OSH Matters

Growing interest in Occupational Safety and Health

OSH Hazards in ‘The Green Mile’ (1999)

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(Click this link to see the movie trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ki4haFrqSrw or see movie trailer attached at the end)

“WOW!!! WHY? HOW COULD THEY!!!! I’M OUTRAGED! HURT!! DISTRESSED!! HE WAS INNOCENT!!!! THIS IS NOT RIGHT!!! RIP JOHN!!!”- A realistic summary of The Green Mile.

If you have not seen the movie “The Green Mile” be prepared to find out that it has nothing to do with a ‘mile’ that’s ‘green’ or anything close to ‘greenery’. In fact, it should have been called the ‘blue’ mile as it left Group A Plus (and probably everyone else who’s seen it) in tears. Between the blatant racism and the heartbreak of watching an innocent man die for a crime he didn’t commit, it was all in all, a truly gut wrenching film meant to give audiences the unmasked truth of that era. I guess life IS like a box of chocolates and you really NEVER know what you’re going to get. (Get it?)

Moving on from our emotions, the movie (based on a Stephen King novel) is set in the United States of America during the Great Depression in the year 1935 and follows the lives of several Prison Officers in charge of the Death Row inmates and tasked with the carrying out and supervision of Executions. Inmates at the Cold Mountain Correctional Facility call Death Row “The Green Mile” because of the dark green linoleum that tiles the floor. Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) is the head guard on the Green Mile when a new inmate is brought into his custody: John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), convicted of the rape and murder of two young girls. Despite his size and the fearsome crimes for which he’s serving time, Coffey seems to be a kind and well-mannered person who behaves more like an innocent child than a hardened criminal. Soon Edgecomb and two of his fellow guards, Howell (David Morse) and Stanton Barry Pepper), notice something odd about Coffey: he’s able to perform what seem to be miracles of healing leading them to wonder just what sort of person he could be, and if he could have committed the crimes with which he was charged.

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Now, while the plot of the movie in indeed enticing, it is hard to ignore the setting and backdrop of “The Green Mile.” The OSH (Occupational Safety and Health) training in us allowed our group to see past the simple dynamics of the movie and recognize the tremendous amount of workplace hazards existing within the context of the film. What do I mean? Well within the plot of the movie, the prison would be considered “the workplace” for the prison guards and according to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of Trinidad and Tobago 2004 as amended 2006, the working conditions which are portrayed in it were not up to standard and could result in danger to the characters present. (Yes, we do realize the movie is set in 1935 before any OSH Acts existed) Our Group A Plus, dissected “The Green Mile” and identified, summarized, analysed and explained these hazards, in the categories of Physical, Biological, Psychological, Ergonomic and Chemical using the Occupational Safety and Heath Act 2004 of Trinidad and Tobago.

 

PHYSICAL HAZARDS

Firstly, the most noticeable, almost obvious hazards are the physical, covert or directly observable ones. Before we get into the meat of this discussion, it is essential to explain what is meant by “physical hazards”. Simply put, physical hazards can be any factor within the environment that can harm the body without necessarily touching it. In short, it deals with external phenomena or events that can cause harm or injury to a person with or without contact. In the movie ‘The Green Mile’ we found there to be several physical hazards in the form of electrocution, fire, heat/ventilation, slip/trip/fall and hazardous manual task.

So let’s begin with the most recognizable physical hazard in the movie based on the executions via the electric chair; ELECTROCUTION.

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Image 1: showing an electrocution about to take place in the Movie

Source: https://thebestpictureproject.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/the-green-mile/

1) Electrocution Hazard.

Hazard: Throughout the entire movie, from beginning to end, we see the use of the electric chair for execution purposes. All prisoners on Death Row are walked down “the green mile” and put to rest using the electric chair called “old rusty”. Now disregarding the hazard alarms going off because of the name they chose, the use of this method of elimination is indeed hazardous to the characters in the movie, mainly the prison officers  and the members of the civilian public. (There is an obvious risk to the prisoners but as they ARE being executed and are supposed to be hurt, it’s unnecessary to include them) During each electrocution, whether practice or real, there is a risk to the prison officers of being electrocuted. They do not wear proper personal protection equipment during usage or cleaning of the chair, nor do they properly train their personnel in the usage of the equipment (as seen when the officer did not properly carry out the steps resulting in an actual psychological hazard occurring). Furthermore, neither the prison officers nor the doctor used any Personal Protective Equipment when handling the body after the electrocutions were complete. Lastly, the risk of being electrocuted was increased by placing a bucket of water near to the electric chair as well as allowing the roof to leak a great amount of water during a live execution. Water is a conductor of electricity and had it come into contact with the chair, could have cause mass injury to the employees present and the members of the viewing public.

Violation: According to the Trinidad and Tobago Occupational Safety and Health Act 2004, Part II Section 6, (2) the employer must provide and maintain systems of work that are reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health; arrangements for ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, safety and absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of equipment, machinery, articles and substances; provide adequate and suitable protective clothing or devices of an approved standard to employees who in the course of employment are likely to be exposed to the risk of head, eyes, ear, hand or foot injury, injury from air contaminant or any other bodily injury and the provision of adequate instructions in the use of such protective clothing or devices; and the provisions of such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety and health at work of his employees. According to Section 7 (1) persons not in his/her employee should not be exposed to any risk, and section 8 (4) an occupier shall ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that no unsafe structure exists in the industrial establishment that is likely to expose persons to risks to bodily injury. In the movie ‘The Green Mile’, the employer (who in this case would have been the government) did not adhere to any of these stipulations., as there was no proper PPE given to employees, inadequate instruction and training, and an unsafe structure, in that the roof of the execution room was leaking.

Recommendation for Improvement: The employer can prevent any electrocution hazards to his/her employee by providing them with proper personal protective equipment such as, in this case, rubber gloves, plastic buckets anything that does not conduct electricity. In this specific situation, the employer should have ensured that the building is secure enough to house executions and the leaks in the roof should have been repaired.

2) Fire.

Hazard: Next, the other most prominent workplace hazard seen in the movie is that of a fire hazard. It is a well-known fact that electricity can create electrical sparks, which can ignite flammable objects. Given, as mentioned, the use of an electric chair to carry out the executions in the prison, it can be logically deduced that there will also be the risk of a fire breaking out. In fact, there IS a scene where a fire does break out during the execution of a prisoner. Such a hazard could have resulted injury to the prison officers, the member of the public, the building and the electric chair itself.

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Image 2: Showing the fire created by the electrocution of the prisoner.

Source: https://beckyedwards2015.wordpress.com/

Violation: The Trinidad and Tobago OSH Act 2004, section 27(1) indicate that doors provided for use of fire exists shall be left unlocked. In the scene where the prisoner catches fire and the public runs towards the exit doors, it is clear that the doors are locked and remain locked despite the clear need for evacuation. S27 (4) indicated that the emergency doors should have noticeable signs above them (which were obviously absent in the movie) and S27 (9) stated that the contents of the room be arranged for free passage to the doors in the event of an emergency. From the scene where Delacroix catches afire, and the public rush to the door, it is clear that this was not done given the number of overthrown chairs pushed out-of-the-way by the members of public to get to the doors. (See video of execution that caused fire: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DH__GZ7Uq2U)

Recommendation for Improvement: Before stating what we believe would be a solution to this hazard it must be noted that in the movie, a fire hose is seen in the background of scenes taking place outside the execution room and a fire extinguisher was used to put out the fire caused by the wrongful usage of the electric chair when executing prisoner Delacroix. However, for more effective prevention of fire hazards we recommend that the emergency exits be clearly demarcated and left unlocked, that the contents of the room be arranged in such a manner that there is a clear pathway to the doors, that emergency fire drills be held regularly, and that the public be debriefed of emergency protocol before beginning the executions.

3) Ventilation/ Heat.

Hazard: Another hazard observed in ‘The Green Mile’ is the lack of proper ventilation within the prison. Many times the guards and the prisoners alike are seen sweating profusely as the enclosed areas are not equipped with windows or air vents or even an air conditioning system . Such a hazard can result in health risks such as heat stroke or fainting, which can then lead to more severe injuries with the brain or during a fall.

Violation: Part IV Section 36 of the Trinidad and Tobago OSH Act 2004 indicates that “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.” Given the large number of scenes where the prison officers were sweating profusely it is evident that this has not occurred.

Recommendation for Improvement: In order to fix this hazard, the employer should provide a central air conditioning unit or small windows that are tight barred to prevent prisoners from breaking out. They can also provide a supply of cool drinking water, a cool, well-ventilated area where workers can take rest breaks, opportunities for workers who are not used to working in hot conditions to acclimatise, for example job rotation and regular rest breaks and ensure light clothing is worn to allow free movement of air and sweat evaporation.

4) Slip/Trip/Fall.

Hazard: Slips occur when a person’s foot loses traction with the ground surface and trips occur when a person unexpectedly catches their foot on an object or surface. Falls may result from a slip or trip but many occur during falls from low heights or into a hole, ditch or body of water. In the movie, the guards and prisoners are constantly at risk for slips, trips and falls as the floor unexpectedly had fluids such as urine, sweat and even rain water, as well as prisoners pulling ‘pranks’ to trip officers.

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Gif 1: Showing the rain water leaking from the prison roof onto the floor

Source: http://www.giphy.com

Violation: While no visible slips/trips/falls took place in the movie, there was still a violation of the OSH Act of 2004 in that the employer failed to provide a safe structure for his/her employees. (Section 8(5) An occupier shall ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that no unsafe structure exists in the industrial establishment that is likely to expose persons to risks to bodily injury.)

Recommendation for Improvement: While slips/trips and falls are sometimes out of the control of the employer, to lessen the risk of this hazard perhaps the employer can replace prison floors with non-skid tiles, ensure that the working area is secure, without holes or cracks and provide his/her employees with proper Personal Protective Equipment, which in this case would be shoes with a strong under grip. Employees should watch for liquids on the walkways and be sure to clean them up or notify the cleaning crew immediately. They should always use a handrail when available and if they see objects on the floor in walkways be sure to pick them up and not just step over them.

5) Hazardous Manual Task.

Hazard: The most obvious risk in this movie, so obvious it should even go without saying, is found in the actual job description of the prison officers; to safe guard, look after and contain the prisoners. In doing their duty, the prison guards must physically restrain and control the prisoners and run the risk of being brutally attacked or seriously injured by same. This actually happened in the movie when a prisoner attacked and injured several officers in a fight for freedom.

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Gif 2: Showing an employee being physically attacked by a prisoner

Source: http://www.mediacircus.net/greenmile.html

Violation: The OSH Act of 2004 in Trinidad and Tobago stipulates that employers ensure that their employees are properly trained and given all instruction on how to properly and effectively carry out their duties. It is obvious that the prison guard Percy was untrained and incapable of properly carrying out the duties required of him in this high risk environment. (Section 6 (2) (d) of the OSH Act) (See video of Employee being physically attacked: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEbeOREWz1k)

Recommendation for Improvement: The prevention of this type of physical hazard may be difficult in a working environment such as a prison ward, but to reduce the likelihood of such attacks happening, perhaps the equipment should be updated (tasers) or the prisoner officers being constantly trained to deal with these occurrences (self-defence courses). Another solution may even be to the increase the number of employees working at this station, so that the prisoners are outnumbered and less likely to attack.

 

BIOLOGICAL HAZARDS

Biological hazards, also known as biohazards are anything that is a threat to ones’ health whether it may be human or animal. These threats can include exposure to bacteria, pests, or any sort of any substances that will be harmful to a living organism (leading to respiratory infections, diseases, viruses or even death). Worldwide, it is estimated that around 320,000 workers die each year from communicable diseases caused by work related exposures to biological hazards. This shows that there is a severe need for occupational health and safety laws and practices to be taken seriously so that lives can be saved.

1) Animals: Rodents.

Hazard: We all know that pests have been a problem since the dawn of time. Rats, mice, insects etc. all destroy and wreak havoc on our homes. At the beginning of the movie, the guards are seen trying to catch a mouse that was roaming the halls of the prison. However, later on in the movie, the prison guards begin feeding  the mouse which allowed it to . As the movie progressed, one of the inmates was quite fond of this mouse and kept him as his own pet. Now, this would be referred to as a biological hazard since mice could carry harmful diseases to humans and others around them such as Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome collapsed and Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome collapsed to name a few.

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Image 3: Prisoner holding a mouse without knowledge of it being contaminated.                       

 Source: Author photo taken from the green mile 1999 for illustration purposes.

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Gif 3: Showing the Wild Mouse found in the prison.

Source: https://giphy.com/gifs/the-green-mile-wyfD6tJM8728

Violations: The Trinidad and Tobago OSH Act states that every establishment shall be kept clean for all sanitary conveniences and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provision initiating that effective means shall be provided maintenance and used to prevent the breeding of insects, rats, mice or other vermin.

Recommendations for Improvement: Prison guards should have taken necessary measures to get rid of the mouse in a sanitary way to prevent themselves and others from being infected with any disease. Also, they should not have allowed the inmate to be able to keep the mice in the cell with him. The employer must provide proper pest control equipment for them to use.

2) People: Bodily Fluids.

Hazards: In this movie several prisoners were executed. Though hard/painful to watch, we noticed that while performing this task, they were not safeguarded.  During the executions, neither the prison guards nor the spectators were given any proper protective wear to protect themselves from the bodily fluids before and after the death of the prisoners. Fluids such as urine, blood or even spit could have come into contact with the skin or other sensitive body parts causing irritation, rash or disease. They were also at a high risk of being contaminated from the lack of proper removal and disposal of the body after execution. Although the movie did not show exactly how they carried the body away after death, they did show that the doctor and the guards would touch the deceased without any PPE on. (See video of Prison Guard being spat on by prisoner: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wD4hkRzn4rs)

Violations: According to the Trinidad and Tobago OSH act, all persons entering an area in an establishment where they are likely to be exposed to the risk of head, eye, ear and hand or foot injury from air contaminant or any other bodily injury, shall be provided with suitable protective clothing or devices of an approved standard and adequate instructions in the use of such protective clothing or devices, and no person shall be permitted to be in any such area unless he is wearing such protective clothing or device.

Recommendations for Improvements: The employers of the prison guards should provide suitable protective clothing and equipment of an approved standard for the benefit of their (the guards) well-being and health, and also those around them in the execution room. Proper instructions and training on the use of the equipment should be properly and readily available. Some of these should include face masks, goggles or even gloves for maximum protection. Perhaps the members of the public should not be in close proximity to the execution, maybe viewing from another room.

3) Environment: Unsanitary conditions.

Hazard: “Cleanliness is close to Godliness”- (at least that’s what my mother told me) In this film, the physical conditions of the prisons are horrendous.  At the beginning of the movie, one of the prison guards, Paul Edgecome, suffered from a urinary tract infection. This was most likely to be caused by the unsanitary conditions of the wash rooms in the prison. UTI’s can be caused from the bacteria known as E.coli which is found in faeces (yes poop) entering the urinary tract and the lack of proper sanitation of the toilets used by the employees could have led to him contracting this disease. Also notable is that the bars of the cells and the wires in the padding room were filled with rust. Interactions (and they were quite frequently touching the bars) with these by both prisoners and officers can subsequently lead to diseases such as tetanus.

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Image 4: Showing prison filled with rust.

Source: Author photo taken from the green mile 1999 for illustration purposes.

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Image 5: Showing prison floors dirty and unsanitary.

Source: Author photo taken from the green mile 1999 for illustration purposes.

Violations: According to the OSH Act 2004 of Trinidad and Tobago, in the health section, every workplace shall be kept clean and dirt shall be removed daily by suitable methods from the floors, benches, furniture and furnishings. It also indicates that the floors of every workplace should be kept clean and properly maintained. Additionally, it states that the occupier of every workplace should provide and maintain adequate, clean and easily accessible washing facilities that are provided with soap and suitable hand drying materials or devices.

Recommendations for Improvements: Proper cleaning supplies and disinfectants should be provided to the staff of the prison to clean their private wash rooms. Toilets in the prison cells should be cleaned regularly to protect the health of inmates as well. Also, these cleaning agents or chemicals should be stored in a room temperature safe place where they cannot be misused or be a threat to humans.

 

PSYCHOLOGICAL HAZARDS

A psychological hazard is any hazard that affects the mental well-being or mental health of the worker.Sources of psychological hazards in “The Green Mile” are workplace violence and harassment in the form of working alone, working in high risk conditions and  workplace bullying, AND Personal Factors such as Depression, Anxiety and other mental illnesses (caused by physical illness or other stimuli), work/life conflict and traumatic events.

1) Working Alone.

Hazard: Where working alone is concerned, employees run a risk of being exposed to assaults from other employees or as in the movie, by the prisoners. Being assaulted by a co-worker (or in this case and in the case of all policing and prison jobs) can also lead to mental stress, depression as well as anxiety and fear of returning to work.

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Gif 4: Shows an employee experiencing pain while on the corridor of the prison and there is no one on around to assist him.

Source: https://giphy.com/search/the-green-mile

Violation: The Trinidad and Tobago OSH Act 2004 stipulates that the employer must provide a safe working environment for his employees and working alone in a death row prison block is unsafe practices and therefore a breach of the Act.

Recommendation for Improvement: In a situation like this management has to enforce ground rules to ensure the employee respects the prisoner and vice versa. Employers can also hire more personnel and/or change working schedules to ensure that no employee has to work or handle all prisoners alone.

2) Working in High Risk Conditions.

Hazard: Employees in this movie work in the execution section of the prison, which means they have to come into contact with high risk prisoners every day. In ‘The Green Mile” the prisoners to be executed are rapists and murderers and extremely volatile. The prison guards may experience psychological trauma, fear and anxiety in dealing with these prisoners, especially in the cases of being attacked, which happened in the movie.

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Image 6: This picture shows where an employee (prison guard) is being assaulted by a prisoner.

Source: http://www.mediacircus.net/greenmile.html

Violation: According to the Trinidad and Tobago OSH Act systems of works should be safe and without health risks as far as reasonably practicable. This scene shows prison officer’s duties require them to be in close proximity to the prisoners and some of the prisoners suffer from serious mental illnesses and can cause physical and psychological harm to the employees as seen in the picture above.

Recommendation for Improvement: Employers with employees working in high risk situations, such as this one, should ensure that their staff is properly trained to handle occurrences such as unexpected attacks. Self-defense classes as well as updated equipment would be necessary.

3) Workplace Bullying.

Hazard: A major part of the plot of the movie involved one employee bullying the others as his family has political influence and has the power to fire prison officers. Such an occurrence in the workplace can lead to stress, demotivation, anger, depression and anxiety.

Violation: According to the Trinidad and Tobago OSH Act, employees acting on behalf of the employer shall not threaten, bully or dismiss another employee. In ‘The Green Mile’ the prison officer Percy is related to an important political figure who has the power to get persons fired, and he constantly uses this influence to threaten the other employees and get his way. He bullies the prisoners to his heart’s content without any repercussions because of this causing an avalanche of other hazards.

Recommendation for Improvement:  Proper mediation practices used by managers and supervisors as well as unbiased decision-making in the workplace. Therapy for those bullying and those bullied.

4) Mental Illness: Psychological Trauma, Anxiety, Depression.

Hazard: WATCHING this movie for group A Plus was psychologically traumatizing, so it goes without saying that the characters in the film would have suffered psychological trauma leading to anxiety and depression. For the employees, (the prison guards) the trauma could have stem from many occurrences throughout the movie, such as the horrendous nature of the crimes committed by the death row inmates, forming emotional bond with the prisoners and then executing them or executing and watching an innocent man be electrocuted to death. The latter in fact, did lead to depression as the character of Paul Edgecomb never got over the incident and, wept openly upon remembering it. Psychological trauma would have also occurred to members of the public when the execution of one of the prisoners went horribly wrong and they were forced to watch and smell him burn to crisp. Such psychological trauma can result in depression and anxiety.

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Gif 5: showing the “supposed” brutal rape and murder of two little girls.

Source: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheCorpseStopsHere

Violation: While the OSH Act 2004 of Trinidad and Tobago does not directly address psychological hazards such as trauma, these can still violate same in accordance with part II Section 6 (2) (f) which states “the provision and maintenance of a working environment for his employees that is, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe, without risks to health, and adequate as regards amenities and arrangements for their welfare at work” which can be interpreted to include psychological welfare as well.

Recommendation for Improvement: Solutions for psychological hazards are difficult as the effects of the hazards are not always observable. However, in situations such as these, where psychological damage in imminent, an employer can provide his/her employees with allocated time to visit a therapist or paid mandatory visits to same.

 

ERGONOMIC HAZARDS

An ergonomic hazard is a physical factor within the environment that harms the musculoskeletal system. Ergonomics itself is the study of how a workplace, the equipment used there and the work environment itself can best be designed for comfort, efficiency, safety and productivity. This is especially important in the workplace as people spend on average 8-12 hours in this designated space. In the movie ‘The Green Mile’, there are two main ergonomic hazards involving posture in the workstation and confined spaces.

1) Workstation.

Hazard: In the scene of Dean Stanton and Paul Edgecomb, cleaning the electric chair seemed a bit uncomfortable to the eyes, as Dean is clearly balancing his weight on his toes whilst trying to get into the crevice of the buckle, and Paul is slouching on a bench not suited for cleaning as his knees aren’t parallel to the ground only to be comforted by placing one foot on a higher angle to distribute his weight and try to be as comfortable. Thus, we can safely assume that there are no regards for cleaning conditions in this prison ward.

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Image 7: Showing the positioning of two employees while cleaning the equipment.

Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/342132902916951255/

Violation: This is in breach of the OSH Act of Trinidad and Tobago as Section 6 (2) (c) requires that employers provide their employees with proper PPE as well as devices. In this case, the employer could have provided the employees with better cleaning equipment.

Recommendations for Improvement: Employees should be sure to always stretch before, during and after work to avoid strains and sprains that come from basic repetitive work movements. Wear proper footwear and be sure to use proper lifting techniques to avoid injuries. They should not attempt to lift items that are too heavy and should ask for help lifting or moving heavy and/or unstable loads.

2) Confined Spaces.

Hazard: Within the workplace, having employees stay in a confined area for too long can cause both muscular and psychological injury. In this movie, the officers have to spend most of their time in narrow hallways or in tiny cells or rooms (such as the padded room). This can cause strain on their muscles and their joints and may even result in a lack of oxygen or claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces). (See video of employee being forced into an enclosed space: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDmwztqUkMo)

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Image 8:Showing the limited space inside the padded room

Source: © Warner Bros. http://sj.blacksteel.com/media/green-mile/

Violation: This hazard is in breach of the Trinidad and Tobago Occupational Safety and Health Act Part IV Section 25(2), which indicates that an employee should not be required to enter a confined area limiting him/her to oxygen unless all requirements are fulfilled (he/she can easily get out, the mechanical equipment is safely stored, the space has been tested and certified to be hazard free and continues being so, where the space is purged and ventilated, all measure taken to ensure a safe atmosphere, where another employee with appropriate rescue equipment is stationed outside and can rescue other employee, where one employee is trained in artificial respiration.

Recommendations for Improvement: Ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, that a worker does not enter a confined space until all the duties in relation to the confined space have been complied with, for example entry permit requirements. Also first aid and rescue procedures should be established and followed in the event of an emergency in the confined space.

 

CHEMICAL HAZARDS

Chemical hazards! What are they? Well they fall into a few different categories. They include mists, vapours, gases, dusts and fumes. Relating to The Green Mile, are there chemical hazards? The answer is most definitely! Chemical substances are toxic for the most part. They contribute to health hazards such as irritation, redness, sensitization and are in some cases carcinogenic. Chemical hazards tend to be inhaled or absorbed through the skin.

1) Absorption: Chemicals from Cleaning Products.

Hazard: Handling cleaning products such as bleach, acid based chemicals and other bacteria cleaning detergents can be very harmful to the human body if not used in the correct manner and without the use of gloves, safety goggles, masks and boots in some cases. These chemicals can be dangerous if inhaled, touched and exposed to resulting in serious injury. There are an array of health problems associated with cleaning chemicals, such as wheezing, nosebleeds, asthma, skin and eye burns and rashes.

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Image 9: Showing two employees cleaning the equipment without proper PPE.

Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/342132902916951255/

Violation: Section 23 (1) of  Occupational, Safety And Health Act, 2004  states that all persons entering an area in an industrial establishment where they are likely to be exposed to the risk of head, eye, ear, hand or foot injury from air contaminant should be provided with suitable protective clothing or devices of approved standard. To this regard, the act goes on to state that nobody should be allowed in such area unless they are wearing protective clothing or device. Section 24 (1) of  Trinidad and Tobago Occupational Safety and Health Act, 2004 states that dust, fumes or other impurities likely to be injurious or offensive to employees shall be brought to the employer and all practicable measures shall be taken to protect employees against inhalation of the dust or fumes or other impurities.

Recommendations for Improvement: The use of protective wear such as gloves, boots, goggles, aprons and masks. First aid kits should be available at all times. Flushing stations should be available. Proper training to employees is essential. For the use of chemicals and detergents used for cleaning, there must be a chemical safety data sheet and log list that will identify potential chemical risks and exposure for handling and use. There must also be a log for listing of use.

2) Inhalation: Dust.

Hazard: As the prisoners are on their way to a day of hard labour, the prison car speeds past raising a lot of dust from the dirt road. Our lungs are pretty good at filtering the air that we breathe in; the large particles are filtered out and removed via sneezing or having to blow your nose. But we can’t get away from the damage just yet. Constant exposure to dust poses a serious threat to humans. The dust can cause fibrosis, lung infections, asthma and severe congestion.

Violation: Section 32 of the Trinidad and Tobago Occupational Safety and Health Act, 2004 states that respiratory protection of an approved standard must be provided and maintained where necessary for use by all persons.

Recommendations for Improvement: Employer should provide their employees with proper personal protective equipment, which in this case should be face/dust masks. Employees should be encouraged to have regular check-ups. There was no ventilation for the fumes to escape. There needs to be a properly ventilated area which can allow for polluted air to escape.

THAT’S ALL FOLKS!!! I’ll leave y’all with this emotional gif from the most heartbreaking part of the movie. Great watch though. Check it out sometime! 🙂

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Movie Trailer:

REFERENCES:

 

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17 thoughts on “OSH Hazards in ‘The Green Mile’ (1999)

  1. interesting article.what a great analogy of the Green mile.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Exceptional work groupaplus1!You presented quite an original twist to hazard identification! Your use of visually engaging GIF’s and imagery from the movie brought your blog to life and made your post an interesting but fun read. Well written and properly referenced *High 5*

    I have not seen this movie but I thoroughly enjoyed The Shawshank Redemption which follows a similar yet different story-line (also written by Stephen King!). Good job!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Jyoti! Wow thanks so much for such bright feedback! Comments like these make it all worth the while! Glad you enjoyed it! Many thanks again from Group A+ 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is so interesting and informative !

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting and very informative !

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey Group A Plus
    A very well-developed post with step by step guidance on OSH Matters in “The Green Mile”(1999).
    The way you explained each point with necessary details and maintained good balance between theory and practice is really commendable.The list of violations and the use of images were very helpful to better understand, and the recommendations were sensible and direct.
    I highly appreciate your hard work for creating this post that is very useful to those more particularly who are facing problems while doing Occupation Safety and Health in the workplace.
    Have a great day.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Very enticing. i love the way the hazards were portrayed, great job.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Very good ability in dissecting the movie for its various hazards. It flows well and is easy to comprehend. I love it !

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Excellent work in dissecting the movie for its hazards. It also flows and reads very well. Good job !

    Liked by 1 person

  9. After reviewing the blogs, I was very interesting in the work that was done by the undergraduate students; they were very creative and I enjoyed every topic that was blogged. In the is blog I will be looking at the movie “The Green Mile” which was based on a Stephen King novel and set in the United States of America, that follows the lives of several Prison Officers in charge of the Death Row inmates and tasked with the carrying out and supervision of executions of the inmates. What I like about their presentations is how they incorporate the Health and Safety Act into a live scenario; I have viewed the movie on many occasions but never saw all those violations of the act. The movie was gruesome to some in reference to the crimes being committed against humanity, but more so basically the movie was it highlight the health and safety aspect of it. I love the way how they used and illustrated the different types of hazards, elements, the violations, and how they actually give recommendations to improve the actions. They also provided pictures, videos and references to follow up their findings to bring a more clear detailed report. Great Work

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Daryl! Oh wow!!! We are so very pleased and grateful that you appreciated this blog so much! We’re honoured to get such an amazing review. Thank you so very much 🙂

      Like

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