OSH Matters

Growing interest in Occupational Safety and Health


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

 

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

 INTRODUCTION

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


Mechanical Hazards

Machine Chop/Cut Hazard

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

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

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

 

 TEMPERATURE HAZARD

 

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Image 3 & 4: Carpentry Shop Temperature Hazard

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

 

PHYSICAL HAZARDS

Trip Hazards

Fall Hazards: Slip and fall & Trip and fall

Crush and Lifting Hazard

 

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

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

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

 

Crush and Lifting Hazards

 

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Image 7: Standing Lumber posing Crush and Lifting Hazard

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

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

 

Electrical Hazards

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

Wall plugs filled with dust

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

Recommendations:

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

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

 

Fire Hazard

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

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

 

 “Who hurts when I get hurt”?

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

References:

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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UWI is ‘RISKY’ Businesss 😎

Hey You!

   Yes You…..

I want you to stop for a second and consider, are you entirely safe from risks of any type when you attend classes at your beloved University of the West Indies (St. Augustine)?

Well, we the members of Coloured hair hazard are here to inform you, each day you arrive at home safely from classes at U.W.I, is a gThey. Why do we say this? Well we have conducted a risk assessment which comprehensively outlines several hazards located in particular classrooms and lecture theatres.

Before we move on to the actual risk assessment, do you know what a risk assessment is?

According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational health and safety, Risk assessment is the process where you:

  • Identify hazards.
  • Analyze or evaluate the risk associated with that hazard.
  • Determine appropriate ways to eliminate or control the hazard.

In practical terms, a risk assessment is a thorough look at your workplace/premise to identify those things, situations, processes, etc that may cause harm, particularly to people. After identification is made, you evaluate how likely and severe the risk is, and then decide what measures should be in place to effectively prevent or control the harm from happening.

So why conduct a risk assessment?

Firstly, because team Coloured hair hazard is concerned with all possible elements which are not considered as harmful by the average student, but are indeed harmful. At the end of the day we are a group that love our fellow colleagues and so we rather see you informed rather than not. The main reasons anyone conducts a risk assessment, however, are as follows:

Risk assessments are very important as they form an integral part of a good occupational health and safety management plan. They help to:

  • Create awareness of hazards and risks.
  • Identify who may be at risk (employees, cleaners, visitors, contractors, the public, etc).
  • Assess the severity of the risks.
  • Determine if existing control measures are adequate or if more should be done.
  • Prevent injuries or illnesses when done at the design or planning stage.
  • Prioritize hazards, control measures and keep record of risk.

Therefore, the aim of the risk assessment process is to remove a hazard or reduce the level of its risk by adding precautions or control measures, as necessary. By doing so, you have created a safer and healthier workplace/premise.

TLC

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Figure 1: The photo above shows Teachers Learning Complex (TLC) at UWI

In our research we found TLC to be the lowest rated risk area in the school. We gave it a risk rating of an ‘E’, one shy of an almost perfect rating of an ‘F’, seeing that we actually identified two hazards which could lead to potential risks. Firstly, to identify the hazards, the main hazards discovered were ergonomic and physical in nature.

Ergonomic Hazard: In our assessment of TLC lecture theatre C and lecture theatre A we discovered the seating was a tad bit too close. Hence several times we discovered if a person wanted to get into a seat within a row which was occupied by a couple of people it would be generally difficult to get to the that seat. It would also cause a great degree of discomfort to persons already seated, as they may have to shift all of their belongings or in some cases get out of their seat entirely.

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Figure 2: The photo above shows the closeness of seating can be deemed a risk worthy hazard

Evaluating the risk:

  1. What is the hazard? – Ergonomic by nature, it deals with the poor spacing between seats which results in persons having difficulty getting to their desired seat.
  2. Who does it affect and how? – This issue affects each student that has a class in any lecture theatre in TLC. It would mean that they would always have trouble getting to seats particularly in the middle and they would generally disrupt others in doing so.
  3. Level of risk? – We felt that this hazard did not merit too much risk as it solely inconvenienced the seated party. However, it did not even affect the seated party as in some cases, individuals were able to remain seated and allow others to pass by to seats located in the middle.
  4. Do control measures exist and should any be implemented? – Control measures do not exist as it’s a minor issue which generally isn’t given much attention. I guess individuals are simply happy with being bothered each time someone else needs to pass by. The control measure which should be implemented is a system for filling up the lecture theatre. The management team of TLC or the lecturer at the time should implement a system where individuals come in and sit in the middle seats firstly. This would ensure that no one is disturbed by persons attempting to get to middle seats, in particular during lectures.
  5. Is it high priority? – Generally speaking this issue is not high priority because there aren’t enough complaints about the issue by the students,  however these issues should be monitored to ensure that they don’t cause extreme harm.

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Figure 3: The picture above illustrates the typical ergonomic issue. Redman is a slouch and most evident he is the odd guy out who doesn’t want to move while Green arrow wants to get to the seat just past him. As a result, he has to cross over him, how unfair to the great green arrow.

Physical HazardIn conducting our risk assessment on the lecture theatres of we discovered possible risk factors associated. The first hazard is the possibility of an individual losing his/her footstep due to the oddly crafted staircases in the lecture theatres. The second issue is a person’s visibility being obscured due to the odd positioning of some of the lights in the theatre, along with the underutilization altogether, of the lights.

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Figure 4: The photo above shows an irregularly patterned staircase at a lecture theatre in TLC.

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Figure 5:The photo above shows a lighting system which is generally not utilized, and as such hinders or obscures the views of students at times.

Evaluating the risk:

  1. What is the hazard? – Physical by nature, it deals with the inconsistent design of the staircase. Although it enables the staircase to be flatter, the different design to an average staircase can possibly result in physical pain. (i.e. twisting of one’s ankle) The issue of the lighting may possibly hinder students. It can also, in the long run, result in individuals having optical issues.
  2. Who does it affect and how? – This issue affects each student that has a class in any lecture theatre in TLC. There is the possible risk of individuals facing unfortunate leg injuries. The poor lighting on the other hand may possibly result, in some cases, in individuals having visual issues in the future.
  3. Level of risk? – These hazards are not really risky. This is evident as there generally have never been any unfortunate mishaps of this nature regardless of the staircase placement or the lack of usage/positioning of the lighting technology.
  4. Do control measures exist and which should be implemented? – Control measures do not exist as it it’s a minor issue which generally isn’t given much attention. I guess individuals are simply happy with being bothered each time someone else needs to pass by. A control measure which should be implemented for the staircase issue, however, should be that management should place signs stating that students should be sure to utilize hand rails.
  5. Is it high priority? – Generally speaking this issue is not high priority because there aren’t enough complaints about the issue by the students, however these issues should be monitored to ensure that they don’t cause extreme harm.

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Figure 6: Above illustrates the manner in which the lights should be operating to ensure optimal viewer-ability of the students.

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Figure 7: Above illustrates the possible risk of not properly utilizing the handrails, all due to the irregular positioning of the staircases.

Altogether TLC is generally extremely compliant with the stipulations of and therefore surely consider proper risks where possible hazards are concerned. However, just maybe it’s because TLC was completed after the initial release of the OSH act in 2004. As opposed to almost every other building at U.W.I St. Augustine. 😢

Centre for Language Learning (CLL) Building- Tutorial Room

Physical hazard

At CLL various physical hazards could be found  or THEY COULD FIND YOU IF YOU AREN’T ALERT OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS! The first hazard found was open electrical units (see figure 8). The second hazard was the possibility of being struck by or against a television position directly above the seating area (see figure 9). The third hazard was possibly falling over wires that ran between the classroom desks (see figure 10).

Electrical hazards

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Figure 8: Above shows an open electrical unit at CLL

According to the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association electrical hazards are a dangerous condition where a worker could make electrical contact with energized equipment or a conductor, and from which the person may sustain an injury from shock and burn.

Evaluating the risk-

In some of UWI classrooms open electrical outlets with visible wires were seen as a hazard, if these wires were bare it would put students/ lecturers/ tutors at high risk of getting shocked or burn if they touch it. EVEN THOUGH AS ADULTS WE SHOULD KNOW NOT TO TOUCH THESE THINGS, SOMETIMES CURIOSITY GETS THE BEST OF US….AND AS THEY SAY CURIOSITY KILLS THE CAT OR IN THIS INSTANCES SHOCKS THE CATS.

A person with knowledge in this area and responsible for maintenance of electrical units at the university should ensure that outlets are secure and covered, as well as have regular checks to ensure that electrical units are not tampered with.

Just in case curiosity gets the best of you here is a link for some treatments http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/electric-shock#3-6 however, prevention is better here is a link for that as well http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/electric-shock#3-8.

Struck-by Hazards

According to the OSHA Training Institution (2011) struck-by injuries are produced by forcible contact or impact between the injured person and an object or piece of equipment.

Evaluating the risk-

In this class at CLL a television/ monitor is positioned directly above the seating area for students is a struck-by hazard because if for some reason the structure that connects the television to the wall becomes unstable, there is a possibility that the monitor/ TV could fall on someone/student’s head and injure them e.g. they could get a concussion or a more severe injury like a serious head trauma.

The severity of this injury depends on three factors the velocity of the impact e.g. how fast the television falls, the characteristics of the object e.g. the TV and the body part impacted e.g. the head

Aside from this type of hazard a student could bump their head on the monitor as they are about to sit or stand in the seat directly beneath the TV (struck-against). To reduce these hazards the TV could be removed by a trained UWI staff and positioned at another location in the classroom or the chairs and table be moved away from the monitor. Students should stay  AHEAD of this hazard and ensure that the matter be dealt with as they are the ones at risks.

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Figure 9: Shown above is a television hanging directly above seats

Fall Hazard

Evaluating the risk-

What is the hazard? -Running Wires on floor which could cause person walking  in the class to fall.

Who might be harmed? – Students and teachers most likely runs the risk of being harmed as they are the one who basically utilizes the classroom, however it runs a risk to anyone else visiting the classroom.

What is the risk level?  The likelihood of someone tripping over these wires are minimum as on most occasions you may be alert, however if someone does trip over they run the risk of getting severe bodily damages.

What is the risk control measures? – The wire could be positioned closer to the walls so persons wouldn’t be tripped or the wires could be run underground. there should also be a recording of the measures put in place a well as continually seeking ways to improve them.

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Figure 10: Shown above is running wire on floor in tutorial room

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Figure 11: The above shows seats offering poor back support

 

Ergonomic Hazard

What is the Hazard? -The seats offer poor back support when one is required write on the desk attached to the chair.

Who might be harmed?- The persons affected by this hazard are mainly students, however anyone who sits in these seats could become a victim of strains on the back muscle,  shoulders and arms from continuously leaning over to write notes. This can cause long terms pains to the back..

What is the risk level? – This is a medium risk level due to the fact that students and others could position themselves in a way to avoid strain.
What is the risk Control? – The university  could replace these seats with ones that have better support to the body. Persons sitting in these seats could also position themselves in a matter to avoid strain.

Psychological hazard

Overcrowding and anxiety

As mentioned some of the university’s seating designs create overcrowding (ergonomic hazards). Some of the seating arrangements (the circle arrangement) which are aimed at facilitating and encouraging discussion/communication, participation and learning also can become a psychological hazard for some of the students with social phobia/ social anxiety disorder. According to WebMD social anxiety disorder also called social phobia, is an anxiety disorder in which a person has an excessive and unreasonable fear of social situations. Anxiety (intense nervousness) and self-consciousness arise from a fear of being closely watched, judged, and criticized by others. To help reduce the high risk of this hazard with these students who face this phobia they could inform their tutor/lecturer of their condition and change classroom and or seek psychological help from the university counsellor.

For information on how social phobia is treated click this link http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/mental-health-social-anxiety-disorder?page=3#1

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Figure 12: The circle seating arrangement at CLL which could cause anxiety in persons with social phobia.

 

 

Temporary Classroom Building 2 (TCB 2)

Physical Hazard

 

Evaluating the risk-

This a a high risk situation as it is the norm in TCB to have the malfunctioning air conditioning. This situation in the classroom poses many risks as students cannot focus on what is being taught,  teachers dismiss classes earlier than expected, student leave class before the lecture is over, all negatively  impacting on the person’s education and poses many health risks. This can be prevented if the air conditioners were working or placing windows in the classrooms for proper ventilation.

 

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Fig 13: Above is a opened classroom door as the Air Conditioner is not working.

Ergonomic hazard

An Ergonomic hazard is a physical factor in the environment that harms the musculus-skeletal system.

Evaluation the risk-

Many students and teachers are exposed to this hazard in the TCB mainly due to the damaged furniture and lack of furniture. Many of the chairs provided for students are damaged, making students sit in very uncomfortable and risky posture for a two to three hour lecture. Teachers face this hazard by standing continuously for the same two to three hour lecture, which must take a toll on their body. Experiencing these conditions on a regular basis affect the muscles, nerves, blood vessels, ligaments and tendons. This is a moderately risky situation as there are good chairs also.  There are many health disorders related to this hazard which include epicondylitis and tendinitis. To reduce the chance of injury, broken chairs should be repaired or replaced in a prompt manner, work tasks should be designed to limit exposure to ergonomic risk factors, teachers should also have a chair to sit at times.

 

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Fig 14: Above shows broken chair at TCB.

Biological hazards

Biological hazards, refer to biological substances that pose a threat to the health of living organisms, primarily that of humans.

Evaluating the risk-

Biological hazards pose great risks for persons occupying TCB because of the many adverse health effects.  TCB is a biological hazard because as mentioned the air conditioners are problematic, and this can be because they are not serviced or cleaned properly. When the air conditioner works properly for one day and the next day it blows hot air, trapped water together with humidity  will cause mold to accumulate inside of the air conditioner.  This is a high risk situation as this can affect persons which are not even aware they are breathing in mold. Air conditioner mold can spread throughout the classroom once it is on and exposure to mold can lead to numerous health problems because most biological agents are inhaled which causes respiratory disorders and allergic reactions. Prevention of  the development of mold in the first place is what should be done, by letting the relevant persons regularly service the air conditioners in a manner that will keep them working properly reducing the hazard.

Many hazards are faced in the Temporary Classroom Building affecting all who occupy it negatively. However to reduce these risks these hazards pose is simple, if proper maintenance in done.

Psychological Hazards

Noise and distraction

I KNOW MOST UWI STUDENTS HAVE EXPERIENCED THIS BEFORE. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN ONE OF THE UNIVERSITY CLASSROOMS AND REALIZED THAT THE SOUND OF THE AIR CONDITIONING UNIT AND THE LECTURER’S VOICE WERE COMPETING FOR YOUR ATTENTION? This competition can be heard in TCB.

Evaluating the risk-

The AC unit distraction have become such a norm at UWI that many of us no longer hear it. Is this habitation (when you no longer respond to a repeated stimuli e.g. AC unit) or is it secretly harming us? According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, ambient noise also affects people’s health by increasing general stress levels and aggravating stress-related conditions such as high blood pressure, coronary disease, peptic ulcers and migraine headaches. Continued exposure does not lead to habituation; in fact, the effects worsen. OH MY GOSHHH UWI IS CONSCIOUSLY AND UNCONSCIOUSLY STRESSING US OUT…… WHATTTTT!!!

Prolong exposure to the loud AC unit greatly affects our health as it relates to stress. To reduce this risk the university needs to get professionals to service the units around campus or replace them if needed and once fixed maintained should be regular.

To read more about noise and distraction click this link https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ask-the-brains-background-noise/

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Figure 15: The above show the AC unit which noise comes from

C4 building and the Student Activity Centre (SAC) Study Room.

Physical hazards

Evaluating the risk-

As a result of poor electrical practices, can inflict burns, injury or electrocution to the members of the student population as the result of open and exposed live wire. The classrooms examined are occupied by a variety of students, some of which may be unaware of the hazards in their immediate surroundings. For example, the increase use of smart devices among students would result in the in the need for an electric port to recharge said device. If a student uses the port in figure 15 he/she could be sustain serious injuries.

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Fig 16: The above shows the electrical plugs available in the Student Activity Study Room

“Working on equipment may result in removal of components and parts that provide protection for people against electric shock when the equipment is in normal use”[1] The images show that after the tinkering with electrical wiring by workers. It can clearly be observed that the necessary wires were not properly placed back in their respective positions. To reduce the level of risk posed to the students these electrical sockets and live wires must be adequately labelled and identifiable by the student. For example, the bellow image shows some of the signs available in the C4 building to communicate safety to the students of the Nuclear Magnetic Radiation Room.

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Fig 17: Shows the signs displayed on the entrance of the Nuclear Magnetic Radiation Room.

In the risk assessment of the University these signs were placed to warn students of the dangers of the room which shows the high severity of risk. However, as each individual have a different level of resistance to the flow of current within their body for the prevention of injury it should be established that electrical insulation are checked regularly and maintained by a  competent individual. A data entry or log book should be kept to indicate the last inspection of these electrical components.

The risk assessment of the C4 building and SAC study room may be subjected to change. These classrooms have not been recently modified and the level of voltages supplies to an area might unable to withstand the demands if the electrical equipment.

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Fig 18: Shows proper labeling of electric sources in the C4 building as well as exposed

 

 

 

 

Biological Hazards

A Biological hazard as defined by  the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management is the  “processes of organic origin or those conveyed by biological vectors, including exposure to pathogenic micro-organisms, toxins and bio-active substances, which may cause the loss of life or injury, property damage, social and economic disruption or environmental degradation.” Plant, birds, humans, bacteria, insects and viruses are the agents of this hazard which are living organisms that spread harmful substance.

At SAC building right above the classrooms doors bat and bird droppings could be seen. There is the possibility that some of these droppings could have landed on the door handles which is in constant contact with students’ hands who have classes at this location. This contact could lead to serious skin infection and illness if contaminated hands touches food which then enters the mouth and body. To deal with this extreme risk to students and staff and anyone else who comes in contact with these dropping the university could get persons who have knowledge in this area give them advice on how to deal with the issue, as well as help get rid of the bats and birds and put measures in place to keep them away. The students could also wash and sanitize their hands regular when they come in contact with SAC facilities and properties.

 

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Figure 19: Bio-hazard-Bird feces at the top

 of SAC classroom door.

Work cited

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

Risk Assessment. “OSH Answers Fact Sheets.” Government of Canada, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. Canada. CA, 2016. Web. 24 Oct. 2016.

“Social Anxiety Disorder.” WebMD. n.d. http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/mental-health-social-anxiety-disorder. Accessed 24 Oct, 2016.

“Electric Shock.” WebMD. n.d. http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/electric-shock#3-6. Accessed 24 Oct, 2016.

Rugg, Michael., Andrews, Mark A. W. “How does background noise affect our concentration?” Scientific American (2010). https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ask-the-brains-background-noise/. Accessed 24 Oct, 2016.

“Physical Hazards.” Australian Government Comcare

https://www.comcare.gov.au/preventing/hazards/physical_hazards.  Accessed 24 Oct, 2016.

[1] “Electricity at Work – Safe Working Practices – Guidance …” N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2016.