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Occupational Health And Safety Term Papers

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT

TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIST OF TABLE

LIST OF FIGURE

1. INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of the study
1.2 Statement of the problem
1.3 Objectives of the study
1.4 Research Questions
1.5 Significance of the study
1.6 Limitations of the study
1.7 Organization of the study

2 LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Introduction
2.2 What is occupational health and environmental safety?
2.3 Evolution of occupational health and safety
2.4 Responsibilities and rights of employees and employers in healthand safety issues
2.5 Occupational health, safety and law
2.6 Overcoming occupational health and hygiene problems
2.7 Safety committee
2.8 Health, safety and security
2.9 Ergonomics
2.10 Safety management
2.11 Organizational commitment and safety culture
2.12 Safety training and communication
2.13 Employee safety motivation and incentives
2.14 Inspection, accidents investigation and evaluation
2.15 The costs and benefits of occupational health and safety
2.16 Organizational safety and health programmes
2.17 Promoting job safety and health
2.18 Employee assistance programme
2.19 Cost of personal problems
2.20 Maintaining a healthy work environment
2.21 Occupational diseases and accidents
2.22 Aims and functions of occupational health services

3 METHODOLOGY AND STUDY AREA
3.1 Introduction
3.2 The study area
3.3 Population and sampling technique
3.4 Data collection procedure
3.5 Research instruments Primary Sources
3.6 Research design
3.7 Data analysis plan

4 ANALYSIS, DISCUSSION AND REPRESENTATION OF THE RESULTS
4.1 Introduction
4.2 The definition of Occupational Health and Environmental safety
4.3 Current status of occupational health and safety measures
4.4 Responsibilities for occupational health and safety
4.5 Lighting and ventilation
4.6 Using of protective clothing
4.7 Responsibilities of employers and employees
4.8 Accidents and injuries suffered
4.9 Reporting of accidents/injuries
4.10 Noise disturbance
4.11 Steps taken to minimize the noise effect
4.12 Drinking water availability
4.13 Safety committee
4.14 Training on occupational health and safety
4.15 Monitoring, Inspection and Evaluation of safety practices
4.16 Time frame for Monitoring, Inspection and Evaluation of safety practices
4.17 Level of satisfaction with health and safety
4.18 Employee assistance programmes
4.19 Impact of occupational health and safety on job
4.20 Documented guidelines on health and safety
4.21 Analysis and findings from interview/personal observation

5 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
5.1 Conclusion
5.2 Recommendations
5.3 Directions for future research

References

Appendix # 1 Survey Questions I

LIST OF TABLE

Table 4.1: Lighting and ventilation

Table 4.2:Using of protective clothing

Table 4.3: Responsibilities of employers and employees

Table 4.4: Accidents and injuries suffered

Table 4.5: Reporting of accidents/injuries

Table 4.6: Noise disturbance

Table 4.7: Monitoring, Inspection and Evaluation of safety practices

Table 4.8: Level of satisfaction with health and safety

Table 4.9: Employee assistance programmes

Table 4.10: Impact of occupational health and safety on job performance

Table 4.11: Documented Guidelines on health and safety

LIST OF FIGURE

Figure 4.1: A graph on the meaning of health and safety

Figure 4.2: A graph on current occupational health and safety

Figure 4.3: A graph on responsibility for occupational health and safety

Figure 4.4: A graph on steps taken to minimize noise effect

Figure 4.5: A graph on ensuring adequate supply of safe drinking water

Figure 4.6: A graph showing if the workers knew about the existence of safety committee

Figure 4.7: A graph on how regular the training is organized on occupational health and safety

Figure 4.8: A graph on time framefor monitoring, inspection and evaluation practices

ABSTRACT

Recent accidents happening in most companies in Bangladesh should be a source of worry to everyone. Most employers fail to put in place suitable health and safety measures in place at their workplace to defend not only the employees and management but also clients/customers and other stakeholders who might have some kind of interest in the company or institution. Ineffective occupational health and safety policy have a negative effect on the organization as well as the workforce. Some of these include, cost of wages paid for time lost, cost of damage to material or equipment, cost of overtime work required as a result of accidents etc. It is against this background that the researcher decided to research into the area. The topic for the work was an assessment of occupational health and safety practices on job performance at theEchoTex Ltd. Being a garment factory, the staff, management, guards and other stakeholders are expose to several risks and hazards. The research aimed among other things to examine the effect of occupational health and safety on job performance. The officers, administrators, technicians, cooks, guards etc. in the departments and units of the factory formed the population of the study. Eighty respondents formed the sample size of the study. Data was collected through questionnaire, interviews and review of relevant literature from books, articles, website etc. It was found out that the current occupational health and safety practices at the factory were inadequate. Staff commitment and compliance to health and safety rules was also low. It was recommended that management of the factory constitute a safety committee and maintain regular monitoring, inspection and evaluation and conduct reviews for improvement.

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the study

In times past, employers were not concern with the health and environmental safety of their employees at work. An employee was not provided with safety and health equipment and s/he risked getting hurt at work anytime s/he goes about his/her duties.

An injured employee in countries like U.S for example had to litigate to acquire compensation which in most cases was not successful and the cost of doing so even prevented employees from going to court. However, the International Labour Organization made some recommendations in 1959 which provided that “occupational health services” should be established in or near a place of employment for the purpose of:

- Protecting the workers against any health hazards arising out of work or situations in which it is carried on.
- Contributing towards workers physical and mental adjustment
- Contributing to the establishment and maintenance of the highest possible degree of physical and mental well-being of the workers.

The employer has responsibility to protect the employees from all health hazards that may pose threat to their safety and health (International Labour Organization 1959).

Safety hazards are those parts of the work environment that have the potential of immediate and sometimes powerful harm to an employee; for example loss of hearing, eyesight or body parts, arts, sprains, brushes, bruises, broken bones, burns and electric shock.

In organizations, occupational accidents may rise from three dimensions: the task to be done, for instance malfunctioning machines, lack of protective equipment like working conditions which arise from inadequate lighting, fatigue that comes out of excessive working hours and the employee himself/herself.

It is a remarkable mentioning that some organizations have placed responsibility for employee health and safety with their Chief Executive Officers. This approach is typical of smaller organizations with threats in this area or with mid-size organizations with few such threats. Large organizations seeing health and safety of their employees do set up safety departments usually under the purview of the human resource management team. For example, in the United States of America, a safety director should be appointed for every two thousand (2000) workers.

In India, it is mandatory under the factories Act of 1948 to appoint safety officers in factories with a workforce of one thousand (1,000) or more.

Government plays a significant part in health and safety because it constitutes to improve health and safety factors.

Trade unions have been more grateful of health and safety measures than employees they represent. It is easy to see why this is so. The objectives of health and safety initiatives and trade unions both improve the quality of working life of employees. They pressurize employers for better programmes and use their clout to lobby for legislation to improve the health and safety of employees.On the other hand, socially responsible management had active health and safety programmes long before they were made mandatory by law. Some others only complied because they were required to and that too only to meet the minimum requirements of the law.

Quite apart from the willful avoidance of health measures, some employers face the dilemma of ignorance about the consequences of some dangerous working conditions. Furthermore, even where there is knowledge, prohibitive costs could prevent them from doing what is necessary, for example, uranium workers can expect that 10-11% of their numbers will die of cancer within 10 years. As long as there are no alternative methods and as long as there is a need for uranium, some employees will risk shorter lives in these jobs. That is although work is being done to determine the dangers and to prevent or mitigate the consequences of such works; the costs of some of these preventive programmes are so high that it would not be economically viable to adopt them. Employees today are central to achieving competitive advantages (Cascio,Wayne 1986). This reality has directed to the need for health institutions and other organizations to link strategic aims and objectives in order to improve health service delivery and develop organizational cultures that foster innovation and flexibility. Health professionals need to be treated as crucial in meeting this aspiration. The key levers (including health and safety of people) of human resource management must be internally integrated with each other and externally integrated with the institution’s strategy to enhance productivity and personal satisfaction.

To be able to do this management has to focus on the immediate workplace, the adjacent communities, the regional environment and the international environment.

It must be noted that legislation and changed attitudes towards employees will make safety and health priority areas for organizations. In the organization’s role of “managing bottom lines” they should realize that support and commitment to safety and health is ultimately cost effective.

Typical health hazards to health professionals in their quest to provide healthcare services include toxic and carcinogenic chemicals and dust, often in combination with noise, heat and other forms of stress. Other health hazards include physical and biological agents. The interaction of health hazards and the human organisms can occur either through the senses, by absorption through the skin, by intake into the digestive tract via the mouth or by inhalation into the lungs.

1.2 Statement of the problem

There is no doubt that the human resource that an organization has, is one of its versatile resources. Therefore, an effective and efficient use of the human resource will translate into the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the organization. Though many organizations accept this to be true, they fail to realize that as part of their human resource management practices, there is the need for management to ensure that personnel in the organization work in safe and healthy environment that will promote their optimum utilization. It should be highlighted that accidents are costly both to the affected worker and the organization. Therefore, every effort should be made by management and employees in order to avoid them from happening at the work place. As a factory the employees are exposed to varied kinds of hazards. Therefore, failure to institute adequate health and safety measures in place by management to protect employees from these hazards and risks will lead to avoidable deaths and ultimately lead to loss of staff. Inadequate training on acceptance and compliance to safety and health measures also hinder its effectiveness. In fact, safety and health in the organization have to be everybody’s concern. On the contrary, this is not the case in most organizations. There is lack of cooperation between management and employees in making health and safety issues effective.

Failure to identify these hazards and understanding their implications on the personal lives of all staff in the factory will be consequential. Also, ensuring that regular monitoring and review of these measures are important to examine their effectiveness. Nonexistence of these measures hinders job performance and the employee suffers the ultimate consequence.

Employee attitudes play a significant part in health and safety. Most employees are not committed to the idea of safety and fail to cooperate with safety initiatives, hence making safety measures become ineffective.

Indeed, any safety measure or action on the part of government or employer may prove unsuccessful if the employees are not committed to the idea of safety. Employers also fail to see occupational health and safety as a process. It is not enough to institute safety measures and fail to provide adequate training and education on these measures and rules.

In essence, conscious effort by management to put in place safety measures and ensure that these rules are adhered to compels employees as well to be safety conscious at all times. A wider view of occupational safety and health is necessary for management of the factory to formulate correct policies in regard to industrial safety which is commensurate with international standards, compatible with national policies and at the same time, meet the organizational objectives of providing quality health care and personal satisfaction.

It is line with this that this research seeks to assess the health and safety measures of the Echotex Ltd. It is also to examine the departments/units of the factory and outline various safety hazards staff are exposed to.

1.3 Objectives of the study

The study aimed at finding out the following:

a. To examine the effect of occupational health and safety in the factory .
b. To identify any inadequacies in the factory’s health and safety measures.
c. To examine the roles of the employee, employers in the execution of health and safety programmes in the factory.
d. To assess the level of compliance of occupational health and safety practices by employers and employees.

1.4 Research Questions

a. What are the indications that the factory administrators and supervisors are really concern about health and safety?

b. What are the respective responsibilities and rights of employers and employees for effective occupational health and safety policy?

c. Are thecurrent occupational health and safety policies adequate in the factory?

d. What happens if staffs fail to comply with occupational health and safety rules in the factory?

1.5 Significance of the study

The importance of this study can be seen in diverse ways. The study could provide bases for the formulation of effective occupational health and safety policies in the Echotex Ltd. The piece of work will also provide the opportunity for employees, employers to identify their specific respective roles in health and safety issues. It will also provide bases for other factories in Bangladesh to adopt the recommendations in the formation of effective health and safety measures in their institutions as well. The work will be used as reference material for policy makers in making decisions concerning health and safety practices and policies.

1.6 Limitations of the study

Most of the employees of the factory have unstable or unfavorable work schedules. This made the conducting of interviews very difficult.Financial constraints-in the course of the research, the researcher had to spend a lot of money in printing of the research work, photocopying relevant research materials, allowances to research assistants, travelling and transport cost to the site to gather information.Another limitation was the reluctance of the respondents in disclosing information with the view that the information will be disclosed to the outside world and it could be used against the factory.

Time limitation- In a research work like this, time is essential. Every section of this research was given a timeframe within which it was to be presented .However; the researcher had to combine the exercise with other academic activities at the same time. Again, due to the fact that the period for the research is short to allow for adequate data collection on the subject, this could affect the outcome of the work.

1.7 Organization of the study

The research work is divided into five (5) chapters. Chapter one concerns itself with the general introduction grouped under the following headings; Background to the study, Statement of the problem, Objectives of the study, Significance of the study, Research questions, Scope of the study and Organization of the study.

Chapter two involves the review of various related literatures on the relevant subject under the study.

Chapter three includes the various methods used for collecting data for the research work. These methods include administration of questionnaires, interviews, observation etc.

Chapter four presents results, discussions and provides analysis of the data gathered for the study.

Finally, the fifth chapter provides conclusions and recommendations

2 LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 Introduction

For the function of making any significant and sensible finale on the data drawn from the study, it is essential that a closer look is taken at related works done on occupational health and environmental safety with reference to job routine and assessment on some of the literatures relevant to the study, in order for judgment, authorization and differences to be laid exposed. Due to this, this chapter is meant to contain the review of various literatures considered to be relevant to the study.

2.2 What is occupational health and environmental safety?

The Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines “welfare’ as “well-being”. Therefore, health and environmental safety are firmly aspects of employee welfare, which have been independently known as being significant areas of welfare condition for sometimes.

Cascio, Wayne.(1986) defines safety hazards as those aspects of the work environment that have the potential of immediate and sometimes violent harm to an employee; for example, loss of hearing, eye sight, or body parts, cuts, sprains, bruises, broken bones, burns and electric shock.

Health hazards as those aspects of work environment that slowly and cumulatively (and often irreversibly) lead to deterioration of an employee’s health; for example: cancer, poisoning and respiratory diseases.Typical causes include physical and biological hazards, toxic and carcinogenic dusts and chemicals and stressful working conditions (Cole, 1991).

2.3 Evolution of occupational health and safety

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, employees ran their businesses as they saw fit to make profit. Employee safety and health were not their concern. In fact, in official terms these things were nobody’s concern. In the U.S. injured employees had to litigate to obtain compensation for their injuries. The cost of doing so effectively prevented employees from going to court. Besides, employees were rarely successful since, under common law, if they knew of the hazards the job entailed or if the injuries were brought about as a result of the negligence of the employee or a co-worker, the employer was not liable.

From these origins, there has emerged an approach and practice with regard to health, safety and welfare issues. The national safety council had been established in 1913 in the U.S. after safety conscious managers and engineers spearheaded its founding (major disasters led changes in thinking). Significantly the international labour organization 1959, provided that occupational health services should be established in or near a place of employment for the employee welfare (International Labour Organization, 1959).

2.4 Responsibilities and rights of employees and employers in healthand safety issues

Gany, Desler et al. (1942) state that employers are responsible for taking every reasonable precaution to ensure the health and safety of their workers, this is called the “due diligence” requirement.

Specific duties of the employer include;

- Filing government accident reports
- Maintaining records
- Posting safety notices and legislative information
- Education and training on health and safety precautionary measures

Employees also have responsibilities which include taking reasonable care to protect their own health and safety and, in most cases, that of their co-workers.

These specific requirements include;

- Wearing protective clothing and equipment
- Reporting any contravention of the law of reputation

Downey, D.M. et al.(1995) identify the following as employees’ basic rights under the joint responsibility model:

- The rights to know about workplace safety hazards.
- The right to participate in the occupational health and safety process.
- The right to refuse unsafe work if they have “reasonable cause” to believe that the work is dangerous.

“Reasonable cause” generally means that an objection about a workplace hazard has not been suitably determined, or a safety problem places employees in direct danger. If act of a task would harmfully affect health and safety, a worker cannot be disciplined for refusing to do the work.

2.5 Occupational health, safety and law

The occupational health and safety service in Bangladesh is still in the developmental stage. Here the occupational health and safety refers mainly to needs of workers of industries or some manufacturing processes but does not completely cover all occupations of the country. The main laws related to occupational health and safety in this country is the Factory Act 1965 and the Factory Rule of 1979.

The act defines worker as “a person employed in any manufacturing process or in cleaning any part of the machinery or premises used for a manufacturing process, or in any other kind of work incidental to or connected with, the manufacturing process, but does not include any person solely employed in clerical capacity in any room or place where no manufacturing process is carried on".

This factory act (1965) prescribes the requirements of safety and health to be maintained, and covers:

- Maintenance of standards of cleanliness.
- Adequate lighting, ventilation & temperature.
- Control of elements hazardous to health like dusts, gases, fumes, etc. associated with particular operations.
- Requirement of certificate of fitness for young persons from certifying surgeons.
- Requirement of periodical medical examination for persons engaged in hazardous operations.
- Requirement for making available adequate first-aid facilities.
- Requirement of a dispensary manned by a medical practitioner for units employing 500 or more workers.
- Length of working hours & night work for young persons and women, and prohibition of employment for operating dangerous machines
- Prohibition of employment of women and children near cotton openers
- Requirement of precaution against fire and explosions.
- Requirement of fencing and guarding of machinery, casing of new machinery
- Requirement for work on or near machinery in motion, striking gear and devices for cutting off power, self-acting machine
- Requirement for cranes and other lifting machinery, hoist and lift, revolving machinery, pressure plant
- Requirement of safety measures for buildings.
- Requirement of precautions against dangerous fumes.
- Maximum weight to be lifted carried or moved by adult men, women and young persons.
- Requirement for floors, stairs and means of access; pits, sumps, opening in floors, etc.
- Requirement for protection of eyes
- Requirement for explosive or inflammable dust, gas, etc.
- Reporting of accidents and occupational diseases.
- Sanitary conveniences- requirement of latrine, urinals, spittoons, drinking water
- Requirement of canteen, eating place, washing facilities, rest room, child room
- Requirement for appointment of welfare officer for units employing 500 or more workers.

2.6 Overcoming occupational health and hygiene problems

Turner and Lawrence (1965) identify some measures to overcome occupational health and hygiene problems. These are;

- Dominating hazard at source through design and process engineering
- Isolating hazardous processes and substances so that workers do not come into contact with them.
- Changing the process or substances used, to promote better protection or eliminate the risk
- Providing protective equipment but only if changes to the design, process or specification cannot completely remove the hazard.
- Training of workers to avoid risk.
- Good housekeeping to keep premises and machinery clean and free from toxic substances.
- Pre-employment medical examinations and regular checks on those exposed to risk.
- Ensuring that ergonomic considerations (thus, those concerning the design and use of equipment, machines, processes and workstations) are taken into account in design specifications, establishing work routines and training.
- Maintaining and preventing medicine programmes which develop health standards foreach job and involve regular audits of potential health hazards and regular examinations for anyone at risk.
- Maintaining plant and equipment to eliminate the possibility of harmful emissions, controlling the use of toxic substances and eliminate radiation hazards.
Holt and Andrews (1993) suggest the following steps to be taken to increase the effectiveness of safety:
- Avoid negatives – successful safety propaganda should contain positive messages not warnings of the unpleasant consequences of actions.
- Expose correctly – address the message to the right people at the point of danger
- Maximize comprehension – message should be simple and specific.

2.7 Safety committee

Regulations connecting to safety council also include obligations about the establishment and operation of safety committees at the workplace. The overall objective of a safety committee is the promotion of co-operation between employers and the employees in investigating, developing and carrying out measures to guarantee the health and safety of the employees at work.

Cole (2002) identifies key functions of safety committees. These include:

- Studying trends in accidents, etc. with the view to make suggestions for corrective actions.
- Examining safety reports and making proposals for avoiding accidents, etc.
- Examining and discussing reports from safety representatives.
- Making proposals for new or revised safety procedures.
- Acting as a link between the organization and the enforcement agency (the health and safety inspectorate).
- Monitoring and evaluating the organization’s safety policies, and making proposals for changes, if necessary.

Michael (2006) also states that employees frequently participate in safety planning through safety committees, often composed of workers from a variety of levels and departments. A safety committee generally meets at regular scheduled times and has specific responsibilities for conducting safety reviews and makes recommendations for changes necessary to avoid future accidents.

2.8 Health, safety and security

Today, employees think their employers to offer work environments that are protected, safe and healthy. However, many employers once viewed accidents and occupational diseases as obvious by-products of work. This idea may still be common in many industrial settings in underdeveloped countries. Luckily in most developed nations, this idea has been replaced with the concept of using prevention and control to minimize or eliminate risks in workplaces. But in many underdeveloped countries major health, safety concerns exist in workplaces.

Health refers to a general state of physical, mental and emotional well-being (Robert and John, 2004).

A healthy person is free of disease, injury or psychological and emotional problems that harm normal human activity. Health management practices in organizations struggle to sustain the overall well being of individuals.

Safety on the other hand refers to protecting the physical well being of people (Robert and John, 2004).

The main purpose of effective safety programmes in organizations is to avoid work related injuries and accidents. The purpose of security is to protect employees and organizational facilities.

The general goal of providing a safe, secure and healthy workplace is reached when there is assistance between managers and HR staff members. An HR manager or safety specialist can help organize health and safety programmes, examine accidents, construct safety programme materials and accomplish formal safety training. However, department supervisors and managers play key roles in maintaining safe working conditions and a healthy workplace. For example, a supervisor in a warehouse has several health and safety responsibilities: reminding employees to wear safety hats; checking on the cleanliness of the work area; observing employees for any alcohol, drug or emotional problems that may affect their work behavior; and recommending equipment changes(such as screens, railings or other safety devices) to engineering specialists in the association. A position becoming more common in many companies is that of safety/environmental officer. This arrangement may make sense in situations where danger results from chemical or other sources of pollution that may be hazardous to both employees and the public or the environment.

Regarding security, HR managers and specialists can coordinate their efforts with those in other operating areas to develop access restrictions and employee identification procedures, contract or manage organizational security services such as guards and train all managers and supervisors to handle potentially volatile situations (Robert and John, 2004).

2.9 Ergonomics

Ergonomics is the study and design of the work environment to address physiological and physical demands on individuals. In a work setting, ergonomic studies look at such factors as fatigue, lighting, tools, equipment layout and placement of control (Robert and John, 2004).

2.10 Safety management

Effective safety management requires an organizational commitment to safe working conditions. But more importantly, well designed and managed safety programmes can pay dividends for associated costs such as worker’s compensation and possible fines. Furthermore, accidents and other safety concerns usually decline as a result of management efforts emphasizing safety (Salon, 2001).

2.11 Organizational commitment and safety culture

Robert and John.(2004) state that at the heart of safety management is an organizational commitment to a comprehensive safety effort. This effort should be coordinated from the top level of management to include all members of the organization. It should also be reflected in managerial actions.

Employers can prevent some accidents by having machines, equipments, and work areas so that workers who daydream periodically or who perform potentially dangerous jobs cannot injure themselves or others. Providing safety equipment and guards on machinery, installing emergency switches, installing adequate ventilation, installing emergency switches, installing safety rails, keeping aisles clear, lighting, heating and air conditioning can all help make work environment safer. Designing jobs properly requires consideration of physical setting of a job. The way the work space surrounding a job is utilized can influence the worker’s performance of the job itself. Several factors that affect safety have been identified; including size of work area, kinds of materials used, sensory conditions, distance between work areas, and interference from noise and traffic flow. Designing safety policies and rules and disciplining violators are important components of safety efforts. Frequently reinforcing the need for safe behavior and supplying feedback on positive safety practices also are effective in improving worker safety. Such efforts must involve employees, supervisors and managers.

2.12 Safety training and communication

Tsui and Gomez-Mejia. (1988) state that one way to encourage employee safety is to involve all employees at various times in safety training. Safety training can be done in various ways. This includes;

- Regular sessions with supervisors, managers and employees often are coordinated by HR staff members.
- Showing videos, television broadcasts and internet-based resources all are means used to conduct safety training.

To reinforce safety training, continuous communication to develop safety consciousness is necessary. Merely sending safety memos is not enough. Producing newsletters, changing safety posters, continually updating bulletin boards and posting information in visible areas also are recommended (Tsui and Gomez-Mejia, 1988)

2.13 Employee safety motivation and incentives

Michael (2006) states that to encourage employees to work safely, many organizations have used safety contests and have given employees incentives for safe work behavior.Jewellery, clocks, watches and even vacation trips have been given as rewards for good safety records.

Unfortunately, some evidence indicates that incentives tend to reinforce understanding and “creative” classifying of accidents. This concern about safety incentives is that employees and managers do not report accidents and injuries so that they may collect the incentive reward.

2.14 Inspection, accidents investigation and evaluation

It is not necessary to wait to check the work area for safety hazards. Inspections may be done by a safety committee or by a safety coordinator. They must be done on a regular basis.

Eva and Oswald (1981) emphasize that when accidents occur, they should be investigated by the employer’s safety committee. Investigation at the scene should be done as soon as possible after an accident to ensure that the conditions under which the accident occurred have not changed significantly. The second phase of investigation is the interview of the injured employee, his or her supervisor witnesses to the accident. This is followed by recommendations. Organization should monitor and evaluate their safety efforts. Just as organizational accounting records are audited, a firm’s safety efforts and records should be audited periodically as well.

2.15 The costs and benefits of occupational health and safety

Wayne, Cacio (1992) states that employers frequently complain that there is no systematic method of quantifying costs and benefits what dealing with employees’ safety and health conditions. Technically that is true, but there is a behavior costing model that may provide a useful start. It is important to distinguish nondiscretionary from discretionary safety and health expenditures. Some states and local agencies require firms to comply with safety and health regulations. To comply, firms may have to purchase and install special equipment, such as machine guards, safety switch interlocks, and non slip flooring. These costs are nondiscretionary. To do otherwise is to risk heavy fines and losses from liability and damage suits. Cacao, Wayne. (1992) again emphasized that, beyond mere compliance, however, companies have a number of options regarding the degree to which they invest in employee safety and health. A motivational poster programme (e.g. “think safety”) is a token effort that requires minimal expenses. Creation of a safety committee to encourage active employee complaints is more expensive. The highest-cost option includes regular safety training for all employees. The training may involve films, lectures by safety experts or hands-on drills and demonstrations with safety and emergency apparatus.

Boyd. (2003) states that for each of these levels of safety and health programmes, investment costs are measureable. They include the salaries and wages of employees participating in the programme, the cost of outside services used and the costs to implement the programmes. Unfortunately, the benefits to be derived from such programmes cannot be traced as easily to the bottom line. Certainly, the most quantifiable benefit resulting from the successful introduction of a safety and health programme is a reduction in casualty and workers’ compensation insurance rates. Less measureable benefits involve the avoidance of the “indirect” cost of an accident, including:

- Cost of wages paid for time lost
- Cost of damage to material or equipment
- Cost of overtime work required by accident
- Cost of wages paid to supervisors while time is required for activities resulting from the accidents
- Costs of decreased output of the injured worker after she or he returns to work
- Ensured medical costs borne by the company
- Cost of time spent by higher management and clerical workers to investigate or to process worker’s compensation forms
- Costs associated with the time it takes for a new worker to learn the job
- Cost of labour spent on the employee engaged to replace the injured

Prediction of these costs and identification of trends in them is very difficult. It must be done in the basis of historical information (to gauge trend) and judgment by managers (to assess the seriousness of the accidents avoided). This makes economic sense for firms to ensure that there should be no limit to efforts to eliminate accidents and health hazard.

2.16 Organizational safety and health programmes

Pirani and Reynolds. (1976) indicate that accidents results from two broad causes: unsafe work condition (physical and environmental) and unsafe work behavior. Unsafe physical conditions include defective equipment, inadequate machine guards, and lack of protective equipment. Examples of unsafe environmental conditions are noise, radiation, dust, fumes, and stress. Accidents often result from an interaction of unsafe acts. Thus if a particular operation forces a worker to lift a heavy part and twist to set it in a bench, then the operation itself forces the worker to perform the unsafe act. Telling the worker not to lift and twist at the same time will not solve the problem. The unsafe condition itself must be corrected, either by redesigning the flow of material or by providing the worker with a mechanical devise for lifting. Engineering controls attempt to eliminate unsafe work conditions and to neutralize unsafe worker behaviors. Management controls attempt to increase safe behaviors. Engineering controls involve some modification of the work environment; for example, installing a metal cover over the blade of a lawnmower to make it almost impossible for a member of a grounds crew to catch his or her foot in the blade.

2.17 Promoting job safety and health

Cacao, Wayne. (1992) outline four approaches in promoting job safety and health. These are:

- Technical responses - this involves replacing or redesigning equipment, modifying physical work places and providing worker protection ( engineering controls).
- Information responses – which refers to changes in the way that health and safety information is transmitted within the organization.
- Administrative responses include changes in the authority structure or in policies and procedures with respect to safety and health ( e.g. upgrading the safety function and shifting it from engineering to the human resource department)
- External responses refer to legal or political actions to change the enforcement of safety and health regulations.

Byars and Rue (2008) suggest the following as things which can be done to promote safety and health of the organization. These include:

i. Making the work interesting Uninteresting work often leads to boredom, fatigue and stress, all of which can cause accidents. Often simple changes can be made to make the work more meaningful. Attempts to make the job interesting are usually successful if they add responsibility, challenge and other similar factors that increase employees’ satisfaction with the job.

ii. Establishing a safety committee composed of operative employees and representatives of management. The safety committee provides a means of getting employees directly involved in the operation of the safety programmes.

iii. Feature employees’ safety contests Give prizes to the work groups or employees having best safety record for a given time period. Contests can also be held to rest safety knowledge. Prizes can be awarded periodically to employees who good accident prevention ideas.

iv. Publicize safety statistics Monthly accidents reports should be posted. Ideas as to how accidents can be avoided should be solicited

v. Use bulletins boards throughout the organization. Pictures, sketches and cartoons can be effective.

vi. Encourage employees including supervisors and managers to have high expectations for safety.

vii. Periodically hold safety training programmes and meetings. Have employees attend and participate in these meetings as role players or instructors.

2.18 Employee assistance programme

Mills, Quin. (1983) state that until recently, organizations attempted to avoid employees problems that were not job related. Although aware of the existence of these problems, most managers did not believe they should interfere with employees’ personal lives. In the past, organizations tended to get rid of troubled employees. In recent years, however, cost considerations, unions and government legislation altered this approach. The accepted viewpoint now is that employees’ personal problems are private until they begin affecting the job performance. When and if that happens, personal problems become a matter of concern for the organization. As a result of this, many large organizations and a growing number of smaller ones are attempting to help employees with personal problems. These problems include not only alcohol and drug abuse but depression, anxiety, domestic trauma, financial problems, and other psychiatric/medical problems. This help is not purely altruistic; it is largely based on cost savings.

2.19 Cost of personal problems

A primary result of personal problems brought to the workplace is reduced productivity. Absenteeism and tardiness also tend to increase. Increased cost of insurance programmes including sickness and accident benefits, are a direct result of personal problems brought to workplace. Lower morale, more friction among employees, and more grievances also result from troubled employees. Permanent loss of trained employees due to disability, retirement and death is also associated with troubled employees. Difficult to measure, but a very real cost associated with troubled employees, is the loss of business and a damaged public image (Litwin and Stringer, 1968)

2.20 Maintaining a healthy work environment

David and Stephen. (1999) indicate that unhealthy work environment is a concern to us all. If workers cannot function properly at their job because of constant headaches, watering eyes, breathing difficulties, or fear of exposure to materials that may cause long term health problems, productivity will decrease. Consequently, creating a healthy work environment not only is the proper thing to do, but it also benefits the employer. Often referred to as sick buildings, office environments that contain harmful airborne chemicals, asbestos or indoor pollution (possibly caused by smoking) have forced employers to take drastic steps. For many, it has meant the removal of asbestos from their buildings.

Palmer. (1989) makes suggestions for keeping the workplace healthy. These include:

- Making sure workers get enough fresh air. The cost of providing it is peanuts compared with the expense of cleaning up a problem.
- Avoiding suspected building materials and furnishing. A general rule is that if it stinks, it is going to emit an odour.
- Testing new buildings for toxins before occupancy. Failure to do so may lead to potential health problems.
- Providing a smoke free environment. If you do not want to ban smoking entirely, then establish an area for a smoker that has its own ventilation.
- Keeping air ducts clean and dry. Water in air ducts is a fertile breeding ground for fungi. Servicing the air ducts periodically can help eliminate the fungi before they cause harm.
- Paying attention to workers complaints. Dates and particulars should be recorded by a designated employee. Because employees are often closest to the problems, they are a valuable source of information.

2.21 Occupational diseases and accidents

Occupational disease is any illness associated with a particular occupation or industry. Such diseases result from a variety of biological, chemical, physical, and psychological factors that are present in the work environment or are otherwise encountered in the course of employment. Occupational medicine is concerned with the effect of all kinds of work on health and the effect of health on a worker’s ability and efficiency.

Occupational diseases are essentially preventable and can be ascribed to faulty working conditions. The control of occupational health hazards decreases the incidence of work-related diseases and accidents and improves the heath and morale of the work force, leading to decreased absenteeism and increased worker efficiency. In most cases the moral and economic benefits far outweigh the costs of eliminating occupational hazards (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2009)

2.22 Aims and functions of occupational health services

The primary concerns of occupational health services remain those specified by the International Labour Organisation/ World Health Organisation in 1950, although work-related diseases are now considered as well as purely occupational diseases. The actual services offered are essentially preventive in nature and are summarized below:

i. Job placement-People with certain pre-existing medical conditions may be at a disadvantage in some jobs. A pre-employment health questionnaire or medical examination can be of great value in such cases by determining job unsuitability before training time and expense have been incurred. Job suitability may also need to be regularly monitored in order to assure employee health and ability. Airline pilots, for example, undergo regular medical checkups because a pilot with failing vision or one who suffers from an undetected heart condition that can lead to a heart attack could endanger many lives. The health service can also give valuable advice with regard to alternative employment when a worker is found to be unfit for a particular job.
ii. Safety training-An occupational health service has a responsibility to keep all employees informed about hazards in the workplace. The measures taken to protect employee health should be thoroughly explained so that workers understand the necessity of complying with such unpleasant restrictions as the wearing of protective clothing and face masks. First aid facilities should be organized and employees instructed about first aid procedures in case of accidental injuries or other emergencies.
iii. Supervision of high-risk groups-Exposure levels considered safe for a young male worker may be hazardous for a pregnant women (the fetus, especially during the first three months of development, is particularly sensitive to environmental toxic agents). Pregnant women, as well as such other vulnerable groups as the very young, the elderly, and disabled, therefore require appropriate medical surveillance and advice about specific precautionary measures the can take.
iv. Control of recognized hazards-A complex system of environmental and biological monitoring has been developed for the control of known hazards at work. Occupational health practice is concerned with monitoring the concentration of toxic substances in the environment, determining safe exposure levels, suggesting procedures to limit worker exposure, and monitoring workers for signs of overexposure. Occupational health specialists can also contribute to the prevention of health risks by assisting in the planning and design of new equipment and factories.
v. Identification of unrecognized hazards-Occupational health services can play a major role in the detection of new health hazards of all types. Clinical observation and study reveal a casual relationship between patterns of sickness or mortality in groups of workers and their occupational exposure. Examples of hazards identified in this manner include lung and nasal cancer among nickel workers, lung cancer in asbestos workers and coronary heart disease among workers exposed to carbon disulfide (used in the manufacture of rayon).
vi. Treatment-Quick, on-site treatment of work injuries and poisonings can prevent complications and aid recovery. Such treatment can also be economically beneficial by saving traveling and waiting time. Furthermore, physicians and nurses who are unfamiliar with their patients’ working conditions may keep workers with minor injuries away from work longer than necessary. An occupational treatment service offers opportunities for specialized counseling and health education.
vii. General health education and surveillance-Occupational health services may have to provide general medical care for workers and their families in developing countries with inadequate community health services. Even when general health care is provided elsewhere, an occupational health service can offer an effective and often economically advantageous program of health education and counseling. By advising employees on such topics as smoking, alcohol or drug abuse, exercise, and diet, the occupational health service can improve worker health and efficiency and reduce illness and absenteeism. The health service is also in a position to organize employee health surveillance programmes for the early diagnosis if disease (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2009).

3 METHODOLOGY AND STUDY AREA

3.1 Introduction

This chapter presents the actions, method and techniques the researcher adopted in the research work. Research work most often than not is appraised based on the value and accuracy of the investigation and information it provides at the end. However, this is reliant on the nature of data collected during the research. As a result, this chapter looked at how data were gathered for the research. The methodology enlightened on the tools or techniques for research design, data gathering, the population and sampling techniques, and data sources, data collection instruments, and data analysis plan.

3.2 The study area

The area of the study was the Echotex Ltd, an export oriented garments factory. It is situated in Chandra PolliBiddut,Kaliakoir in the northern part of Gazipur district. It first began its journey by the name of Quality Assured Ltd. in 2004, later it changed to Echotex Ltd in 2008. It is a garments renowned for its ETP plant allover in Bangladesh after winning Environmental medal from the Dept. of Environment of Bangladesh in 2006.

The vision of the factory is to become a center of excellence in the provision of quality, affordable and accessible healthcare to all employers and employees in the factory’s catchment area. The factory hopes to achieve this vision through client focused activities, with well trained, motivated, disciplined results oriented staff.

The factory has several departments and units performing various specific functions. This includes administration, garments manufacturing, printing unit, washing unit, dying section, kitchen, canteen, security section, child care and clinic. To ensure the safe environmental health and drinking water the factory has Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP), biogas plant. Recently, it has taken an initiative to establish its own rainwater harvesting system.

Due to time and financial constraints data shall be drawn from eighty (80) staff for the research work. Data was drawn from two sources; primary sources and Secondary sources. Primary sources include data to be collected through questionnaires, interviews, personal observations. Interviews were conducted with respondents in the sampled departments to acquire data for the research work. The sources of secondary data include data drawn from books, files, journals, magazines and internet and website.

3.3 Population and sampling technique

The target population for the collection of the data for the research is the employees and the employers in various departments and units. The office staff, production staff , admin worker, sewing operator, sewing helper, dyeing worker, finishing worker, quality worker, printing and knitting worker, cutting worker, guards, environmental health and compliance officers formed the sample frame for the study. The researcher adopted both stratified and simple random sampling techniques. With regard stratified sampling technique the researcher separated the entire factory staff from the various departments and units into two strata i.e, administration building and dye house. This separation was necessary because of the fact that the nature of work being performed and levels of exposure to risks in these department and units are different. With a sample size of eighty (80) respondents; a simple random sampling method was adopted to select forty (40) respondents from each of the stratum. With this technique, a sample of the population is preferred so that each member of the population has an equivalent chance of being elected. The vital concept underlying this method of sampling is that the elements or the persons in the population are judged to be homogenous.

3.4 Data collection procedure

Data collection in a research is the phase where the necessary data valuable according to the purposes and goals of the research are assembled from the field. The ways for gathering these data is what is termed data collection methods. Two main sources of data were utilized for the research work; primary sources and secondary sources. The methods used in collecting primary data include questionnaire, interview, and observations. The study made use of primary data at the chapter four, which is the analysis stage. Secondary source includes data from magazines, journals, published and unpublished books, websites etc.

3.5 Research instruments

Primary Sources

Interview

It is a conversation carried out with a specific aim of obtaining confident in formation. Interview was designed to assemble valid and trustworthy information through the responses of the interviewee to a planned sequence of questions. Interview took both structured and unstructured forms. That is though content and the method involved were designed in advance there were instances where follow up questions not planned for were asked for further explanation.

Interview solved the problem of confusion of questions in the questionnaires. This is because; the interviewer was present to clarify any question that the interviewee did not understand.

It is to be stated that the interview technique of collecting data was used for this research work. It provided the researcher better understanding of all issues concerning the topic under study. Interviewees practically demonstrated on other issues which were not covered by the questionnaire.

Questionnaire

This took the form of a list of questions given to respondents to reply with the underlying principles of getting data on the subject under study. The researcher chose self-administered questionnaires as oppose to the postal questionnaires. The questions in the questionnaire were close ended questions. The close ended questions suggested a set of alternative answers from which the respondents were asked to choose the one that most closely symbolizes their view.

It is to be emphasized that questionnaire allowed respondents enough time to think through the questions to provide accurate answers.

The researcher carried out pretesting of the draft questionnaire with few potential respondents in an informal manner before following up with the full scale questionnaire management. To check for completeness, accuracy of data and guarantee quality, questionnaires and interview guide were numbered serially.

As a decent consideration, permission was sought from the different bodies that were involved in the study. The purpose of the study was explained to officials and those who responded to questionnaires and interviews.

Personal observation

The researcher undertook individual observation through the factory’s normal environment to examine the design, condition of exit entrances, waste disposal systems among others. The researcher again visited the departments and units selected to be aware of the system of operation in the factory and to assure himself that staff meet the terms with safety measures in the liberation of their duties.

Secondary sources:

Secondary data are data collected for some other reasons, other than the research in question. Examples of sources of secondary data are textbooks, magazines, newspaper, journals, encyclopedia, internet, websites and articles. Secondary data is easy to come by, cheap source, already made etc. However, some of its shortcomings are that it may be liable to alterations, it may not be in the compulsory state and it may also be from the wrong source.

3.6 Research design

The research is a descriptive research. It made use of both qualitative and quantitative tools in analyzing the data assembled through questionnaire, interview etc.

3.7 Data analysis plan

The analysis of the data composed was done at the end of the data collection. The responses were confidential and summarized on the basis of the information provided by the respondents. The investigation was done using both qualitative and quantitative tools. With the quantitative tools, the current version of Statistical Product and Services Solution (SPSS) data analysis programme, Microsoft excel, absolute figures, tables, percentages, and statistical tools such as graphs, charts, maps, diagrams were applied, whereas qualitative made use of descriptions, analysis of feedback from interview.

4
ANALYSIS, DISCUSSION AND REPRESENTATION OF THE RESULTS

4.1 Introduction

This chapter envelops the presentation of responses, investigation and results of data collected from different sources, i.e questionnaire, interview, personal observation and documentary evidence.The researcher in attempt to collect data relevant to the study distributed forty (40) copies of questionnaire to each strata. With this number the total copies of questionnaire administered were eighty (80).As a result, presentation, analysis and conclusion of the study were based on the eighty (80) returned copies of questionnaire as below under the various headings:

4.2 The definition of Occupational Health and Environmental safety

A question that sought to find out from respondents what they understand by occupational health and safety

Figure 4.1: A graph on the meaning of health and safety

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Field Survey Data, 28th April, 2014.

From figure 4.1, it can be observed that 2 respondents which represent 3 % indicated that occupational health and safety is welfare for employees in the factory. Only one respondent indicated that occupational health and safety is welfare for only employers. Eight respondents indicated that occupational health and safety comprises both employees and employers.

It can however be observed that 69 respondents which represent 86 % indicated that occupational health and safety comprises employees, employers and third party.

This shows that staff understand that health and safety is a wide-ranging issue that matter to organization, labor force, and considers the safety of all other stakeholders as well. Respondents stated the following as some of the occupational health and safety measures in place in their various departments and units.

- Safety training
- Proper waste disposal systems
- Regular monitoring on health and safety
- Using protective clothing and equipment
- Prompt reporting of accidents/injuries

4.3 Current status of occupational health and safety measures

A questionnaire that was intended to find out from respondents how satisfied they are with the current occupational health and safety measures put in place.

Figure 4.2: A graph on current occupational health and safety

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Field Survey Data, ­­28th April, 2014.

From figure 4.2, it can be seen that 19 respondents representing 48.28% indicated that they are satisfied with the current occupational health and safety measures in place, whereas 61 respondents with 51.72% stated that they are very satisfied with the current occupational health and safety measures in place in the factory.

The responses indicate occupational health and safety is being an important topics for the employers and employees.

4.4 Responsibilities for occupational health and safety

A questionnaire that was intended to find out from respondents who they think is ultimatelyresponsible for their health and safety at the workplace.

Figure 4.3: A graph on responsibility for occupational health and safety

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Field Survey Data, 28th April, 2014.

As depicted by figure 4.3, 6 respondents representing 34.48% of respondents stated that occupational health and safety is the definitive responsibility of the head of the factory. On the other hand, 19 respondents representing 43.10% indicated that occupational health and safety is more of an individual staff member’s responsibility than management, supervisors or any other person, department or unit. Four (4) respondents indicated that occupational health and safety is the responsibility of their supervisors, whereas 51 respondents with a percentage of 6.90 showed that environmental health unit is liable for their health and safety in the factory. Analyzing the responses above, it is obvious to see that staff recognizes the fact that not only the individuals but also the environmental health and compliance unit is responsible for their safety.

4.5 Lighting and ventilation

A question was asked with an intention of finding out from respondents if work areas may need adequate lighting but ventilation is a secondary concern.

Table 4.1: Lighting and ventilation

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Field Survey Data, 28th April, 2014.

From table 4.1, all 80 respondents indicated that ventilation is equally important as adequate lighting.It can be deducted from the interpretation above that occupational health and environmental safety cuts across a spectrum issues hence, providing one of these facilities does not make it adequate.

4.6 Using of protective clothing

A question that sought to find out if staffs are required to put on protective clothing in the performance of their duties.

Table 4.2:Using of protective clothing

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Field Survey Data, 28th April, 2014.

All 80 respondents indicated that they are required to put on protective clothing in the performance of their duties.

It clears that staff know that they are to protect well whiles performing their lawful duties to avoid accidents and injuries.

4.7 Responsibilities of employers and employees

A question that sought to find out from respondents if they agree that both employers and employees have responsibilities and rights for effective occupational health and safety.

Table 4.3: Responsibilities of employers and employees

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Field Survey Data, 28th April, 2014.

From table 4.3 it can be seen that all 80 respondents, i.e. 100% indicated that both employees and employers have responsibilities and rights for effective occupational health and safety.

Respondents indicated the following as responsibilities and rights of employees:

- Wearing protective clothing and equipment.
- Reporting any contravention of the law by management.
- The right to refuse unsafe work.
- Respondents again indicated the following as responsibilities and rights of employers:
- Filing government accident reports
- Maintaining records on health and environmental safety issues
- Posting safety notices and legislative information
- Providing education and training on health and safety

From the analysis, it can be seen that staffs understand that as their employers have responsibilities so do they under occupational health and safety.

4.8 Accidents and injuries suffered

A question that sought to find out from respondents if they have suffered any accidents or injury in the factory since they were engaged.

Table 4.4: Accidents and injuries suffered

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Field Survey Data, 28th April, 2014.

4 respondents representing 5% showed that since their engagement by the factory they have suffered accidents/injuries in different forms, whereas 76 respondents showing 95% stated that they have not suffered accidents or injuries. The 4 respondents who have suffered accidents/injuries stated the following as the causes of the accidents.

- Lack of personal consciousness to occupational health and environmental safety rules
- Failure to follow instructions on the use of tools and equipment
- Ignorance on health and safety matters

4.9 Reporting of accidents/injuries

A question that sought to find out from respondents i.e., those who indicated that they have suffered accidents/injuries, if they reported the accidents or injuries to the appropriate authorities.

Table 4.5: Reporting of accidents/injuries

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Field Survey Data, 28th April, 2014.

All of the 4 respondents who indicated that they have suffered accidents or injuries stated that they reported the incidents to the appropriate authorities.

On actions managements took on these cases, they listed the following:

- accident cases were referred to an emergency committee
- Investigations were instituted
- Reports issued thereafter
Respondents stated the following as some of the findings from the investigation
- Lack of personal consciousness to occupational health and environmental safety rules
- Failure to follow instructions on the use of tools and equipment
- Ignorance on health and safety matters

It can be seen from the interpretation above that, staffs know that they supposed to report any form of accidents/injuries to the appropriate authorities in order to find solution and avoid re-occurrence.

4.10 Noise disturbance

A question that sought to find out from respondents if they were disturbed by the noise created in various places of the factory.

Table 4.6: Noise disturbance

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Field Survey Data, 28th April, 2014.

Most of the respondents representing 96.25% confirmed that they are not disturbed by the noise in their workplace, whereas three respondents representing ­3.75% showed that since they work in the factory they are disturbed by the sound in their work areas. The areas are ETP blower room and boiler room.

4.11 Steps taken to minimize the noise effect

A question was asked to the workers about the steps which are taken to minimize the noise effect.some people are given answer yes they use ear plug and some are answer that they don't know about this term.

From the figure it is shown that nearly about 85% people give answer that authorities provide ear plug during working time for minimizing the noise effect. 15% people give answer that for minimizing of noise effect machines are modified by the authorities. Other types of prevention is also used for the minimization of noise effect but its amount is very low nearly 4%.

Figure 4.4: A graph on steps taken to minimize noise effect

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Field Survey Data, 28th April, 2014.

Respondents confirmed that the factory has taken various necessary steps to minimize the negative effects of the noise created in the workplace. These are:

- Providing ear plugs
- Modification of the machine
- Changing of working hours
- Weekly monitoring of sound by Environmental health and compliance unit
- Monthly medical check up to ensure hearing capabilities are in a good condition

4.12 Drinking water availability

A question which was set with the intention of finding out from the respondents, if safe drinking water is available in their workplace. All the workers give the answer yes when asked a question about water availability in their working place. 100% people give answer yes for their drinking water availability.

Figure 4.5: A graph on ensuring adequate supply of safe drinking water

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Field Survey Data, 28th April, 2014.

All the respondents agreed to the about the availability of safe drinking water.

It clears that safe water is provided near and in huge amount in each floor and sections of the factory.

4.13 Safety committee

A question which was set with the intention of finding out from respondents, if the factory has a safety committee

Figure 4.6: A graph showing if the workers knew about the existence of safety committee

It clearly shows that all of the respondents knew about their safety committee. Eighty respondents agreed about their safety committees and also mention some of the measures taken by the committee on pre and post disasters. Regular training on safety health issues helped the employees to know more about the responsibilities of the safety committees.

4.14 Training on occupational health and safety

A question that sought to find out from respondents how regular training is organized for staff on occupational health and safety.

Figure 4.7: A graph on how regular the training is organized on occupational health and safety

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Field Survey Data,28th April, 2014.

5% respondents showed that training is organized for them on monthly basis.95% respondents said that their training is done weekly to teach the workers about safety issues very strongly.

Respondents listed the following as health and safety issues which are discussed during safety training:

- Reports from adhoc committees for previous periods are discussed
- Suggestions are received from staff on occupational health and safety
- Staffs that are identified to be safety conscious are awarded.

It can be seen that though the factory organizes training on health and safety, this process is regularize. It is imperative for staff to be aware of training schedules on health and safety and participate fully in it.

4.15 Monitoring, Inspection and Evaluation of safety practices

A question that sought to find from respondents to what extent they think that monitoring, inspection and evaluation of safety practices are prerequisite for effective occupational health and safety

Table 4.7: Monitoring, Inspection and Evaluation of safety practices

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Field Survey Data, 28th April, 2014.

All 80 respondents responded that they strongly agreed that monitoring, inspection and evaluation of safety practices are essential for effective health and safety programme. The staffs agree that there cannot be effective health and safety if monitoring, inspection and evaluation is not carried out.

4.16 Time frame for Monitoring, Inspection and Evaluation of safety practices

A question that sought to find out from respondents how often monitoring, inspection and evaluation of safety practices conducted.

Figure 4.8: A graph on time framefor monitoring, inspection and evaluation practices

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Field Survey Data,28th April, 2014.

From the above figure 4.8 respondents representing 9% indicated that monitoring, inspection and evaluation of health and safety practices are conducted on monthly basis. However, 73 respondents which represent 91% showed that monitoring, inspection and evaluation of health and safety practices in the factory was done in weekly basis. It is important to conduct monitoring on a routine basis so that results could be compared accurately.

4.17 Level of satisfaction with health and safety

A question posed with an intention of finding out from respondents if they are satisfied with what management is doing currently to improve upon existing occupational health and safety of the factory.

Table 4.8: Level of satisfaction with health and safety

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Field Survey Data, 28th April, 2014.

All 80 respondents stated that they are satisfied with what management is doing currently to improve on occupational health and safety.

Though they are enough satisfied with the current management system they listed some of the things that management should improve upon occupational health and safety of the factory. This includes:

- Engagement of safety expert to re-design occupational health and safety policies for the factory
- Constantly reviewing health and safety practices
- Improve on good housekeeping and sanitation
- Supervision and safety management

Occupational health and safety policy should form part of the factory’s human resource practices and there should be constant efforts in improving upon existing measures.

4.18 Employee assistance programmes

A question with an intention of finding out from respondents to what extent they think that the factory should have employee assistance programmes as a necessity in preventing occupational hazards.

Table 4.9: Employee assistance programmes

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Field Survey Data,28th April, 2014.

The 58 respondents stated that they strongly agreed that employee assistance programmes are crucial in preventing occupational hazards.

4.19 Impact of occupational health and safety on job

A question intended to find out from respondents if they think effective occupational health and safety policies have any impact on job performance in the factory. This question was intended to find out both of the positive and negative effects of the health and safety measures on job performance.

Table 4.10: Impact of occupational health and safety on job performance

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Field Survey Data, 28th April, 2014.

From table 4.10, it is clear that all 80 respondents showed that they think effective occupational health and safety policies had impact on job performance in the factory.

The respondents stated the following as the benefits the factory and employees derive from effective occupational health and safety policies.

- Reduces accidents
- Reduces cost of compensation to injured employees
- Lost or death of staff
- Labour turnover is reduced
- Corporate image of the factory is enhanced.

From the above, it is clear that an organization cannot achieve its objectives without the workforce; hence the health and safety of the workforce should be a priority.

4.20 Documented guidelines on health and safety

A question posed to find out from respondents if they do have as individual staff members or their department or unit have a written copy of occupational health and safety policy of the factory.

Table 4.11: Documented Guidelines on health and safety

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Field Survey Data,28th April, 2014.

From table 4.11, it is clear that all 80 respondents showed that as individual staff members or as department or unit they had a written copy of occupational health and safety policy of the factory.

4.21 Analysis and findings from interview/personal observation

The researcher engaged the supervisors and heads of departments/units in an interview on one on one basis and the following came to bear:

The first department examined was the administration. The administration department houses the factory administrator, account section, clerical staff and other co-coordinating officers. To secure the safety of employees, the factory has put in place good ventilation and good lightening systems as well as workable and well tested fire extinguishers ready to fight in case of fire outbreaks. Safe drinking water is ensured in every single floor and department and available in every corner of the building.

The second is dying section which is mandated to do knitting, dying, cutting, sewing and also contains a laboratory. They are exposed to sharp objects as well as other piercing objects which pose a risk to their health and safety. The factory provides gloves for them; staffs are also provided with working on protective coats to protect their bodies from fluids which may be contaminated. Safety boxes are also provided in which sharp and piercing objects are kept to protect employees from cuts and bruises.The factory seeks to protect staffs by making available plastic aprons, heavy duty boot, face masks, gloves etc. to avoid splash or spillage of bodily fluids which they come into contact with in the discharge of their duties.

Waste bins are also provided and these are labeled with color to indicate level of contamination of waste. Waste bins labeled red contains contagious substances and should be handled with care, waste bins labeled Black contains household and non-toxic materials. This is an attempt to caution staff so that their safety and health can be preserved. The laboratory premise is spacious enough to allow free movement of staff and it is well-ventilated to allow easy diffusion of any contamination in case there is any.

The next department was printing and washing section. The department is responsible for washing and printing of the clothes. All the employers who are handling the machineries are well equipped with hand gloves and ear plugs.

Chemical store is another vital department to examine the health and safety measures taken by the authority. This department is responsible for giving out chemicals ordered by the printing and washing supervisors. Here employers are exposed to the risk of inhalation of chemicals. Staffs are provided with gloves to protect their hands from physical contact with the chemicals which may be harmful to their health and also to prevent contamination of chemicals. They are also given nose masks and protective coats to get rid of the skin contamination.

The next is the ETP plant and biogas plant where a little but effective amount of infection can occur through skin and inhalation. To protect staff, gloves, protective clothing and goggles are provided to ensure safety of health personnel.

The kitchen is another department the researcher examined to ascertain the health and safety measures that have been put in place to protect the workers. The staffs in the kitchen face the problem of fire outbreaks and this is a major threat to their safety. Again, bruises, burns and lacerations arising from hot water spillage are also threats to their health. An important safety precaution put in place by the factory authorities is the fixing of cylinders outside the kitchen to minimize the risk of fire outbreaks. Again, heavy duty fire extinguishers are provided in the kitchen to fight fire in the event of a fire outbreak. Also, there are shelves provided to keep knives and other cutting tools in the kitchen to prevent accidental cuts and bruises to staff. Cooking utensils and others are thoroughly washed and kept neat in order to provide patient on admission with healthy food that will facilitate their healing process.

Another department examined by the researcher was the maternity & child care unit. At the maternity and as well as the health care center, regular disinfection takes place with the help of chemicals to kill all germs to protect sick staff and children. Waste bins are also provided and they are labeled red, yellow and black. Waste bins labeled red contain toxic materials, human parts, and other infectious materials. Yellow labeled waste bins contain clinical waste like syringe, cottonwood etc. Black-labeled waste bins contain households waste. It was revealed at the maternity that, some midwives prefer to do their work without the use of the goggles provided them because they claim they are not comfortable working with them.

The final department interviewed was the environmental health unit which is responsible for the disposal of the factories waste. Here, staffs are charged with the responsibility of collecting all waste bins from the various departments to their final disposal point. Staffs in the department are also exposed to a lot of risk as they also come into contact with harmful waste from all the departments. To protect staff, they are given heavy-duty gloves to protect their hands in the discharge of their duty. They are also protected by being provided with wellington boots to avoid stepping on sharp and piercing objects. Moreover, staffs are also given nose masks to prevent them from inhaling dangerous fumes from the waste that are normally burnt.

5 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

5.1 Conclusion

There cannot be any active occupational health and safety policies if both employers and employees fail to accomplish their respective responsibilities. The employer is supposed to file government accident reports, maintain records on health and safety issues, posting safety notices and legislative information, providing education and training on health and safety.

The employer is required to institute a safety committee to be in charge of all health and safety related issues. The safety committee is liable for studying trends in accidents with the view to making suggestions for corrective actions, examining safety reports and making proposals for avoiding accidents, examining and discussing reports from safety representatives, making proposals for new or revised safety procedures.

It also acts as a link between the organization and the enforcement agency (the health and safety inspectorate), monitoring and evaluating the organization’s safety policies, and making proposals for changes, if necessary.

The employee on the other hand is required to comply with all health and safety rules, knowing that the person ultimately responsible for his/her health and safety is himself/herself. Staffs are required to wear protective clothing, use equipment and tools provided for their work, and report any contravention of the law by management.Also the employee has the right to refuse unsafe work.Accidents are costly both to the affected worker and the organization. Therefore, every effort should be made in order to avoid them from happening at the work place.

5.2 Recommendations

The following recommendations were made based on the findings of the study:

Education and Training: Management of the factory should organize regular training, workshops, seminars on health and safety for staff, publish materials on safety and many other steps to instruct safety consciousness in the minds of workers. Employees should be made to understand that safety and health practices are the responsibility of both management and staffs and this will go a long way to make the work area safe.

Management should provide and maintain at the workplace, adequate plant and system of work that are safe and without risk to health. There should be regular servicing of machines, plants and equipment to make them safe for use at the work place. Management should display warning notices on faulty machines and equipment or other potential hazard places to make workers aware of potential danger.

Provide the necessary information, instruction, training and supervision having regard to the age literacy level and other circumstances of the worker to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of those other workers engaged on the particular work. Some industrial accidents that happen could have been avoided if effective supervision were carried out during the execution of duties at the work place.

Management must share hazard and risk information with other employers including those on adjoining premises, other site occupiers and all sub-contractors coming on to the premises. Proper dissemination of risk information is important in ensuring safe and healthy working environment. Visitors who come to the factory must be made aware of the precautionary measures in order to prevent accidents and injuries.

Ensure correct storage procedures of flammable liquids and other dangerous materials. Management should endeavor to provide safe and proper means of storing dangerous gases at the work place in order to protect the safety and health of employees. Correct procedures should be adhered to strictly. The offloading of petroleum products for example should not be compromised in order to avoid cases of fire outbreak.

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