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“Can You Cheat Death?” – An Examination of the OHS hazards in the 2000 horror movie “Final Destination”.

dfa3e1b8437a6e94fdf6c2343c01123a(Final Destination, 2000)

 

Introduction

It is oftentimes perceived that movies in the horror genre, immensely exaggerate the unfortunate circumstances under which a person can meet their end.  But is it just the overactive imagination of filmmakers? Most times we dismiss the doomsday movies with the common phrase “It’s just a movie, that can never happen”.  However, I ask you now to revisit that statement with these questions, how likely are these situations to occur in real life? And are you equipped to deal with them?

Voltaire, French dramatist, poet and philosopher, born in 1694 said: “The danger which is least expected soonest comes to us.” This could not be truer regarding safety. Therefore, we emphasize preparation versus the potential saving grace of a premonition, like the movie we will later examine.

The movie we selected for our analysis is a 2000 American supernatural horror film directed by James Wong called Final Destination. The movie begins with Alex and a group of high school students take a flight to Paris for a French class trip. Before they set off, Alex has a premonition of the plane bursting into flames minutes after take off. He tells everyone to get off the ill-fated aircraft and 7 people including Alex, are forced to disembark the plane. Moments later in the departure lounge, the students witness the plane explode before their very eyes. He and the other survivors have briefly cheated death. However, as the movie progresses each one of the aeroplane survivors is gruesomely killed by a series of tragic accidents.

These accidents mirror a plethora of hazards that actually exist in real life.  Hence, it was of utmost importance that we use this blog as a means of debunking the idea that “that can never happen”. We hope to achieve this feat by evaluating these various hazards depicted in the movie “Final Destination”, which serves to highlight how true to life some of these risks can be. 

 

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Source: Image Retrieved from URL(https://www.redstate.com/).

Please be guided that some of the images depicted in the post are graphic in nature. 


Risk Rating:

Severity scale[ 1 -Minor -5 Severe]

Likelihood scale[ 1 -Unlikely -5 Hihglylikely]

Physical Hazards


1. SLIP AND FALL HAZARD IN BATHROOM

An incident occurred in the movie that we have chosen, where one of the seven people who was forced to disembark the plane, slipped at his home in his bathroom, due to leakage in the water supply valve, which caused him to fall into a bathtub and resulted in his death. The fact that the bathroom was tiled, was the main cause of his slippage due to the liquid substance on the floor. This is known as a physical hazard as slipping and falling are two factors of such.

This hazard could have affected any of his family members, as well as visitors. The risk rating of this hazard is three likelihood and one severity since the chances of it occurring is moderate but extreme at the same time. Since this risk is high it needs to be fixed within a few days in order to prevent another hazard from affecting someone else.

To address this risk, the water supply valve can simply be replaced with a new one that does not cause any water to leak on the floor preventing any further problems. Also, having a bathtub handle could have mitigated the risk of him falling and also aid in preventing young children or other family members from drowning in the event that they slipped in a tub that was filled.  Being careful and taking the necessary precautions in your environment is also important in any surrounding, in order to ensure your safety.

 

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Source: Image from the movie (Final Destination, 2000).

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Figure 1 Leakage of water supply valve:

Source: Image from the movie (Final Destination, 2000).

Did you know? 

Someone drowns in a tub nearly every day in America. According to Seattlepi.com, An American drowns nearly every day in a bathtub, hot tub or spa, and the deaths occur disproportionately in Western states. (Morea, 2018).


2. TRIP AND FALL HAZARD ON PLANE

It is oftentimes said that planes are the safest mode of transport. However, we all know that planes are not free from the potential threat of danger. The image in Figure 2, showcases a space between the plane and the walking ramp where you can visibly see ground support equipment driving below, this is observed by Alex on boarding the plane. Why is this a problem? This space though very small can pose trip and fall hazards for anyone boarding the plane. This risk has a likelihood of two and a rating of three since it not very severe. It also can cause items to fall from passengers husting to board, which can drop down to the take-off area of the plane. In order to mitigate this risk, the ramp should be re-engineered or repositioned to ensure that space is as small as possible. This alleviates the changes of objects falling through and lessens the chances of passengers slipping and falling in the space. 

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Figure 2

Source: Image from the movie (Final Destination, 2000).

3. PHYSICAL HAZARD ON PLANE

Additionally Figure 3 indicates another faulty plane mechanism observed when Alex takes his seat. He attempts to secure the tray table, which is always a requirement of passengers on takeoff but fails to do so since the locking mechanism came apart in his hand. This is requested of passengers because “It’s actually an FAA regulation that all tray tables must be moved to the upright position before movement on the tarmac,” Morgan Johnston, JetBlue’s corporate communications manager. (Lieberman, 2018). This is to ensure that during takeoff and landing the tray tables do not block passengers from evacuating in the event of an emergency.

If a speedy exit is required, you don’t want to be impeded by a barrier of tray tables. Hence, this faulty tray table should be fixed in order to comply with safety practices and avoid legal ramifications. This risk has a likelihood of three and a rating of three since it not very severe. However, the appropriate fix should occur with immediate effect in order to avoid a future casualty. 

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Figure 3

Source: Image from the movie (Final Destination, 2000).

 

4. FALL HAZARD ON PLANE

Frequent flyers should be familiar with the announcement during the flight that overhead luggage might have shifted and passengers should be careful when opening the compartments. This can pose fall hazards for any passenger. Hence, this risk has a likelihood of three and a rating of three. In order for the risk to be mitigated, passengers should always proceed with caution when opening these overhead compartments and should avoid leaving their seat while others are removing their luggage. 


Biological Hazard

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Figure 4: No PPE Used

Source: Image from the movie (Final Destination, 2000).

Figure 4 shows a syringe being pulled out of a dead body by a mortician who uses his bare hands to perform the exercise. This can allow him to get in contact with diseases from the dead body which is known as a biological hazard.

Any person who is in his position must always wear gloves as well as other safety gear necessary to prevent them from getting in contact with biological hazards. The risk rating of this hazard is three likelihood and two severity since it is moderate.

According to the OSH Act under safety, workers must always wear protective clothing and devices (Occupational Safety and Health Administration [OSHA], 2004). To address this risk from becoming a hazard, one should be well organised for the job procedure to be carried out. To mitigate this risk, it should be required and enforced by the supervisors that all workers for this type of position must wear the appropriate gears at all times in the workplace.

 


 

Electrical hazard


One of the individuals that survived the plane explosion is unaware that her teacup filled with vodka is broken and dripping. The alcohol substance leaked all over the floor and on the outside of her computer monitor which seeped inside the wired compartment, leading to an electrical malfunction within the system and causing it to explode.

The individual was a victim of the explosion in which particles of the computer from the outburst punctured her body. When the computer exploded the wires from the computer were no longer grounded. The exposed live wires posed a great threat because it increased the chance of an electrical fire.

The alcohol substance in contact with the electricity caused the explosion which is considered as another electrical hazard. This has a high-risk rating of five due to its severity since it could cause major damage and even death. In order to prevent this hazard, keep flammable materials away from electrical equipment and outlets especially highly flammable solutions and also double check your drinkware particularly when moving around.

Additionally, be aware of certain types of equipment if they blow a fuse, trip a circuit, smoke or spark when being used and unplug it immediately. Lastly, use surge protectors which would help regulate the flow of electricity to appliances this can reduce the chance of an electrical fire.

The following images represent the sequence of events the lead to the incident. 

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Source: Images from the movie (Final Destination, 2000)


Fire hazard

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Source: Image from the movie (Final Destination, 2000)

In this scene, the individual is damaged and the alcoholic substance which leaked on the floor ignites from the exposed live wire. The fire then spreads to the kitchen where an open bottle of vodka on the kitchen counter comes in contact with the fire and it exploded damaging the individual even more.

The fire continues to spread through the house while she is lying helplessly on the ground. This fire has a very high-risk factor because as it spreads rapidly it is exposed to liquid petroleum gas in the kitchen that eventually explodes. The risk rating is clearly a five because of the severity of the situation.

Anyone could have been a victim of such a fire or explosion and it can be detrimental. The bottle of alcohol needed to be properly covered and stored in a safe place. Flammable items and solutions should be kept far away from cooking stoves. This hazard could have been further avoided by installing fire extinguishers and smoke alarms which can alert someone nearby of the situation. The individual can then notify the fire service to prevent the situation from getting out of hand. Finally, one must be aware of their settings and have a proper evacuation plan always keeping the escape pathway clear.


Chemical Hazard 

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Figure 5

Source: Image from the movie (Final Destination, 2000).

The location depicted in Figure 5 is the garage of Clear Rivers, the fictional character of the Final Destination Movie. In this scene, there are numerous bottles and boxes and a vast number of other objects lying around in the midst of cluttered space. That doesn’t at all sound threatening right? we all have things lying around in our garages. Wrong! This poses the risk of a chemical hazard, since, a cluttered space creates the opportunity for chemicals to be misplaced, expired and forgotten. This is problematic as chemicals can be dangerous to humans and chemical clutter can pose severe risks. Chemical clutter poses the risk of eroding through the material in the garage. If not sealed, they can emit harmful fumes which can be harmful to your health. 

Another problem which can arise, are the risks associated with combustible chemicals. Most common garage items can fuel flames, paint thinner, pesticide and gasoline are only of examples the many chemicals of the combustible variety we often have lying around. The likelihood of this type of risk is five as it is highly likely and a rating of four since it can have severe consequences.

To mitigate this risk, it is essential that we first, identify the combustibles and then organize them. It is suggested that these items are properly stored in their original containers or a safety container made to hold the product. Next label these containers so you would remember what is in them. Then, dispose of those you don’t need properly. Finally, it is advised that you should have a Class B/C extinguisher that will work on grease, gasoline, oil and other flammable liquids. 

Did you know? 

Between 2006 and 2016, there were 7,659 hospital discharges attributed to hazardous substances exposure in New Zealand – an average of 696 per year. In 2016, there were 689 hazardous substances-related hospital discharges. (Health effects of hazardous substances, 2018).


 

Violence Hazard 

 

Risks relating to violence on planes are not unheard of.  People in their everyday lives may be frustrated by the lengthy and sometimes mentally taxing process through airport security and this leaves them irritable onboard. Other passengers might have had different intentions for the flight and the different circumstances surrounding the sate of their mood. Hence, tensions can sometimes be very high. The likelihood of this type of risk is five as it is highly likely and a rating of four since it can have severe consequences.

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Figure 6

Source: Image from the movie (Final Destination, 2000).

In this scene, we can see a fight occurring on the plane (Figure 6).  Alex and his friends and engaged in a full out fist fight while the flight crew desperately attempts to contain the situation. Mitigating violence is often difficult because it is completely circumstantial. However, passengers should take due care to find coping mechanisms to handle anger and stress during their flight. The flight crew should also ensure that the environment for passengers is safe and risks are as low as reasonably practicable.

Did you know? 

Airlines reported 10,854 incidents during 2015, up from 9,316 in 2014 – or one for every 1,205 flights. By comparison, there were 5,416 in 1997 and just 1,132 in 1994. Physical aggression towards staff members or fellow passengers, or damage to the aircraft, was reported in 11 per cent of cases. (Smith, 2016).


Stress Hazard 

Stress is inevitable, we experience it in our everyday lives whether it is caused by social interactions with others or internal issues that we face about ourselves. Though stress is not a disease or injury, it can very well lead to mental and physical health issues. This can be seen in the degradation of the character Alex.

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Source: Image from the movie (Final Destination, 2000).

He experiences a series of traumatic events, as the unfortunate curse of predicting the death of his friends comes at the cost of damaging his mental health. The police constantly bring him in for questioning, as they believe that he has something to do with the death of his friends. This is because he happens to coincidentally be in the same place when the victim is found. The officers do not believe his claims of having apparent “psychic abilities”. Hence, he is instead chased and harassed by the officers in their attempt to solve the mystery of who is behind the string of crimes committed. This causes Alex immense stress and frustration. 

The stress hazard in this scene could be alleviated by ensuring that the police engaging in the duties do so in a more empathetic manner. Although solving the crime is of utmost importance, drilling a student who has endured some much with countless questions is legal but can be considered unethical. Alex, on the other hand, should seek help and find ways to manage the stressful time he is enduring. Stress can be alleviated in a number of ways, some can include counselling, mentorship and exercise. 


Psychological Hazard 

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 Figure 9

Source: Image from the movie (Final Destination, 2000).

Here in figure 9 one of the main characters witnesses his friend’s decapitation. It is easy to presume that if a person was to witness this, especially after the previous scene where watches his teacher died right in front of him, this would have some type of effect on any individual psychologically.

Any person would worry about if the next step they take would be the last. It can also strike fear into their minds and leave them in a hopeless state of extreme paranoia. Witnessing that kind of graphic death and much worse, watching everyone that survived slowly die one by one can turn you into an emotional wreck. This is a psychological hazard that has many underlying factors. No person could go through this amount of stress and survive it without seeking help.

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Source: Image from the movie (Final Destination, 2000).

Even in cases with officers of the law who may kill an offender or witness a murder, it is recommended that they go see a psychiatrist. A study ” to examine the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder and possible risk factors of PTSD in 320 Danish high school students (mean age 18 years) 7 months after witnessing a young man killing his former girlfriend in front of a large audience,” using a method of “Harvard Trauma Questionnaire (HTQ), the Crisis Support Scale (CSS), and the Trauma Symptom Checklist,” they found that “Prevalence of PTSD 7 months after the incident was 9.5%. Furthermore, 25% had PTSD at a subclinical level”.Knowing the deceased girl intimately, the feeling of fear, helplessness and horror from witnessing the killing; plus lack of expressive ability about these events; feeling let down by others; negative affectivity resulting from PTSD;  predicted 78% of the variance of the HTQ total scores.” (Psychotraumatol, 2013).

Hence, psychological hazards are no joking matter as they can pose lifelong effects to persons. Therefore, seeking help and knowing when to seek help for others is key in order to evade these types of problems. 


Conclusion 

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Source: Final Destination GIF Retrieved from URL(https://giphy.com).

The images and the facts listed in this post were not meant to scare you into hiding due to fear of the unknown. They were meant to sober up everyone reading this blog, from the fog that exists which says that movie accidents are not real. Yes, some of them are certainly just crafty delusions by expert movie makers but many of them can be very real. They can very well affect you or someone you care about. Therefore we hope that in evaluating this movie, this information was both insightful and impactful. Though we may not have given you the secret on how to “Cheat Death”. We are certain that some of these tips might very well save your life someday.    


References: 

Elklit, Ask, and Sessel Kurdahl. The Psychological Reactions after Witnessing a Killing in Public in a Danish High School. Article. January 9, 2013.

Fernandez-Morea, Alejandra, and Scripts. “Someone Drowns in a Tub Nearly Every Day in America.” Seattlepi.com. February 26, 2018. Accessed October 18, 2018. https://www.seattlepi.com/national/article/Someone-drowns-in-a-tub-nearly-every-day-in-1201018.php.

FINAL DESTINATION GIF. Accessed October 18, 2018. https://giphy.com/gifs/final-destination-alex-browning-1-1CzCzZHkcZqco.

“Health Effects of Hazardous Substances.” Environmental Health Indicators. Accessed October 17, 2018. http://www.ehinz.ac.nz/indicators/hazardous-substances/health-effects-of-hazardous-substances/.

Jeremy Anderberg “A Complete Guide to Home Fire Prevention and Safety” November 7, 2013. https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/a-complete-guide-to-home-fire-prevention-and-safety/
Rainbow international restoration “7 Ways to Prevent Electrical Fires” https://rainbowintl.com/blog/7-ways-to-prevent-electrical-fires

Taylor, Chad. “4 Kinds of Clutter That Are Harmful in Your Garage.” Arizona Garage Doors. April 17, 2017. Accessed October 17, 2018. https://www.arizonagaragedoors.com/4-kinds-of-clutter-that-are-harmful-in-your-garage/.

 The Government of T&T. The OSH Act of T&T (2004) as Amended (2006). (2004). Accessed October 17, 2018. http://rgd.legalaffairs.gov.tt/Laws2/Alphabetical_List/lawspdfs/88.08.pdf

“The Real Reason You Have to Stow Your Tray Table Before Takeoff and Landing.” Travel Leisure. Accessed October 18, 2018. https://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/why-tray-tables-must-go-up-takeoff-landing.

Warning Graphic Content. In Oklahoma Releases Shocking Video Of RB Joe Mixon. Warning: Graphic Content. December 2016. Accessed October 18, 2018. https://www.redstate.com/mickeywhite2/2016/12/16/oklahoma-releases-shocking-video-rb-joe-mixon.-warning-graphic-content.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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