OSH Matters

Growing interest in Occupational Safety and Health


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Oops: The World Is At Risk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Figure 5. Exposure to radioactive plutonium

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

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

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

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Figure 7. Ilsa shooting at Ethan and Solomon Lane

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

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

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

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

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

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Figure 11. Solomon Lane being trapped in the water

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

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Figure 12. Ethan wearing the HALO suit

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

BIOLOGICAL HAZARD

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

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

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Figure 13. The team driving through a sewer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Figure 15. Smoke emitted from the message giving device

TOXIC SUBSTANCE HAZARD

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

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

REFERENCES

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

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

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

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

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MT. EVERISK?? – An analysis of the 2015 Everest movie based on the ill-fated 1996 expedition.

“Human beings aren’t built to function at a cruising altitude of a Boeing 747…Our bodies will be literally dying”.  The cautionary advice at the start of the movie Everest by Rob Hall, one of the lead guides and owner of the expedition company ‘Adventure Consultants’, was so significant as it aimed to psychologically prepare the expedition members to appreciate the reality of  Mt. Everest.

Based on a true story, the movie set out to capture the lives of the clients of the Adventure Consultant and Mountain Madness tour groups on May 10, 1996, that started their ascent toward the summit of Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. With little warning, a violent storm struck the mountain, engulfing the adventurers in one of the fiercest blizzards ever encountered by man. As they became challenged by the harshest conditions imaginable, the teams had to endure blistering winds and freezing temperatures in an epic battle to survive against nearly impossible odds.

Let’s face it! Why would these individuals put their lives in such monumental danger? Why undergo forty days of mental, physical and psychological training in preparation of the climb to the summit?

Evidently, they all weighed the pros and cons of such an undertaking and when asked by Rob “Why climb Everest? ” most of them responded, “Because it’s there!” Sounds like a typical yet true risk seeker response doesn’t it?

To really find out how high is Mt. Everest and the hazards you can face whilst there, you can do like Rob and Fischer’s clients and can either pay US$40,000 to join an expedition and climb it or you can safely sit behind your computer and read our blog 🙂

Did you know…

Fact 1: Mt. Everest is the highest mountain above sea level, standing at 8,848 meters or 20,002 ft high. It also mentioned that, humans cannot survive for a long period of time at an elevation of above 8,000 meters, which is known as the “death zone” on Everest.  At sea level, our blood pressure is 98-99% saturated with oxygen and this decreases typically to 89-90% at 3000 meters and reaches as low as 40% on the summit of Everest.

Fact 2: Humans can survive four weeks without food and only days without water but can merely survive for minutes without oxygen?

So let us delve into the major causes of the tragedy that resulted in the deaths of four members of Rob’s team and one from Fischer’s team on those fateful days of May 10-11th 1996.


Physical Hazards: 

Elevation and Lack of Oxygen (Hypoxia)

One of the lead guides in the movie advised the team that “Getting up Everest is about oxygen and the lack of it”. Before watching this movie, we all probably had a fair idea that at extreme elevation, the oxygen in the atmosphere is significantly reduced. This is referred to as Hypoxia and it describes a deficiency or lack of an adequate amount of oxygen. In the movie, the climbers encountered severe weather conditions which possibly caused oxygen levels to decline by approximately 6% causing a 14% reduction of oxygen intake by their bodies. It is possible that the progressive effects of hypoxia could have affected the proper functioning of the climbers’ central nervous systems. At higher elevations and without the proper supply of oxygen apparatus, their bodies would have reacted to lack of oxygen by increasing blood flow to their brains causing severe swelling. Blood vessels would begin to leak resulting in High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE).

In this state, some of the climbers experienced disorientation, hallucinations and in some instances, loss of consciousness.  Case in point, Doug Hansen was portrayed gasping for oxygen as he reached the summit. It was also probable that he could have suffered from High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE), which occurs when there is an accumulation of fluid in the lungs. This resulted in shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, coughing and bloody sputum.

The consumption of alcohol before climbing Everest was a big risk to everyone because of histotoxic hypoxia. Histotoxic hypoxia is the presence of alcohol in the blood which interferes with the normal use of oxygen by the tissues. The effects of alcohol at high altitude is much more pronounced than at sea level, because of the reduced pressure at high level and the reduced ability of haemoglobin to absorb oxygen. The effects of a drink are magnified 3 times over the effects of that same drink at sea level.

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Image 1: Displays the effects on Hypoxia.
From Everest 2015, Pls Stay Safe Jake Gyllenhaal Gif, accessed 12 October 18, 2018, https://giphy.com/gifs/jason-clarke-everest-everestedit-7AvDmKeHHXXl6

 

Mitigation:

At extreme altitudes, the effects of hypoxia can be prevented or reduced by the utilization of supplementary oxygen via a readily accessible and available supply of oxygen. To gain full benefits from supplemental oxygen, it must be used in conjunction with a sensible acclimatization schedule. Although available to the climbers, some of them opted to not carry oxygen filled cylinders due to it being heavy to climb with and also it is costly.


Adverse/Serve Weather

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Image 2: Displays difficulties a climber faced due to the adverse weather.
From Everest 2015, Trailer Haunting Gif, accessed 12 October 18, 2018, https://giphy.com/gifs/cinemablend-everest-bfHNdRMrKaBYQ

 

It is the most difficult factor to control that affected the ascent of the climbers to the summit. It is possible that had the climbers reached the summit earlier that day on May 10th, they may not have encountered the blizzard that took place that day which caused many climbers to die of exposure. The effects of the blizzard caused reduced visibility on the descent trail, increased frostbite (Beck, Scott, and Yasuko) and hypothermia in the oxygen-starved atmosphere at 8000m, It also wiped out the trails leading to camp four, covering the overhead fixed ropes with snow. The already weakened and hypoxic climbers, Andy, Doug, Beck, Scott were stranded near the summit and were unable to battle their way down through the whiteout.

Mitigation:

If the weather conditions are not conducive to climbing and the safety of the clients are at risk, the main advice would be to turn back. It is disappointing that their dreams may be unrealized but it is better than being dead through falls, exposure or returning home and suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.


Access and Egress: Pathways/Routes

With reference to Part II, Section 6(2)(e) of the OSH Act 2004, Amended by. 3 of 2006 of Trinidad and Tobago : Gen Duties – …Safe means of access to and egress from workplace.

Having a safe place of work is essential. Moreover, access to and egress from that place of work must also be safe. We all have a responsibility to ensure the place of work and the access to and egress from that place is safe for ourselves and others who may be affected. This certainly wasn’t the case in Everest as throughout the climbers’ journey to the summit of Mt. Everest, a series of make-shift pathways/ bridges, ledges etc were evident and some of its terrains would have been roughly created by avalanches, obviously affecting the normal mapped route for the experienced guides. Even the rope and wooden ladders at times seem dangerous and would have resulted in possible fall hazards.

Ultimately, these make-shift and uneven snowy terrain posed a risk and as we saw in the movie,  it led to trips, slips and fall hazards.

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Image 3: Displays a trip hazard.
From Everest 2015, Jake Gyllenhaal My Edit Gif, accessed 12 October 18, 2018, https://giphy.com/gifs/jake-gyllenhaal-my-edit-everest-mxwlqVR1Ml73O

 

Mitigation:

Always do your homework! It is important to find out all the details of the ascent and descent routes before the start of the expedition. Also, prior to reaching the summit after the climbers passed camp four, the two expeditions recognized that the rappel anchors and ropes were not present and the action was then taken to hurriedly prepare one. These actions if undertaken prior would likely prevent a large number of rescues.


Access and Egress: Fall Hazard 

Additional to this, throughout the movie it is evident that ‘other people’ and irrational behaviors are another source for hazard. The climbers traverse the mountain in close-net (connected) team, as such the actions of climber can affect the safety of others. For example, climbers can accidentally drop some gear or knock off block of snow which can compromise the safety of persons below. As seen in the movie, when moving along the along mountain one of climber accidentally slipped, in doing so, pulled down the other members within the team.  As such, it is important to watch out for other people, both for your own safety and theirs.

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Image 4: Displays the fall of one climber poses a threat to other climbers.
From Everest 2015, Youtube Film Gif, accessed 12 October 18, 2018, https://giphy.com/gifs/movie-everest-2015-CaOAYBFwI5Y76


Emergency Egress/Obstructed Route: Overcrowding

The movie featured quite a complementary of climbers, that is, over thirty-three (33) climbers on that day attempting to climb Everest.  This created a bottleneck at the last hurdle before reaching the top. This got worse when upon nearing the summit, it was recognized that the Sherpas and guides did not place any safety lines which caused a wait of over one hour while the ropes were installed.

Overcrowding can lead to an increased risk of injuries as an obstructed emergency egress point, delay or in some cases prevent occupants from exiting safely. During an emergency, a quick and timely response is essential to save lives and property.

 

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Image 5: Displays other climber waiting their turn to cross the bridge.
From Everest 2015, Reel Opinions: Everest, accessed 12 October 18, 2018, http://keiichisreelopinions.blogspot.com/2015/09/

 


Emergency Evacuation Plan and Procedures

Before even considering to put someone life on a dangerous act, the course of the entire area should of been studied and examined to produce an evacuation system in the event of an emergency. Even if they had planned a system in which they would of been able to evacuate easily, a test drive should of taken place. From all indications, the team that climbed the mountain wasn’t given any muster points or evacuation plan in case of various emergencies. They should of had a clearly marked, well lit, unobstructed, safe and wide enough evacuation part with unlikely additional hazards in which they could have easily accessed. When the storm was approaching, the climbers (as a team), should of been able to move out in a safe place. There actions during the movie showcased a lack of a plan related to what to do or how to go about evacuating the mountain, for instance some of climbers laid there without moving, some opted to keep moving during the storm and the others either fell or skated down the mountain. Due to some of these choices, they suffered serious injuries and even death. In context of the OSH act (section 8:2), it stated that all industries must consist of a suitable evacuation plan in which each individual is trained to follow protocols in the event of an emergency. If the team had an evacuation plan/procedure, a lot of those deaths could’ve been prevented.

Due to the omission of the evacuation procedures the climbers suffered tremendously in the harsh cold weather which resulted in: limitation of oxygen, internal damages (hypoxia, nose bleeds, hypothermia, sight lost,short breath etc.) as well as external damages (frostbite, trench foot, bruises, broken bones etc).


Medical Arrangements:

According to Part II, Section 8(2)(b): I. Gen Duties – there must be a suitable and rapid means of obtaining first-aid help and transportation from the industrial establishment to a hospital for injured workers.

Prior to an emergency, it is the responsibility of the employer to make a suitable arrangement to transport any injured personnel to a receiving medical facility. Within the movie, When Beck Weathers made his way back to camp severely frostbitten, and in desperate need of medical help, Helen (the base camp manager) inform Beck’s wife that they have no means or transport to get him off the mountain to receive medical attention. This responsibility wrongfully fell upon his wife, who immediately contacted the American Embassy to mount a successful helicopter rescue.

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Image 6: Displays the rescue helicopter.
From Everest 2015, Amazing Helicopter scene on Everest, accessed 12 October 18, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqD3u9gNoww


Psychological Hazard: Abnormal Stress

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Image 7: Displays climbers using a makeshift bridge to get across a drop.
From Everest 2015, Jake Gyllenhaal Film Gif, accessed 12 October 18, 2018, https://giphy.com/gifs/jake-gyllenhaal-jason-clarke-josh-brolin-bWHjQlXs4Eexa

We all know stress is bad for our health, this is multiplied tenfold when working in a stressful environment. So, can you imagine the stress level of being 20,002 ft. high?

Stress can directly impact our work performance and safety. According to Canadian Mental Health Association, 2018 “Workplace stress then is the harmful physical and emotional responses that can happen when there is a conflict between job demands on the employee and the amount of control an employee has over meeting these demands. In general, the combination of high demands in a job and a low amount of control over the situation can lead to stress.” Within Everest, this manifested in two ways:

When Beck was attempting to cross the makeshift bridge, he suffered a panic attack when he almost fell and refused to move. As such, he was not mentally prepared and appeared scared to proceed across the bridge and got stuck on the ladder.

The other climber, Rob,  refused to come down or start moving because he was physically and possibly mentally tired to finish the climb down. Additionally, he was informed that the weather was preventing other climbers to aid in his rescue; stating “I’m cold but comfortable”.

According to Part II, Section 7(4): Gen Duties – An occupier shall ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that no unsafe structure exists in the industrial establishment that is likely to expose persons to risks to bodily injury. Although psychological hazard isn’t referenced directly, the act indicated that “bodily injury” includes injury to physical and mental health. As such, it is important to understand the links between stress and worker safety; because it affects the mental well-being of the worker by overwhelming the individual and impacting the worker’s ability to work in a safe manner.

Ethical Dilemma

When Beck almost fell the first time he tried crossing the rope and ladder bridge that hovered over a seemingly unending gorge, did he believe his life was less than the fulfillment of his personal ambition? A few of the climbers on their descent from the summit later met Beck laying there in the snow, suffering from exposure to high altitude and ultraviolet radiation blinded his eyes that he had surgery on. He never made the ascent to the summit and decided to descend and grew weaker as the storm progressed.

Other climbers passed him by but for Boukreev who later, in an effort to save himself from the effects of the second snowstorm, left Yasuka and Beck behind, to seek shelter in the makeshift tents on camp four until the storm passed.

The decision to leave Rob stranded alone on the mountain ledge for another night also prove to have had some psychological stress for the team back at the base camp and also those climbers who reached the safety of camp three. Both ethical and psychological in nature, the decision or inability to not return to assist Rob or even retrieve the bodies of the dead or dying people behind seem ruthless.


Proper Clothing and Functional Equipment

Have you ever fallen or had an injury due to not having the correct equipment? I think everyone has! because we do tasks hoping that no injury would befall us. What is not cool, is not having/wearing the required equipment when you hurt yourself and the pain is excruciating. You wish that you were wearing the proper gears that would have offered you some level of protection where if something was to occur the pain would be minimal.

Having the correct equipment allows the user to protect himself or herself from injuries associated with the task at hand. Section 23 (1) mandates that all persons entering an area in an industrial establishment where they are likely to be exposed to the risk of head, eye, ear, hand or foot injury shall be provided with suitable protective clothing or devices of an approved standard, it further mandates that no person shall be permitted to be in any such area unless he is wearing such protective clothing. Here it can be seen during the movie that none of the climbers were wearing helmets. This PPE would have protected them from hitting their head on a rock or hard surface and suffering a concussion if they were to slip and fall.

Additionally, some of the climbers choose to remove their gloves while they were waiting for others to cross the makeshift ladder bridge. Others removed the protective eyewear and so exposed their eyes to the blinding reflection of the snow. These acts or omissions clearly are in violation of the OSH Act.

Also when they were unable to open the bottle of oxygen. This occurred because they didn’t properly store the oxygen bottles along Everest and in time of need they won’t able to open the bottle of oxygen because it was frozen and wasn’t turning.

 

Mitigation:

You don’t want to have equipment failure due to inferior quality, because at that time there is no way that you can improvise, there is no ditching of equipment and there is no substitution. Therefore, having the correct equipment that is of the highest quality is the only safe option available. All employers in an industrial environment should be prepared to upgrade to the best personal protective equipment there is that can withstand the elements and rigors associated with employment and would reassure workers safety. Therefore each climber should have been mandated to have a modular glove system comprising of insulated layers for cold temperatures , hard shell / soft shell pants and jackets that are wind and waterproof (this would probably have protected them for a longer period in the freezing temperature), lightweight shatter resistant helmets and mountaineering boots with inner lining and also 100% UV goggles.

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From Everest 2015, Jake Gyllenhaal Everest Gif, accessed 12 October 18, 2018, https://giphy.com/gifs/jake-gyllenhaal-gyllenhaaledit-gif-WvRoZb3zCkYTu


Leader Negligence and Refusal to Work

The content of the movie, it displayed a high degree of irresponsible leadership which lead to the death of some climbers. According to the OSHA act. General Duties-6. (1) It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare at work of all his employees.

The leader of the group (Rob), who is considered as the ‘manager’, was informed of the numerous challenges and dangerous acts that his team would be faced with should he proceed to climb the mountain. Such effects were hypoxia, irrational behaviours, swelling of the brain that can lead to death, lungs filling with fluid and he was also was given a statistic number of the people that didn’t make it back to camp site (19).

One of the major factors that he ignored was the weather. His response to report was: “The mountain makes its own weather forecast”. This clearly demonstrates the level of responsibility he displayed to his team.

Workers must be properly informed of hazards and adequately trained to carry out their tasks safely. To make progress in occupational safety and health within industries, workers and their representatives have to cooperate with employers and each other, for example by participating in and implementing preventive programs. Ali (2008) While many of the climbers were desirous of achieving their ultimate goal of reaching the summit, there were strict timelines that should have been observed. However, by facilitating the request of “Doug” and not wanting to disappoint him, the leader made a decision to take him up to the summit even though everyone else who had reached the summit was already descending for over two hours. This act contributed significantly to the disaster that followed because the leader disregarded his own training and experience.

In keeping with the guidelines of the OSH Act, some of the employees of Adventure Consultants upon learning of the impending weather conditions decided that they were not venturing any further up the mountain and returned to the base camp. Section 15 ( c ) of the OSH Act clearly states that an employee may refuse to work or do particular work where he has sufficient reason to believe that the physical conditions of the workplace or the part thereof where he works or is to work is likely to endanger himself. Therefore the conditions higher up on the mountain did pose a significant threat to the workplace and any worker exercising his refusal to work would have been justified in doing so.

In the initial stage, Rob attempted to cancel the expedition but was met with anger from Beck who informed him that he did not pay US$65,000 to turn back.


Conclusion

Ultimately, climbing Mount Everest is truly an epic feat that involves putting your limb, mental health and life in monumental danger. There were many potential hazards that the guides and clients were expected to face in their quest to reach the summit. As such, the complexity of undertaking such a task, presents an opportunity to identify and examine the OSH hazards parallel that exist within the movie.


References 

 


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OSH Hazards in ‘Alice in Wonderland (2010)’

ALICE IN THE WONDERLAND (2010)

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IMAGE 1: ALICE IN WONDERLAND MOVIE POSTER

Source: https://www.tumblr.com/

INTRODUCTION

Occupational Safety and Health (O.S.H.) is a multidisciplinary field that is concerned with protecting the safety, health and welfare of individuals engaged in any form of work or employment. In its broad scope, O.S.H. covers the social, physical and mental well-being of persons. The prime function of O.S.H. is to create and maintain a safe and healthy work environment for employees, employers, customers and those that may be affected by the operations of the work environment, any violations of the O.S.H Act, the individual that violates the Act is liable to legal action being brought against them.

SYNOPSIS

Alice in Wonderland! A tale that ignites the youthful imagination of a girl wanting more out of life. The movie surrounds nineteen-year-old Alice, daughter of British royalty, who longs to escape the dull and stuffy world she resides within. After she is proposed to by a dorky lord she has no interest in, she becomes distracted by a rabbit wearing a waistcoat. She follows him down a rabbit hole, and finds herself transported into a magical world, full of colours, fantasy and bizarre adventures. Here, she becomes vulnerable to peculiar creatures and exposed to new environments where danger lurks around the corner. In this fantasy-filled land, an evil Red Queen resides and a benevolent White Queen remains in hiding. There are creatures that have been waiting for Alice’s return, as a prophecy has stated that she is destined to kill the Red Queen’s most feared weapon, a giant called the Jabberwock. However, Alice has no recollection of being in Wonderland at all, so her confidence to carry out her destiny is hanging in the balance. When many of the creatures who greeted her are taken prisoner by the minions of the Red Queen, Alice feels compelled to wander about looking for help in retrieving them. She must find her way to the Red Queen’s Castle, locate the magical sword that can kill the Jabberwock, and accomplish the deed she was destined to carry out. On this journey, she happens to become susceptible to the dangers and hazards surrounding her.

Although the whole atmosphere of “Alice In Wonderland” movie is a fantasy adventure film that barely scales realistic events (profoundly disjointed from reality), Alice still had exposure to chemical, biological, physical, psychological and ergonomic hazards. “Safety First” has made the group decision to evaluate each individual hazard that was identified throughout the movie to further give recommendations on how these hazards can possibly be eliminated.   

HAZARDS DISCOVERED

 Throughout the film, Alice in Wonderland (2010), hazards such as; physical, psychological, ergonomic, biological and chemical hazards were discovered. Further into our blog, we’ll discuss in detail the specific hazards that fall under each category previously mentioned. This would be coupled with graphical representation of each hazard identified for further clarification.   

PHYSICAL HAZARDS

 In the most mundane day to day activities a person may be confronted with many different hazards that may cause serious bodily harm, one of the most common types of hazards that people are exposed too are physical hazards. A physical hazard is any environmental hazard that can cause bodily harm to an individual, examples of physical hazards include noise, heat, vibration, pressure, heights and fall hazards, it must be noted that physical hazards don’t necessarily need to make physical contact in order for an injury to occur. Alice in Wonderland’ in this movie the main protagonist Alice was confronted with many different types of physical hazards such as noise, heat, trip, fall, crush and many others, all hazards mentioned have the potential to inflict great damage to Alice.

  •  TRIP HAZARD

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GIF 1: *Alice running after the Rabbit*

Source: https://www.tumblr.com/

Here Alice is chasing after the Rabbit in the waistcoat through the forest. She appears to be clueless and unsure as to where the rabbit is leading her, which makes her vulnerable to what lies ahead such as changes in floor level and unstable ground surfaces. Due to these factors, Alice’s reckless and unsafe movement through the forest gives rise to the possibility of tripping hazards. Tripping can lead to a serious injury which is no fun at all! Luckily, she didn’t. However, prior to analysing this trip hazard, “Safety First” observed that the forest is filled with numerous trees, fallen branches, twigs and vines on the ground’s surface. If one isn’t too careful, tripping becomes a possibility. This automatically puts her in the category of being “at risk.” Also, her apparel could have put her at a higher risk. For instance, her dress could have caused her to get caught in the branches of the trees, and her shoes are not characteristic of “running shoes.” Potentially, Alice could have suffered from a trip, slip or fall resulting in her bruising herself, straining a muscle, spraining her ankle or breaking a bone. Thankfully, at this point no damage was done to Alice. However, her top priority should have been her safety!

RECOMMENDATIONS TO REDUCE TRIP HAZARDS:

Based on the nature of “Alice In Wonderland,” one cannot expect that there would be “No Running in Forest” signs plastered along the path that Alice took when chasing after the rabbit. However, this particular scene can still be used to represent ways that a tripping hazard can be avoided. Firstly, to reduce the potential hazards that lead to slips, trips and falls, the owner of the land where Alice was roaming, could pave a pathway leading in and out of the forest. This will eliminate the possibility of rocky surfaces that can cause a person to slip, trip or fall. Secondly, by having the pathway properly lit, this will increase visibility to persons moving along the pathway through the forest. Lastly, footwear also plays a big role in preventing a person from slips, trips and falls.

 

  • FALL HAZARD

 

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GIF 2: *Alice falling into the Rabbit Hole*

Source: https://www.tumblr.com/

We are confronted with hazards from the very beginning as we see  Alice, who after being overwhelmed by the idea of marrying a man she hardly knew, decided to follow what looked like a clothed rabbit. After chasing this rabbit she comes to a big rabbit hole and decides to lean in to get a better look and it is at this time that she falls face first into the hole. So Alice, in addition to chasing random creatures she encounters in a forest decides to endanger herself by leaning into a big hole in the ground (nice going Alice). Alice in this scene is violating the O.S.H. act of Trinidad and Tobago that states “It shall be the duty of every employee while at work to take reasonable care for the safety and health of himself and of other persons who may be affected by his acts or omissions at work.”
RECOMMENDATIONS TO REDUCE FALLING HAZARDS:

In order to avoid accident or injury employers must ensure that proper safety barriers and precautions are present to not only warn employees of potential falling dangers but also prevent them from happening. Employees also have the responsibility to ensure that they practice good safety measures at all times. In this case, if Alice had avoided leaning over and looking into the rabbit hole that would have greatly minimized her chances of falling.

 

  • CUT HAZARD

 

GIF 3 & 4: Alice being chased by the Bandersnatch

Source: https://makeagif.com/

In this clip, Alice is being chased by the Red Queen’s ferocious Bandersnatch pet. Initially, her survival instincts implore her to run and get out of the creature’s way into a safe direction. However, after running a couple yards, her fight-or-flight response shifts, and she courageously (or stupidly as some may think) decides to stand before the beast. At this point, Alice purposefully put herself in harm’s way. The Dormouse, seeing the error of her actions, runs up the back of the beast and proceeds to stab it in the eye causing it to act out and reach for its injured eye. From this, Alice obtains severe cuts from the creature’s claw on her forearm. Also, due to Alice not being dressed in the correct clothing, she put herself at a higher risk of obtaining scratches, scrapes, bruises and cuts on her body. I mean, running through Wonderland in a crowded forest wearing a silk halter dress? C’mon! Here, Alice is directly violating the O.S.H. Act of Trinidad and Tobago Chapter 88:08, Part IV (10) (1) (d) which clearly states, “It shall be the duty of every employee at work to use correctly the personal protection clothing or devices provided for his use.”

RECOMMENDATIONS TO REDUCE CUT HAZARD:

Alice should not have risk her life by standing in front of the Bandersnatch. To avoid being harmed by the creature she should have vacated to a safe zone out it’s way.

 

  • FIRE HAZARD

 

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GIF 5: The Jabberwock breathing fire

Source:  https://www.tumblr.com/

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GIF 6: Alice Falling Down the Rabbit Hole

Source:  https://www.tumblr.com/

In the movie, many fire hazards were also observed that not only made for wonderful cinematography but could have caused great physical harm. In the first instance when Alice foolishly falls down the rabbit hole we see that there are many lanterns on the walls of the hole. These lanterns run the risk of being broken by the falling debris and catching fire in the paper filled hole. Another significant fire hazard we see is when Alice fights the Jabberwocky (fire breathing creature) and is hit many times with the electric/fire attacks by the creature. This encounter poses a great fire risk as it exposes Alice to major burns.

RECOMMENDATIONS TO REDUCE FIRE HAZARDS:

To minimize the chances of burns employees should be provided with  protective gear by employers to ensure employees are adequately protected from injury .Any device that poses a fire hazard, such as covered lanterns, should be removed and replaced with lighting fixtures that do not pose a fire risk and employee should take the necessary steps to protect themselves from injury by ensuring they adhere to all fire safety protocols.

 

  • STRUCK HAZARD

GIF 7 & 8: Mallymkun poking Alice’s foot and poking out the Bandersnatch’s eye

Source: https://www.tumblr.com/

A struck hazard refers to an accident in which a person is hit and injured by an object, tool or equipment. In the movie, Alice encountered a number of struck hazards. For instance, where Mallymkun, the Dormouse, poked Alice in her foot because she thought that is was the wrong Alice. Mallymkun also helped Alice escape from the Bandersnatch by poking out his eye with her sword. Another struck hazard is caused when Mallymkun and the March Hare were throwing objects blindly at people at the Hatter’s tea party. Also another struck hazard  is when the Red queen slapped the Knave of hearts for allowing Alice to escape and the last hazard is when the Hatter threw a dagger at the Knave of hearts causing an injury to his hand for trying to kill the Red queen.

RECOMMENDATION TO REDUCE STRUCK BY HAZARD:

In order to reduce struck hazards employees need to follow safety instructions and standard operating procedures. Hence, training of personnel that use the equipment and orientation with the workplace can help reduce the risk of injuries. Also strict supervision, monitoring, controlling, safety inspections and audits will help managers provide a safe environment for their employees. The use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) by the workers, such as clothing, headgear, and safety glasses is recommended to prevent serious injuries.

 

  • CRUSH HAZARD

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GIF 9: Alice slicing Jabberwock’s head off

Source: tumblr_inline_n32mrbt6TX1rfkzoz.gif

A crush hazard exists when two objects move toward each other or when a moving object approaches a stationary one. In the movie, a crush hazard that is identified is when Alice  battles with the Jabberwock as seen in GIF 9.  Another crush hazard happened during the battle between the Red and White queen, the Jubjub bird was killed when its head was crushed by a giant boulder from a catapult without it noticing.
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IMAGE 2: Jubjub Bird’s head getting crushed

Source: https://www.tumblr.com/

 

RECOMMENDATION TO REDUCE CRUSH HAZARDS:

To prevent hazards from happening, management must follow and keep up-to-date with OSHA regulations. Also all employees must follow safety instructions and standard operating procedures. Furthermore, to reduce risk of serious injuries all employees must be aware of their surroundings in the workplace to create a safe environment for themselves and others. In the workplace, employees should be encouraged to record all issues and hazards. Once something is documented, it is easier to identify and address.  Also marking all hazardous areas with the appropriate notices and signs helps to reduce any hazards.

 

PSYCHOLOGICAL HAZARDS

Psychological hazards are defined as any hazard 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 in a healthy and safe manner. Psychological hazards are closely associated with physical health in particular, heart diseases. Some psychological factors that may contribute to one’s physical health includes stress from conflict job overload, hostility, boredom, depression, fear and bullying just to name a few.

 

  • BULLYING HAZARD

 

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GIF 10: The Queen Using A Pig’s Belly As A Footstool

Source:  https://www.tumblr.com/

Bullying was also a major part of the story line. It is mainly exemplified in the various scenes with the Queen, as she controlled all her servants. As illustrated in G.I.F. 10, we can clearly see the Queen using a pig, one of her servants, as a footstool. A FOOTSTOOL!? How can one be so insensitive that they use a living creature as a footstool? Without a doubt this can be described as advantageous in its purest form. This not only portrays the wicked nature of the queen but it in turns violates the Trinidad and Tobago OSH Act Chpt 88:08, Part II 20A. (c) where it states that “no employer or person acting on behalf of an employer shall intimidate a worker”. Isn’t it not intimidating to know that your employer can, at any point, call on you to be a footstool? It sure is! This in turn led to a fear hazard.

  • . FEAR HAZARD

GIF 11 & 12: The Queen Punishing her servant

Source:  https://www.tumblr.com/

As a result of the derogatory manner the queen treated her employees, they were extremely afraid of her. As seen in GIF 11 the frog is literally trembling as he did something displeasing to her. He ate her food! Upon her realizing that it was him, he started explaining himself but she was not interested in what he had to say. She immediately dismissed him. This can be seen in GIF 12. This is a clear violation of the Trinidad and Tobago OSH Act Chpt 88:08, Part II, 20A. (a) where it states “No employer or person acting on behalf of an employer shall dismiss or threaten to dismiss a worker”. It is clear that her servants do not have job security and are therefore fearful.

RECOMMENDATIONS TO REDUCE PSYCHOLOGICAL HAZARDS :

Without a doubt, both scenarios depict psychological hazards in the form of bullying and fear. This is therefore an unhealthy environment for the queen’s servants and should be addressed for their optimum comfort. Two ways in which this can be addressed is to 1. Instil proper meditation practices to be used by managers – in this case the queen. This can aid with what seem to be a serious anger issue and reduce her aggressive response to situations that are not pleasing to her. Another way this can be addressed is to implement proper training for both managers and employees – in this case the queen and her servants. This would ensure that the queen is more sensitized to her duty to her employees and hopefully treat them in a much better way. It would also inform the employees of their rights in the workplace and in turn they would know how to treat with their manager and enforce their rights without being dismissed and unfairly treated.

 

ERGONOMIC HAZARDS

Ergonomic hazards are those physical factors of the environment that can cause harm to the musculoskeletal system. These hazards are caused by uncomfortable working stations, repetitive movements, poor body posture and vibrations, amongst other factors. These types of hazards aren’t always immediately obvious making it quite difficult to discern. However, injuries sustained from ergonomic hazards can be as little as a sore muscle or a long-term illness that can be detrimental to the body. The intensity of the injury depends on the length of time being exposed.

 

  • UNCOMFORTABLE FURNITURE

 

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IMAGE 3: The Queen’s Throne

Source:  https://www.tumblr.com/

Ahhhh we know what you’re thinking, such a royal site, must be furniture  for a queen and her pet, right? Because there’s no way  in hell another human can sit comfortably on that stool on that’s placed on the right side of ”her majesty’s” chair! Oh well, descend your eyes further down.

 

  • POOR POSTURE

 

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GIF 13: The Queen and Alice ascending to The Throne

Source:  https://www.tumblr.com/

 

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IMAGE 4: The Queen and Alice

Source:  https://www.tumblr.com/

Yes, you’re seeing correctly, a young lady known as Alice is slouched over the stool. Hazard! hazard! Hazard! Alice causes harm to her musculoskeletal system. Firstly, her posture is poor and her knees are bent lower than usual, almost as though she has to stoop in order to sit. This may cause long term damage to Alice’s  spine. There is also a strong possibility that it can remain permanently bent.  Secondly, Alice can also suffer from sore muscles and poor circulation all due to the manner in which she sat. According to the Trinidad and Tobago Occupational Safety and Health Act 2004 every employee has the right to ask their employer to correct dangerous conditions. In this case Alice is responsible for her own safety, she has the choice to either sit on the stool or remain standing. However, Alice  willingly sat on the stool without asking the queen, to take corrective actions. Such as providing better seating accommodations. Ohh well Alice, we do hope that  better decisions will be made next time.

 

  • POORLY DESIGNED FURNITURE

 

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IMAGE 5: The Mad Hatter and Alice having tea

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

In this part of the movie it is shown that Alice, in her shrunken state, is sitting on a chair that is too big for her. The table is not at the height of her elbows so it would be very uncomfortable if she were to try and participate in their festivities. It is also shown that the back of the chair is not high enough to accommodate the support of her back, this can lead to sore muscles or even long-term illnesses. If the environment that the employee is working in daily is not up to par, it is up to the employers to eliminate the hazard. The employers can firstly identify them, then take the necessary measures to eliminate them whether using administrative or engineering controls. When Ergonomic Hazards are identified, it may be necessary to redesign aspects of a workspace or employee routine. Anything that could cause employees to experience long or short-term strain should be evaluated, and alterations to procedures and workspaces should be considered. If it’s determined that Ergonomic Hazards cannot be removed from a workplace, controls can help to reduce risks that are involved.

RECOMMENDATIONS TO REDUCE ERGONOMIC HAZARDS:

We recommend that engineers redesign workspaces in order to accommodate individuals that work in compromising positions. This in return would  reduce strain and improve employee’s body posture. Employers must ensure that all workspaces provide employees with  a full range of motion required to complete a task. Administrative controls reduce risk by changing work processes and activities in order to make them more safe, such as providing employees with break periods that help to reduce short-term strain.

 

CHEMICAL HAZARD

A chemical hazard is a form of occupational hazard that is caused by the exposure of chemicals in the work environment. Exposure to these chemicals in the workplace can be detrimental. These chemical hazards poses a wide range of health and physical issues and therefore should not overlooked. Employees should wear proper PPE or ensure measures are in place to prevent these hazards.

 

  • HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES

 

GIF 14 & 15: Alice Consuming the “Drink Me” Potion

Source:  https://www.tumblr.com/

In the above illustration, Alice is analyzing a substance labeled “drink me”. She has no idea what the substance contains because it is not properly labeled, but she proceeds anyway to follow the instructions to drink it as it seems like the only way forward or out of the room that is minute compared to her present size. How crazy does someone has to be to drink a substance they know nothing of? The substance was used to make her shrink which may have contained hazardous chemicals based on the ingredients. The possible side effects would have included poisoning, corroding, irritation, sensitizing, or even death. The likelihood of the risk seemed to be low whereas the severity could’ve been very high. Surprisingly, these substances were harmless.

 

  • MERCURY HAZARD

 

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GIF 16: The Mad Hatter’s erratic behaviour

Source:  https://www.tumblr.com/

Mad Hatter’s erratic behaviour stems from a real life industrial hazard many years ago. Hatters worked in poorly ventilated rooms and were exposed to mercury that shape and convert fur into hats. Evidently, that is exactly where Mad Hatter got his name and character from, although he seems to be one of the not so mad hatters. The mercury poisoned Mad Hatter which showed through his very bright, red, hair and eyes. Although Mad Hatter did not possess many of the symptoms of being harmed by the mercury, some of the symptoms include irritability, excitability and erethism.

 

  • EXHAUST FUMES

 

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GIF 17: Absolem (The Blue Caterpillar) Blowing Smoke from his Hookah

Source:  https://www.tumblr.com/

In the above image we see the caterpillar blowing smoke into the atmosphere. It is no uncertainty the level of harm that can be caused by such act. Absolem (the caterpillar) blows a volume of smoke into Alice’s and others face while speaking with them. Inhaling smoke can cause a variety of health effects including respiratory problems, shortness of breath and worsen medical conditions. The likelihood of Alice falling ill is rather high since she is considered an at risk person because of her age.  The caterpillar’s careless actions would have been injurious to the health of the others. Although this scene is not based in a working environment, the OSH act section on the prohibition against smoking would have been violated since Absolem was in contact with other persons.

RECOMMENDATIONS TO REDUCE EXHAUST FUMES EXPOSURE:

To reduce the level of risks posed by chemical hazards, there are a number of controls that can be implemented. These controls are located on a hierarchy ranging all the way from elimination to PPE. Some of these include, but are not limited to, a  proper ventilated area to protect others from the dangers of smoking, ensuring that all substances are clearly labeled and stored in a safe place, substituting harmful substances where possible and the use of protective wears where necessary, for example a face mask.

 

BIOLOGICAL HAZARDS

Biological hazards refers to organisms or matters produced by these organisms that can cause harm to a human’s health. For example, parasites, viruses, bacteria and fungi. Hazards of this nature are encountered in the environment and pose a significant threat. Commonly, these microorganisms can enter our body via three avenues. These avenues are; the respiratory system, transmission through contact with bodily fluids or physical contact with contaminated objects.

 

  • MOULD HAZARD

 

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GIF 18: Alice in a room after falling down the Rabbit Hole

Source:  https://www.tumblr.com/

Here is Alice, confused and scared in some sort of room after falling down the “rabbit hole”. Subsequent to assessing the room, we came to the conclusion that the room is abandoned, dingy and more than likely to be harbouring mould. Consider heavy rains in the forest and a hole that leads to an underground room. Does a damp and mouldy environment come to mind? Sure does for us, Safety First folks. Exposure to damp and mouldy environments poses a risk to one’s health. Lengthy exposure to this environment could have caused throat irritation, nasal stuffiness, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation or even skin irritation for Alice. What if someone who has mould allergies or even a chronic lung illness was exposed to a room of this state? The risk would’ve been much higher, as such, their reaction would’ve been extremely severe.

 

  • BACTERIA HAZARD

 

      

      GIF 19, 20 & 21: Alice Exploring Wonderland

Source:  https://www.tumblr.com/

As the name of the movie cleverly suggests, Alice wandering off in a bizarre land after falling into the “rabbit hole”. Roaming through this foreign land, as seen in the graphical representations above, she’s not equipped with any personal protective equipment and devices (PPE). Thus, Alice is exposed to the various micro-organisms that live in the plants and animals in Wonderland. These biological hazards can enter Alice’s body through inhalation, absorption, ingestion and even injection. In the scenes that are captured in the images above, Alice is at risk to inhaling the various organisms. Do you think we’re aware when we have inhaled a bacteria? Truth is, we’re likely not to be aware as there is no smell, taste or irritating effects. Moreover, Alice being a teenager, as mentioned before, is classified as an “at risk person”. Persons that fall under this classification are likely not to be very knowledgeable and experienced. Hence, they’re likely to be more at risk than others and ought to be supervised. It’s safe to say Alice is a walking risk hazard.

 

GIF 22 & 23: The Cheshire Cat and The March Hare enjoying tea in the middle of the forest.

Source:  https://www.tumblr.com/

 

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GIF 24: Mad Hatter walking on the table where they’re consuming foods in the forest.

Source:  https://www.tumblr.com/

In the GIFs above, we can see Alice’s new friends having a meal. In addition to consuming the foods in an open and highly prone to bacteria atmosphere, Mad Hatter thought it was wise to walk on the laden table of food. Is he mad? He has to be! Surely, after this scene, his name wasn’t to be questioned. Just think of all the bacteria that’s under his shoes. There is a high probability that his egotistical action caused some sort of contamination to the food on the table. Thus, exposing those whom he considered his friends to be at risk of ingesting bacteria. This threat definitely could’ve been prevented if Hatter would’ve just walked on the ground like a normal person, but I suppose it’s not in his nature to be normal. In fact, Mad Hatter can  be viewed as violating the OSH Act T&T Chpt. 88:08 Part I 10. (1) (a) where it states “It shall be the duty of every employee while at work to take reasonable care for the safety of him and of other persons who may be affected by his acts or omission at work”. Though this scene doesn’t depict a work environment, we found that it would be useful to use the Act as a standard guide for behaviour in any situation.  

 

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GIF 25: The Bandersnatch licking Alice’s infected wound

Source:  https://makeagif.com/

In GIF 25, the Bandersnatch, who Alice’s first encounter is in fact the reason why she has the cut on her arm, is now reconciling with her as he uses his tongue and saliva to discontinue the spreading of the infection. Prior to meeting up the beast again, Alice travelled throughout the lands neglecting to treat the cut. As one can imagine, the cut got infected. Generally, infected wounds are caused by bacteria that may emanate from the skin, other parts of the body or the external environment. In Alice’s case, this unfamiliar environment which constituted countless microorganisms gave rise to her infected wound. Being that Alice was continuously exposed to bacteria, if she had not met back up with the Bandersnatch, the bacteria would’ve spread and cause infections in other areas of her body. Who would’ve thought that the beast that caused Alice harm would’ve been the one to be her saviour?

There are four levels of biological hazards. Four? Yes, four! I know right. ☹ur bodies reacts differently to each level, it may be as minor as a stomach ache or severe as death. Scary huh? I mean, doesn’t it make you want to isolate yourself? Luckily, our team has done sufficient research and we are able to provide recommendations which can ensure your safety. For the sake of our readers, these recommendations extend beyond the scope of the movie.   

RECOMMENDATIONS TO REDUCE BIOLOGICAL HAZARDS:

Firstly, engineering controls are what ought to be the first choice of protection in areas of operations. For example, ventilation systems or  a constructive seal that can create a negative pressure room. Secondly, administrative controls refers to work processes or procedures that minimize the risk of hazard as low as practicably possible. For example, training, regulating personal hygiene, limiting exposure time to hazard by rotating shifts. Finally, personal protective equipment is likely to be the option after both engineering and administrative controls and there is still a threat to the safety and health of an individual. PPE then becomes necessary. Some PPE may include, gloves, face mask or respirator, eyewear protection.

 

CONCLUSION

Health and safety on work sites and in everyday life is something that people must pay close attention too to avoid serious injury or harm. As seen in the movie  hazards can exist in every aspect of life as we do the most routine things. Many times we don’t realise just how dangerous many of the things we do are and in our blog post we sought to show how the simplest things can have great consequences without us even realising it. It is therefore our hope that this article not only gave you better insight into a very popular movie but showed you how mindful you must be of everything you do. So remember this is Alice, Alice follows random rabbits through the forest and neglects safety rules, don’t be like Alice, put Safety First.
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REFERENCES

Alice In Wonderland Movie Review Summary

http://allreaders.com/movie-review-summary/alice-in-wonderland-2010-37581

http://www.oshc.org.hk/oshc_data/files/HotTopic/CB959E.pdf

https://www.slideshare.net/mcivers1979/biological-hazards-

overview

https://www.cdc.gov/mold/dampness_facts.htm

https://www.slideshare.net/mcivers1979/biological-hazards-overview

https://www.comcare.gov.au/preventing/hazards/chemical_hazards

http://full.chemwatch.net/galleria/LEGSREGS/40-5-3-5-65-3-SB-20060214

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/hazardoustoxicsubstances/

https://safetylineloneworker.com/blog/workplace-hazards-series-ergonomics/

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THE END

 


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OSH Hazards in “Deepwater Horizon” (2016)

TERRIFYING. SUSPENSEFUL. EXTRAORDINARY.

Just use your imagination with me for a few minutes, ready?

What if you were on THAT rig on April 20th, 2010? Yes I’m talking about the one in the picture above, the one that’s TOTALLY engulfed in flames, the one that numerous workers are aboard just patiently waiting for their release date so they can FINALLY head home to their wives, husbands, children or parents, the one that looks like survivors may be the last thing you’ll find on board.

Did your heartbeat fasten? Did you feel like you would have been scared to death, LITERALLY! Just picture it, the heat, the pungent smell of chemicals, the excessive smoke, the roaring of the fire and everyone around you is panicking, afraid that they may not escape alive.  I don’t know about you, but I for one would probably FREAK OUT knowing that my life is flashing right before my eyes!

Wait, I’m not finished playing with your imagination! Let’s take this from another point of view, what if your child, your significant other, or relative was on that rig and you’re at home looking at continuous updates and reports of this tragedy. What would you be thinking?

On April 20th this horrific blowout claimed the lives of 11 offshore workers, it separated loved ones from families. But don’t you think maybe, just maybe if they followed protocol more lives could’ve been saved? The movie Deepwater Horizon is based on a true story that occurred in 2010 regarding the explosion of an oil rig due to multiple technical failures and bad decisions. The movie focuses primarily on the ill-fated and malfunctioning blowout preventer, a device designed to seal fluids such as gas beneath it and prevent them from coming to the surface. There are many inaccuracies and OSH related incidents in “Deepwater Horizon.” Some were small: For example, Mike Williams, the chief electronics technician for Transocean, sped down a flight of stairs on the rig carrying his luggage without holding any handrails, which would be a clear violation of Transocean safety policy. Others were huge.

Did you watch the movie Deepwater Horizon? Well, if you did, you would’ve noticed there were a number of hazards evident in the movie. They can be categorized into Physical Hazards, Psychological, Chemical, Biological and Ergonomic hazards.

If you are interested in the movie, here’s a link to the trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yASbM8M2vg

But for now, let’s jump right in….

Physical Hazards

Many physical factors breaching health and safety measures were observed in this movie. As the movie opens, we can see an inspection is about to be carried out on the blowout preventer (BOP). Bubbles were then seen emerging up from the concrete base. When James Harrell and his crew arrived on the Deepwater Horizon, a floating rig, they are surprised to learn that the Schlumberger team assigned to run the cement bond log test by conducting a pressure test, were sent home early by orders from the BP managers, Donald Vidrine and Robert Kaluza. This is the first issue we saw emerging from the movie, the importance of workplace inspections.

Wouldn’t you automatically think, “Hmm that is not a great idea, you should definitely do the test”?

When you work offshore, safety is something you make top priority as there are a lot of risks and hazards involved. Workplace inspections help prevent accidents and incidents which allow for qualified persons to take corrective action in the event that something is wrong.

Harrell points out a hazard to the BP managers, that the cement is the only thing between them and a blowout, which is his way of telling them, “Guys this test is seriously important! We can’t just ignore it.” If the cement job is compromised, everything above it, that is, the rig and all persons on board go up with it. The risk involved seemed very high because, remember those bubbles we saw earlier? That does not look like a good sign!

Harrell eventually convinces Mr. Vidrine, one of the managers to carry out a negative pressure test. However the test only serves to weaken the cement and a pressure alert is heard from the computer system. However, nothing happened, no mud came out from the pipeline so it seemed fine.

But wait. Don’t breathe a sigh of relief, that’s not the end of it.

Remember when we mentioned the risk was high? Well, guess how high it was. The cement job eventually failed which resulted in a blowout that took the lives of six men, SIX MEN!

Gif illustrating first mud explosion
Source: http://gph.is/2y1U2Yn

During the blowout, the main hazard, debris, can be seen projecting in all directions, smashing into the office windows and the risk involved can be classed as high due to the fact that men were killed. Even though we can see a wire barrier to further prevent larger objects from passing through, it was no match for the amount of pressure that was being released. Mud and oil are blasting everywhere, there is chaos, which makes it hard for the men who were working closer to the pipes to evacuate as they could not see properly or run away from it due to the oily, muddy and slippery grounds.

Image 1 illustrating mud and oil creating a slippery environment

This goes to show the serious need to carry out the necessary/proper checks and tests so that you are able to operate in the safest possible working environment.

See guys, sometimes shortcuts can result in the most severe of outcomes. Sure they were thinking about the money and how much they could have saved by not running the test, but was it worth it? Imagine this is only the beginning of the disaster that is about to unfold. Prepare yourself emotionally. You’ve been warned.

Everything intensifies! A huge explosion erupts and no, not just the mud and oil, but a fiery explosion! You may not have even realized it, but your jaw just dropped during this scene. Mine sure did!

Usually, you would say, “It’s just a movie, whatever,” but no, this is based on true events, TRUE EVENTS! Some of the hazards presented in this part of the movie were everyday objects, such as the lights and doors. You usually wouldn’t worry about those but due to the intense pressure released from the second explosion, the risk involved was also very high. Mike and Harrell among others are badly injured when the pressure and blast caused the lights and glass on the rig to shatter and hurl everywhere and for the doors to burst open, one of which slammed into Mike.

Another physical hazard was the burning crane and the risk involved was very high as one man tried to “control” it. He gave his life to save the surviving crew by diverting the burning crane that would have fell on them. Can you imagine that? Knowing the risk involved but still taking it just to save others.

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Gif showing crane crashing and killing the crew member who risked his life to save others
Source : http://gph.is/2gpB2cz

Mike and Andrea are the last two remaining on the rig. There are many hazards around them, which include, both on the rig and in the water; fire everywhere, gases in the air and falling debris all around them. They have two choices, stay on the rig or jump in the water. The risks involved in both scenarios, such as serious injury or death, are very high, but at this point, it seems to Mike like the better option is to take their chances and jump in the water. To his, hers and our relief, this was the better option as they both survived even though Mike is hit on the head by an object and has to keep dodging other projectile objects.

How can this be prevented?

As previously mentioned, where the health and safety of someone’s life is concerned, do not let money do the talking, don’t take the shortest and easiest way out. That could mean the survival or death of someone in extreme cases such as this one.

One safety issue occurred when the pressure gauge in the control room exceeded its recommended (safe) limit. Following that sign, the crew handled the matter nonchalantly not knowing the severity of the situation. Emergency evacuation procedures should have been followed immediately in areas where men were working close to the pipes and where the mud flows out.

Another part where they could have evacuated was when mud started coming out of the equipment, the men tried to control it when they should have immediately left and go to a safer part of the rig. Maybe if they evacuated at this point, the death toll could have been less.

Sometimes we don’t pay attention to simple safety hazards in our homes or workplace, or evaluate the worst case scenarios and try to take corrective action so that we may prevent them. This is one reason why we must respect and take seriously the OSH standards and follow protocol. If the BP managers had carried out the necessary tests and properly examined the cement structure, it could have saved many lives and prevented all the other hazards and risks that unfolded in the days after due to the oil spill it created. Also, trusting each other is important, if the engineer, that is the expert, said that the readings on the machine indicated that something was wrong, then he would most likely be right.

Psychological Hazards

After discussing all those physical hazards, can you imagine the psychological impact it had on these people both during and after the event? This isn’t something you forget about with time, oh no, this stays with you forever.

A psychological hazard is any hazard 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 in a healthy and safe manner. You would think the source of these psychological hazards starts after the pressure tests when the explosion happened, but no, as a matter of fact, this started almost as soon as they landed on the rig. This is because the first thing they learned as they arrived was that the Schlumberger workers were leaving without conducting the necessary tests. It immediately worries and stresses Harrell because something so important was simply called off by the managers without consulting him. This creates an environment of tension between him and the BP managers. This stress is also seen when Harrell decides to give the managers a piece of his mind and demand that operations on the rig will not continue unless the negative pressure test is done so he can be sure that it is safe to continue work. At this scene, we also see frustration displayed by Mike when he lists out all the equipment that is not functional which then makes his and the others jobs more complicated.

Can you imagine having to work with such arrogant persons? Always having to complain about something or not have your opinion be taken seriously? The constant stress and frustration is surely enough to have serious psychological implications.

636105960405775561-DWH-D20-06019-RImage 2 showing Harrell and crew members frustrated with BP managers while conducting the tests

Now, we’re going to talk about where the psychological hazards intensify, and I mean jaw-dropping and tearjerker moments! I’m sure at some points while watching this movie you were holding your head in shock or maybe even wiping away the tears.

After carrying out the tests, known to the audience but unknown to the actors at this point, the cement had been compromised and a massive blowout occurred. One of the BP managers decides to go outside where the pipes were which put him at the blowout scene along with other workers. Though the manager was okay and was being assisted by Caleb, one of the crew members, others were seriously hurt, some even died.

This manager walks out there being cocky thinking everything went smoothly, but to his dismay, it is worse than he could have imagined. Those who were aware of what was going on were now fearful of what would or could happen after this blowout and were beginning to panic.

Had I been on that rig, I would’ve already been on my way to get on a lifeboat and leave! Bye, not coming back, good luck to you, not taking any chances with my life.

If that initial blowout was not enough to freak you out, a series of malfunctions ignited the oil causing a massive fiery explosion which affected the majority of rig. Now everyone is aware of the situation and the only thing left to do is to evacuate the entire rig.

Fear, panic, nervousness and being scared to death are only a few ways to describe the emotional and psychological atmosphere on the Deepwater Horizon. Crew members had to witness the death of their co-workers in multiple scenes, which is something that may never leave their memories.

Nearing the end of the movie where everyone except Mike and Andrea have evacuated the rig, came a dilemma. Mike, who seemed to be the one thinking of the quickest escape decides that jumping in the water may be their only chance at survival. However Andrea suffers a panic attack as she does not want to die and says she will not jump off the rig. With no other option in mind, Mike pushes her off and jumps after her.

Gif illustrating Andrea being pushed off the rig
Source: https://giphy.com/gifs/3ohhwxmSJfmR9lRSi4

Wait, what? So you’re suffering from a panic attack and someone pushes you into the now fiery ocean. Sure at the end she survived and had it not been for that act she may have died, but in that moment, Andrea was probably thinking, this is it for me, the end.

They are both joined by the surviving crew members. You can see the sadness and distress of the crew from witnessing all that had just unfolded.

Even at the hotel, Mike is distraught. He falls onto the bathroom door, shattering it as he bursts out into tears. Family members are also distressed, they were concerned whether loved ones made it back. Most, if not all crews members may now suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder/syndrome (PTSD/PTSS). According to Mayo Clinic, PTSD is “a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.” Some of the crew members never worked on a rig again because the idea of such a thing recurring is just too much to handle emotionally.

Chemical Hazards

How did those hazards sound? What about chemical hazards? Oil rig + Fire + Offshore. What comes to mind? GAS & GASEOUS SUBSTANCES. Can you imagine? Does this even tickle your nasal passage?

Deepwater Horizon is a clear illustration of how the combination of carbon dioxide, highly dangerous chemical, combustion sources; including burning oil and natural gas, and the use of gasoline‐powered engines can lead to catastrophic danger.

Gif  illustrating fiery explosion
Source: http://gph.is/2gk3MDp

On the Deepwater Horizon platform there was serious concern about the potential health effects on workers from inhalation and skin exposure to crude oil, weathered oil, dispersants, solvents used to clean boats, and other chemicals. Did they wear any face masks? Nope.

Workers were not fully protected with the adequate PPE as Mike walked through the plant without any protective gear .They were exposed to health and safety risks at work. Look at the difference in the picture below, Mike is seen on the right side of the picture.

Image 3 illustrating lack off PPE worn by Mike

The workers on the platform were exposed to poisonous gas and chemicals . Imagine being exposed to harmful chemical on your skin while toxic gas and stifling smoke entering your respiratory system. Woozy? This is a bit traumatic to think about . There was a gas failure throughout the entire platform . A combination of gas, mud, and pressure lead to a cataclysmic mass advocate explosion and an over blast of flames throughout the entire platform. As the rig ignited and exploded it engulfed the platform causing damage to both the rig and ocean.

During the height of the explosion workers on the rig often were not clothed with gloves, eye protection, and respiratory protective equipment. With high-pressure methane gas expanding from the well it is essential to have the necessary safety gear to protect oneself.

The environment was also significantly affected as well. The ocean was engulfed in flames and oil emerged on the surface of the sea. Need a visual? Look at the picture below.

deepwater-horizon-oscar-effects-vfx-4-1200x675Image 4 showing ocean engulfed in flames as oil surfaces

The effects of the oil spill not only affected the workers on the Deepwater Horizon but was a catastrophic event experienced among aqua marine life. Oil spills frequently kill marine mammals such as whales, dolphins, seals and sea otters. Birds were covered with thick, black coating of oils which gave them difficulties to fly, causing them to endanger themselves by frequently colliding with objects.

Ergonomic Hazards

Thus far, we’ve looked at the physical, psychological and chemical hazards. What else comes to mind? Think about it; Oil rig, Metal, Iron, Pipes, Valves, Machinery, HEAVY EQUIPMENT and many others. Somewhere and somehow, one or more of these physicals factors can affect a person’s musculoskeletal system. Don’t fall asleep just yet, LET’S TALK ABOUT ERGONOMIC HAZARDS.

Some of the crewmen can be seen jointly trying to contain a piece of the equipment in the scene where the mug initially starts flowing over, and we both know that if it requires more than one person to contain it, it must be heavy.

Workmen operated in an environment where they would have suffered from poor posture issues as well as back and knee pains resulting from their job descriptions, noted by the lifting of heavy materials around the station. Some work cabins were also uncomfortable for employees because there was no air conditioning. This most likely lead to heat exhaustion. The chair seen in Mike’s cabin would cause him to have back pain due to the height of the back rest being to low, causing him to slouch (refer to picture below).

Image 5 illustrating Mike slouching over his desk

Conclusion

There is no going back! No rewinding the hands of time! The depiction of this movie, without a doubt, exhibits how ignorance over safety protocols can result in an episode of disaster. What’s “done is done”, however the pore-raising catastrophe from Deepwater Horizon would definitely make you aware of the importance to abiding by safety regulations and how it is effective in preventing tragedies such as this, an explosion of a massive oil rig. The memories and injuries remain as a constant lingering reminder of what could NOT have been, if only the CORRECT safety protocols were followed. Safety protocol should have taken precedence above all and this movie should serve as warning and catalyst for businesses, that safety is a priority.

 

References

Ergonomic Guidelines for Manual Material Handling. (2014, June 06). Retrieved October 09, 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2007-131/

King, B.S., &Gibbins, J.D.(2011, August). Health Hazard Evaluation of Deepwater Horizon Response Workers. Retrived from https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/reports/pdfs/2010-0115-0129-3138.pdf

Psychological Hazards and Controls for Rehabilitation Professionals. (2011, November 7). Retrieved from https://www.physiotherapyalberta.ca/course_materials/ohs_module_6_handout.pdf

The Failures that Caused the Gulf Oil Spill. (n.d.) Retrieved October 09, 2017, from https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19425-the-eight-failures-that-caused-the-gulf-oil-spill/

 

 


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OSH Hazards in Kingsman: The Golden Circle

*spoiler warning*

Have you seen Kingsman: The Golden Circle as yet?! Do you think the 2017 sequel was better than Kingsman: The Secret Service in 2014? This installment follows Gary better know as ‘Eggsy’ and Merlin as they race to save the world’s drug users from the Golden Circle’s plot while avenging the deaths of all other Kingsman agents. They were assisted by the Statesmen who posed as a whiskey distillery in Kentucky. Now, occupational safety is not something that is readily associated with the job of a spy, far less a spy on a mission of vengeance.  However we, the Engineers of OSH, shall assess the occupational safety and health risks in Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Kingsman ramps up the usual tropes of the spy movie genre creating a setting ripe with occupational hazards. The safety of the film for its inhabitants will be assessed with that in mind. The leading legislation for this analysis will be the Occupational Safety and Health Act of Trinidad and Tobago (hereinafter: The Act.) The Engineers of OSH would outline the following hazards that appeared in the movie: psychological, chemical, biological and physical.

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Image 1 (source: Giphy, Kingsman The Secret Service)

As you are reading this blog, imagine that you are watching the movie just like the first time 🙂

PSYCHOLOGICAL HAZARD
Can we be harmed mentally in a working environment?
According to the Oxford Handbook of Occupational Health, psychological or psychosocial hazard is stated as “any factor that may cause distress or any psychological harm.” These can include the content of the job, the culture of the workplace, relationships between and amongst persons and the role of work. It also includes the emotional stress that is brought upon an individual. The risks to psychological health at work may “arise from organisational or personal factors, with the major factors being poor design of work and jobs, poor communication and interpersonal relationships” as cited from the Australian Government, ComCare.

  • Emotional Stress

From the movie there was mental distress when ‘Eggsy’ accidently stepped on the landmine at the property of ‘Poppy’s Diner’, meant to kill any trespassers. This caused fear and shock amongst the agents (Eggsy, Harry and Merlin) while on their mission especially since they had their metal detector device with hopes of avoiding the landmines. Merlin however felt like he had to take lead and tricked Eggsy into getting off the landmine by freezing it with a ‘cold spray’ so he (Eggsy) could step off of it whilst Merlin put his foot on it before the ice finished melting. Merlin sacrificing himself for the team in order for them to carry out their mission triggered an emotional distress on Eggsy and Harry. The thought of them losing a kingsman member and friend was heartbreaking but they knew that hundreds of people would die if their mission was not completed. Merlin bravely started to sing, drawing poppy’s armed men closer to him for the contentedness of killing/blowing them up as he sacrificed his life.  

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Image 2 : A view of ‘Poppy’s Diner’

Source : Kingsman : The Golden Circle Movie

Directed by : Matthew Vaughn

Violation: It is the employer’s duty to provide functional equipment for their employees to operate in their line of work in order to complete their tasks efficiently and effectively. However, in this case their metal detector did not detect the landmine that was stepped on causing obstruction of their planned  operation. Due to this an agent’s life had to be sacrificed not to forsake the mission.

Recommendation: The emotional aspect of the situation was handled well as the employees did not put their emotional issues above their job although they were hesitant at first.    

  • Personal factors

Personal factor was identified in the movie under the factor of work-life distress. Harry was shot in the left eye and suffered from amnesia. He was placed in a secured facility with the Statesmen who attempted to restore his memory. Harry was given materials that were familiar to him, one that he recalled years ago, that is, studying butterflies. In one of the scenes, it was noted that Harry was put under a lot of distress when Merlin and Ginger Ale filled his room with water.

henry

(Room where Harry was secluded. source: Cheatsheet.com)

VIOLATION: In a working environment, safety measures must be put into place when situations or problems arise. Kingsman was not aware of Harry’s whereabouts post accident and what had happened to him. Had it not been for the Statesmen, he may have been dead. Furthermore, it has caused work-life stress onto Harry since he was not aware that he had lost his memory and the conditions he had to bare with such as the filling the room with water to trigger his memory. It was also noted that nothing was done despite Harry’s claims of seeing butterflies. This is a clear indication of his psychological and emotional distress. It should be noted that the Occupational, Health and Safety Act of Trinidad and Tobago was enacted to facilitate factories and industrial estates, giving focus and only recognizing physical injuries. Previously, mental health was unaccounted for especially since it was considered to be difficult to measure it, to present as evidence in court. However, in the landmark case Barber v Somerset [2004] UKHL 13

Hale LJ, in her famous judgement ruled that work-related stress and mental illness at the workplace is in fact a form of injury that an employer can be accountable for. She laid down certain criterion in order to account for this. Thus in application to the movie of discussion, Harry complained about seeing butterflies on many occasions which was a clear mental/ psychological issue but nothing was done to render assistance such as providing counselling.

RECOMMENDATION: Statesmen should have used a different forms of regaining his memory such as contacting the Kingsmen or through therapy. Additionally, measures should be put into place for future accidents, be it memory loss or not. Kingsmen and Statesmen ought to be safe at all times.

  1. CHEMICAL HAZARDS

Chemical hazards are present when a worker is exposed to any chemical preparation in the workplace in any form (solid, liquid or gas). Some chemicals are safer than others. Some workers are more sensitive to chemicals in which case even common solutions can cause illness, skin irritation, or breathing problems. This also includes flammable materials like gasoline, solvents, and explosive chemicals.

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(Explosion on Kingsman Property. source: Giphy, Kingsman the Golden Circle)

Throughout the film workers are repeatedly put at risk for dust and fume related hazards as they deal with explosives repeatedly with no sign of adequate equipment to mitigate these risks. According to section 24 (1) of the Act, employers must take all steps as reasonably practicable to mitigate these risks. Respiratory protection was the 4th most reported violation in the US in the last year. (https://www.chemicalprocessing.com/industrynews/2017/osha-reveals-top-10-violations-for-2017/) Statesmen clearly continues this trend.

 

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(Agent dealing with more dust. source: Giphy, Kingsman the Golden Circle)

According to the Act at section 10 (f), employers have a duty to ensure that their employees are not under the influence of intoxicants that may compromise their own safety or that of their colleagues. The Statesman enterprise may be in violation of this section as agent Tequila was known to use recreational drugs yet no sort of action was taken to curtail this or discipline him. This would lead to him falling victim to Poppy’s tainted drugs.

Moreover the Statesmen flagrantly consume alcohol. Even their director is shown as drinking with his subordinates prior to missions. Agents all have a flask of alcohol on them as part of their field equipment. In this high-risk spy occupation, lapse of judgement or dulled senses as a side effect of alcohol consumption may be fatal. While none of the agents in the film run into problems due to drinking, the risk is too high to ignore.

VIOLATION : The Statesman service therefore violates their duties to provide practicable respiratory equipment and safety equipment for dust. Further they violate their duty to provide competent staff and to ensure a safe system of working as they allow intoxicated field agents to work. Moreover the had approved Tequila as fit for field work, while being cognisant of his drug use.

RECOMMENDATION : The Statesman must provide safety equipment for their agents in relation to dust and inhalation risks. Taking into consideration the other gadgets they provide they should be easily able to create or buy the proper equipment.

Further they ought to remove agents from active duty where they are aware of drug use.
Finally they must alter the company’s policy on alcohol use, removing it totally from the work setting.

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(Equipment. source: Tenor)

3. BIOLOGICAL HAZARDS :

Biological hazards or biohazards refer to organisms or organic matter produced by organisms that are harmful to human health. These include parasites, viruses, bacteria, fungi and protein. Generally, there are three main routes in which micro-organisms may make entry into the body, that is, through the respiratory system, transmission through contact with body fluids of the infected or by contact with contaminated objects. Harmful effects are usually in the form of three types: infections, allergy and poisoning.
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Image : Use of Crystal Methamphetamine

Source : Kingsman : The Golden Circle Movie

Directed by : Matthew Vaughn

  • Drug Use Causing Infection :

In her quest for popularity as she believed she was an extremely successful businesswoman but with no acknowledgment , Poppy the drug lord decided to create the ‘dancing disease’, which occurs in three stages before death. These include (1) the blue rash, (2) Mania, (3) Paralysis and finally, death. Throughout the movie, drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, heroin, opium, ecstasy and crystal methamphetamine were discussed as well as used, and due to Poppy’s lacing of the drugs with toxin causing the disease, it began to spread rapidly.

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Image 10 Stage 1 : The Blue Rash

Source : Kingsman : The Golden Circle Movie

Directed by : Matthew Vaughn

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Image 11 Stage 3 : Paralysis

Source : Kingsman : The Golden Circle Movie

Directed by : Matthew Vaughn

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Image 12 depicts Death. caused by disease.

Source : Kingsman : The Golden Circle Movie

Directed by : Matthew Vaughn

(2) Lacerations
Early on in the movie, scenes of dangerous driving, vehicular chases and collisions occurred which led to shattered windshields, and other sharp and dangerous objects being wielded. It can be noted that pieces of these materials wounded those involved. This has the potential to cause lacerations (cuts) to those closeby, particularly “Eggsy” who was behind the wheel of the damaged vehicle. Shards of glass can potentially cause injury scaling from small bruises to deep wounds. Any breakage of the skin surface allows openings for biological agents such as infections, toxins, bacteria and parasites, which if not treated efficiently and quickly can develop into severe wound infections. Any non sterile foreign objects which penetrate the skin contain micro-organisms or micro-bacteria which cannot be seen by the naked eye, and may not be acknowlegded until signs of infection are evident.

Violation:
The Statesman service violated the rights of their employees to provide a safe working experience. Considering the nature of the job, dangerous situations always arise, however, collisions which can cause injuries should be minimal, by taking proper precautions and providing the necessary training to ensure accidents are avoided.

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(Kingsman driving. source: dailymail.co.uk)

Recommendation:
The use of proper protective wear to safeguard against any possible injuries that can be sustained in the event of vehicular collisions in such dangerous jobs should be used. Apart from this, efficient training to prevent vehicular collisions under any circumstances should be adapted, especially where injuries to closeby onlookers is a possibility. The knowledge and use of first aid items to adequately treat any possible injuries is a must, as prevention of the infection is better than treating it, after the fact.

(3) The constant exposure of chemicals around the human body:

At the lab in the snow there was a shootout between Poppy’s men and Kings-men were very severe. The guns fire with gunpowder and the mixture of chemicals in the gun power is very dangerous. Gunpowder is made up of sulphur, charcoal and potassium nitrate. When gunpowder comes into contact with skin, eyes and other body parts, it can be harmful. This may cause irritation to the skin and eyes, together with causing cancer and lung problems.

Additionally, in Kingsman there is a scene with the melting of gold. When gold is melted becomes very harmful for anyone. The reactions can be cancer, irritation of skin and breathing problems.

Violation:
Section 10.  (D) “To use correctly the personal protection clothing or devices provided for his use”

Section 23. (1) “All persons entering an area in an industrial establishment where they are likely to be exposed to the risk of head, eye, ear, hand or foot injury, injury from air contaminant or any other bodily injury, shall be provided with suitable protective clothing or devices of an approved standard and adequate instructions in the use of such protective clothing or devices, and no person shall be permitted to be in any such area unless he is wearing such protective clothing or device.’’

Recommendation:
Use personal protective equipment anytime chemicals are used. Some equipment that can be used are; long safety-suit, dust-mask, welding glasses, protective footwear and gloves. The long safety-suit to protect the skin from being into contact with chemicals. A dust-mask to prevent breathing in too much chemicals and any harmful dust. The welding glasses would protect one’s eyes from any dust or any poisonous air. The protective footwear for any falling debris and anything heavy than can damage the feet. Gloves would be used to protect the hands from different temperatures, cuts and anything that any damage it. If persons use the safety equipment to protect it will decrease the amount of hazards that occurs.

  1. PHYSICAL HAZARDS

These are factors that are within the environment that can harm the body without necessarily touching it.

  1. In this scene where Harry was shot in the eye, caused severe brain damage which resulted in him losing his memory. The shot to the head could have possibly led to death if he was not attended to immediately. This was followed by blurred vision,lapse of judgment and hallucination. This created a huge problem in the movie when Harry failed to respond to alerts by his colleagues which almost resulted in their demise.Physical damages that occur on work sites that are critical can lead to the companies being responsible for compensating them.

Violation:
Section 46 (1) of the act states that with the occurrence of an accident  on the industrial establishment which can cause death or critical injury, the Chief Inspector of the accident should be informed forthwith by  telephone, facsimile, email or other direct means and a written notice of the incident  should be written in the prescribed form  by the prescribed particulars within forty eight hours.  

Recommendations:
To ensure a safe work environment, the use of physical protective gears such as  hard helmets, steel tip boots and long jumpsuits. Workers should also be educated on how to properly operate, work around and take care of the equipment.

The Doughnut scene. In this scene, we see the doughnut being knocked off its hinges and rolling rapidly amongst Statesmen and the members of the golden circle which can cause a lot of injuries to them if it rolled onto them. It also had electrical circuits which could’ve easily touch them and electrocute them. The injuries that can occur are broken limbs, lacerations and permanent scarring (from electric shocks). Broken limbs or any sort of physical injuries can cause disruptions and delays in the tasks they may have to perform.

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(Fall hazard, Doughnut. source: IGN Africa)

Violation:
According to section 25A of the act, in  an industrial establishment; all machinery, transmission machinery, dangerous part of machinery shall be effectively safeguarded in accordance with section 25B 25C and 25D. Which states that all prime mover or moving parts should be securely fence in order to  safeguard those employed on the site and those who are not. The kingsmen was in violation of this section of the act since  the  area was not fence before knocking the big doughnut off the hinges causing it to almost crush them and members of  the golden circle.

Recommendation:
For the doughnut scene, proper precautions can be implemented where they should’ve strapped  down to prevent any one or other machinery  from being severely damaged or even death. Hence they can also barricade  the area to contain any falling  or rolling object which can also injure the general public if the objects do exit the area/site.

REFERENCES

Chemical Processing Staff,  “OSHA Reveals Top 10 Violations For 2017” Chemical Processing. Last modified September 27 2017. Accessed October 8 2017.
https://www.chemicalprocessing.com/industrynews/2017/osha-reveals-top-10-violations-for-2017/

Comcare, Australian Government. 2014. https://www.comcare.gov.au. April 2nd. Accessed October 7th, 2017. https://www.comcare.gov.au/preventing/hazards/psychosocial_hazards.

Julia Smedley, Finlay Dick, Steven Sadhra. 2013. https://books.google.tt/books. June. Accessed October 7th , 2017. https://books.google.tt/books?id=6Pc8N5pFwq0C&pg=PT116&dq=psychological+hazard+definition&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiXsqbz997WAhWHORoKHdA-BTMQ6AEIKzAB#v=onepage&q=psychological%20hazard%20definition&f=false.

https://www.google.tt/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwi-4a7wgd_WAhWBLhoKHYIXBxcQFggvMAI&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.physiotherapyalberta.ca%2Fcourse_materials%2Fohs_module_6_handout.pdf&usg=AOvVaw0zdXqsFtMDSxUzzV0ityWH

Occupational Health and Safety Act of Trinidad and Tobago 2004 (Amended 2006) https://rgd.legalaffairs.gov.tt/laws2/alphabetical_list/lawspdfs/88.08.pdf

 


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

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

Hope you enjoy the ride with us 🙂

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

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

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

RISK ASSESSMENT

  • Physical Hazards

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

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Image 1 illustrates physical hazards in the footpath for workers



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

 

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

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

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

RECOMMENDATIONS

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

  • Biological Hazards

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

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

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

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

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Image 5 illustrates a sanitizer dispenser 

 

 

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

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  • Chemicals Hazards

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

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

 

  • Ergonomic Hazards

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Image 9 depicts seating for indoor workers

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

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

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Image 10 depicts a spacious indoor work area

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Image 11  depicts insufficient seating for construction workers

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

RECOMMENDATIONS

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

 

  • Psychological Hazards

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

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

RECOMMENDATIONS

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

 

The OSH Act

  • Safety

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

RECOMMENDATIONS

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

 

  • Health

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

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

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Image 15  depicts a worker wearing an improper respirator mask

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

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

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Image 16  depicts a sledgehammer that contributed to noise

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

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

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

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

RECOMMENDATIONS

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

 

  • Welfare

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

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

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

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

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

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Image 20 depicts a worker eating on the site

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

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

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

RECOMMENDATIONS

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

 

  • Fire

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

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

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Image 23 portrays the main emergency exit in the building

 

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

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

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RECOMMENDATIONS

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Accident Free 🙂

CITATIONS

  • OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ACT 2004 AS AMENDED 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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