OSH Matters

Growing interest in Occupational Safety and Health

Oops: The World Is At Risk

Leave a comment

movie-poster.jpg

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

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

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

Screenshot_20181016-221915

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

Fighing on Cliff.gif

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

Screenshot_20181016-222512.png

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

Breaking glass

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

Screenshot_20181016-221653.png

Figure 5. Exposure to radioactive plutonium

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

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

Screenshot_20181016-222733

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

Run over Ilsa.gif

Figure 7. Ilsa shooting at Ethan and Solomon Lane

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

That's the job.gif

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

Screenshot_20181016-222145.png

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

Screenshot_20181016-221725.png

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

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

Screenshot_20181016-222232.png

Figure 11. Solomon Lane being trapped in the water

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

In plane drop bay

Figure 12. Ethan wearing the HALO suit

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

BIOLOGICAL HAZARD

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

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

Sewer.gif

Figure 13. The team driving through a sewer

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

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

Screenshot_20181016-222020

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

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

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

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

Screenshot_20181016-221513.png

Figure 15. Smoke emitted from the message giving device

TOXIC SUBSTANCE HAZARD

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

Screenshot_20181016-222910.png

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

REFERENCES

“Ergonomic Hazards”. 2014. Comcare.Gov.Au.
https://www.comcare.gov.au/preventing/hazards/ergonomic_hazards

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

“Psychological Hazards And Controls For Rehabilitation Professionals”. 2011. Physiotherapyalberta.Ca.
https://www.physiotherapyalberta.ca/course_materials/ohs_module_6_handout.pdf

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

The World is at risk.gif

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s