

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12 thoughts on “Accident Free Analyzes the Implementation of OSH Practices in the SLDD Building at UWI, St. Augustine Campus

  1. The main thing that stands out with this assessment is the construction in progress at the department. This level of construction should not have been taking place with staff and students present. The suggestion was made to have the department relocated for the duration of the construction, a good idea. Another solution is to have the construction work done after hours. We doubt this level of construction would have been allowed during regular hours in Europe or North America. At the very least the areas under construction should have been partitioned off from staff and students.

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  2. I didn’t notice if there were any references to MSDS sheets on the chemicals being stored in the kitchen area. Otherwise, a very thorough analysis of hazards and recommendations. Very informative read.

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  3. We have to agree with shortfinal2016 here as well. Also expanding a bit further on the Psychological Hazards, the group mentioned that the workers of the Student Life and Development Department building were still required to work through all of the noise. It is critical to remember as well that noise levels associated with construction can actually impair people’s hearing over time leading to irreversible hearing loss. By irreversible we mean hearing loss caused from these noise levels cannot be treated with surgery and or applied medical treatment!

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  4. Adding to the comments of my colleagues, it is rather disturbing that all this is happening even though there is a health and safety department on the Campus. Makes one wonder what their role and function really is!!

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  5. The general recommendation for the remediation of the hazards is excellent. It is highlights the present issues the staff is encountering on a present basis. However, the recommendations for the psychological hazards and ergonomic hazards can be improved.

    Firstly, improvement of the recommendations for the psychological risks are considered. The selected remedy lacks to take into account the real world limitations of a full relocation of the staff to another building on short notice. This threatens the ability of management to action the selected strategy. Creative administrative control can be used to minimize the risk. An example is: the staff can scheduled on flextime hours to work around the ‘noisy’ times. The flextime schedule can last the estimated duration of the project.

    Secondly, the ergonomic risk removal strategy can be further widened. Another recommendation for the internal staff would be scheduled breaks between work hours, in addition to their lunch hour that is; to allow workers a few minutes to remove themselves from assigned workstations and stretch their muscles for a short period of time. This can help relieve muscle tension as well.

    Also, the construction workers should not only be provided with more chairs, but more specifically, proper seating accommodation. The chairs currently in use seem to be designed for classroom use and not for a worker’s lunch break. Appropriate seating and tables should be provided for these construction workers for the duration of their tasks at hand.

    In Conclusion, the assessment team sought to remove the possibility of a full refusal to work stated in Part III in The OSHA Act. However, certain improvements and critiques can be made. The management can be creative in their approach to psychological hazards and catering to the different options for the ergonomic enhancements of the employee. We must remember, a happy employee is a hard worker.

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  6. This study has taken a critical look at this work environment. It is commendable that the research proved regardless of the constraints the employees makes a concerted effort to embrace personal safety. The view is both of the internal workings as well as an external contractor.
    The use of visual cues helps to give the reader a pictoral representation of what is presented. A critique here would be that the employees of the contractor should have been interviewed to get a feel of their perspectives on health and safety. These would be salient views since establishment would be made of the contract company’s stance on this area. The importance here being that a disregard by the employer or employee of the OSH act constitutes a breach of law leading to penalties.

    I am concerned with the storeroom , is there enough ventilation for chemicals that are stored there? In addition to the recommendation of a safety officer being present of the part of the contractor does the safety department of the university have a responsibility of auditing the quality of the work environment .

    The concept of risk analysis and assessment gives a holistic view on matters and perspectives which would even apply to visitors themselves. As was observed the most basic area…access was compromised since there wasn’t a sturdy ramp to enter to premises!!! Well done on the perspectives presented.

    Regards
    806005574

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  7. Overall the article was well presented and offered a simple and direct overview on the topic of safety, even to the average person who may not have much background in OSH practices.

    I appreciated the way the information was presented to the reader, with a welcoming introduction and basic definitions provided. The format and categorization by the type of hazards (physical, chemical etc…) along with recommendations led to a good flow of the information. Furthermore, the supporting pictures which clearly identified to the reader the safety issue being discussed was very helpful. The writer’s approach was clear and safety issued observed were supported by the relevant section of the OSH Act highlighting the violations taking place to the reader.

    I did feel that some of the recommendations could have been more in depth in terms of providing potential solutions/improvements for the current issues being faced. Also, the writer gave brief snippets of comments made by staff within the office, which in my opinion could have been developed more. Additionally, I would have liked to maybe hear feedback from the construction workers on the safety issues (why they chose not to wear the PPE gears, and/or what safety issues they felt were not being addressed sufficiently).

    Again, overall a great job, very comprehensive risk assessment and eye opening especially as a current student, this article is still very much applicable to the present environment.

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  8. Hello All,
    After reading this blog, I must say that I was quite informed about hazards and the extent to which OSH practices are adopted by The University of the West Indies. From the information in the blog, it can clearly be seen that this group carried out a lot of research in putting their blog together, not only was there secondary research but it can also be seen that there was primary research gathered from actually going on the field to investigate the hazards as seen through the use of the pictures taken to illustrate the various hazards.

    The use of pictures to illustrate the hazards is therefore highly commendable in my opinion since it gave me a visual aid of the hazard and the ability to be able to identify the hazards easier.

    Thus, I believe that evidence of field research being undertaken was definitely a strength of this blog.
    Continuing in examining the strengths of this blog, the fact that each hazard was clearly identified and defined was another major strength as it gave the readers information as to what is exactly each hazard is and how they can identify it. Additionally, there was there use of examples within the definition of the hazards which provided even more information in gaining a better understanding of each hazard, adding even more strength in my opinion to this blog.

    The fact that there was mention of the OSH Act and linkage of it to the blog was excellent as well. The illustration of this enabled me to see how the university did or did not meet the OSH Act making the content of this blog all the more informative.
    Additionally, each point or section of the blog was clearly distinguished from each other as there was the use to sub-headings. Furthermore, for each sub-heading a different color was used and I found this to be a good strategy for keeping the reader interested as the colors help to keep you visually intact with the material.

    One weakness of the blog however that was observed, is that in terms of referencing, some sort of format should have been used such as the APA format or the Chicago Style instead of just copying and pasting the link. With the use of a proper referencing format, I believe that it makes the blog more professional.

    However with the exception of the referencing point as a weakness, overall I found this to be an excellent and informative blog.

    Best Regards
    Anita Ali
    (813000200)

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  9. Generally, I believe that this article had really good dimensions. In my opinion, it was well put-together and the content of the blog was organized, easy to understand, as well as simple to follow. I like that at the beginning, the writers addressed the reader as “you”. I found that this helped me to feel that they were speaking directly to me, and this had a greater impact as I felt more involved in the piece. When I read the name of the article, I was not aware of what SLDD meant, thus, I was relieved that a brief introduction on the SLDD was included in the beginning of the blog.

    Additionally, the introduction that was given in the beginning gave a good summary of what research was conducted and what was found out, therefore, outlining what the blog would consist of. The use of visual aid in the form of images and slide shows were a clear illustration of what the hazards were, which assisted me in better understanding the hazard being discussed. The pictures also kept me more interested as I was reading the blog. The use of colour in the sub-headings helped to make the article more appealing, as well as it helped to clearly distinguish each different hazard, each different requirement of the OSH Act, as well as the recommendations proposed. The headings and pictures went hand in hand to give a clearer image of the hazards and requirements being identified in the blog, as the images were well-placed under each of their specific headings.

    Furthermore, although the blog was well done for the most part, I observed a few weaknesses that could be improved upon. One weakness that was noted, under the part labelled ‘Physical Hazards’, below the introduction of what were physical hazards, there were two lines. I’m not sure if this was a mistake when it was posted or if it couldn’t be removed, but I couldn’t help but notice how out of place it looked there. This throws the structure of the article a little off balance, in my opinion. I think that it should be removed in order to make the blog seem more professional.

    Another weakness that was noticed was that after Image 5, under the sub-heading of ‘Biological Hazards’, there was another image and it was not labelled. I was not sure if they were trying to portray how clean the restrooms were or if they were depicting the sanitizer dispenser in the washrooms. This may confuse the reader and, hence, my recommendation would be to label all pictures utilized, in order to allow the reader to identify with what is being illustrated in the picture. Also, this ruins the consistency of the piece as all other pictures were labelled.

    Moreover, on reading the content in the blog, from what I understood, physical hazards included noise disruptions, and outlined under the sub-heading of ‘Psychological Hazards’, I see that the workers complained that the noise from the construction was stressing them out. I understand how this can be a psychological hazard as it’s affecting their stress levels, but as my knowledge is a little limited on the topic of hazards, I was curious if the construction would fall under that of physical hazards as well?
    Also, another recommendation that can be proposed for the psychological hazards is that the construction workers can do their jobs after the SLDD workers have already finished their scheduled work hours. This means that the construction could be done on evenings and weekends so as to refrain from disturbing the SLDD workers and, therefore, stressing them out.

    In addition, I saw that under the labels ‘Physical Hazards’ and ‘Safety’, the recommendation suggested was to hire a safety officer to ensure that workers wear their personal protective equipment at all times when they were on site. Another solution could be that management should enforce proper practices, through the use of informative signs, or even through punishment, such as warnings and fines.

    In retrospect, in my view, I found this to be a very well-informed and well-organized article. The content of the blog was very explanatory and illuminating, and the way in which the article was structured was very efficient and effective. I hope that the group that prepared this blog find my comments and recommendations to be valuable and helpful.

    Kind Regards,
    813003073

    Like

  10. Waynelle Richardson

    (814000565)

    I enjoyed reading this blog, I must say that it was quite informative. I learnt a great deal about the hazards and the level to which safety practices were implemented by The University of the West Indies SLDD Department. From the information in the blog, it clearly showed that the group carried out an extensive research gathering the information for their blog. Each picture was vividly used to illustrate the various hazards and the various forms in which they take. This was commendable in my opinion, since it gave me a better insight to the hazards and its posed dangers that were present in workplaces that people fail to see. Another strength in this blog, is that the readers were given detailed information as to what each hazard was and how they can be identified.

    Additionally, use of examples within the definition of the hazards was given which provided even more information in gaining a better understanding of each hazard, adding even more appreciation to blog’s content. Furthermore, each topic or sub topic of the blog was clearly outlined so as to allow the readers to move effortlessly through the blog content without being lost and misunderstanding the purpose of the blog.

    I particularly liked how the OSH Act and its guidelines being used in the blog’s content so as to show its viewers how the organization may or may not have been adhering or applying the specific guidelines that was given in the OSH Act for all organizations. This was much appreciated. Another strength in the blog is that it had recommendations for the many issues presented during their evaluation. This in my opinion was very important so as to allow other organizations to match the same safety issues they may have with the safety issues listed in the blog and to use or benchmark on these recommendations, so as to improve their safety standards in their own organization.

    I did also like how the writer gave brief extracts of staff member remarks, but I also would have liked to hear feedback from the construction workers on the safety issues and maybe to see if they were aware of the safety breaches they were doing and whether their organization did a risk assessment and if the organization had safety guidelines in place, just as an addition to the SLDD Department.

    Having said this, I found this to be an excellent and informative blog. I hope others take notice to the simple hazards that were present and the recommendations listed to improve the safety issues and adopt the good safety practices that were mentioned.

    Good Job!

    Like

  11. Hello all,

    Overall, this was a good article. The writer/s use of visual aids allowed to the reader to connect with the thoughts of the writer/s and their points of view. I specifically like the opening tone of the blog; for me, it stimulated interest into the topic and encouraged me to continue reading and learn more about the research and findings.
    Additionally, quoting sections of the OSH Act I thought was strong, because it illustrated our continued passivity towards Safety and Health in projects and within the organization.
    I agree with the comment made by “806005574.” What may have been a good idea would have been to interview the workers to get a sense of their knowledge of Health and Safety and what sort of impact it can have have on their well being. I would venture further to consider asking if these workers requested PPE before the start of work from their employers? Even if the standards were not met by such employers. Or, do they simply roll with the punches and get the job done, PPE or not?

    The conclusion of the article indicated that when it comes to OSH activities we don’t always get it right and this is sometimes a fact. In light of this, I would have liked to see more in-depth analysis as to why there is an imbalance with Health and Safety practices in these projects. It may prove useful to further delve into the realities of why the department attempts to maintain their standards internally and not outside of the departments. What are the factors that cause this incompatibility between the two settings? Perhaps it’s something to consider!

    This was an interesting blog. I appreciated the knowledge and recommendations shared.

    Regards,
    06002371

    Like

  12. I really enjoyed reading this blog even though it is not in my area of expertise. I appreciated the opening of the blog it was light and inviting. The layout of the blog was easy to read and identify the main points that were going to be spoken about. Each point had the appropriate photo and recommendation to go alone with it, which made it very easy to understand if you were a visual learner and not familiar with the topic.

    With regards to the content it was appropriate to the issue being addressed and was not to long and lengthy with theory so as not to get confused. the writer also addressed all persons that are currently in use of the facilities. They mainly focused on the employees and construction workers ( who might be contracted workers not directly affiliated with the University).

    My only negative comment would be more emphasis should have been placed on the construction workers because they had the most infractions of the OSH Act and they should be more familiar with the Act. This would have been helpful on giving a more accurate recommendation. The writer could have found out if safety equipment was not worn by the construction workers because they do not them or they just did not put on the safety equipment (i.e. hard hat, protective eye wear and gloves). Due to the fact that we currently live in a society that safety is not regarded as important until something happens or someone gets hurt.

    The positives for me would be the inclusion of the photos to help clarify and re-inforce what was written in text, its also an aid for visual learners. The photos gives a sense of the issue before you start to read. The language was easy to read and understand for a non safety person.

    After reading the blog it made you think of the safety issues that may be present at your home or place of work which I appreciated. It made me think “is there anything I would change in my home or work place?”. Overall this was a very informative and good read.

    Well done group.

    Regards
    Renee Alves – 807005014

    Like

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