OSH Matters

Growing interest in Occupational Safety and Health


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Cutting the Risks at the University of the West Indies Carpentry Workshop: An OSH Assessment

 

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Image 1: University of the West Indies Carpentry Division, St. Augustine, Trinidad.

 INTRODUCTION

Occupational hazards are everywhere; as a result of this officials of health and safety must make it their duty to properly inspect working procedures. Various strategies such as a risk assessments and regular health and safety checks must be conducted to ensure the safety of workers and staff. A risk assessment is essentially an investigation of a particular environment which looks for various forms of hazards, which may affect the health, and safety of all persons involved there, it also identifies sensible measures which can be used to control the risks in the workplace. A hazard is anything that can cause damage or harm. It may include components such as chemicals, electricity, ladder work, mechanical failures, lack of personal protective equipment, and even an inadequate workforce. The following blog content is aimed at enlightening all its viewers of some major hazards which people face in most manufacturing and industrial workplaces today, specifically the University of the West Indies (UWI) Carpentry Shop.


Mechanical Hazards

Machine Chop/Cut Hazard

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Image 2 & Gif 1: Employee operating and measuring machinery and equipment without proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

In the image above we see an employee of the UWI Carpentry Shop sawing a sheet of ply without any gloves on his hands and also not using a push stick. His entire hand is at an extreme risk, as contact with the blade will cause irreparable damage to his hand possibly causing it to be severed or detached. Splinters from handling the wood can also pierce his skin causing damage because while he is handling the wood with his bare hands, he is contributing to the sharp wood shavings puncturing and remaining in his hand causing infections such as mid palmar abscess and other biological diseases which can further the damage. According to the Reed Group, Medical Disability Advisor, MDGuidelines, a palmar abscess is an abscess deep within the tissues of the palm of the hand. An abscess is a localized collection of pus secondary to infection, usually bacterial and can occur in any of the compartments formed by the complex array of muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, joints, blood vessels, and nerves that make up the hand.

Solution/Recommendation: It is recommended that the employees wear their personal protective equipment while operating at work so as to avoid any injury or damage to themselves.

 

 TEMPERATURE HAZARD

 

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Image 3 & 4: Carpentry Shop Temperature Hazard

Have you ever worked in an unbearable or uncomfortable temperature? Was it humid or too cold?  You may have! Just like these employees of the UWI Carpentry Shop where we found temperature hazards. The temperature on entering the workshop was unbearably hot and when asking the employees how they managed to work in such hot conditions, their reply was that “we came on a good day.” They said that usually there is little to no wind blowing into the shop and the sun is 10 times worse causing conditions to increasingly worsen. We also observed that the ventilation fans located to the top of the building were not functioning and even when they were fixed or repaired, it is still was too high to serve its purpose, so there substitute was to use a high powered standing fan to circulate the air throughout the shop, but this lead to another major problem, as the standing fans pushed the lying dust directly into the employees eyes and created a dusty and congested atmosphere, which added to the risk of both ergonomic and biological hazards as dust contributes to very stressful work conditions and can eventually lead to respiratory illness, but while observing we also felt the dust in our throats and our eyes after being there for only 1 hour, and it was seen that the employees were not wearing dusk masks and safety glasses when we came in but only when we spoke to the supervisor inform him of our purpose, he only then hurriedly and not too discreetly told his employees to gear up. All workplaces in every sector or industry especially manufacturing should have all safety measures in place for its employees, there must be a provision of proper ventilation and breathable work areas to allow employees their comfort and safety. Employees must also wear their personal protective gear at all times especially when working around dust and other dangerous substances. In the case of the UWI Carpentry Shop, the supervisor or manager must allow employees to take sufficient breaks to give the employees a break to remove themselves from the continuous dust and clear their nasal passage way .Introducing formal systems of work to limit exposure such as flexible working patterns, job rotation, and workstation rotation should be encourage and implemented.

 

PHYSICAL HAZARDS

Trip Hazards

Fall Hazards: Slip and fall & Trip and fall

Crush and Lifting Hazard

 

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Image 5 & 6: Trip and Fall Hazard from extension cords and residual dust.

These electrical extension cords as seen in the image above were carelessly placed in commonly used walkways. This was extremely dangerous since there were many sharp objects and powerful machinery in the vicinity, and could cause an employee to trip and fall and injury themselves or even having the machinery fall unto them causing even more damages. The saw dust on the ground heightened the risk of slipping and falling because of the lack of grip on the surface if an employee was to fall.

Solution/Recommendation: It would be recommended to put rubber mats around the work site, and have the employees do regular cleaning of their work space so to avoid any injury from tripping or slipping and falling. It is also recommended that the employees safeguard all highly powered machinery away from areas where they can easily fall and damage someone.

 

Crush and Lifting Hazards

 

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Image 7: Standing Lumber posing Crush and Lifting Hazard

As seen in the image above the size of these lumber is very huge. With permission we tried lifting the lumbers and then realised how heavy they were, not to mention dangerous. There is a lifting hazard present since their area is confined and the board due to the size is awkwardly standing against the wall and if an employee presumed to lift one, it would be very difficult as the space is small the move it smoothly to different directions and is very heavy to carry across long distances, thereby causing a lifting hazard. It can also lead to a crush hazard as it may in some situation fall unto an employee while passing by and crush him to the floor causing him to be seriously injured.

Solution/Recommendation: These boards should not have been stored in that upright position since the chance of it falling is very likely. It should be laid down on the ground or isolated table away from commonly used spaces and should only be accessed if needed by more than one employee. When telling the supervision, he agreed with us to move it soon which was a very good measure of safety on his part. Lifting hazards are mainly caused by improper lifting, posture and ergonomics, therefore the employees and supervisors must ensure that their work-process entails a safe system of work whereby proper lifting techniques are used all throughout the workplace. By using the following simple but proper lifting technique tips, the employees will avoid compressing the spinal flow or straining the lower back when lifting. The simple acronym used to memorise the lifting technique is S-S-R. Squat (Foot to Shoulder level) – Stance (keeping good posture) – Rise {slowly rise and lift by straightening your hips and knees (not your back)}. Keeping your back straight, hold the load as close to your body as possible, Use your feet, while leading your hips to change direction, taking small steps. Keep your shoulders in line with your hips as you move. Set down your load carefully, squatting with the knees and hips only.

 

Electrical Hazards

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Image 8, 9 & 10: Electrical Panel Box immersed with “Cob Web” and barred of by wood (improper safeguarding)

Wall plugs filled with dust

In the images above, you will notice that all the electrical equipment is improperly maintained, that can cause serious damage to all employees who work within the area. There is cob web surrounding the electrical panel box that cause cause static and fires from the dust particles. The panel box itself is not properly safeguarded as it is opened and barred off by wood and the wall plugs are filled with dust that can cause electrocution and again electrical static.

Recommendations:

The employees and supervisors MUST ensure that only appropriately licensed or registered electricians carry out electrical work, providing safe and suitable electrical equipment for example. Providing enough socket outlets as overloading socket outlets by using adapters can cause fires, as well as ensuring power circuits are protected by the appropriate rated fuse or circuit breaker to prevent overloading and erosion of dust. If the circuit keeps overloading and dust keeps increasing, this can create a fire risk due to static and using battery powered tools instead of mains operated where possible.

Always inspect and test all electrical equipment as it will help determine whether it is electrically safe to work around that area. Have regular cleaning of electrical panels and wall plugs with the proper equipment.

 

Fire Hazard

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Image 11 & 12: Inspected Fire Extinguisher in UWI Carpentry Shop

While inspecting and observing the Carpentry Shop we bounced up on some fire extinguisher that were serviced on time and ready to be used. This is a very good example of proper safety measures in case of fire hazards, as the fire extinguisher is fully operational and has been inspected by the necessary persons.

 

 “Who hurts when I get hurt”?

Regardless of the types of hazard, be it Physical, Chemical, Biological, Psychological or Ergonomic Hazards we often think that it’s the person that got hurt, or liable to get hurt, is the only one that matters. But what about the person(s) directly associated with the person at risk? Should you the person at risk consider the welfare of your loved ones if you were to be injured? You may not be working for a hefty salary, or even be able to afford an insurance, or the organisation you work for does not provide health insurance. You often consider your economic circumstances before your health and safety. I say STOP, think about if you can be replaced at home or if your body part can be replaced. And if you were fortunate to survive, what will be your future, and ultimately the future of your family.  He who works safe today lives to work another day.

References:

  1. Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, 2016/10/11 https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/safety_haz/electrical.html
  2. Occupational Heat Exposure, July 2009, https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatstress/
  3. Extreme Hot or Cold Temperature Conditions, 24 October, 2016, https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/phys_agents/hot_cold.html
  4. Managing Workplace Temperature, June 2010, http://www.hse.gov.uk/temperature/thermal/managers.htm
  5. Pressure Equipment, January 2011, http://www.hse.gov.uk/temperature/thermal/managers.htm

6.http://www.uh.edu/~jhansen/ITEC4350/GoetCh9.htm

  1. http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/proper-lifting-technique

8.http://www.aalhysterforklifts.com.au/index.php/about/blog-post/warehouse_safety_principles_6_key_guidelines_to_keep_your_workplace_safe

 

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Image 13: Workers without safety gear when we just arrived.

 


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How dangerous is a ‘wash, cut and style’? Tips for hair stylists & clients.

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Image source: (Edwards, 2015)

 

Many people visit hair salons for a hairstyle, a haircut, hair treatment or a wash, but how many of us take time to observe the various health and safety hazards that are present at salons? Likewise, how many beauticians have considered the hazards that surround their workspaces? Many may even be guilty of inadvertently creating these hazards. Such hazards can range from failure to sterilize equipment which can result in bodily infections, to overloading electrical outlets which can place appliance users at risk for electric shock. In this blog, we examined five common hazards present at most local and international salons, namely chemical, physical, mechanical, ergonomic, electrical (which falls under the category of physical) and biological hazards; provided tips on how workers and employers can deal with these five hazards; and also provided tips on how clients can spot these hazards. The discussion will be centred on the risk management hierarchy of controls which refers to a sequence of various procedures which can be implemented to either eliminate or alleviate a hazard. Don’t worry, there’s no need to second guess your next hair salon appointment – provided that you bear these tips in mind, that is!

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Image source: (Matthew, 2016)

Tips For Hair Salon Workers & Employers

Tip #1: How to deal with harsh chemicals

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Hair dye being applied to a client’s hair. Image source: (“Family Health Team”, 2015)

Hair salons often offer a variety of services, such as bleaching, dying, relaxing, tinting, perming, straightening and smoothing. These services expose the employees to harsh chemicals on a daily basis. Such chemicals can enter the body via inhalation or skin absorption. According to a study published by the Journal of Occupational Medicine, out of 170 workers chosen from 56 hair salons across Palestine, 19% reported suffering from respiratory symptoms at some point during their employment (Nemer et al., 2013). The study attributed the symptoms to their constant exposure to chemicals in salons.  Also, in a French study by Weber, Nevala and Mantouvalou (2011), it was found that, while hairdressers represent about 1 % of the entire workforce in France, 20% of women affected by work-related asthma are hairdressers. The table below is a non-exhaustive list of some of the chemicals that are present in products often used in hair salons and the potential effects they have on the human body.  

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Table of a chemicals found in hair salons and their potential effects on human body.    Source: (Toxic Chemicals in Salon Products, 2016)

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Image source: (Paragon STL, n.d.)

Not only are these chemicals harmful if they enter the body, but they are also extremely flammable. For example, hairspray, one of the most common products in hair salons, contains a highly flammable agent called isopropyl alcohol. Hair mousse contains isobutane, propylene glycol and propane, both of which can cause a fire if either was to come into contact with an open flame.

So what should you do?

To determine the best measure a beautician should take to avoid the harmful effects of these chemicals, we can refer to the Hierarchy of Controls. If you are an employer or employee of a hair salon, you may choose to start at the top of the hierarchy. In doing so, you might want to eliminate the hazard by tailoring the services you offer do that you avoid any contact with harsh chemicals. On the other hand, this might not be economically feasible as limiting your services might result in loss of clients. If you were to move down the hierarchy, you might want to substitute the products you currently use for those without the harsh chemicals.

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Hair dye being prepared using disposable gloves. Image source: (Family Health Team, 2015)

If you find this difficult, you might want to isolate certain services in the salon to limit contact with the chemicals. For example, isolating hair dying and bleaching to an area away from the main floor of the salon. There is the option of engineering controls, such as ensuring proper ventilation of all areas of the salon. Administrative controls can also be of assistance, by developing and implementing policies and procedures for chemical handling, storage, usage and disposal. Ensuring that all staff members are well trained can also help to reduce the risk. And finally, personal protective equipment (PPE) should be provided to salon workers, for example provision of aprons and disposable gloves for use when mixing or applying hair dye, bleaches and other chemicals.

 

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Image source: (Seton, 2016)

Tip #2: How to avoid slip and trip hazards

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (2015), over 300,000 cases of days away from work due to slips, trips and falls were reported in 2014. Slips and trips can occur in numerous ways. Often, it’s due to lack of traction between our shoes and walking surfaces. For beauticians, an accumulation of shorn hair on the floor or residue from hair products and sprays can become a slip hazard while loose cords on the floor from electrical tools, such as flat irons, blow dryers and curling irons can become a trip hazard.

So what should be done?

Salon employees should therefore clean the floors frequently, disposing of shorn hair and cleaning any residues that may make the floors slippery. Employees should also wear non-skid shoes. Cords should be tied up or taped down to reduce the risk of injury due to trips. Employers should avoid flooring with glazed or shiny finishes as this may increase chances of slips. Skid-resistant floors, which will provide more friction, might be preferred.

Tip #3: How to deal with ergonomic hazards

There are a myriad of ergonomic hazards present in the average hair salon. Hairdressers are often on their feet for almost the entire day. Standing for such long periods can potentially expose hairdressers to muscle and spine complications such as muscle fatigue, muscle strain, varicose veins and back pain.

So what should be done?

In order to rectify this issue, a hairstylist should ensure that the client sits on an adjustable chair so that the client and hairstylist are at levelled height. Levine and Gelb (2003) suggests that, in order to reduce fatigue and maintain poise when working on a client’s hair, stylists should use what is commonly known as a ‘hair cutting stool’ as opposed to standing. The photos below are an illustration of the do’s and don’ts of this ergonomic hazard.

In order to further reduce the risk of injury, the owner of the salon should consider adding anti-fatigue mats to areas in the salon that are used for tasks that involve long hours standing, such as around the client’s chair and in the shampoo area. Workers should also pay attention to the shoes that they wear. The preferred option should be to wear shoes with proper arch support and cushioning (Salaptek, 2014). In addition to providing the necessary equipment, employers should take the time to educate their workers about proper posture and the importance of tools such a hair cutting stool and how they help to reduce pain, fatigue and risk of injury.

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Awkward grip of utensils. Image source: (Ergonomics Simplified, 2016)

According to a publication by the European Agency for Safety and Health, any awkward gripping of work utensils together with constant sharp and forceful movements may result in problems with the elbow, wrist and hand (EU-OSHA, 2014). Such problems include carpal tunnel syndrome and damage to nerves and tendons from the forearm to the wrist.  The Agency suggests use of utensils with a bended or adjustable grip as these can keep the wrists straight. Additionally, training and instructions on the proper use of these tools are essential.

Another ergonomic hazard in hair salons comes by their use of towels. After washing a client’s hair, a hairdresser might wrap a towel around the client’s head and neck to absorb dripping water from the wet hair. These towels are then dumped into a basket which will later be laundered. As the basket becomes filled with wet towels, the weight increases, and salon workers might be inclined to bend and lift it when the time arrives to launder. Such lifting of heavy items is an ergonomic hazard.

According to the OSHA Technical Manual, published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Unit of the United States Department of Labour, back injuries can develop as a result of a single traumatic event, or as a result of gradual microtrauma caused over a period of time (Occupational Safety, 1993). The slow progress of gradual microtrauma leads is too often ignored until it the symptoms become acute. This type of microtrauma is what would be most often seen in hair salons as a result of lifting or manual handling of heavy towel baskets, and indeed any heavy items in the shop.

Our recommendations?

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Commercial grade rolling laundry basket. Image source: (Whitmor, 2016)

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Elevated laundry basket. Image source: (World Marker, 2016)

In using the Hierarchy of Controls to reduce the risk of serious back injury to workers, the option to eliminate the ergonomic hazard by discarding the practice of using baskets might be difficult as this is conventional and cost-effective practice, but employers can substitute the basket with one that does not require constant lifting, such as one with wheels. Additionally, employers might want to rotate employees to perform this task. In addressing the issue of back injuries in relation to heavy lifting, we recommend elevating the basket.

Not all lifting of heavy objects is bad for our health. Salon employees should be instructed on how to properly lift heavy objects and avoid back injury. They should also be constantly reminded by relevant signage (pictured below). 

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Tip #4: How to deal with electrical hazards

It is common for a large hair dryer or even a hand held hairdryer to be placed near the salon’s sink. At a hair salon, water and electrical items can come into close range of each other. To avoid, shock, burn and electrocution, employers and employers can implement the techniques below.  

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Image source: (“Ground Fault Circuit”, 2011)

In using the Hierarchy of Controls, an employer might choose to remove the hazard. While this may solve the problem, it might be impractical as many techniques performed in a hair salon require electrical appliances. A better choice might be engineering controls by installing ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets to maintain electrical safety and to secure the outlets that are likely to come in contact with water. There is also the option to isolate the hazard by rearranging, separating areas for washing from areas for styling with electrical appliances.

However, everyone has a part to play in health and safety, therefore salon workers should regularly inspect electrical cords and appliances for fraying or wear and tear, and ensure that they are tagged after testing so that substandard devices can be replaced. Regular inspections by a qualified electrician are also recommended. On a separate but pertinent point, salons should be outfitted with sufficient electrical outlets in order to prevent existing outlets from being overloaded.

Concerned about overloading of extension sockets? Here’s a video on ‘How to avoid overloading…’

Video Source: (247 Home Rescue, 2015)

Tip #5: How to deal with biological hazards

Salon workers use few tools for multiple clients. It is essential to ensure that their tools are properly sanitized to reduce the presence of biological hazards which can affect the scalp, hair and skin of one client and spread to another. By virtue of the nature of the job, it might be difficult to completely eliminate this hazard. However, moving down the hierarchy of controls to a viable solution brings us to administrative controls.

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Proper hand washing procedure. Image source: (Pfuntuner, 2016)

 

 

Employees should be properly instructed and trained as to the importance and performance of sanitation practices and procedures. Cleaning of all equipment after use should be mandatory at the salon to avoid the spread of harmful pathogens and bacteria such as staphylococcus, scalp ringworm and parasites. Salon employees should also regularly wash their hands, with antibacterial soap, in an effort to reduce spreading of germs between clients and to themselves. The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work suggests that, as a matter of routine, brushes, combs, scissors, razors and clippers etc., must be washed in hot soapy water and then immersed in disinfectant solution for 15-20 mins. One such disinfectants solution is barbicide which is a germicide, fungicide and virucide.

Tips For Hair Salon Clients

There are many hazards present in your average hair salon. We have mentioned above, a few serious hazards that are often overlooked by hair salon employees and employers. However, the hazards in a hair salon do not only affect the employees and employers, but they can also affect clients of the salon. If clients are not keeping a keen eye out they may not even notice hazards that may affect them until it is too late. If you are a client of a hair salon, then in an effort to prevent you from becoming a casualty of that salon, wish to provide you with tips on a few hazards that you should look out for on your next trip to the salon.

Tip #1: Look out for chemical hazards

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The air at a salon might be a chemical cocktail. Image source: (Oliver, 2013)

As the client, you should pay attention to what products are being used in your hair. It is your duty to ensure that the products used would not harm you in any way. You should also make sure that you are not allergic to any of the products by reading the labels of the products to have an understanding of their composition.

You should also take note of the use of any flammable products used in your hair (refer to the table above). If any such chemicals are used, you would need to make sure that you stay clear of any open flames until the chemical is cleansed from your hair.

Additionally, you should understand method of usage for any chemicals to be used on your hair in order to ensure that the hairdresser is using the product correctly. For example, it is important that the recommended time is not exceeded when having a perm or relaxer treatment in your hair as the product may cause damage to your hair and scalp or even burns and nerve damage. Further, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work emphasizes the importance of proper ventilation of the salon to minimize exposure to harmful chemicals. Therefore, you should make sure that your salon is well ventilated.

Tip #2: Look out for slip & trip hazards

It is important to pay attention while walking within the salon to ensure that you avoid any slips and trips. Pay attention to the hair which may be left on the floor as this causes a slippery surface. If there are loose cords on the floor, be wary and try to avoid them. You may also bring these loose cords to the attention of your hairdresser, pointing out the trip hazard which can endanger the workers of the salon and fellow customers, so that the issue might be rectified.

Tip #3: Look for ergonomic hazards

Not only are the employers or employees susceptible to ergonomic hazards but so too are the hair salon’s clients. Clients may experience discomfort due to the inappropriate furniture used at the hair salon. You should make sure that the chairs used for washing your hair allows you to recline comfortably to the sink so as to not cause you to stretch your neck over the chair to meet the edge of the sink. Holding the latter position for the duration of your shampoo treatment could cause muscle strain and neck pain.

Tip #4: Look out for electrical hazards

In many salons hairdressers use a number of different electrical devices, mentioned above, such as flat irons, hair dryers and curling irons. While they may be blow drying your hair they may also have the flat iron and curling iron plugged in and preheating, so that they can quickly switch between tools. Sometimes, these various tools may be plugged into the same outlet. Overloading of electrical outlets is an electrical hazard, so be sure to check out the electrical outlets and power-strips making sure that they are not overloaded since this puts you at risk. Also look out for torn or worn out insulation on the cords of electrical devices. 

Be very vigilant about electrical hazards since these can lead to fires. Since hair stylists often use flammable chemicals on their client’s hair, your hair could very well be at risk for catching fire in the event a fire were to break out in a salon.

 

Tip #5: Look out for biological hazards

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Barbicide: a disinfectant solution; a germicide, fungicide and virucide. Image Source: (Renscene Ltd, 2016)

 

It is important that you check to see if salon tools are regularly sanitized. Ensure that the hair brushes, curlers, combs and other tools are cleaned and no excess hair is left behind from other clients. These tools can be cleaned by using barbicide or any other equal or better method. Ensure that stylists also wash their hands with antibacterial soap after dealing with another client before moving on to you.

In closing…

To sum things up, hairdressers and employers should be aware of the harsh chemicals found in common salon products and the effects they can have on the human body. Use measures such as substitution or changing administrative controls to reduce the risk of exposure. Try to avoid slip and trip hazards in the workplace by often cleaning your floor space. For better ergonomic practices, employ the method of using a hair cutting stool to sit while cutting hair and use appliances with adjustable grips to avoid awkward gripping on salon tools. Use rolling laundry basket to avoid frequent lifting of laundry baskets but if you must lift, then remember to bend your knees. You might want to invest in a GFCI outlet and avoid overloading of electrical outlets. Remember to practice proper hygiene and properly sanitize salon tools. If you are a client, be on the look out for the hazards discussed above. These are the chemical hazards, slip and trip hazards, ergonomic hazards, electrical hazards and biological hazards. Whether you are a hair salon worker, an employer or a client, we hope that these tips will help you to become more aware of the hazards that may be present in your salon and how you can mitigate these hazards and their associated risks by implementing the hierarchy of controls. With these tips in mind, your next haircut will be a cut above the rest! 
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References

247 Home Rescue. (2015, November 18). How to avoid overloading extension sockets – 24|7 Home Rescue YouTube video file. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwqNdmN2Zd8

Accuform. (2016). OSHA Notice Safety Sign: Avoid Contamination – Wash Your Hands. [Online Image]. Retrieved from: http://www.accuform.com/safety-sign/notice-avoid-contamination-wash-your-hands-wgraphic-MRST804

Beauty and Its Beast: Unmasking the Impacts of Toxic Chemicals on Salon Workers. (2014). Women’s Voices For The Earth. Retrieved October 19, 2016 from: http://www.womensvoices.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Beauty-and-Its-Beast-fact-sheet.pdf

Edwards, C. (2015). Haz waste in the workplace – salon [Online Image]. Retrieved from: http://www.grundon.com/Blog/Hazardous-Waste-In-The-Workplace

Ergonomics Simplified. (2016) Hairdresser 5 [Online Image]. Retrieved from: http://www.ergonomicssimplified.com/professions/hairdresser

EU-OSHA (European Agency for Safety and Health at Work). (2014). Occupational health and safety in the hairdressing sector. Retrieved from: https://osha.europa.eu/en/tools-and-publications/publications/literature_reviews/occupational-health-and-safety-in-the-hairdressing-sector

Family Health Team. (2015). Use Hair Dye? Watch for Red Flags With Salon or Box Color. Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved from: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/01/use-hair-dye-watch-for-red-flags-whether-its-salon-or-box-color/

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs): Prevention from Shock Hazards. (2011). SafeElectricity.org. Retrieved from: https://www.safeelectricity.org/information-center/library-of-articles/55-home-safety/317-ground-fault-circuit-interrupters-gfcis

Levine, K., and Gelb, A. (2003). A Survival Guide for Cosmetologists: Tips from the Trenches. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning

Matthew, S. (2016). Keeping construction workers safe around high-voltage assets. Entura. Retrieved from: http://www.entura.com.au/keeping-construction-workers-safe-around-high-voltage-assets/Madelin, C. (2015). Hairstylists Are More Likely To Have Alzheimer’s And Eczema, According To  Studies. The Huffington Post Canada. Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/05/27/hairstylists-are-more-lik_n_7451216.html

Melbourne Institute of Nails & Beauty. (2014, October 12). Occupational health and safety in a hairdressing salon – Lesson. YouTube video file. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBc4rIg0k3Q&noredirect=1

MySafteySign.com. (2016). Lifting Instruction Signs [Online Images]. Retrieved from: http://www.mysafetysign.com/lifting-instruction-signs

Nemer, M., P. Kristensen, K. Nijem, E. Bjertness, and M. Skogstad. 2013. “Respiratory function and chemical exposures among female hairdressers in Palestine.” Occupational Medicine 63, no. 1: 73. E-Journals, EBSCOhost (accessed October 20, 2016).

Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (1993). OSHA Technical Manual. Retrieved from: https://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/otm/otm_vii/otm_vii_1.html#3

Oliver, Dana. (2013) HAIR-SALON-HAZARDS-570 [Online Image]. Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/06/hair-salon-hazards-photos_n_3389688.html

Paragon STL. (n.d.). Highly Flammable Household Objects [Online Image]. Retrieved from: http://www.paragonstl.com/highly-flammable-household-objects/

Pfuntner, A. (2011). 2311 Sanitation Fig 1 [Online Image]. Retrieved from: http://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/magazine-archive1/februarymarch-2011/proper-hand-washing-a-vital-food-safety-step/

Renscene Ltd. (2016). Barbicide 1 Litre Jar [Online Image]. Retrieved from: http://www.hairproducts.co.uk/barbicide_1litrejar.php

RPM Therapy. (2016). Preferred and Non preferred Positions [Online Images]. Retrieved from: http://rpm-therapy.com/2012/hairdressers-salons-prevent-work-related-injuries/

Salaptek, L. (2014). Stand all day? 9 Ways You Can Reduce Leg, Foot and Back Pain. Modern Salon. Retrieved from: http://www.modernsalon.com/article/24830/stand-all-day-9-ways-you-can-reduce-leg-foot-and-back-pain

Seton.(2016). Be Aware of Slips, Trips & Falls Poster. [Online Image]. Retrieved from: https://goo.gl/images/2S3ZwJ

Toxic Chemicals in Salon Products. (2016). Women’s Voices For The Earth. Retrieved October 19, 2016 from: http://www.womensvoices.org/avoid-toxic-chemicals/salon-products/toxic-chemicals-in-salon-products-workers

United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2015, November  19). NONFATAL OCCUPATIONAL INJURIES AND ILLNESSES REQUIRING DAYS AWAY FROM WORK, 2014. Retrieved from: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/osh2.pdf

Weber, T., Nevala, A., and Mantouvalou., K. (2011) Final report.  Retrieved from: http://www.coiffure.eu/websites/anko_coiffure/files/2011%20June%20Final%20report%20Tina%20Weber%20H&S.pdf

Whitmor. (2016). Commercial Round Laundry Hamper [Online Image]. Retrieved from: http://whitmor.com/laundry-garment/commercial-round-laundry-hamper.html

World Market. (2016) Ellie Rolling Laundry Cart [Online Image]. Retrieved from: http://www.worldmarket.com/product/ellie+rolling+laundry+cart.do?pftv=58DXVvubDr


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We’re back at it again…. but this time we investigated an Auto Garage in Curepe.

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Panoramic View of Auto Garage Located in Curepe. Source: Image captured from mobile device

 Hazards of an Auto Garage’s clutter.

Our group visited an auto garage, located  in Curepe, on Monday 17th October, 2016. The auto garage specializes in the restoration of damaged vehicles and also in the sale of used parts and auto maintenance. This auto garage was established 30 years ago and is still serving the public today. After gaining permission from the owner, our group took a tour of the garage to ascertain the potential hazards that may threaten the safety of workers and visitors. The Trinidad and Tobago Occupational Safety and Health Act of 2004 as amended in 2006 (OSH ACT 2006); Section 13A states,“Every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient annual assessment of— (a) the risks to the safety and health of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work; and (b) the risks to the safety and health of persons not in his employment arising out of or in connection with the environmental impact of his undertaking”. After a discussion with the owner, he allowed us to investigate his premises for potential hazards which was the intent and rational for our visit. This auto garage employs six persons, the youngest being 22-years old and they all face the same type of occupational, and health and safety risks.  There were many exposures which we observed including:

  • Exposure to chemicals and vehicle exhaust
  • Exposure to biological material and asbestos
  • Injuries like sprain cuts and bruises
  • Fatalities from falling vehicular parts.
  • Awkward ,repetitive or prolonged periods of stationary posture during maintenance
  • Over-crowding in the auto garage.
  • Handling vehicle parts or heavy objects e.g. suspension component, batteries and brakes assembles

PHYSICAL HAZARDS

TRIP AND FALL HAZARDS

Upon our visit to the garage we encountered many trip and fall hazards. One of our group members actually tripped and almost fell. Although this was not the case, this mishap led us to the idea to videotape so that viewers would have better clarity (her trip happened for a reason). Nevertheless, discussed further are some of the trip and fall hazards that were present at the garage.

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Gif 1 demonstrating member tripping on engine hoist

Source: Video captured using mobile device and Gif 1 created using http://giphy.com/

On entrance to the garage there was an Engine Hoist. An engine hoist or engine

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Engine Hoist. Source: Image captured from mobile device

crane (better known as a cherry picker) is basically a repair tool that is used in garage workshops or workshops of similar nature, to install or remove motor vehicular engines, in small or crowded vehicle engine compartments. This tool was spotted as our first trip and fall hazard, the hazard one of our members literally experienced (refer to Gif 1). The Engine Crane was found to be where customers/clients would use as a walkway. Knowing the design of an engine hoist, the legs of this tool was left unfolded, leaving customers and workers vulnerable to injury. Another part of the tool, seen as a hook hanging from the top, could have easily pierced someone and this could have led to a cut or stick injury.

Solution: Engine Hoists are designed in such a way that its legs can be folded when it’s not in use. The practice of folding its legs when workers no longer use the tool should be adopted. The engine hoist should be folded and secured in an area where the customers and other persons are not likely to encounter such risks.

We also noticed several garbage piles throughout the garage. These garbage piles had pieces of wires, steel, glass and rubber. The contents of the garbage piles could have easily tripped someone, especially the wire and rubber refuse causing that person to fall. Furthermore, if a trip and fall incident were to occur, the person would be exposed to bruises and splinters from shattered glass perforating the skin.

Solution: In so saying, we highly commend their attempts for up keeping the cleanliness of the workplace, but, simply discarding these garbage piles to a main dumpster, would have been a better approach than leaving the garbage piles in the walkway. In addition to this, different containers could have been set into place to discard different types of materials used. For example, a container or bins for rubber refuse.

Moving into the “stockroom” of the garage, there was an ultimate high risk of trip and fall

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Walkway displaying vehicular parts. Source: Image captured from mobile device

hazards that workers could have been exposed to. Different motor parts, fuel hoses, engine parts, screws, bolts, just to mention a few were seen scattered along the pathway where the parts were being kept. This was noticed for every lane which stocked motor vehicular parts. When workers are sent to look for particular parts, because of its obstructed view, and cluttered pathways, they would be most susceptible to trip and fall incidents.

Solution: Parts should be packed away in such a manner that it would not be scattered on the pathway. If this cannot be done, parts should be packed neatly against the shelves, leaving a clear mid walkway for workers to use. Additionally, the organization of such parts should be emphasized to workers, and make it known to workers, the risk they are creating for themselves. Another solution may be to expand the storage space so that there is sufficient room to accommodate any loose, extra or new parts.

 

Additionally, there was poor lighting under the sheds and according to the OSH Act amended in 2006, Sec 33 (1), it states that, “ In every part of an establishment where employees are working or passing, there shall be provided and maintained sufficient and suitable lighting…..” As noted, this section of the Act was breached. The areas where car parts were being kept was dark . This could have caused any person who enters that area to fall, because of little objects present and not being able to see well, causing a person to trip and fall. Also, poor lighting could cause eye strain to workers who are in search for a particular part. Could you imagine having to look for a screw in that dark area, more so, where the area in search is clustered with different objects? Surely a phone’s flashlight won’t help!

Solution: The owner should provide sufficient lighting so that workers would not have difficulty finding a part when needed. This would prevent eye strains, as well as, someone falling because they cannot see where they are going.

SLIP AND FALL HAZARDS

 Unknown chemicals were noticed spilled in different areas of the garage. Workers,

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Chemical spills on the floor. Source: Image captured from mobile device

customers and clients could have been predisposed to slipping on these contents and falling. Furthermore, some of these contents could have contained substances that some persons could have had a sensitive/allergic reaction to. The effects of such may have been even more detrimental.

Solution: Clean up spills immediately after there is a chemical spillage. If this cannot be done immediately after, have appropriate signs/notices displayed to that effect. Also, if the spillage is as a result of pouring out chemicals from vehicles or other containers, there should be specific filter apparatus to assist, in order to prevent spillage of contents.

CRUSH HAZARDS

Crush hazards can cause injuries to ones limbs or other body parts, and in extreme situations cause amputations or even death. These injuries can be caused by having contact with moving equipment, machinery or parts and persons may be struck by an object or equipment that may fall/collapse.

Upon visiting the auto garage, there were many objects that can be seen as a crush hazard.

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Car Doors Hanging on metal hooks. Source: Image captured from mobile device

There were many car doors that were hanging from a metal hook in a specific area in the garage. Since this particular area in the garage was overcrowded with these doors and was closely packed together, there was a risk that while taking down one it may cause another to fall on a person and crush them. Persons may be pinned or caught under the door that fell. A door is very big and heavy, and could cause serious damage if it falls on someone, may cause amputations by the sharp edges or head injuries.

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Car  Grill hung from the ceiling on a metal hook. Source: Image captured from mobile device

In another area of the garage, a car grill was seen hanging from the roof. If this was not properly fastened it can fall on someone and cause injuries. Throughout the garage, car parts were seen packed onto shelves that were high as the roof. The aisles were narrow and offered a limited area for movement. Getting access to car parts at the highest points within this confined space seemed difficult and would be dangerous to all workers. Objects can fall from high points onto a worker’s head or body and can cause injury.

Solution:  The employer should ensure that the means by which the car doors are stored is safe enough for movement of workers while they are on the job. He should ensure that the doors are properly fastened and will not fall on his workers. The car parts on the shelves should be securely placed and not overstocked on the shelves. There should be no parts hanging down from the shelves that can easily fall and injure workers.

Also the workers should wear personal protective equipment such as steel-toed shoes for protection of the feet and hard hat for protection of the head. According to the OSH Act amended in 2006, in section 23(1) it speaks of persons in an establishment that are at risk of head, eye, ear, foot and hand injury should be provided with suitable protective clothing or devices.

Most importantly, workers should be trained on handling and proper storage of these car parts.

FIRE HAZARDS

According to Safeopedia.com, fire hazards include all types of live flames, causes of sparks, hot objects, and chemicals that are potential for ignition, or that can aggravate a fire to become large and uncontrolled. Fire hazards also include all types of potential threats to fire prevention practices, firefighting, built-in fire safety systems and situations that restrict the escape of people from an affected building or area in the event of a fire.

 Class B Fires

These fires involve flammable liquids including oils, grease, tar, lacquers, flammable gases, oil-based paints, and some plastics. (F.I.E.L.D.S. Fire Protection Inc. 2011)

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No Smoking Sign. Source: Image captured from mobile device

At the garage, one potential fire hazard was the workers smoking cigarettes near oil spills while taking a break, even though there was a no smoking sign. There were many oils spills throughout the compound which could have easily caused a fire if a cigarette butt had been carelessly discarded on the floor.

Solution: Workers should not smoke on the compound. If the smokers need to smoke they can exit the compound, smoke and then return because the garage is located near the road.

Another hazard at the garage was the improper storage of flammable and hazardous

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Unsecured Propane Gas Cylinder. Source: Image captured from mobile device

materials and chemicals. A propane gas tank was seen standing unsecured behind some car parts exposed to the elements. If the compressed gas cylinder was knocked over, it could have exerted a tremendous force!

Solutions: Gas cylinders should be stored in the upright position and secured with an insulated chain or non-conductive belt. The area must be clearly identified, dry, well-ventilated, away from doorways, aisles, elevators, and stairs. With outside storage, place on a fireproof surface and enclose in a tamper-proof enclosure.

Subsequently, the hindrance to sight or to reach firefighting equipment, markings and alarm systems was another hazard. One fire extinguisher was in the office area under the desk and the other at the side of the freezer. When asked, “Do you have any fire extinguishers”, the owner replied, “Yeah yeah, it in the office. Everything check out and up to date”. The fire extinguisher however, had not been serviced since 10th September, 2012.

Source: Images captured from mobile device

Solutions: Fire extinguishers should be near the work area and easily accessible. Dry chemical, cartridge and cylinder operated fire extinguishers, with mild steel shells should be serviced every year. Employees should be trained to use fire extinguishers (refer to image below), and should know where the fire alarm is, and emergency evacuation and assembly procedures.

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Image showing how to use a fire extinguisher

Source: http://americleaninc.com/how-to-use-a-fire-extinguisher/

The last fire hazard was the absence of a fire detection and alarm system. The garage was loacted under a house. The people living upstairs would be unaware of any fires and in the event of a fire, rapid evacuation is key to survival!

Solution: Fire detection and automatic or semi-automatic fire alarm systems must be installed to prevent injury and to avoid serious damage to property.

CHEMICAL HAZARDS

Chemical hazards can pose harmful health effects and can lead to physical hazards as well. While exploring other hazards on the compound we came across numerous chemical hazards. These hazards identified may seem normal as it is an auto garage but they can still pose some threat to both the workers, passers-by and to the environment.

One of these hazards found… well …smelt was a pungent odour of old oil and other unidentified odours. Inhaling chemicals everyday can have drastic effects on all body systems. These effects can be either acute (shows up immediately or soon after exposure) or chronic (takes years to show up). On the floor, we noticed old oil spills, which were being decomposed by the sun, car parts with chemical residue, an open car bonnet and opened containers of unknown substances, these all contributed to the foul odours. According to The OSH Act amended in 2006, fumes and other impurities emitted from an establishment that are injurious or offensive to the employees, measures must be taken to protect the employees from inhalation.

Source: Images captured from mobile device

Solutions: Some of these odours cannot be avoided but can be reduced.Regular power washing of the area can be used to remove old oils from emitting fumes, re-covering containers or appropriately disposing of containers which are not in use or by purchasing an air cleaner to aid in purification of the air in the auto shops.

Another hazard spotted was chemicals laying around in soft drink, detergent, other bottles and some in their original containers. Although some of the bottles were labeled (not clearly), others were not and they were inappropriately stored. Some may have been corrosive and deteriorate the bottles exposing their contents. The OSH Act amended in 2006 states that chemicals must be clearly labeled, all labels should be legible and in good condition. Repair or replace damaged or missing labels. Chemicals that are not in the manufacturer’s original container must be labeled with the content indicating if it is hazardous to warn individuals in the work area. Not labeling these chemicals at all or properly especially if it is a commonly known drinking bottle can lead to accidental ingestion and we don’t think degreaser taste like soft drink.

Source: Images captured from mobile device

Solutions: Other than labeling containers appropriately, having a designated area for these chemicals with appropriate and adequate storage cabinets or shelves would help to avoid accidental ingestion or spillage. The usse of appropriate containers for transfer of chemicals would also avoid spillage.

ERGONOMIC HAZARDS

An ergonomic hazard can be defined as any work place conditions that can cause a potential risk of injury to the musculoskeletal system of an individual. According to the University of Chicago, Environment Health and Safety,  ergonomic hazards can be caused by repetition of specific movements, extremes of temperature, vibrations, forceful movement and unnatural postures to name a few. In the setting of, a mechanical workshop or garage, there can be an increased risk for ergonomic hazards due to the propping of workers to check the engine of the vehicle and performing work for extended periods of time.

At this garage, the workers can be seen carrying on an examination of a vehicle. As seen

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Workers seen bending over a vehicle. Source: Image captured from mobile device

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Workers checking vehicle. Source: Image captured from mobile device

in the image, these workers are bent over looking at the vehicle and this was done for a total of fifteen minutes. In this mechanical field, workers have high risk for acute musculoskeletal injures like tendon rupture or hernia cause by overexertion and poor posture for prolonged periods of time and carpal tunnel syndrome Additionally, workers can be susceptible to muscle sprains and strains due to improper lifting of objects. Individuals may not always know the proper method for lifting objects, or they may just resort to using short cuts and this can lead to injuries. Personal protective equipment, or PPE is designed to protect workers from serious work place injuries or illnesses resulting from contact with chemical,  physical, electrical, mechanical or other work place hazards.  These  workers are seen here with no personal protective wear such as   coveralls, safety goggles or safety shoes while carrying out their duties.  The OSH Act amended in 2006, clearly states that it is the duty of an employer to supply his workers with adequate PPE at the work place.

Solution: Proper supportive wear should be worn by all workers such as back braces and

wrist bands during working hours. Heavy objects should be pushed instead of being dragged.

When lifting heavy objects:

  1. Keep a wide stance
  2. Squat down do not bend
  3. Maintain a good posture
  4. Slowly lift using your legs not you back
  5. Hold the object at belly button level
  6. When setting the object down ensure that you squat

PSYCHOLOGICAL HAZARDS

At this auto garage, customers are free to walk around but there are various car parts stacked along the path ways on heights. This can cause stress and anxiousness because these items are not secured and can fall and result in bodily harm. On the shelves, there are vehicular parts projecting onto the pathway, a customer who is not mindful can walk into these items. For me, now being aware of various potential hazards walking through this establishment, caused a lot of anxiety as I knew what could have happened if these objects were to fall, and this can happen to customers. The bathroom was located at the back of the business and the pathway had little lighting and was cluttered with car parts and this could be frustrating to some customers.

Source: Images captured from mobile device

Solutions:

  • Customers should be restricted from walking through this business or if is necessary for the customer to walk through, a worker should be there to direct the customers.
  • The pathway should be cleared of all debris and the bathroom should be relocated to the front of the business.

BIOLOGICAL HAZARDS

It was evident that this establishment was overcrowded and cluttered on entry. There were

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Stacked Tyres exposed to Environmental Elements. Source: Image captured from mobile device

stacked tyres exposed to environmental elements and several tyres that were not properly stored. These tyres may collect moisture and become the perfect environment for the breeding of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are known to be the carriers of Dengue fever, Yellow fever, Chikungunya and the Zika Virus, all of which are prominent in the society. All employees, visitors or customers and environs are at risk of being bitten by mosquitoes and may become infected with any of the previously mentioned mosquito borne diseases.

Solutions: 

  • Tyres should be neatly stored and covered to prevent the collection of water. The area where the tyres are stored should be fumigated evry three months.
  • Employees should apply insect repellent to exposed sections of their body.
  • Visitors/Customers should have limited access to areas where mosquito infestation may be high.

Another area which posed potential biological hazards was the improper storage of large quantities of miscellaneous materials.  Improperly stored materials may create a habitat for rodents and roaches.  Roaches are known to be carriers of Salmonella and E. coli bacteria while rodents are responsible for Leptospirosis and Rat bite fever. Workers are at the greatest risk since these rodents and roaches may come into contact with foodstuff in the kitchen and, or lunch room.

Solutions:

  • This garage should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized and unwanted objects should be discarded monthly.
  • A proper storage plan should be implemented and followed.
  • Items should be stored above the ground on metal or mesh shelves.
  • Routine fumigation and the setting up of rodent and roach traps throughout the facility, these should be installed and monitored by a professional pest control company.
  • All foodstuff should be stored in properly sealed containers and, or refrigerated.
  • All eating and drinking utensils should be washed before they are used.

 

HANDLING THE RISKS: 

Firstly the manager needs to recognize the risk in order to become aware of the potential hazards and concerns. The owner can adopt these steps to reduce the risk at his work place by incorporating the following recommendation:

  • Identify all the hazards in these categories; physical,chemical, biological, ergonomic and psychological and train workers on how to recognize and avoid  them.
  • Conduct annual risk assessments and/or in 6 months if there has been a significant change
  • Inspect tools and equipment regularly
  • Ask workers to report any hazards right away
  • Wear protective gloves and other protective equipment when working with solvents and other hazardous materials.
  • Clean up spills promptly.

In conclusion, there can be numerous hazards at any establishment and it was no different for this Auto Garage.  As mentioned before the employer plays a major role in ensuring the safety of his workers and the OSH Act list this as one of the duties of an employer. Once you have become sensitized to Health and Safety issues it becomes easier to identify them. Some readers may even be able to identify additional hazards that were not previously mentioned and that is excellent.

Here are some extra photos we took of the Auto Garage. Can you identify the hazards? Respond in the comments.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Source: Images captured from mobile device

References



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For Colored Girls: Tyler Perry

 

 

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So you are probably wondering why of all the movies available we choose this depressing chic flick; besides the fact that estrogen outweighs testosterone 7-1 in our group. This movie shows the the struggles of colored women. While we might agree it is over done and there is no lack of exaggeration, it highlights major life issues but more relevant to us many health and safety hazards and violations. The movie presents a roller coaster of emotions swirling through surprise, anger, hurt, happiness and sadness. What presents even more of a thrill for the ladies is the A-list cast of “finnnnne” black men Michael Ealy, Omari Hardwick and, for our one sole guy on the team the beautiful ladies like Kimberly Elise, Janet Jackson and Loretta Devine. The entire cast kept us intrigued and the Director Mr Tyler Perry, who with the help of these actresses, played powerful, tragic characters showing all the dangers in these real life situations. As the UWI OSH Enforcers we will take you on an eye opening journey to expose all these heinous safety hazards.

The movie begins on a somber note where the nine women recite portions of a poem “Dark Phrases of Womanhood” while going on about some activity varying from dancing freely, to the extreme of laying in bed and having what appears to be non consensual sex.

ERGONOMIC AND PHYSICAL HAZARDS

The beginning ballet segment showcased certain 

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Fig 1

opportunities in which the dancer’s physical well-being could have been threatened.These would have manifested as slips, trips, falls, sprains and strains due to poor ergonomic design of her footwear. The shoes intended to protect her feet from soft tissue injuries in tandem with the floors surface would have ironically ended in her harm.

As the movie progressed Alice’s apartment raises concerns. The elements required to stir the perfect fire can be found in the apartment; oxygen, ignition from the several lit candle, candle’s wax, wooden shutters and many other flammable materials in the environment acting as fuel.

This is referred to as the fire triangle.

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Fig 2 : Shows a diagrammatical representation of the Fire Triangle. 

Alice’s apartment not only endangers her but her surrounding neighbors in the apartment complex. As Alice enters her apartment we see a cluttered environment presenting slip, trip, falls, and even stacks falling over hitting her in the head.

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Fig 3: Shows a scene of Alice entering her apartment showing slip trip and fall hazards

The security at the front entrance that is suppose to regulate who enters and exists the building is not properly layout where anyone is allowed easy access. This was clearly seen when the social worker was leaving and the gentle was allowed access. Additionally while she exhibited etiquette by buzzing into the apartment another female: Juanita, was to enter freely. If possible separate entrances where one is used to enter and one to exit the building.  

When Thandi Newton male friend is leaving the apartment building, Juantia and Kelly are introduced on the staircase climbing grueling staircases facing a slip,trip or fall incident.

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Fig 4: Shows the dangerous stairs in the apartment building

Common injuries can be neck, foot, back or hip injuries, fractured arms or even injuries to the back of the head or the face. Hand railings should be at an appropriate height in case one loses their balance to avoid falling over. The length of the staircase also pose threats in case of an emergency and no existing elevators. Also, fatigue and dehydration can cause accidents as the human brain is unable to focus, be alert and reaction time is very slow. All due to the long flight of stairs the tenants have to endure to arrive at their apartment.

 BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL HAZARDS

The threats  in Alice’s apartment may be strongly seen in the form of moles growing in unseen places covered by clutter. We then see Thandi Newton breaking the news to whom she addresses as a strange man in her bed that she can’t see him anymore because his wife is looking for him but no mention is made whether or not protection was used knowing he has more than one sexual partner, thereby exposing herself to STD’s. 

Whilst at home Jo talks to her husband who we remember as being busted having oral sex in a car with another man while in a relationship with his wife another instance where the risk of STD is present.

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Fig 5 & 6: The unsanitary equipment laid out on a try and a close up image of the rusty equipment use in back alley abortions

 

 

 

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Desperate not to disappoint her mother Nyla resorts to having a back alley abortion in an unsanitary environment where unsanitary tools are seen in a bucket and in a tray .

Attempting to sanitize the tools the abortionist throws an unknown liquid into the bucket before carrying out the procedure. The use of unsterilized equipment to perform abortions with inadequate medical facilities and a medically untrained practitioner. Moreover, the use of chemical substances in which its initial function has no sterilizing effects can lead to chemical and biological hazards. The use of unsterilized equipment to carry out abortion

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Fig 7: Shows the tools being sanitized in a bucket with an unknown solution

with inadequate medical facilities and a medically untrained practitioner. Moreover, the use of chemical substances in which its initial function has no sterilizing effects can lead to chemical and biological hazards.

 

 

 

PSYCHOLOGICAL HAZARDS

When Kelly finally reaches the top of the stairs we meet Crystal who has two beautiful children and is in a relationship with a former war veteran who exhibits Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and unsuccessfully tries to mask it with alcohol and ignoring medical requirements. While trying to talk to the kids Beau enters the room and verbally abuses her (psychological hazard) and she frantically exists the room. The cigarette butts left in the apartment is dangerous for the two children and can contribute to a fire. This behavior can cause trauma to both Crystal and her children.

After a long day at work Juanita comes home to deal with Frank who tries to plead his case to get back in a relationship with her. This highlights how imperative the issue of safety is prevention is always better than cure. Yet again we a reminded of the life altering and damaging effects that can result when the necessary precautions are not adhered to.

At Yazmin’s apartment she invites Bill to her apartment anticipating a wonderful evening as they have had in the past but soon after his arrival Bill begins undressing and refuses to put back on his clothes.He then overpowers Yazmin and rapes her on the ground as she unsuccessfully tries to fight him off. Emotionally distraught she is seen crying trying to put herself together. She is later interrogated by an officer who questions if it was consensual. As she grips her clothes cries and bears her heart out she explains to him a rapist can be anybody. The officer sympathizes and says he would pick the bastard up. Later the officer then visits Yasmin who accompanies him to the morgue to identify her attacker’s body.

 

Beau becomes suspicious of Crystal as she pulls up in a car driven by a male unknown to him that her boss is in the back seat. He becomes abusive towards her and suspects she is having an affair-hanging her kids over the balcony as Crystal frantically tries to save them. To her dismay he lets go of them one by one. At the hospital Kelly remembers Crystal and inquires as she is being consoled by the building manager and her boss.

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Fig 8: Showing Beau hanging the children off the balcony and Crystal battling to save them

Seventy- five (75) minutes into the movie we begin to understand the emotional disconnect between Alice and her eldest daughter as she explains to her she was raped by her own father who also raped Tangie. As a result, Tangie explains she is the ‘wrath of all women’, wanting to cause pain to men, a clear psychological disorder. They both begin reciting poems as if the other was not in the room. At the end of the poem she screams for Alice to get out her apartment and is force to be nice to Gilda because she locked herself out her apartment. Ungratefully she slams the door in the building manager’s face. Despite her rudeness Gilda continues to be nice to her as she tends to her face and Tangie willingly accepts.

In a rare scene we see Jo and her husband bonding as she opens up to him about Crystal’s situation and witnessing the death of her children. Back at home Jo tells Carl she is aware of his homosexuality as she found out she is HIV positive.

CONCLUSION

The women slowly became part of each other lives and support systems when Nyla, Crystal and Kelly gather in Crystal’s apartment. Tangie and Nayla hash out their problems. Gila who comes across as nosey but is genuinely caring checks on Crystal and gives her a harsh reality check that she has to take some blame for what happened to her kids. Clearly emotionally distraught, Crystal with the help of Gilda tries to put the pieces together. positive. The movie draws to a close when the women finally come together and discuss their grief, pain, loneliness, and struggles which they have been through; embracing each other and deciding to move forward with the support of each other .

 

 

 

 

 


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Safety analysis of self-employed persons and recommendations for improvements.

Risk Reduction Regime embarked on a risk analysis of various self-employed persons and made recommendations that were not emphasized in The OSH Act of T& T as amended (2006.) According to the act, “self-employed person” means an individual who works for gain or reward otherwise than under a contract of employment, whether or not he himself employs others. The law states:

“7(1) It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment, who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their safety or health.

(2) It shall be the duty of every self-employed person to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that he and other persons, not being his employees, who may be affected by his actions are not thereby exposed to risks to their safety or health.

(3) In such cases as may be prescribed, it shall be the duty of every employer and every self- employed person, in the prescribed circumstances and in the prescribed manner, to give to persons, not being his employees, who may be affected by the way in which he conducts his undertaking, the prescribed information about such aspects of the way in which he conducts his undertaking as might affect their safety or health.” (OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ACT CHAPTER 88:08 Act 1 of 2004 Amended by 3 of 2006 2006)

Provisions under this section only give a generalized guideline to the self-employed persons to conduct his undertaking in such a way that would not bring harm to himself or anyone else in within his space of operations or affairs. However, it should be noted that, for self-employed persons, they themselves are the employees and thus provisions under the Act regarding duties and requirements for employees concerning safety, health, and welfare should apply to them.           

Another point to note is that workplaces and employers with less than five (5) employees are not required by law to have a physical safety policy available, and thus this means that the safety of the self-employed person lies on himself. This is then reflected when persons are going to apply for registration of their business, with the only requirements being forms of identification and a valid business name, and nothing of proof of assurance of safety in their conduct. An area of concern that should have more attention paid to it is that most self-employed persons and small businesses have young persons or untrained workers in their employment and most times no real care or due diligence is taken by their employers for their health, safety, or well being. This then leads to the speculation and assumption that self-employed persons are liable for their own safety, health, and welfare, which then should be reflected in their own conduct and culture.

What is a Risk Assessment?

An examination of what in the work place could “cause harm to persons, to enable to decide whether to take sufficient precautions to prevent harm. The aim of an assessment is to make sure that no one gets hurt or becomes ill.”(A Guide to Risk Assessment 2008)

There are five steps used to assess risks in the workplace:

  1. “Look for the hazards.
  2. Decide who might be harmed and how
  3. Evaluate the risks and decide whether the existing precautions are adequate or whether more should be done.
  4. Record your findings.
  5. Review your assessment and revise it if necessary” (A Guide to Risk Assessment 2008)

For the risk assessment the group looked at four self-employed persons and the analysis are as followed:

Wood Work Shop Analysis

Background of business and individual

Mr. Gow is a retired worker of the power industry of Trinidad and Tobago who has established a wood working business behind his house. The business is solely operated and not registered. Mr. Gow is highly trained in various safety procedures and use of personal protective equipment and has extensive knowledge on operating dangerous machinery.

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Woodwork: Image 1: Table with tools

   

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Woodwork: Image 2: Some protective gear

The above images shows various PPE used. Special gloves, face, eye and hearing protection as well as a head lamp is utilized. The image also shows a full body coverall to protect against flying wood chips, as well as thick rubber boots to protect the feet from any falling debris. The use of a powerful search light allows work to be done in well-lit areas. An important item that is also noted is a push stick. This is used to operate various saws and acts as an extended arm.

Mr. Gow has admitted in an interview that he practices very safe and careful working procedures and does not allow anyone to enter the workshop during work hours. He also states that he works in full PPE at all times.

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Woodwork: Image 3: Clutter at the workplace

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Woodwork: Image 4: Dangerous equipments used in daily operations

The images above show some of the materials and equipment that is interacted with on a daily basis. The woodworking machinery regulations states there must be a sufficient clear and unobstructed space at every woodworking machine

The below images shows the general workshop

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Woodwork: Image 5: The entire work space

The floor surrounding every woodworking machine shall be maintained in good and level condition, and as far as practicable, according to the woodwork machinery regulations. It was evident that Mr. Gow practice safe working conditions, from the risk assessment his work space contains many hazards.

Step 1

The ground contains many planks that may cause Mr. Gow to lose his footing. There are tools and electrical cords scattered around carelessly which may cause tripping. A vital breach of the OSH Act is the presence of saw dust on the ground which can cause individuals to slid

Step 2

Mr. Gow is the only candidate to be harmed since he lives with his wife, who doesn’t come into the workshop. Mr. Gow delivers all his products which means no customers enter the workshop.

Step 3

The main risk that exists is the risk of slipping or tripping due to the states of the walking area. Even though Mr. Gow wears shoes with grips he may still trip over a loose cord, tool or sawdust. He can damage himself slightly by falling onto the ground or suffer a major causality if he falls onto a machine that is currently in operation.

Recommendations

The main recommendation that can be put forward is to properly organize the walk way either by casting it with concrete so it can be flat or to level it with dirt and place metal gratings for added grip.

Doctor’s Office Analysis

A risk assessment was carried out at a doctor’s office.  The office services the small community of El Socorro and environs. Office days and time are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8am to 12pm. The office space consists of three room a waiting area the doctor’s office and a toilet facility occupying a combined space of 24’ x 28’. There is a total of two staff work in this office, a doctor and a receptionist. 

Hazards Identified:

Biological

A large percentage of the patients present themselves with communicable diseases that can be spread by air droplets from coughing and sneezing. These patients pose a risk to other patients as well as staff.

Physical

The center decor in the waiting room is a very low lying chandelier, 5 feet 7 inches of the ground which can cause injury if someone is taller than this. In the case of a fire, both doors, the entrance and emergency exit, are located on the same wall. One door is glass and the other is wooden which can easily be caught a fire. There exist three burglar proof windows which have no emergency openings. Documents such as company receipts for the year, for tax purposes, are kept in a brown envelope and an organizer.

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Doctor’s Office: Image 1: Chandelier that is a physical hazard

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Doctor’s Office: Image 2:Important documents stored near to area with no emergency exits

Health and Safety Practice on a day to day basis:

Staff are kept up-to-date with vaccines to prevent acquiring infections such as chicken pox and influenza.  Personal protective equipment such as gloves, mask and gowns must be used to protect doctor and staff when performing minor surgeries. All waiting room chairs are ergonomically design to prevent back pains. There is a ramp for patients on wheelchairs to ensure easy accessibility. Patients with mental disabilities can pose a hazard towards other patients and staff therefore they may be seen as soon as possible. Drug addicts can be a threat to staff as well as patients because of their addiction to narcotics and various other drugs. Therefore, dangerous drugs and antibiotics are kept locked away in a secure hidden safe in compliance with the dangerous drug act. Needles and other medical waste are placed in specialized containers for weekly pick up to send to the appropriate the facility to ensure proper disposal.

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Doctor’s Office: Image 3: Ergonomic hazard for patients

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Doctor’s Office: Image 4: Proper signage at the office

Recommendations

All important documents including receipts and company files should be kept in a fire proof safe. To avoid physical injury, a decor table should be placed under the chandelier so people can walk around it to avoid injuring their heads. Patients who have symptoms of the flu should be quickly identified and provided with a NI 95 face mask. The wooden door should be replaced with a fireproof door as well as moved to another wall. One burglar proof window should have an emergency opening and locks and keys that can be easy located when needed.

A Carpenter’s Analysis

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Carpenter: Image 1: The workplace for roofing works

Randy Jorai is a self-employed mason and roof builder in the community of South Oropouche. His jobs include building and renovations on homes and also doing roofs for pretty much and structure that demands one. The mason part of his job is done by himself whereas the roofing part is done with a small crew of about five persons. His businesses are not registered so the OSH act does not apply to him and his workers.

The most serious and life threatening hazards on his jobs are mechanical and falling hazards. On the mason side of his job objects such as saws can pose tears and cuts to the body if not handled correctly, if the equipment is faulty or if minimum or no safety equipment is used. When doing roofing the galvanize sheets being used are very sharp and can tear the skin quite easily. The risk of this happening is further increased when the sheets need to be transported to heights for installation. Ladders are used most of the times so the risk of not only falling arises but falling and cuts to the body are the risks they take doing this. Falling objects from heights is another falling hazard when working on top of houses, workers who are working below them are at risk of falling objects such as tools and materials.

Slip and fall along with stump and fall hazards were present according to Randy. “Sometimes when a little rain fall we still have to do the work on the roof” is what he told me and this presents a slip and fall hazard as most of the roofs they do are slanted so walking on it is more difficult. He also told me that an incident occurred where the oil they used to service some of their tools had leaked on to the roof when the galvanize sheets was put down and caused one of the worker to slip and fall. Fortunately, he was able to hold on to a beam and avoided falling off the house and escaped with just a few cuts.

More on the mason side of his job lifting hazards arise where there are heavy materials to be used on the jobsite. He does his masonry work by himself so there is no help for him to move materials and tools. Back injuries can occur as a result of lifting heavy objects with improper lifting techniques such as cement bags, steel beams and concrete blocks. These are materials Randy frequently uses because most of his work deals with mixing concrete and plastering walls. The dust from the cement bags and as a result of plastering walls can cause respiratory diseases if inhaled constantly and for long periods of time.

Randy gets his work by referrals from people who he did work for before and persons who know him. As his businesses are small and not registered it is not governed by the OSH act he does not have to abide by the laws of the act. Nobody is liable for when any injury occurs on the jobsite and in an interview with Randy he told me that his work sites are mostly houses and the people who he works for often do not have any tools, just materials for the job.  So therefore he and his crew are responsible for any injuries sustained due to misused or defective equipment. Also any safety equipment that may be needed for the job will have to be provided by them and according to him they barely use such equipment. He told me that they frequently take risks because they have no training in health and safety and also because doing things the way they do often lead to the job finishing quicker which is desirable because he is paid for the whole job and not by the day. This means that no matter how long he takes on a job his salary and that of his crew when working with him will be the same so time is a factor for him maximising profits. Refusal to work as seen in the OSH act is another benefit Randy and his crew does not have. If he or one of his workers is concerned about an unsafe working condition, they do not have the option to call OSHA and request and inspector and refuse to work with pay. Similarly, if any injury is sustained while working Randy or any of his co-workers will not get sick leave with pay. Randy actually sustained an injury where he was cut on this thumb by a grinder and was unable to work for two weeks and this resulted in him not being paid for two weeks.

Seeing as these two businesses do not fall under the OSH act Randy and his crew are responsible for their own safety. They can better do this by making sure all their tools and machinery are maintained and used properly with the necessary protective gear. Dust masks to be worn when working with cement or dusty areas can reduce the risk of contracting respiratory diseases.

Recommendations

Correct use of ladders when climbing (3 points on ladder at all times). Wearing slip resistant footwear on jobsites especially when climbing and walking on galvanize (to avoid slip and fall). Hard hats to be worn when working in areas where objects may fall. Keeping areas where workers are passing clear of objects that could lead to trip and fall. Avoiding working on roofs when galvanize is wet

Barber’s Shop Analysis

A self-employed barber residing in the Rio Claro area was visited and interviewed regarding the conduct of his daily business and his attitude towards his safety and the safety of others.

Throughout the interview it was noted that the person was twenty-seven (27) years old, possesses six (6) O’level subjects from Presentation College, San Fernando, and had been conducting his business on a small scale from an age of sixteen (16) with an average of six (6) hours of operation, until five (5) years ago when he decided to make it a full-time job. Health and safety did not become a priority until this became his full-time job, where it still was not first on his list.

First, a needs assessment was conducted to ascertain what was required to be able to conduct his business on a full-time scale with good capability and comfort as far as was affordable, practicable, and necessary; this refers to tools and other equipment necessary for operation. Secondly, care was given regarding his welfare and the welfare of others within his vicinity and area of operation; a clean environment, comfortable seating for his use as well as his customers, ventilation, and lighting. He then conducted a general risk assessment to the best of his knowledge and understanding which was mainly learned through experience, and came up with suitable, practicable, and more notably affordable solutions that were within his capability.

This was the mentality and culture of this self-employed person regarding his safety and wellbeing, as well as the wellbeing of others, at the start of his business and operations even before thinking about registering his business. It was stated by him that his knowledge of his health, safety, and welfare was acquired through experience, suggestions, and recommendations, in lieu with his own morals, values, and respect for himself as well as others.

A dust bin solely for the disposing of hair can be seen (Welfare of others in his workplace.).

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Barbershop: Image 1: Trip hazard, cords are not properly secured

(He actually cleans his station and floor from floor after every person’s hair he cuts.)

Proper, suitable, appropriate signage.

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Barbershop: Image 2: Proper signs for customers

Appropriate, suitable lighting necessary for operation.

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Barbershop: Image 3: Suitable lighting for operations

Clean, organized workstation. PPE (latex gloves) suitable for operation can be seen as well.

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Barbershop Image 4: Using protective gloves while cleaning work space

This then lead to the conclusion that without a board of directors and department of safety, legal guidelines and requirements, or even written safety policies, it is the duty of a person to his own safety, health, and welfare, which is a reflection of his knowledge, education, experience, morals, values, and culture, as well as others around him, coupled with the willingness to improve and learn.

Recommendations

Continuous monitoring of safety hazards that may cause harm to the barber and clients. Ensure electrical wires are properly secured to avoid trip and fire hazards. Ensure proper sanitation of equipment and disposal of hair and other waste. A dusk mask should be worn to prevent the inhalation of fine hair particles. There should be ten minutes interval of seating for every ten hour standing

Recommendations by Risk Assessment for the Health and Safety Board for Self Employed Persons

Based on the risk assessments conducted on these various self-employed persons, the group made some recommendations for consideration by the Health and Safety Board.

  • Have awareness raising programs.
  • Engage in outreach programs (exhibitions, lectures, workshops, promotion materials, advertisements etc.)
  • Consultation programs for all self-employed persons.
  • Safety Officers be assigned by districts to conduct routine checks on self – employed businesses to ensure they are adhering to certain safety precautions.
  • The safety act should be amended with more laws and emphasis towards self-employed persons.
  • A sub unit should be established for the monitoring of the Small and Micro enterprises and the functions can be clearly outlined in a clause in the act.

References

  1. A Guide to Risk Assessment. Version 2. Prod. The Occupational Safety and Health Authority and Agency of Trinidad and Tobago. August 2 . Accessed October 22, 2016.
  2. “OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ACT CHAPTER 88:08 Act 1 of 2004 Amended by 3 of 2006.” 88:08.pdf. Accessed October 22, 2016. http://rgd.legalaffairs.gov.tt/laws2/alphabetical_list/lawspdfs/88.08.pdf


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The Web Investigation of Eight Legged Freaks

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Eight Legged Freaks, starring David Arquette and Scarlett Johansson, is a blend of action, comedy, thriller and science fiction. The film offers an exaggerated illustration of the catastrophic events which can occur as a result of overlooking minor health and safety procedures. For many of us, the first time we watched this movie was over ten years ago and, at that time, we were oblivious to the health and safety issues that were present. As current students of Occupational Safety and Health Management, we are now cognizant of health and safety policies, practices and procedures. While watching this movie, we identified various health and safety violations, came up with recommendations to avoid such violations, identified five different groups of hazards and provided suggestions on how to mitigate these hazards and reduce any associated risks.  Now, without further ado, let’s dissect this movie.

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Biohazards being transported.

Brief overview of the movie

The movie is set in a rural mining town in a fictional city called Prosperity, Arizona. At the start of the movie, a truck driver, who seemed tired from working a long shift, tries to avoid hitting a rabbit and swerves his truck sharply, causing a barrel of hazardous substance to fall from his truck and into a nearby lake. The barrels being transported were a product from the company Viroanol Corp, which claims to provide ‘modern chemicals for enhanced living’. The barrel is marked with a red label and the word ‘biohazard’. Joshua, the owner of a spider farm, uses the lake as an extension from his workplace to collect crickets for feeding to the spiders at his farm.

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The biohazards contaminating the lake.

After eating the crickets and being exposed to the hazardous substance, the spiders mutated into enormous ‘eight legged freaks’, broke free of their cages, relocated to the mine tunnels and violently attacked the residents of the town. In the movie, we meet Chris McCormick, played by David Arquette, who is the owner of the gold mine. He is the person in command of the miners and he controls the operations of the mine. Therefore, he can be said to be both an employer and an occupier. Sheriff Samantha Parker and Sheriff’s Deputy Pete Willis both work in law enforcement and can be seen as employees of the Sheriff’s Department of Prosperity Arizona. In the film we also meet Sam’s son, Mike Parker, who was the first to discover the horrific effects of the contaminated lake. We are also introduced to Gladys, the aunt of Chris.

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Breaches of Safety and Health Legislation Identified

The Trinidad and Tobago Occupational Health and Safety Act Chap 88:08 (“the OSH Act”) lays out the duties and responsibilities of various actors in an industrial setting, as well as safety and health  requirements and sanctions for breach of the Act. While watching the movie (with the OSH Act in our hands), we noticed a few safety and health violations. Some were a direct result of the biologically hazardous spill, while others were indirectly related to the spill. We made a note below of these violations to share with you below.

Improper transportation of chemical barrels

Viroanol Corp, the company responsible for the biologically hazardous chemicals which kick-started this entire story failed to properly secure the drums for transportation. The drums were being carried on the bed of a truck without any restraint beside guard rails, and no secondary containers were used to safeguard against any leakage. The drums were also left unsecured. There was a tattered thin nylon rope seen hanging from the truck, which proved to be an insufficient method of securing the drums.

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Proper transportation of barrels of substance using methods including lashing and wrapping. 

Violation(s): Under the OSH Act, the employer has a duty to ensure the safety and absence of risk to the health of employees in transporting substances (Section 6(2)(b)). In addition, the employer must ensure that his business is conducted in such a way as to not expose persons other than employees to risks to their safety or health (section 7(1)). If Viroanol was an employer in Trinidad and Tobago it would have been in breach of the Osh Act. 

Recommendation(s): Viroanol Corp, being the employer could have provided secondary containers and employed proper restraints in order to hold the drums firmly in place during the journey thereby eliminating health and safety risks to its employees and the public.

Failure of employees to take reasonable care

In the opening scene, the truck driver was falling asleep at the steering wheel. He operated the truck while distracted, choosing instead to pay attention to adjusting the radio and sipping coffee (pictured above). His lack of alertness not only put his safety at risk, but also the safety of other drivers, potential pedestrians and the public.

Violation(s): Section 10 of the OSH Act speaks to general duties of employees at work. An employee must ensure that he is not under the influence of an intoxicant to the extent that he endangers his own safety, health and welfare at work or that of any other person (Section 10 (f)). While a cup of coffee may not fall into any of this category, the Osh Act obliges the employee to take reasonable care for the safety and health of himself and other persons who may be affected by his acts or omissions (section 10 (a)). It can be seen that the truck driver did not take such requisite reasonable care and therefore would be liable for breach of the OSH Act.

Recommendation(s): Pulling over to a rest stop and taking a break from driving would have reduced the risk of the truck driver being inattentive while driving, an act which potentially endangered his life and endangered the life of others.

Inadequate personal protective equipment

Duty owed by employer to employees: In one scene, the employer of the gold mines, Chris McCormick, briefed his employees on safety precautions, noting that there are high volumes of methane gas within the inner chambers of the mining tunnels and therefore masks should be worn at all times. An OSH Inspector in Trinidad and Tobago then would be pleased to know that such a briefings were being carried out, as this is in-keeping with both best practice and the OSH Act (section 6(2)(c)). However, the briefing and the personal protective equipment provided by the employer to his employees were inadequate and unsuitable because the miners lacked proper safety eye-wear, ear muffs and breathing masks. Instead they wore regular eyeglasses and a makeshift mask made from torn cloth which was tied over their noses and mouths.

Violation(s): This is clearly in breach of section 23(1) which mandates the employers to provide protective equipment to all persons entering an industrial establishment and likely to be exposed to risks that can affect the body.

Recommendation(s): Given the nature of the job, it is unlikely that the risk can be completely eliminated, in keeping with the ‘hierarchy of controls’, substitution might have been a viable option – substituting one or more of the machinery/ tools used. Isolation and engineering might not have been helpful in this area because there would have been difficulties in isolating the gas and there would have been a cost attached to the construction of special equipment. However implementing administrative measures could have helped to reduce risk, for example by setting up a shift system where the mine workers take shifts in completing their tasks. As a last resort, the mine workers should be outfitted with suitable and sufficient personal protective equipment in order to reduce their risk to as low as reasonably practicable. Such equipment include a pair of safety goggles and a breathing mask.

hierarchycontrols

Duty owed by employer to the public: In another scene where members of the public entered the gold mine with Chris, who is both the employer and occupier of the mine, there was no sign of protective equipment being worn by any person inside in the mine. Both the members of the public and the employer lacked protective eyewear, headgear, clothing and the appropriate breathing masks to prevent them from being affected by the methane gas.

Violation(s): It is the duty of the employer to ensure that persons other than employees are not exposed to safety and health risks (section 7 of the OSH Act). Further, section 9 indicates that an occupier has a general duty to protect the safety and health of the public in the vicinity of his establishment. By leading the public into the mines without any form of protective equipment, Chris acted contrary to the OSH Act.  

Recommendation(s): In such of a scenario, the employer (who here is also the occupier) should have ensured that all persons were fully clothed in personal protective gear, not only to limit the risk to safety and health of those persons but to limit his liability for any loss or injury which could have occurred.

Failure to implement a safe system of work

In another scene of the movie, also set in the mines, we noticed one mine worker using a jackhammer which was pointed to the walls in front of him and ever so often he reached down to grab a fire hose to spray the wall from debris. At one point, the hose stopped spraying and he removed his makeshift mask and started sucking the nozzle of the hose, perhaps thinking something was clogging the hose and sucking on it would clear it. He eventually swallowed a spider which was hiding inside the hose and that was the last we saw of him. This leads us to question, was this worker trained in the cleaning and clearing of this equipment? 

Violation(s)Section 6 of the OSH Act mandates an employer to provide a safe system of work and to ensure that information, instructions, training and supervision is provided as is necessary to ensure the safety and health at work of employees.

Recommendation(s): The employer should have provided the necessary information, instructions, training and supervision to the employee so that employee could have engaged in the proper technique in clearing the blocked hose. This is all a part of the employer’s duty to ensure the safety and health at work of employees, so far as reasonably practicable.

Other Safety and Health Violations

In addition to the health and safety violations that we saw in the movie and were directly provided for in the OSH Act, we identified other health and safety violations. As mentioned above, the legislation sets out a basic framework. However, being safety and health minded persons who want to offer the best safety advice and not just the bare minimum, we wanted to share some additional violations which are not specified by legislation but which were present in the movie and salient to a discussion on safety and health.

Lone workers

In the movie, there were at least two separate workers in the mines who were each left to work alone in the confined space. Another instance of lone worker evident in the movie, was the owner and operator of the spider farm who had no employees. The disadvantage of lone workers was illustrated in a subsequent scene when the spiders attacked him and his eventual demise went unnoticed and unreported for several days. This type of risk can obviously be mitigated by introducing a buddy system, setting workers out in pairs.

Lack of quarantine 

Upon discovery of the toxic substances in the town’s lake, safety measures should have been implemented to ensure that public’s access to the contaminated water is restricted thereby decreasing the public’s risk of exposure to the biological hazard.

Improper procedure in the removal of the barrel from the lake 

Sheriff’s Deputy Pete Willis was seen removing the drum from the lake while using inadequate and unsuitable personal protective equipment. The gloves that he used were not of an approved standard. In fact, they appeared to be a pair of yellow latex gloves, more commonly known as dish-washing gloves. These gloves would have not been designed or approved for use when dealing with biological hazards.  After using these gloves, Deputy Willis proceeded to scratch his head with the contaminated gloves. Deputy Willis should have used biohazard autoclave gloves and should not have touched any part of his body with the contaminated gloves. This little act demonstrates the importance of training and education. If Deputy Willis was educated about safety and health signage, he would have perceived the danger from the outset simply by knowing the meaning of the red label on the drum. Further, it can be seen that such chemical removal processes ought not be carried out by Sheriff’s Deputies but by trained safety and health personnel.

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Hazards Identified

Reece defines hazards as dangerous situations or conditions that can lead to accidents. The more hazards present, the greater the chances of accidents. Hazards can be categorized based on their energy source. For the purposes of this blog, we will identify five (5) main types of hazards spotted throughout the film, namely ergonomic hazards, biological hazards, psychological hazards, physical hazards, and chemical hazards.

Ergonomic Hazards 

In the scene where the miner alternated between the use of the jackhammer and the water hose, we observed that the use of such heavy equipment over an extended period of time and the implementation of such a system of work exposed the miner to an ergonomic hazard. After standing ‘at-eased’ and being jolted by the jackhammer, the mine worker would bend over to collect a fire hose at his feet. He would then spray the chiseled walls of the mine, release the fire hose and return to jackhammer. The constant jolting and bending could cause damage to the mine worker’s spine. One recommendation is for the employer to provide a waistband which would provide support to the mine worker’s waist. Another recommendation is to place the hose above ground level to eliminate the system of bending over to retrieve the fire hose.

Biological Hazards

Clavies® biohazard autoclave gloves gauntlet L 5 in. (13 cm), overall L 13 in. (33 cm)
An example of biohazard autoclave gloves

Apart from the dumping of the biohazard material into the lake, one biological hazard identified was the fluid excreted by the spiders. In the movie, Chris, Mike and Sam touched the dismembered limbs of the spiders and were even covered with the thick green fluid excreted by the spiders. The characters should have used biohazard autoclave gloves, protective eye-wear and also protective body suits when dealing with the spider remains.

Psychological hazards

The residents of the town would have been exposed to a significantly high levels of stress, anxiety and fright based purely on the fear of being killed by these enormous spiders.

Physical Hazards

Noise, slips and trips, fire and electrical hazards are some of the few hazards under the category of physical hazards.

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An example of safety signage

The members of the public in the gold mines were all exposed to physical hazards, from falling debris and dust within the mine to slips and trips on the uneven surface of the ground, but the employer and occupier who provided no protective gear did nothing to mitigate the severity of these hazards. Also, the scene where the mine worker alternated between the jackhammer and fire hose illustrates an exposure to several physical hazards as the worker must have endured temperature extremes, sharp vibrations, sharp jolts about the body and noise.

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Another example of safety signage

Potential trip hazards are another form of physical hazards. In the scene where Mike enters the spider farm in search of Joshua, the confined wooden spider farm has become disorderly and covered in spider webs. There is clearly a trip hazard as the webs play a role in obscuring vision while the various shelves and broken glass could easily cause Mike to trip and fall leading to serious injury. In an effort to mitigate this risk, the area can be cleaned and tidied up, removing all spider webs and other broken items from the walk path.

Chemical hazards and fire

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Examples of common hazard warning signs

Chemical hazards are inherently linked to physical hazards. Makin and Winder identifies that categorisation of hazards are of little or no use because the impact of one hazard may be different from the way it initiated. Collins and Schneid explain that some hazardous chemicals pose physical hazards to workers by triggering fires, others burn the skin or respiratory orifices while others release toxic by-products a result of fires. One chemical hazard which had the impact of a physical hazard was illustrated in the scene of the movie where Gladys entered a mine filled with methane gas holding a lit cigarette. Methane is a colourless, odourless flammable gas. The slightest spark or open flame causes the gas to ignite and this could result in an explosion. At the end of the movie, Gladys herself admits, that smoking is a dangerous habit, saying that it “causes explosions”. At least we know Gladys learned something new about health and safety.

Conclusion

Compliance with safety and health procedures is of vital importance to the employer, employee and public alike. Not only can failure to comply result in an occupier and even an employer being at risk for violations of the OSH Act, but these violations can also have catastrophic results on human lives and the environment.

What can you take away from our web investigation? The importance of learning how to , reduce your chance of legislative breaches, mitigate hazards and make your workplace safe so that you can avoid an encounter with the law or any eight legged freaks!

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References

Collins, Larry, and Thomas, Schneid. Physical hazards of the workplace. Boca Raton, Fl: CRC Press

Clavies biohazard autoclave gloves. Digital Image. Sigma-Aldrich. Accessed October 13, 2016. http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/catalog/product/aldrich/z408492?lang=en&region=US

Eight Legged Freaks. DVD. Directed by Ellory Elkayem. Los Angeles: California, 2002

Health and Safety Products. Digital Image. Accessed October 13, 2016. http://www.health-safety-products.co.uk/store/products/caution-falling-debris-sign-non-photoluminescent-rigid-pvc/ 

Makin, Anne-Marie, and Chris Winder. “Managing hazards in the workplace using organisational safety management systems: a safe place, safe person, safe systems approach.” Journal Of Risk Research 12, no. 3-4 (April 1, 2009): 329-343. E-Journals, EBSCOhost (accessed September 30, 2016)

Occupational Health and Safety Act, Act of 2004, Amended by 3 of 2006.

Reece, Charles. Occupational health and safety management : a practical approach. Boca Raton: Lewis Publishers. 2003

Signage and Labels. Digital Image. Biosafety University of Virginia. Accessed October 03, 2016. http://ehs.virginia.edu/biosafety/bio.signage.html

The most common hazard signs in chemical plant. Digital Image. Chemical Plant Safety Blog. Accessed October 13, 2016. http://www.chemicalplantsafety.net/safety-sign/the-most-common-hazard-signs-in-chemical-plant/

Photos obtained from the scenes of the movie.


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SEA ” 👀 ” ALL HAZARDS

A Blog post by color hair hazards on the existing hazards in the featured film Captain 👮 Phillip……

 

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Captain Phillips the emotionally charged story of Somali pirates taking an American sea captain hostage, while concurrently exposing the underlying economic divide that sets the event in motion. The story begins in Vermont, where Captain Phillips leaves his family to sail the Maersk Alabama with cargo mainly food aid halfway around the world to Africa.  At the same time in Somalia,  a former coastal fisherman, Muse aims to overtake one of the high-value ships that passes through the nearby coast every day. At the heart of the confrontation between Phillips and the desperate Somali pirates who take him hostage, reveal the many hazardous conditions that the men and their crew are faced with.  The possibility of causing injury to themselves, the ship, loss of cargo and not reaching the planned destination is inevitable. Ignorant of the many potential hazards in the Somali basin, Captain Phillips, risk assessment was poor, having only one contingency plan in place to curb the risk, much more could have been done to prevent this situation if a proper risk assessment was implemented. A trip that had few initial ergonomic and chemical hazards is now suddenly faced with biological, psychological and physical hazards  that violates the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) 2004 as amended in 2006.

Now lets identify the hazards found in the show…..

 

Biological Hazards

A Biological hazard as defined by  the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management is the  “processes of organic origin or those conveyed by biological vectors, including exposure to pathogenic micro-organisms, toxins and bio-active substances, which may cause the loss of life or injury, property damage, social and economic disruption or environmental degradation.”Simply speaking a biological hazard acts via agents such as plant, birds, humans, bacteria, insects and viruses. Within the movie Captain Phillips each interaction between the Somali pirates and the American crew could be interpreted as a possible biological hazard.

The poor hygienic practices possessed by the Somali pirates could be observed through the entirety of the show. These individuals were subjected to moist, humid conditions while continuously wearing the same articles of clothing. Unclean clothes could harbour microorganisms which could lead to skin infections, mold on clothing and in the case of one of the pirates chain smoking, an unpleasant body odor.

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Image 1 shows the depicts the hygienic conditions of the pirates.

While on the life boat, Captain Phillips requested some water from the Somali pirates; which he then received. However, this communal water could facilitate the transfer of various pathogens between individuals. It was also observed that during the selection process Muse chose a crew member from another village. Each individual is exposed to different types of bacteria within his/her home or environment, therefore individuals in another contextual environment may not share the same resistance to said bacteria. The sharing this water could have led to the spread of the common cold, hepatitis A, B or C and Tuberculosis. Similar to the spread of the Yellow Fever virus, to the indigenous from the Europeans, Captain Phillips could have also contaminated the water source during consumption. Limited border control and protection lead to the spread of potentially dangerous diseases by both parties

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Image 2 shows possible spread of blood borne diseases to Captain Phillips.

The spread of blood borne diseases could be seen as a large biological hazard. The assassination attempt of the Somali pirates lead to Captain Phillips being covered in the splatters of Somali blood.  Accidentally swallowing this blood along with it having any contact with an open wounds or sores, could have led to the transfer of blood borne diseases such as, Zika, H.I.V, Hepatitis B and viral hemorrhagic fevers.  The process of cleaning the possibly infected foot injury of one of the youngest pirate without proper safety wear such as gloves could have also resulted in the transfer of such diseases.

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Image 4 shows the means of ventilation on the lifeboat.

Tom Hanks stars in Columbia Pictures' "Captain Phillips."

Image 5 shows Captain Phillips showing Muse around the ship a requested.

Psychological Hazards

The movie Captain Phillips is the translation of a true re-enactment of the hijacking of the 2009 Somali hijacking of the American cargo ship, Maersk Alabama. Critics and film analyst, tend to pay close attention to the psychological trauma faced by Captain Phillips and his crew members. However, with critical analysis, it is evident that all groups found in the film do indeed experience some form of psychological trauma as a result of varying psychological hazards (based on the outline of the Operational health and safety act of 2004 as amended 2006) which may have already existed or come about due to actions of other groups as the case may be.

Firstly, however, the term psychological hazard must be defined. A psychological hazard according to www.physiotherapyalberta.com, is any hazard /dangerous element that affects the mental well being or mental health of the worker by overwhelming individual coping mechanisms and impacting the worker’s ability to work as a result of health and safety issues. The main causes of psychological hazards are stress, uncertainty in the workplace, a lack of control and fear.

The film, Captain Phillip, whilst containing a host of hazards in general, is dominated with the element of psychological hazards. The movie in essence is a drama by genre. Therefore, a lot of the dramatic experiences, given the setting of ‘the workplace’, are as a result of existing psychological hazards. The (3) main groups we shall consider are:

  1. Captain Phillips and his crew of sea officials. (other certified co captains, the engine room engineer)
  2. Musa and his crew members.
  3. The other 20 ship crew members

Captain Phillips and his crew of sea officials

  • Before Captain Phillips even sets foot on the ship, there is an early scene of him paying very close attention to the details of the job. This scene depicts Captain Phillips a bit reluctant in his body language to willingly take on the job. This early state of psychological interference, can be deemed a hazard in itself, as it can result in an individual experiencing an element of mental stress throughout the course of the job.

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Image  8 depicts the geographical location if the attack.

  • 2 boats approach Captain’s vessel. An early psychological hazard which Captain Phillip and his staff are exposed to were the 2 fisherman boats speedily approaching their ship on day one at sea, whilst they were conducting an emergency routine. The 2 boats speedily approach the ship and even turn on the same course as the vessel when the captain steers the ship 5 degrees leftward. A major reason why this event was a source of psychological hazard, is because the captain’s plea for assistance from the navy was initially ignored. His analysis of the situation is dismissed as simply fishermen vessels. This may have led to the Captain losing some trust in the navy a bit and as such could have left him with a high level of fear of a return of the pirates. In this case what could’ve been done better, is that the Navy personnel should’ve taken his outcry seriously the first time and sent assistance immediately rather than later.
  • Return of one of the boats. The following day, one of the fisherman boats returns. However on this occasion crew members aren’t on spot to conduct procedures and therefore are left simply to go rush into hiding. Another psychological hazard on said day is the realization or reinforcement of the mere fact that the crew was entirely unarmed and unprepared to deal with invaders carrying weapons. This is evident as Captain Phillips and his sea team are shot at by the rebels and his only source of retaliation is via the use of a flare and hoses in an attempt to sink the boat of the attackers. In this case they should’ve had weapons which they may have been able to utilize if the situation arose. (P.P.E)

Columbia Pictures' "Capt. Phillips," starring Tom Hanks.

Image 9 shows the contingency plan of the crew to sink the small boat in aims of  preventing the pirates from coming aboard the vessel

  • One of the crew members is threatened at gunpoint. This could’ve easily led to fair and immense trauma.

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Image 10 shows the physiological assault on the crew members.

  • The rebels come aboard and Captain Phillip loses control of the vessel. (Lack of control) This would’ve been a major psychological hazard in Captain Phillip’s zeal to persist. His utmost task to ensure safety of all merchandise being transported as well as the safety of his staff had become compromised.

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Image 11 shows the Somali pirates entering the navigation room of the ship.

  • Captain Musa announces he is going to search the ship. The new captain of the ship, Captain Musa, lets it be known that he is prepared to search the entire ship for the crew members. This would’ve been a source of psychological trauma for the other crew members as they may have been eternally concerned about the prospect of them being found and held captive with the other members of the team.

 

  • Captain Phillips is taken hostage aboard the emergency vessel. Captain Phillip finally loses any control when he is stripped entirely of his role of authority and in turn made to play the role of captive. He would’ve also been extremely fearful for his life at this point. At this point if I were Captain Phillip, I would really want to go home. What can I say 1 psychological hazard too many can really dampen the ambitions of even the most joyful of us. >_<

Faysal Ahmed, left, and Tom Hanks star in Columbia Pictures' "Captain Phillips."

Image 12 show Captain Phillips boarding the lifeboat. 

  • Captain Phillip’s entire experience was a psychological hazard. At the beginning of the movie, it is clearly evident that Captain Phillip is by no means ambitious or passionate about going to Somalia to work. It is clear he senses the danger and was aware of the possibility of being hijacked. Hence, for a person who did not really have any great desire to be there too much, to have the worst experience of all the crew members. Threatened at gunpoint, had his duties stripped by pirates, had the safety of his men compromised, hit with the gun of the pirates, and now finally to witness the brutal murder of 4 men. These all pose a major hamper on his mental and emotional future. In other words, his entire experience at sea on this occasion, is in itself a psychological hazard to his future at sea, and as such may have made him stronger or as in other cases caused him to leave his job in fear of losing his life. (Or in local dialect, caused him to ‘Fire the wuk”)

 

Musa and his Crew

  • The ‘Mother ship’ left them. Throughout the movie Musa and his crew attempted to gain some form of communication with the team of ‘elders’ or other pirates they were working for. This never came to pass and essence would’ve left Musa feeling a sense of abandonment. (In particular from those he trusted and depended on)
  • Musa and his team were physically and mentally dejected. It’s almost to the climax of the movie at this point and Musa and his men are beginning to realize their choice to take Captain Phillip may have been a risky one. They also begin to realize that their elders and other pirates they worked with were not going to come back to their rescue nor were they attempting to communicate with them. Hence, they now decide to attempt to play into the hands of the Navy. How do they play into the hands of the Navy? Well they realize they might have had the shorter end of the stick as taking a man hostage made them terrorist, and the U.S Navy does not negotiate with terrorist. This meant that their plans had now been foiled and they had no control of their destiny. Their next bet therefore was to accept the offer of the Navy to negotiate on the terms of Musa going aboard the navy ship.
  • Musa’s men are assassinated. Making his decision based on fear and opting to go aboard the U.S Navy ship in a supposed controlled environment. Musa isn’t aware that he has been tricked and as a result the US Navy is able to assassinate his men. This plunges him into deep sadness. The psychological hazard of him going aboard the U.S ship was acutely evident. Such action simply meant that he was now not in control of the entire situation which meant his own safety and the safety of his men was at stake.

 


Ergonomic hazards

According to the University of Chicago Environmental Health and Safety Ergonomic hazard is any workplace condition that pose a threat to musculoskeletal system of an employee such as repetitive movement, uncomfortable work stations, overcrowding and poor body positions.

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Image 13 shows the ergonomic hazards  imposed onto the Somali pirates.

In the movie Captain Phillips, ergonomic hazards are visible in various scenes where the Somali pirate crew is involved in strenuous positions and manual labor both on their mothership and the skiffs (rowing boat). The Maersk Alabama crew also was involved in strenuous task where their jobs require them to be on their feet. This requirement increased after the first pirate attack where they were instructed to work double shift. These hazards could cause muscle strains and possible major injuries to the musculoskeletal system in the future such as Upper Limb Disorder (ULD).

hierarchy-of-control

Image 14 shows the hierarchy of control 

According to the hierarchy of control there are activities to reduce risks that can be used to help the crew. The first level of the hierarchy is elimination, therefore the members of the two crews could position themselves in a more comfortable position, avoid strenuous position and have a seat available to sit when their legs get tire. However, the crew cannot perform these action since it would hamper their ability to do their jobs. The second level is substitution but the duties cannot be replaced with a safer alternative since the tasks needs to be done in this manner. The third level isolation also cannot be done as the jobs cannot be kept away from workers to avoid injury since their work is needed for the ship to make its voyage. The forth level engineer or designing something to solve the workers problem of muscle strain, however, to my knowledge such technical relieve have not been invented just yet. The fifth level administration which is to arrange a system to make things better was implemented for the Maersk Alabama crew with a shift system but not for the Somali pirate crew, however because of the pirates attempted attack on the crew they had to work double shift. The final level and last resort is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which was provided for the Maersk Alabama crew but not the Somali pirates.

This film image released by Sony - Columbia Pictures shows, from left, Faysal Ahmed, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, and Mahat Ali in "Captain Phillips." (AP Photo/Sony - Columbia Pictures, Jasin Boland)

This film image released by Sony – Columbia Pictures shows, from left, Faysal Ahmed, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, and Mahat Ali in “Captain Phillips.” (AP Photo/Sony – Columbia Pictures, Jasin Boland)

 

Federation of Small Business (FSB) stated that overcrowding is an ergonomic hazard which could lead to stress and confrontation due to invasion of personal space, health effects caused by overcrowding. Overcrowding is seen in the movie when four Somali pirates were on a skiff which was designed to carry one person resulting in the pirates sitting in unsafe areas of the boat and almost falling overboard when the engine failed causing them to come to an abrupt stop. Overcrowding is also sighted in the scene on the pirates’ mother-ship where the entire crew of nine men were aboard the small ship and having to share this small space a confrontation occurred between the crew leaders, who constantly threatened each other throughout the movie, eventually leading to the death of one of them. To avoid such altercations the two pirate crew could have been sectioned off or been on separate ship to prevent interaction. The Trinidad and Tobago Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) (2004) as amended (2006) section 5 subsection 1 to 4 gives guidelines on the space required for each person in the workplace to avoid such incidence. This analysis shows that the pirates were clearly exploited by their employer and exposed to higher risk of ergonomic injury.

In conclusion, the failed contingency plan of Captain Phillips and his crew, along with their ignored reports to the authorities resulted in each individual being exposed to both temporary and permanent hazards. Each hazard examined shows varying degrees of threats imposed on individuals which can affect the future standard of life  awarded. The infrequency of pirate attacks on cargo ships should have affected the construction of a risk assessment,  as it should include the likely hood of all possible hazardous situations of ships in open water.  It is generally taught to members of the crew that as a means to preserve their welfare to give into the desires of pirates as cargo ships usually only have one fire arm. The biological, chemical, physical, psychological and ergonomic hazards sustained by everyone that could of been avoided had better health and safety practices been implemented.

Works Cited List

Basic Paperwork for Health and Safety.” NHS Health Scotland. NHS Health Scotland, 16 July 14. Web. 04 Oct. 2016.

Brad. “Look At Me, I’m The Captain Now.” Know Your Meme News. Chez Brger, 2016. Web. 04 Oct. 2016.

By Doing So, You Have Created a Safer and Healthier Workplace. “OSH Answers Fact Sheets.” Government of Canada, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. Canada. CA, 2016. Web. 04 Oct. 2016.

Doucette, Chrystal. “The Top Five Types of Workplace Hazards.” Small Business. N.p., 2010. Web. 04 Oct. 2016.

Goetsch, David L. The Basics of Occupational Safety. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2010. Print.

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

“Physiotherapy Alberta College Association : The Movement Specialists: Home.” Physiotherapy Alberta College Association : The Movement Specialists: Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Oct. 2016

“Tom Hanks Captain Phillips.” Tom Hanks Captain Phillips. Paul Greengrass, 24 Oct. 2013. Web. 04 Oct. 2016.

“Trinidad & Tobago : Occupational Safety & Health Act (Amendment).” Trinidad & Tobago : Occupational Safety & Health Act (Amendment). Trinidad&Tobago, n.d. Web. 04 Oct. 2016.

 

So now as you read………………….

Take a moment and close your eyes and imagine you are Captain Phillip or Captain Musa as the case may be. Picture all the hazards around and other violations of the OSH act. What would you do?

 

Leave a comment in the section as to what you may have done better.