Occupational Safety and Health Management as the Foundation to Ensure the Safe Work Environment in Construction Work Place

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OPEN UNIVERSITY MALAYSIA
INSTITUTE OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

EXECUTIVE DIPLOMA IN SAFETY AND HEALTH
Module - Occupational Safety

Lecturer: Captain Adam

NAME :ANANTHAN
MATRIX NO :IEDOSH-12xxxxx

CENTRE : BANGI

Occupational safety and health management as the foundation to ensure the safe work environment in construction work place

Construction is noisy, dusty, hazardous and sometimes the most uninhabitable work place one can ever be exposed to. It is also an industry that contributes persistently to high accident rates; especially fatalities. Everything that is taboo in the safety practitioner’s book can be found in the construction site. For example, employees are easily exposed to hazardous substances such as paints, thinners, glues, varnishes, asbestos, and also to toxic agents mainly from underground work. Sites can easily accumulate debris which can be a fire hazard or a health hazard. Drilling and excavation work can cause accidental fires or even explosion. Working at height can result in debris falling on workers or even workers falling from heights. Fire, noise and dust are common constituents in construction sites, can be an inconvenience or danger to the neighborhood, especially in built-up areas. The issue of hygiene may also be a problem especially in the demolition of old buildings which may have been a haven for drug addicts. The problems in the construction sector is not limited to the above mentioned areas can range from an unreported little bruise, to the collapse of the Highland Towers. Even the smallest construction site has the potential to cause a catastrophe. The construction site indeed versatile and accident are increasing both in absolute terms and by percentage. Take for example the statistic on permanent disablement cases in the construction sector, which has risen from 190 in 1991 to 305 in 1993. The appalling safety record is a clear indication that things are not right, and something has to be done about the construction site. Occupational safety and health is becoming a critical area in management as Malaysia accelerated the pace of its industrial programme. This is evident with the legislation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994. The ministry of Human Resources reported that in 1993, alone there were 128, 621 occupational accidents 728 deaths. The loss to the country in skilled human resources and in economic term is equally staggering; approximately RM 4 billion annually in terms of lost production profit, taxes, wages welfare and related items.  The basic components of safety management are:

* Policy
* Organizing
* Planning and Implementation
* Evaluation
* Action for Improvement

When a new employee starts with an organisation, it is important that they are aware of the occupational health and safety policies and procedures so that they are able to complete their job requirements safely. Areas to be considered: * Briefing all new employees on occupational health and safety policy at induction * Providing a training session to new employees on all safety procedures, including evacuation and other emergency procedures * Making reasonable adjustments if required, e.g. providing clear markings and colour contrasts on steps or pathways, building a ramp to allow access to a building and providing a parking space close to the place of employment for an employee in a wheelchair. Safe working practices should also be reviewed and emphasised with all employees on a regular and ongoing basis. 

To ensure that everyone knows the correct health and safety procedures, and that all employees, including new employees, have access to information about safety procedures, you should: * Ensure that employees have access to information in appropriate formats, for example, screen reading software, enlarged font and audio. * Provide regular information updates and re-training sessions * Provide access to...
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