The Quality Models group is a privately owned, international company that supplies a wide range of high quality products through a multitude of processes from “mold building, injection molding, urethane molding, thermoforming and secondary assembly , to class ‘A’ painting” (qmigroup.com).QM consists of 5 North American facilities, three of which are located right here in Windsor, Ontario. We are The “A” Team and we have been invited to inspect one of the QM facilities located within Windsor. The following is a report of our findings during the physical audit of the facility and the presentation provided by a newly committed Health and Safety Manager, Mr. Tony Fuerth. We will outline several things including the results of our group audit of the facility, our assessment of the overall health and safety policies and procedures in place at the facility and we will ultimately offer suggestions in regards to these topics.
Overview of Company Occupational Health and Safety Function
Upon our visit to Quality Models, we were given a presentation by Health and Safety Manager Tony Fuerth during which various questions were asked about the current policies and procedures in place and the direction of health and safety objectives for the future. There are many ways in which QM has shown potential for growth in areas such as loss control, risk management, and workplace violence objectives, but there are also many ways in which the company falls short. Currently, Quality Models has policy in place for the areas of accident investigation, loss control/risk management, hearing conservation, hazard communication, workplace violence and issues of fatigue. However, while there are policies in place regarding these topics, there appears to be a lack of initiative when it comes to making changes and even enforcing the policies in place. QM’s policy enforcement is reflective of a privately owned company operating under the philosophy of setting one’s own standards in industry. The current company culture is ailing and while progress is said to be being made, it appears to not be happening fast enough in both the eyes of us outside observers and those very few employees whom we were privileged enough to speak with candidly. Areas in which Quality Models lacked formal policy include employee assistance and wellness, ergonomics and worker involvement incentives. When questioned about company ergonomics objectives, Mr. Fuerth stated that “ergonomics are being focused more toward industrial procedures” and that their lack of formal policy is a result of issues with “cost and a traditional 30 year process”. This and several other excuses were presented with assurance that the company’s health and safety policies and procedures have seen a 60% improvement during the time Mr. Fuerth has been Health and Safety Manager. In addressing the concern of conflict between management and production when it comes to matters of health and safety, Mr. Fuerth stated that education is the number one solution. Education is, of course, important; however we feel that enforcement and leading by example can be factors that are just as important in maintaining a harmonious workplace environment. Quality Models general health and safety policy contains:
* A declaration of management’s commitment to health and safety * Overall goals/objectives of the health and safety program * General health and safety responsibilities of management, workers, contractors, and visitors while at the work site * A requirement to comply with applicable government legislation, and * A requirement to comply with the organization’s own health and safety standards The policies and procedures actually in place at Quality Models are designed to eliminate or minimize hazards such as damaged equipment and tripping and crushing hazards, as well as injuries such as repetitive strain, fatigue and blunt force trauma that typically occur within an industrial...
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