Thursday, 31 May 2012
To keep a workplace safe and healthy, employers should make sure there are no hazards to which employees and others in the workplace could be exposed. Employers should look for hazards in advance, as part of their risk management and work planning, so that potential hazards are anticipated and prevented.
In all of this employers should get the benefit of their employees' knowledge by talking to them and/or their representatives (including unions) in good faith about the best way to do things.
Employers have to put in place an effective system for identifying existing and emerging (new) hazards.
- Methods of hazard identification include:
- Physical inspections of the workplace, equipment, and work practices;
- Analysis of tasks and how they are carried out by employees in the workplace;
- Analysis of processes carried out in the workplace;
- Analysis of previous 'near miss' incidents.
Employers should then also have an effective system for responding to and managing the hazards that they identify.
How the employer responds to and manages a particular hazard will depend on the circumstances.
The preferred response is to eliminate the hazard; that is, change things so that the hazard no longer exists.
If this can't reasonably be done, the next response should be to isolate the hazard; that is, put in place a process or mechanism that keeps employees away from the hazard.
If this can't reasonably be done, then the hazard must be minimised; that is, do what can reasonably be done to lessen the likelihood of harm being caused by the hazard and to protect employees. This might include:
- providing employees with suitable protective clothing or equipment;
- monitoring employees' exposure to the hazard; and
- with their informed consent, monitoring employees' health in relation to the hazard.
Risk is the potential that a chosen action or activity (including the choice of inaction) will lead to a loss (an undesirable outcome). The notion implies that a choice having an influence on the outcome exists (or existed). Potential losses themselves may also be called "risks". Almost any human endeavor carries some risk, but some are much more risky than others.
Wednesday, 30 May 2012
- A hazard is a situation that poses a level of threat to life, health, property, or environment.
- Most hazards are dormant or potential, with only a theoretical risk of harm; however, once a hazard becomes "active", it can create an emergency situation.
- A hazard does not exist when it is not happening. A hazardous situation that has come to pass is called an incident.
- Hazard and vulnerability interact together to create risk.
Hazards are sometimes classified into three modes:
- The situation has the potential to be hazardous, but no people, property, or environment is currently affected by this. For instance, a hillside may be unstable, with the potential for a landslide, but there is nothing below or on the hillside that could be affected.
- People, property, or environment are in potential harm's way.
- A harmful incident involving the hazard has actually occurred. Often this is referred to not as an "active hazard" but as an accident, emergency, incident, or disaster.
There are many causes, but they can broadly be classified as below. See the linked articles for comprehensive lists of each type of hazard.
- Natural hazards include anything that is caused by a natural process, and can include obvious hazards such as volcanoes to smaller scale hazards such as loose rocks on a hillside.
- Man-made hazards are created by humans, whether long-term (such as global warming) or immediate (like the hazards present at a construction site). These include activity related hazards (such as flying) where cessation of the activity will negate the risk.
- Deadly force or retribution is that hazard involving any protective and responsive-ready threat of harm or punishment that becomes active in the event of a breach of security, or violation of a boundary or barrier (physical, legal, moral) intended to prevent unauthorized or unsafe access or entry or exposure to a situation, to something, or to someone. This includes the consequences that follow trespass, breach of covenant, outrage or moral panic
- Akta Kilang dan Jentera 1967
- Akta Keselamatan & Kesihatan Pekerjaan (AKKP) 1994
- Petroleum Act (Safety Measures) 1984 (Act 302)
- Employment Act 1955 (Act 265)
- Labour Ordinance of Sarawak (Amendment) Act 2005 (Act A1237)
- Labour Ordinance of Sabah (Amendment) Act 2005 (Act A1238)
- Children and Young Persons (Employment) Act 1966 (Act 350)
- Employees Provident Fund Act 1991 (Act 452)
- Employees’ Social Security Act 1969 (Act 4)
- Workmen’s Compensation Act 1952 (Act 273)
- Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 (Act 446)
- Wages Council Act 1947 (Act 195)
- Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad Act 2001 (Act 612)
- Industrial Relations Act 1967 (Act 177)
- Employment Information Act 1953 (Act 159)
- Private Employment Agencies Act 1981 (Act 246)
- Environmental Quality Act 1975 (Act 127)
- Atomic Energy Licensing Act 1984 (Act 304)
- Gas Supply Act 1993 (Act 501)
- Fire Services Act 1988 (Act 341)
- Uniform Building by Laws 1984
- Electricity Supply Act 1990 (Act 447)
- Pesticides Act 1974 (Act 149)
- The quality of indoor air influences the health, comfort and productivity of occupants and visitors.
- The Environment Protection Agency ranks indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risks to public health
- Many materials in common use, as well as certain practices, can have an unfavorable impact on air quality within a building.
- Asbestos, long a favorite insulation material and an ingredient in various building products, is now well known as a carcinogen.
- The re-circulation of air-conditioned interiors may favor both the short term danger of infection and the long term risks related to exposure to low levels of air pollutants
- “Source control” strategies eliminate possible sources of contamination before they are introduced into the building, and specifying bacteria/moisture/mildew inhibitors in paint and other materials.
- Limiting materials with a great deal of accessible surface area (“fleecy” materials such as carpet, upholstery and ceiling tiles) will also control the release of chemicals into the environment.
- Installation procedures also have an effect on exposure to harmful or irritating substances.
- A great many user complaints come from carpet change-out.
- Tests indicate that carpet emissions are released upon installation, but with proper ventilation they will dissipate within 48 to 72 hours.
- There are some common sense guidelines for installation or remodeling:
- Plan for sensitive occupants to leave the building during removal of old carpet and/or the installation of new carpet
- Vacuum old carpet throughly before removal to minimize airborn dust particles
- Provide adequate ventilation during installation and the following 72 hours
- Increase fresh air ventilation to flush out remaining contaminants
- Specify low emitting adhesives and carpet cushions