Safety and Health in the Workplace

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Health and Safety in the Workplace
Bradley Whitaker
Mid Continent University
Human Resource Management
DL17/M14
Professor J. Gordon
February 13, 2013

Health and Safety in the Workplace
Health and Safety play a very important role in the workplace today. Many organizations take the responsibility of their employees’ safety and health seriously due to the various affects that could stem from a lack of providing a safe work environment. During the 20th century our nation has become a world leader in setting an example for the world involving the workers right to a safe and healthy environment. Because of the various laws and research conducted in the United States, there have been countless number of accidents that have been prevented and thousands of lives saved because of awareness. I, being a Safety Coordinator and a workplace accident survivor, know firsthand the importance of safety in the workplace and the negative outcome for employees and organizations that do not practice a safe work environment. I would like to take this time to give a little information on my personal experience on workplace accidents and the importance of safety in that environment. In 2007 I was employed as a bridge carpenter working for a large construction company in Biloxi, MS. As a bridge carpenter is was exposed to many dangerous and high risk situations that put my life at risk on an everyday basis. I felt this company actually cared about the safety of their employees. We were provided with every piece of safety equipment that was needed to perform our job as safely as possible. The equipment was fairly new and OSHA approved. If it was found to be inadequate, it was immediately removed out of service and either fixed or replaced. Not to mention every morning we conducted toolbox safety meeting and equipment inspections. This particular day of my near fatal accident, we were setting rebar cages for columns maybe 30 to 40 feet in height. It was my responsibility to climb the cage, after it was set on the footer with a crane, to unhook the rigging from the crane. I had all the proper PPE (personal protective equipment) on and the cage had been secured at the bottom by come along rigging devices. As I climbed the cage and Unhooked the rigging from the crane, the cage began to sway from side to side. Before I could start my descent, the cage and myself still attached to it with three different positioning, fell in the water, which by the way was the Gulf of Mexico. As my feet touched the bottom I began to panic and fight to free myself by unhooking myself from the cage. Several of my co workers jumped in the water to rescue me, but they were unable to locate my body. But they were able to locate the cage I was attached to. Thanks to quick thinking they were able to hook the crane cables back to the cage and hoist the cage and I out of the water successfully. But by this time I was not breathing and had no pulse. They lowered me on a crew boat and began to perform CPR. The CPR was unsuccessful so they began to take me to the dock where the ambulance was awaiting my arrival. During the time of the boat ride, I suddenly began to cough up water and slowly came to my senses. I was taken to the hospital and was blessed that I did not sustain any major injuries. During the accident investigation it was found that the cage we were setting was not the correct one for that particular footing and one of the come along holding it in place was functioning properly to catch the cage as it began to fall. This is when I actually began to take workplace safety seriously and start my career in that field. During the course of this paper it is my intent to present key components of workplace safety and health and provide new insight and personal experience that has and will affect my career and personal life and lives of those around me. The Role of Safety and Health in the Workplace

Workplace safety is the practice of an...
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