TABLE OF CONTENT
1.0 WHAT ARE THE KEY HEALTH AND SAFETY REGULATION?
2.0 WHAT IS SAFETY SIGN
3.0 WHAT IS ERGONOMICS
3.1 Important of ergonomics
3.2 How ergonomics works
4.0 WHAT IS FIRE AND SAFETY
4.2 Human control of fire
4.5 Limitation of safety
4.6 Types of safety
4.8 Safety measures
5.0 WHAT IS MANUAL HANDLING
5.1 Stages that can be carried out to avoid manual handling.
6.0 MOST EFFECTIVE HAZARD CONTROLS
7.0 WHAT IS HAZARD
7.1 classification of hazard
7.2 classification base on energy source
7.3 based on origin
8.0 ELECTRICITY SAFETY
8.1 Electricity safety testing
8.2 Earth continuity testing
8.3 Some electricity safety tips
9.0 WHAT IS PPE
9.1 Important of PPE
9.2 Maintenance of PPE
9.3 Types of PPE
10.0BITES AND STINGE
10.2 Sign and symptoms
10.6 Arthropods and others animal that stings
11.0 ACCIDENT AND PREVENTION
11.3 General safety and prevention
12.0 FIRST AIDS
12.2 Key skills
12.3 preserving life
12.5 Specific discipline
12.7 Condition that often require first aids
12.8 Making of first kit
13.0 JOB HAZARD ANALYSIS
13.1 Important of job hazard analysis
13.2 Values of job hazard analysis
14.0 WASTE MANAGEMENT
14.1 Waste hierarchy
14.2 Waste handling and transport
14.3 Disposal method
14.7 Resources recovery
14.8 Avoidance and reduction method
14.9 Benefits and technology
15.0 RISK ASSESSMENT AND ACCIDENT
15.1 How to assess the risks in your workplace
1.0 WHAT ARE THE KEY HEALTH AND SAFETY REGULATION
The health and safety regulation are categorizing base on different sectors;
1) At the work regulations
- The need to appoint competent people to supervise workplace.
- There should be provision of information and training on health and safety for enlightenment.
- Providing a write up on health and safety policy.
2) At work place regulation
- There should be adequate lighting, heating, ventilation and workspace.
- The staff facilities such as toilet, washing facilities and refreshment must be in good and clean condition.
- There should be safe passage way to prevent slipping and tripping hazard.
3) For the displaying screen equipment
- The display screen equipment user should be giving adequate break
- A regular eyesight test should be given to the users
- Health and safety information should be providing to them.
- The furniture provide should be adjustable
4) The personal protective equipment at work regulation
Provision of suitable and free PPE such as protective face masks and goggles, safety helmets, gloves, air filters, ear defenders and protective footwear. Training should be organized on how to use the equipment.
5) The manual handling operation regulation
- Avoid taking any manual handling activities that involve risk of injury
- Assessment of manual handling risks should be made to reduce the risk of injury. The assessment should consider the task, the load and the individual’s personal characteristics (physical strength, etc.)
- Workers should be provided with information base on the weight of each load.
6) The provision and use of work equipment
- The safety and suitability of work equipment should be use for the purpose of which it was provided.
- Proper maintenance of the equipment, irrespective of how long it has been purchase.
- Provision of information, instruction and training on the use of equipment Protection of employees from dangerous parts of machinery.
7) The working time regulation
- A 48-hour maximum working week should be abducted. Employers have a contractual obligation not to require a worker to work more than an average 48hour week unless the worker has opted out of this voluntarily.
- A minimum daily rest period of 11hours should abduct, unless shift-working arrangements have been made that comply with the Regulations.
- An uninterrupted 20-minute daily rest break after six hours’ work should be taken during the work instead of at the start or the end of the working time.
2.0 WHAT IS A SAFETY SIGN
A safety sign is also called health sign. Is an information or instruction about health and safety at work usually on a signboard, coloured and illuminated sign or acoustic signal, a verbal communication or hand signal. Example of some safety colours with their meaning, instruction and intrinsic feature
|RED||Prohibition/dang er alarm||Dangerous behavior, stop, emergency.||Round shape, black pictogram on white background||Prohibition safety sign|
|Be careful, take|
precaution s, examine
|Triangular shape, black pictogram on yellow background with black edge||Hazard safety sign|
|BLUE||Mandatory||Specific behavior or action e.g. wear personal protective equipment||Round shape, white pictogram on blue background.|
escape, first aid, no danger
|Doors, exits, escape routes equipment and facilities return to normal||Rectangular or square, white pictogram on green background.||Fire safety sign|
Fig 1: The image below shows the summary of the table above
signboard – a sign which provides information or instructions by a combination of shape, colour and a symbol or pictogram which is rendered visible by lighting of sufficient intensity. In practice many signboards may be accompanied by supplementary text
Safety signs are for use on
A Signboard or illuminated sign (e.g. the trefoil ionising radiation warning sign);
- illuminated sign – a sign made of transparent or translucent materials which is illuminated from the inside or the rear to give the appearance of a luminous surface (e.g. many emergency exit signs);
- Acoustic signal – a sound signal which is transmitted without the use of a human or artificial voice (eg fire alarm);
- Verbal communication – a predetermined spoken message communicated by a human or artificial voice;
- Hand signal – a movement or position of the arms or hands giving a recognized signal and guiding persons who are carrying out maneuvers which are a hazard or danger to people
USING SAFETY SIGNS
Using safety signs effectively
This part aims to help employers with their duties to select, make effective use of, and maintain safety signs. The technical requirements of the Regulations relating to the various types of safety signs are explained.
General rules on use
If the hearing or sight of any employee is impaired for any reason, for example, by wearing personal protective equipment, additional measures may need to be taken to ensure that employees can see or hear the warning sign or signal, for example by increasing the brilliance or volume.
In some cases, more than one type of safety sign may be necessary, for example, an illuminated warning sign indicating a specific risk combined with an acoustic alarm meaning ‘general danger’ to alert people, or hand signals combined with verbal instructions.
All safety signs need to be properly maintained so that they are capable of performing the function for which they are intended. This can range from the routine cleaning of signboards to regular checks of illuminated signs and acoustic signals to see that they work properly.
A guaranteed supply of power or back-up in the event of failure may be necessary for safety signs and signals which require some form of power to enable them to operate (unless the hazard is itself eliminated by the power failure).
In these Regulations signs incorporating certain colours have specific meanings.
black pictogram on white background, red edging and diagonal line (the red part to take up at least 35% of the area of the sign).
MANDATORY SIGN Round shape;
White pictogram on a blue background (the blue part to take up at least 50% of the area of the sign).
WARNING SIGNS Triangular shape;
black pictogram on a yellow background with black edging (the yellow part to take up at least 50% of the area of the sign).
Emergency escape or first-aid signs
Rectangular or square shape;
white pictogram on a green background (the green part to take up at least 50% of the area of the sign).
3.0 WHAT IS ERGONOMICS
Ergonomics is the process of designing or arranging workplaces, products and systems to be fit the people making use of it. Most people have heard of ergonomics and think it is something to do with seating or with the design of car controls and instruments. Ergonomics applies to the design of anything that involves people workspaces, sports and leisure, health and safety.
Ergonomics is a branch of science that aims to learn about human abilities and limitations, and then apply this learning to improve people’s interaction with products, systems and environments. It helps to improve workspaces and environments to minimize risk of injury or harm.
According to research, the total economic cost of work-related injuries and illnesses is estimated to be $60 billion dollars. Recent research has shown that lower back pain is the world’s most common work-related disability that affects employee in offices, building sites and agriculture. Also, the number of people at aged 75 and over is forecasted to double over the next 50 years, equipment services and systems will need to be designed to accommodate the increasing needs of the ageing population, applying to public transport, building facilities, and living spaces.
3.1 Important of Ergonomics
It’s to create safe, comfortable and productive workspaces by bringing human abilities and limitations into the design of a workspace, including the individual’s body size, strength, skill, speed, vision, hearing and even attitudes.
3.2 How Ergonomics work
Ergonomics is a relatively new branch of science which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 1999 but relies on research carried out in many older established scientific areas, such as engineering, physiology and psychology.
To achieve best practice, Ergonomists use the data and techniques of several disciplines such as
- Anthropometry: body size, shapes; populations and variations
- Biomechanics: muscles, levers, forces, strength
- Environmental physics: noise, light, heat, cold, radiation, vibration body systems: hearing, vision, sensations
- Applied psychology: skill, learning, errors, differences
- Social psychology: groups, communication, learning, behaviors.
The picture show image of a man in is workplace with a bad ergonomic
To assess the fit between a person and their work, you have to consider a range of factors, including:
The job/task being done:
■ The demands on the worker (activities, workload, work pacing, shift work and fatigue).
■ The equipment used (its design in terms of size, shape, controls, displays, and how appropriate it is for the task).
■ The information used (how it is presented, accessed, and changed).
■ The physical environment (temperature, humidity, lighting, noise, vibration).
The individual’s physical and psychological characteristics:
|■||Body size and shape.|
|■||Fitness and strength.|
|■||The senses, especially vision, hearing and touch.|
The organization and social environment:
|■||Teamwork and team structure.|
|■||Supervision and leadership.|
You will find a range of physical and psychological abilities in your workforce which you may need to take into account in designing the plant and equipment they use, and the tasks they perform.
By assessing people’s abilities and limitations, their jobs, equipment and working environment and the interaction between them, it is possible to design safe, effective and productive work systems.
How can ergonomics and human factors improve health and safety?
Applying ergonomics to the workplace can:
|■||reduce the potential for accidents;|
|■||reduce the potential for injury and ill health;|
|■||improve performance and productivity.|
Taking account of ergonomics and human factors can reduce the likelihood of an accident. For example, in the design of control panels, consider:
|■||the location of switches and buttons – switches that could be accidentally knocked on or off might start the wrong sequence of events that could lead to an accident;|
|■||expectations of signals and controls – most people interpret green to indicate a safe condition. If a green light is used to indicate a ‘warning or dangerous state’ it may be ignored or overlooked;|
|■||information overload – if a worker is given too much information they may become|
confused, make mistakes, or panic. In hazardous industries, incorrect decisions or mistaken actions have had catastrophic results.
Ergonomics can also reduce the potential for ill health at work, such as aches, pains and damage to the wrists, shoulders and back, noise-induced hearing loss and work-related asthma. Consider the layout of controls and equipment – they should be positioned in relation to how they are used. Place those used most often where they are easy to reach without the need to stoop, stretch or hunch. Making sure protective measures such as extraction hoods or respirators are easy and comfortable to use means they are more likely to be effective at reducing exposure to hazardous substances.
If you don’t follow ergonomics principles, there may be serious consequences for people and whole organizations. Many well-known accidents might have been prevented if ergonomics and human factors had been considered in designing people’s jobs and the systems they worked in.
What kind of workplace problems can ergonomics and human factors solve?
Ergonomics is typically known for solving physical problems. For example, ensuring that emergency stop buttons are positioned so that people can reach them readily when they need to. But ergonomics also deals with psychological and social aspects of the person and their work. For example, a workload that is too high or too low, unclear tasks, time pressures, inadequate training, and poor support from managers can all have negative effects on people and the work they do.
The following examples highlight some ‘typical’ ergonomic problems found in the workplace:
Design of tasks
|■||Work demands are too high or too low.|
|■||The employee has little say in how they organize their work.|
|■||Badly designed machinery guards (awkward to use or requiring additional effort) slow down the work.|
|■||Conflicting demands, eg high productivity and quality.|
|■||These problems can lead to employees failing to follow procedures or removing|
guards, causing accidents, injury and ill health.
|■||The load is too heavy and/or bulky, placing unreasonable demands on the person.|
|■||The load has to be lifted from the floor and/or above the shoulders.|
|■||The job involves frequent repetitive lifting.|
|■||The job requires awkward postures, such as bending or twisting.|
|■||The load can’t be gripped properly.|
|■||The job is performed on uneven, wet, or sloping floor surfaces.|
|■||The job is performed under time pressures and doesn’t include enough rest breaks.|
These problems may lead to physical injuries, such as low back pain or injury to the arms, hands, or fingers. They may also contribute to the risk of slips, trips, and falls.
Items that are used frequently are out of convenient reach.
|■||Inadequate space under work surface for legs.|
|■||Work surface height inappropriate for the tasks causing awkward and uncomfortable postures.|
|■||Lighting inadequate causing eyestrain when inspecting detail on work items.|
|■||Chair not properly adjusted to fit the person and workstation.|
Managing the working day
|■||Not enough recovery time between shifts.|
|■||Poor scheduling of shifts.|
|■||Juggling shifts with domestic responsibilities.|
|■||Employees working excessive overtime.|
These problems may lead to tiredness or exhaustion, which can increase the likelihood of accidents and ill health.
How can I check if there are ergonomics problems?
Checking for human factors problems is part of your normal risk assessment process. The first step in a risk assessment is to identify the hazards. This can be done by talking to employees and seeking their views, walking around your workplace to see if you can spot any hazards, and reviewing any accidents or reports of ill health you have had in the past. You may find useful information about common ergonomics problems in your industry on HSE’s website.
Talking to employees
Workplaces where employees are involved in taking decisions about health and safety are safer and healthier. Collaboration with your employees helps you to manage health and safety in a practical way by:
■ helping you spot workplace risks;
■ making sure health and safety controls are practical;
increasing the level of commitment to working in a safe and healthy way.
You are legally required to consult all your employees, in good time, on health and safety matters. In workplaces where a trade union is recognised, this will be through union health and safety representatives. In non-unionised workplaces, you can consult either directly or through other elected representative.
Consultation involves employers not only giving information to employees but also listening to them and taking account of what they say before making health and safety decisions. Employees have important knowledge of the work they do, problems they have, and their impact on health, safety, and performance. While talking to them, you could also ask them some specific questions about their work such as:
|■||are their working postures comfortable (or not)?|
|■||do they experience discomfort, aches, pain, fatigue, or feel unable to keep up with the flow of work?|
|■||is the equipment appropriate, easy to use and well maintained?|
|■||is the person satisfied with their working arrangements?|
|■||do they make the same errors and mistakes repeatedly?|
|are they following procedures, and if not, why not?|
While you walk around your workplace, look for signs of poor or inadequate equipment design such as:
■ improvised tools;
■ handwritten reminders, or handwritten labels on machinery controls;
■ plasters on workers’ fingers or ‘home-made’ protective pads made of tissue or foam.
Review information you may already have about accidents and ill health which may result from human factors problems:
Look at the circumstances that lead to frequent errors or incidents. Try to identify the root causes of people’s mistakes. Use accident reports to identify details of incidents and their possible causes.
■ Record and look at sickness absence and staff turnover levels. High numbers may be because of the problems listed earlier and/or dissatisfaction at work.
What can I do if I think I have identified an ergonomics problem?
|■||Talk to employees and get them to suggest ideas and discuss possible solutions. Involve employees from the start of the process – this will help them to adopt changes.|
|■||Look for likely causes and consider possible solutions. A minor alteration may be all that is needed to make a task easier and safer to perform. For example:|
|▬||arrange items stored on shelving so those used most frequently and those that are the heaviest are between waist and shoulder height;|
|▬||raise platforms to help operators reach badly located controls (or alternatively relocate the controls);|
|▬||remove obstacles from under desks so there is enough leg room;|
|▬||provide height-adjustable chairs, so individual operators can work at their preferred work height;|
|▬||change shift work patterns;|
|▬||introduce job rotation between different tasks to reduce physical and mental fatigue.|
|■||Always make sure any alterations are properly evaluated by the people doing the job. Be careful that a change introduced to solve one problem doesn’t create difficulties somewhere else.|
|■||You should be able to identify straightforward, inexpensive changes yourself. But you may need to ask a qualified ergonomist if you can’t find a straightforward solution or if a problem is complex.|
|■||Adopting an ergonomics and human factors approach can save money in the long|
term by avoiding costly accidents, reducing injuries, reducing sickness absence, and improving quality and productivity.
There is a list of relevant HSE guidance at the end of this leaflet, including practical evaluation checklists and advice.
Ergonomics in Occupational Health and Safety at work
Ergonomics is applied to the design of the workplace and tasks and to work organization. It is often referred to as occupational ergonomics within the OHS community. As such it aims to promote health, efficiency and wellbeing in employees by designing for safe, satisfying and productive work. Positive performance factors such as worker comfort, wellbeing, efficiency and productivity are all considered in determining how to achieve an acceptable result. In this respect ergonomics is different from many other areas of OHS hazard management, where the primary aim is to reduce risks of injury or disease. Good ergonomics in the workplace should improve productivity and morale and decrease injuries, sick leave, staff turnover and absenteeism. Elements in occupational ergonomics When analyzing work and how it can be improved from an ergonomics point of view there are five elements that need to be addressed:
- The worker – the human element of the workplace. Employees have a range of characteristics that need to be considered including physical and mental capacities; experience and skills; education and training; age; sex; personality; health; residual disabilities. An individual’s personal needs and aspirations are also considered.
- Job/task design – what the employee is required to do and what they actually do. It includes job content; work demands; restrictions and time requirements such as deadlines; individual’s control over workload including decision latitude; working with other employees; and responsibilities of the job.
- Work environment – the buildings, work areas and spaces; lighting, noise, the thermal environment.
- Equipment design – the hardware of the workplace. It is the part of ergonomics that everybody recognizes and includes electronic and mobile equipment, protective clothing, furniture and tools.
- Work organization – the broader context of the organization and the work and how this affects individuals. It includes patterns of work; peaks and troughs in workload, shift work; consultation; inefficiencies or organizational difficulties; rest and work breaks; teamwork; how the work is organized and why; the workplace culture; as well as the broader economic and social influences.
CAUSES OF ERGONOMICS
Ergonomic injuries are those injuries caused by the presence of ergonomic risk factors, including:
- Awkward or sustained postures
- Forceful exertion or strain
- Contact pressure
- Exposure to vibration
- Exposure to heat or cold
It is often a combination of these risk factors that, over time, can lead to pain, injury, and disability. An injury can occur when there is ongoing exposure to ergonomic risk factors. A single event may place a stress on body tissues, yet the exposure is too low for traumatic injury. Given time, the tissues are able recover. Repeated exposure to these risk factors, on the other hand, may interfere with the body’s normal healing process and produce disproportionate responses and lead to an ergonomic injury.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF ERGONOMICS
- Pain in the fingers, wrists, or other parts of the body: may include a dull aching pain, a sharp stabbing pain, or even a burning sensation
- Tingling or numbness, particularly in the hands or fingers
- Swelling, inflammation, or joint stiffness
- Loss of muscle function or weakness
- Discomfort or pain in the shoulders, neck, or upper or lower back
- Extremities turning white or feeling unusually cold
- General feeling of muscle tightness, cramping, or discomfort
- Clumsiness or loss of coordination
- Range of motion loss
- Discomfort when making certain movements
Guidelines for Computer Operators
The simple adjustments outlined below may increase the comfort of your computer workstation. Consider the following to prevent musculoskeletal and visual fatigue:
Adjust the height of your work surface and the height of your chair so that your keyboard is at elbow height. Your feet should be supported by the floor or a footrest. If your work surface cannot be adjusted to the proper height, consider an adjustable keyboard tray.
Adjust the back rest of your chair so that it provides support to your lower back. Do not sit on the edge of the chair; rest your back against the backrest.
Position the screen directly in front of you. The distance between your eyes and the screen should be approximately an arm’s length.
Adjust the height of the monitor so that your eyes are level with the top of the screen. If you wear bifocal or trifocal lenses, your eyes should be 3-4 inches above the top of the screen.
Tilt the screen to minimize glare. Tilting the screen will help
reduce glare caused by bright overhead lights.
Draw drapes or shades and utilize task lighting rather than
bright overhead lighting when working at the computer to
Use a document holder. Documents placed flat on the desk will cause you to lean forward and flex your neck, leading to fatigue and discomfort. The document and screen should be located at approximately the same distance to eliminate
constant eye refocusing at varying viewing distances.
Keep the area under your desk clear for adequate leg and
When keying and mousing, keep the upper arms nearly vertical at your side to prevent fatigue. Elbows should be bent
to approximately 90 degrees. Use a wrist rest, if necessary, to
maintain your wrists, hands, and arms in a straight horizontal line.
Take frequent micro-breaks and stretch periodically to reduce the soreness and stiffness related to fixed, static work postures.
4.0WHAT IS FIRE AND SAFETY
Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, that releases heat, light, and various reaction products. It slower oxidative processes like rusting or digestion.
The image above shows a place is safe from fire
Fire is hot because the conversion of the weak double bond in molecular oxygen(O2), to the stronger bonds in the combustion products carbondioxide(CO)and water releases energy, the bond energies of the fuel play only a minor role. At a certain point in the combustion reaction, called the ignition point, flames are produced. The flame is the visible portion of the fire which consist primary carbon dioxide, water vapour, oxygen and nitrogen. If hot enough, the gases may become ionized to produce plasma. Depending on the substances alighted and any impurities outside the colour of the flame and the fire’s intensity will be different.
The image above is a burning wood which result into fire
The positive effects of fire include stimulating growth and maintaining various ecological systems while the negative effects of fire include hazard to life and property, atmospheric pollution and water contamination. If fire removes protective vegetation, heavy rainfall may lead to an increase in soil erosion by water. Also, when vegetation is burned, the nitrogen contained is release into the atmosphere, unlike elements such as potassium and phosphorus which remain in the ash and are quickly recycled into the soil.
Fire is mostly use by humans for rituals, agriculture in clearing land, cooking, generating heat and light, signaling, propulsion purposes, smelting, forging, incineration of waste, cremation, and weapon or mode
Types of fire extinguisher – all you need to know.
There are 5 main fire extinguisher types – Water, Foam, Dry Powder, CO2 and Wet Chemical. You should have the right types of fire extinguisher for your premises, or you may not meet current regulations.
The various types of fire extinguisher put out fires started with different types of fuel – these are called ‘classes’ of fire. The fire risk from the different classes of fire in your business premises will determine which fire extinguisher types you need.
You will also need to make sure that you have the right size and weight of fire extinguisher as well as the right kind. Whilst there are 5 main types of fire extinguisher, there are different versions of both the Water and Dry Powder extinguishers, meaning there are a total of 8 fire extinguisher types to choose from. The 8 types of fire extinguisher are:
- Water Mist
- Water Spray
- Dry Powder – Standard
- Dry Powder – Specialist
- Carbon Dioxide (‘CO2’) – Wet Chemical
There is no one extinguisher type which works on all classes of fire.
Below is a summary of the classes of fire, and a quick reference chart showing which types of extinguisher should be used on each. We then provide a detailed explanation of each type of fire extinguisher below.
The classes of fire
There are six classes of fire: Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D, ‘Electrical’, and Class F.
- Class A fires – combustible materials: caused by flammable solids, such as wood, paper, and fabric
- Class B fires – flammable liquids: such as petrol, turpentine or paint
- Class C fires – flammable gases: like hydrogen, butane or methane
- Class D fires – combustible metals: chemicals such as magnesium, aluminum or potassium
- Electrical fires – electrical equipment: once the electrical item is removed, the fire changes class
- Class F fires – cooking oils: typically a chip-pan fire
Which fire extinguisher types are used for each class of fire? – quick guide
The different types of extinguisher tackle different types of fire
Types of fire extinguisher – a detailed guide
Water extinguishers are the most common fire extinguisher type for class A fire risk. Most premises will require either water or foam extinguishers. Label Colour: – Bright Red Use for:
Organic materials such as:
Paper and cardboard
Fabrics and textiles
Wood and coal
Do not use for:
- Fires involving electrical equipment
- Kitchen fires
- Flammable gas and liquids How water extinguishers work:
The water has a cooling effect on the fuel, causing it to burn much more slowly until the flames are eventually extinguished.
Types of premises/business who may need water extinguishers: – Buildings constructed of wood or other organic materials
- Premises where there are organic materials to be found such as: Offices
o Residential properties o Warehouses
In fact, most buildings need either water or foam extinguishers.
Where to locate water extinguishers:
– By the exits on a floor where a Class A fire risk has been identified Water spray extinguishers – what’s the difference?
Water spray extinguishers are equipped with a spray nozzle, rather than a jet nozzle, meaning a greater surface area can be covered more quickly and the fire put out more rapidly.
Water mist extinguishers – what’s the difference?
Water mist extinguishers have a different type of nozzle again which releases microscopic water particles. These particles ‘suffocate’ the fire and also create a wall of mist between the fire and the person using the extinguisher, reducing the feeling of heat.
Foam extinguishers are most common type of fire extinguisher for Class B fires, but also work on Class A fires as they are water-based. Label Color:– Cream Use for:
Organic materials such as:
Paper and cardboard
Fabrics and textiles
Wood and coal
- Flammable liquids, like paint and petrol Do not use for:
- Kitchen fires
- Fires involving electrical equipment
- Flammable metals
How foam extinguishers work:
As with water extinguishers, foam extinguishers have a cooling effect on the fuel. On burning liquids, the foaming agent creates a barrier between the flame and the fuel, extinguishing the fire.
Types of premises/business who may need Foam extinguishers: Buildings constructed of wood or other organic materials
Premises where there are organic materials to be found such as:
- Buildings where flammable liquids are stored
In fact, most buildings need either water or foam extinguishers
Where to locate foam extinguishers:
- By the exits on a floor where a Class A or Class B fire risk has been identified
Dry Powder Extinguishers
Standard dry powder extinguishers are also called ‘ABC’ extinguishers because they tackle class A, B and C fires, however they are not recommended for use in enclosed spaces. This is because the powder can be easily inhaled, and also the residue is very difficult to clean up after. ABC powder extinguishers can also be used on some electrical fires. Specialist dry powder extinguishers are used for flammable metals. Label Colour: – Blue
Organic materials such as:
Paper and cardboard
Fabrics and textiles
Wood and coal
- Flammable liquids, like paint and petrol Plus:
- Flammable gases, like liquid petroleum gas (LPG) and acetylene
- Fires involving electrical equipment up to 1000v
Specialist dry powder extinguishers are only used on flammable metals, such as titanium and magnesium.
Do not use for:
- Fires involving cooking oil
- Fires involving electrical equipment over 1000v
- or in enclosed spaces, such as offices or residential properties How dry powder extinguishers work:
Dry powder extinguishers smother fires by forming a barrier between the fuel and the source of oxygen.
Types of premises/business who may need Dry Powder extinguishers:
- Businesses using flammable gases for chemical processes
- Premises where welding and flame cutting takes place
- Garage forecourts
- Liquid petroleum gas (LPG) dispensing plants – Premises with large, commercial boiler rooms Where to locate Dry Powder extinguishers:
- Place dry powder extinguishers near to the source of the fire risk.
Specialist Dry Powder extinguishers – what’s the difference?
Specialist dry powder extinguishers work in the same way as standard dry powder extinguishers but are for use with flammable metals only. There are 2 types of specialist dry powder extinguishers – ‘L2’ which only tackles lithium fires, and ‘M28’, for all other flammable metal fires.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Extinguishers
CO2 extinguishers are predominantly used for electrical fire risks and are usually the main fire extinguisher type provided in computer server rooms. They also put out Class B fires (flammable liquids, such as paint and petroleum).
Label Colour: – Black Use for:
- Flammable liquids, like paint and petrol
- Electrical fires Do not use for:
- Kitchen fires – especially chip-pan fires – Combustible materials like paper, wood or textiles
- Flammable metals
How CO2 extinguishers work: CO2 extinguishers suffocate fires by displacing the oxygen the fire needs to burn.
Types of premises/business who may need CO2 extinguishers:
Premises with electrical equipment, such as:
All work vehicles should also carry a smaller 2kg CO2 extinguisher.
Where to locate CO2 extinguishers:
- Place near to the source of the fire risk and/or near the fire exits. Wet Chemical Extinguishers
Wet chemical extinguishers are designed for use on Class F fires, involving cooking oils and fats. They can also be used on Class A fires although it is more usual to have a foam or water extinguisher for this type of fire risk.
Cooking oil/fat fires
Organic materials such as:
Paper and cardboard
Fabrics and textiles
Wood and coal
Do not use for:
- Flammable liquid or gas fires
- Electrical fires
- Flammable metals
How wet chemical extinguishers work: Wet chemical extinguishers create a layer of foam on the surface of the burning oil or fat, preventing oxygen from fueling the fire any further. The spray also has a cooling effect.
Types of premises/business who may need CO2 extinguishers:
- Commercial kitchens
Where to locate CO2 extinguishers:
- Place near to the source of the fire risk.
TYPES OF FIRE
|Combustible materials (wood, paper, fabric, refuse)||Class A||Class A||Class|
|Most suppression techniques|
|Class B||Class B||Class|
|Inhibiting chemical chain reaction, such as water mist dry chemical or Halon|
|Gas fire||Class C||Class B||Class|
|Inhibiting chemical chain reaction, such as dry chemical or Halon|
|Flammable metals||Class D||Class D||Class|
|Specialist suppression required|
|Electrical fire||not classified |
|As ordinary combustibles, but conductive agents like water not to be used|
|Cooking oils and fats||Class F||Class K||Class|
|Suppression by removal of oxygen or water mist|
Following are five different classes of fire and type of extinguisher used to extinguish these fires:
Class A: Class A fires use flammable material as their fuel source. Wood, fabric, paper, trash, and plastics are common sources of Class A fires. Class A fires are commonly put out with water or monoammonium phosphate.
Class B: The Class B fire use flammable liquid or gas as its fuel base. For example, petroleum based oils and paints, kerosene, and gasoline. Smothering these types of fires to remove oxygen is a common solution to extinguish these types of fires.
Class C: The Class C fire use electrical components and energized equipment as its fuel source. Electrical fires are often fuelled by motors, appliances, and electronic transformers. To extinguish such fires, you cut the power off and use non-conductive chemicals to extinguish the fire.
Class D: The Class D fire use combustible metal as its fuel source. Examples of such combustible metals include titanium, magnesium, aluminium, and potassium. To extinguish a Class D fire, use a dry powder agent. This absorbs the heat that fire requires to burn and smothers it as well.
Class K: A Class K fire is defined as a cooking fire involving combustion from liquids used in food preparation. Wet chemical fire extinguishers are used to extinguish these types of fires.
If You Discover a Fire Follow The 3 A’s
Activate the buildings fire alarm system or call 911 to notify emergency services.
Assist those who are in immediate danger or who are incapacitated. Do this without risk to yourself.
Attempt to fight a fire only after the first two steps have been completed and you feel confident in yourself to do so.
- Always have an exit to your back in case you need to escape.
- Never attempt to fight a fire if there is a heavy smoke condition.
- Smoke can be extremely toxic and will reduce your visibility.
- Only fight small fires, no larger than the size of a small waste basket. Small fires will grow big very fast.
When to use a fire extinguisher?
Use a Fire Extinguisher When:
- The fire is contained and not spreading
- The extinguisher is readily available
- You know how to use it properly
- Personal safety is not compromised
- There is a clear path for escape
What to Do in Case of a Fire
- Immediately pull the nearest fire alarm pull station as you exit the building.
- When evacuating the building, be sure to feel doors for heat before opening them to be sure there is no fire danger on the other side.
- If there is smoke in the air, stay low to the ground, especially your head, to reduce inhalation exposure. Keep on hand on the wall to prevent disorientation and crawl to the nearest exit.
- Once away and clear from danger, call your report contact and inform them of the fire.
- Go to your refuge area and await further instructions from emergency personnel.
HOW TO USE THE FIRE EXTINQUISHER?
Is the state of being “safe”, the act of being protected from harm or other non-desirable outcomes. It is also the act of controlling known hazard in order to achieve an acceptable level of risk.
The image is a caution safety for children playing
4.4 Limitation of safety
Safety can be limited in relation to some guarantee or a standard of insurance to the quality and unharmful function of an object or organization. It is used in order to ensure that the object or organization will do only what it is meant to do.
It is important to realize that safety is relative in eliminating a
All risk, if even possible, would be extremely difficult and very expensive. A safe situation is one where risks of injury or property damage are low and manageable.
5.0 WHAT IS MANUAL HANDLING
Manual Handling is a physical activity that takes place in every workplace. In some cases, the activity does not pose problem. However, it can be a potential workplace hazard when an employee is required to handle a very heavy load, which could result in a back injury. Manual Handling involves the transporting or supporting of any load by one or more employees, which includes lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying and moving a load. Ergonomic involves injuries, particularly at the back of the employees.
The image above shows physical description of a manual handling
The picture below illustrates a manual handling activity that would need to be addressed as part of the manual handling risk assessment process. A characteristic of the load that involves risk is the barrel weighing 80kg. An unfavorable ergonomic condition is the physical strain involved in having to lift such a load.
Fig 2: Why does manual handling result in a risk of injury or ill health
Many of the problems that cause back pain are the result of injury and damage to the disc. Bending results to pressure on the discs and may also cause a disc to bulge backward towards the spine. Twisting and bending together put the greatest stress on the spine, especially on the discs, and are examples of work conditions that increase the risk of back injury. The picture below illustrates some examples of work conditions that involve risk:
5.1 Stages that can be carried out to avoid manual handling
The stages are listed below
Stage 1: This stage involves collecting information on how the task is performed and identifying the key stages in the task. This should be a team effort involving consultation with those that normally do the job. You or the person carrying out the assessment should have the experience about the manual handling before doing it.
Stage 2: Collect all details on the load weight, load size, number of manual lifts, general information on postures observed and the work environment.
Stage 3: Identify the risk factors.
Stage 4: Identify what improvements you can put in place. Once you have identified the risk factors, it is necessary to investigate potential solutions.
Stage 5: Review the effectiveness of the control measures: Effectiveness is the degree to which the control measures have avoided or reduced the risk of injury.
Good handling technique for lifting Here are some practical tips, suitable for use in training people in safe manual handling.
- Think before lifting/handling.
- Plan the lift. Can handling aids be used?
- Where is the load going to be placed?
- Will help be needed with the load?
- Remove obstructions such as discarded wrapping materials.
- For a long lift, consider resting the load midway on a table or bench to change grip.
- Adopt a stable position.
The feet should be apart with one leg slightly forward to maintain balance (alongside the load, if it is on the ground).
The worker should be prepared to move their feet during the lift to maintain their stability. Avoid tight clothing or unsuitable footwear, which may make this difficult
Good handling technique for pushing and pulling
Here are some practical points to remember when loads are pushed or pulled. Handling devices.
Aids such as barrows and trolleys should have handle heights that are between the shoulder and waist. Devices should be well maintained with wheels that run smoothly.
The law requires that equipment is maintained. When you buy new trolleys etc., make sure they are good quality with large diameter wheels made of suitable material and with castors, bearings etc. which will last with minimum maintenance.
Consulting your employees and safety representatives will help, as they know what works and what doesn’t. Force. As a rough guide the amount of force that needs to be applied to move a load over a flat, level surface using a well-maintained handling aid is at least 2% of the load weight. For example, if the load weight is 400 kg, then the force needed to move the load is 8 kg.
The force needed will be larger, perhaps a lot larger, if conditions are not perfect (e.g. wheels not in the right position or a device that is poorly maintained).
The operator should try to push rather than pull when moving a load, provided they can see over it and control steering and stopping. Slopes. Employees should get help from another worker whenever necessary, if they have to negotiate a slope or ramp, as pushing and pulling forces can be very high. For example, if a load of 400 kg is moved up a slope of 1 in 12 (about 5°), the required force is over 30 kg even in ideal conditions – good wheels and a smooth slope.
This is above the guideline weight for men and well above the guideline weight for women. Uneven surfaces. Moving an object over soft or uneven surfaces requires higher forces. On an uneven surface, the force needed to start the load moving could increase to 10% of the load weight, although this might be offset to some extent by using larger wheels. Soft ground may be even worse. Stance and pace. To make it easier to push or pull, employees should keep their feet well away from the load and go no faster than walking speed. This will stop them becoming too tired too quickly
6.0 MOST EFFECTIVE HAZARD CONTROLS
Hazard control is a system use in industry to eliminate exposure to hazards. It is widely accepted systems that promote numerous safety organizations. This concept is known by managers in the industry, to promote a standard practice in the workplace.
image above shows hierarchy of hazard control
The hazard controls are listed according to the order of decreasing effectiveness:
It is the physical remover of hazard, is the most effective hazard control. For example, if employees must work high above the ground, the hazard can be eliminated by moving the piece they are working on to ground level.
It’s the second most effective hazard control. It involves replacing something that produces a hazard with something that does not produce a hazard e.g. replacing leadbased paint with titanium white. To be an effective control, the new product must not produce another hazard. Because airborne dust can be hazardous, if a product can be purchased with a larger particle size, the smaller product may effectively be substituted with the larger product.
The third most effective means of controlling hazards is engineered controls. These do not eliminate hazards, but rather isolate people from hazards. Capital costs of engineering controls tend to be higher than less effective controls, however they may reduce future costs.
Administrative controls are changes to the way people work. Examples of administrative controls include procedure changes, employee training, and installation of signs and warning labels (such as those in the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System). Administrative controls do not remove hazards, but limit or prevent people’s exposure to the hazards, such as completing road construction at night when fewer people are driving.
Personal protective equipment
Personal protective equipment (PPE) includes gloves, Uniform, hard hats, safety glasses, high–visibility clothing, and safety footwear. PPE is the least effective means of controlling hazards because of the high potential for damage to render PPE ineffective. Additionally, some PPE, such as respirators, increase physiological effort to complete a task and, therefore, may require medical examinations to ensure workers can use the PPE without risking their health.
The image above shows the most effective level of controlling hazard
7.0 WHAT IS HAZARD
Is an agent which has the potential to cause harm to a vulnerable target. The terms “hazard” and “risk” are often used interchangeably. In other words hazard can also be define as any agent that causes harm or damage to humans, property, or the environment. An event that is caused by interaction with a hazard is called an incident.
The image above shows a building destroyed by a hazard
7.1 Classification of hazard
Hazards can be classified as different types in several ways. One of these ways is by specifying the origin of the hazard. One key concept in identifying a hazard is the presence of stored energy that can causes damage when released.
Stored energy can occur in many forms: chemical, mechanical, thermal, radioactive, electrical, etc. Another class of hazard does not involve release of stored energy, rather it involves the presence of hazardous situations. Examples include confined or limited egress spaces, oxygen-depleted atmospheres, awkward positions, repetitive motions, low-hanging or protruding objects, etc.
7.2 Classification Base on energy source
Biological hazards is also known as biohazards, originate in biological processes of living organisms, and refer to agents that pose a threat to the health of living organisms, the security of property, or the health of the environment. Biological hazards include viruses, parasites, bacteria, food, fungi, and foreign toxins.
Many specific biological hazards have been identified. For example, the hazards of naturally-occurring bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Salmonella, are well known as disease causing pathogens and a variety of measures have been taken to limit human exposure to these microorganisms through food safety, good personal hygiene and education. However, the potential for new biological hazards exists through the discovery of new microorganisms and through the development of new genetically modified (GM) organisms. Use of new GM organisms is regulated by various governmental agencies.
Many biological hazards are associated with food, including certain viruses, parasites, fungi, bacteria, and plant and seafood toxins. Pathogenic Campylobacter and Salmonella are common food borne biological hazards. The hazards from these bacteria can be avoided through risk mitigation steps such as proper handling, storing, and cooking of food. Disease in humans can come from biological hazards in the form of infection by bacteria, antigens, viruses, or parasites.
The image above is an example of biological hazard
A chemical hazard can be considered as a hazard if by it properties can cause harm or danger to human, property, or the environment.
Health hazards associated with chemicals are dependent on the dose or amount of the chemical. For example, iodine in the form of potassium iodine is used to produce iodized salt. When applied at a rate of 20 mg of potassium iodine per 1000 mg of table salt, the chemical is beneficial in preventing goiter, while iodine intakes of 1200–9500 mg in one dose have been known to cause death. Some chemicals have a cumulative biological effect, while others are metabolically eliminated over time. Other chemical hazards may depend on concentration or total quantity for their effects.
Some chemical hazards (e.g. DDT, atrazine, etc.) have been identified. However, every year companies produce more new chemicals to fill new needs or to take the place of older, less effective chemicals. Some harmful chemicals occur naturally in certain geological formations, such as radon gas or arsenic. Other chemicals include products with commercial uses, such as agricultural and industrial chemicals, as well as products developed for home use. Pesticides, which are normally used to control unwanted insects and plants, may cause a variety of negative effects on non-target organisms.
Ergonomic hazards are physical conditions that may pose risk of injury to the musculoskeletal system, such as the muscles or ligaments of the lower back, tendons or nerves of the hands/wrists, or bones surrounding the knees. Ergonomic hazards include things such as awkward or extreme postures, whole-body or hand/arm vibration, poorly designed tools, equipment, or workstations, repetitive motion, and poor lighting. Ergonomic hazards occur in both occupational and non-occupational settings such as in workshops, building sites, offices, home, school, or public spaces and facilities.
A mechanical hazard is any hazard involving a machine or industrial process. Motor vehicles, aircraft, and air bags pose mechanical hazards. Compressed gases or liquids can also be considered a mechanical hazard.
Hazard identification of new machines and/or industrial processes occurs at various stages in the design of the new machine or process. These hazard identification studies focus mainly on deviations from the intended use or design and the harm that may occur as a result of these deviations. These studies are regulated by various agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
A physical hazard is a naturally occurring process that has the potential to create loss or damage. Physical hazards include earthquakes, floods, fires, and tornadoes. Physical hazards often have both human and natural elements. Flood problems can be affected by the natural elements of climate fluctuations and storm frequency, and by land drainage and building in a flood plain, human elements. Another physical hazard, X–rays, naturally occur from solar radiation, but have also been utilized by humans for medical purposes; however, overexposure can lead to cancer, skin burns, and tissue damage.
The image above is an example of physical hazard
Psychological or psychosocial hazards are hazards that affect the psychological well-being of people, including their ability to participate in a work environment among other people. Psychosocial hazards are related to the way work is designed, organized and managed, as well as the economic and social contexts of work and are associated with psychiatric, psychological and/or physical injury or illness. Linked to psychosocial risks are issues such as occupational stress and workplace violence which are recognized internationally as major challenges to occupational health and safety.
7.3 Based on origin
Natural hazards such as earthquakes, floods, volcanoes and tsunami have threatened people, society, the natural environment, and the built environment, particularly more vulnerable people, throughout history, and in some cases, on a day-to-day basis. According to the Red Cross, each year 130,000 people are killed, 90,000 are injured and 140 million are affected by unique events known as natural disasters.
Other types of hazard based on origin are listed below
8.0 ELECTRICITY SAFETY
Electrical safety helps to ensure safe operating standard for any product that uses electricity. Various governments and agencies have developed stringent requirements for electrical products that are sold world-wide. In general, IEC 60335 is the most widely applied standard for electrical safety testing, especially for domestic appliances. Many safety testing standards in the world have been based on it to safeguard workplace health and safety.
8.1 Electricity safety testing
High Voltage Test (Dielectric Voltage-withstand Test)
This test is carried out by applying a significantly higher than operating voltage to the device under test. In this test, the insulation of a product, stressed to a greater extent than under normal operating conditions, should not be breached for the product to pass. In most cases, the device is stressed to twice its normal operating voltage. During type testing, i.e. testing during designing a product or for a double insulated product, however, much larger voltage may be applied. For all electrical products, the high voltage test is a universal test, meaning that every unit should pass before it can be used.
The image below shows higher voltage in electricity
Insulation Resistance Test
This test is to measure the total resistance of a product’s insulation by applying a voltage of 500 V – 1000 V for low voltage systems. The minimum acceptable value of resistance for a product to pass an insulation resistance test is 1 megohm (1000 kΩ) the insulation resistance test is not a substitute for the high voltage test. Many standards and safety agencies have specified this is a universal test for all products. This test may also be carried out after every maintenance procedure or repair.
8.2 Earth Continuity Test
This test is performed by measuring the resistance between the third pin (ground) and outside metal body of the product under test. The maximum acceptable value is generally 0.5 ohms although certain standards may specify 0.1 ohms. This test is generally carried out at a slightly higher current (e.g. 25–60 A) so that the ground bond circuit maintains safe voltages on the chassis of the product, even at a high current, before the circuit breaker trips. This test is essential so that the product does not cause an electric shock resulting from insulation failure. In India current specified is 16 A so the test is done at double of the current i.e. 32 A.
8.3 Some electricity safety tips
- Don’t remove a plug from a power point by pulling on the cord; pull the plug instead.
- Never plug adaptors into adaptors and avoid using adaptors filled with plugs where possible.
- Switch off electrical items that are not in regular use at the plug and ensure that when we are away from the house for any length of time that you unplug and switch off electrical items as items left plugged in can be a fire risk and waste energy if left on standby.
- Do not use any electrical items in the bathroom unless specifically designed for use there, eg. Shavers and electric toothbrushes. Even with these items however, take care not to get wet and avoid plugging and unplugging with wet hands.
- Do not use items with damaged cords so that the wires are exposed. Either repair or replace. Check items regularly.
- Do not use damaged sockets, replace with care when necessary.
- Always turn the electrics off at the mains if carrying out any electrical repairs and only attempt repairs if you know what you are doing.
- Ensure any electrical items are approved standard when purchasing and keep them correctly maintained where necessary. Look for the BEAB seal of approval.
- Do not use electrical equipment outside if it’s raining. Use the correct wattage light bulb for all light fittings.
- Circuit breakers and fuses should be the correct size current rating for their circuit.
9.0 WHAT IS PPE
The full meaning of PPE (personal protective equipment). PPE is equipment that will protect the user against health or safety risks at work. It can include items such as safety helmets, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear and safety harnesses. It also includes respiratory protective equipment (RPE).
The image above is an example of PPE
9.1 Importance of PPE
Making the workplace safe includes providing instructions, procedures, training and supervision to encourage people to work safely and responsibly.
- the lungs, e.g. from breathing in contaminated air
- the head and feet e.g. from falling materials
- the eyes e.g. from flying particles or splashes of corrosive liquids
- the skin, e.g. from contact with corrosive materials
- the body, e.g. from extremes of heat or cold
PPE is needed in these cases to reduce the risk.
9.2 Maintenance of PPE
PPE must be properly looked after and stored in a dry, clean cupboard when not use. If used it must be cleaned and kept in good condition.
9.3 Types of PPE you can use
Chemical or metal splash, dust, projectiles, gas and radiation
Safety spectacles, goggles, face screens, face shields, visors
make sure the eye protection chosen has the right combination of
impact/dust/splash/molten metal eye protection for the task and fits the user properly Head and neck
Impact from falling or flying objects, risk of head bumping, hair getting tangled in machinery, chemical drips or splash, climate or temperature
Industrial safety helmets, bump caps, hairnets and firefighters’ helmets
- Some safety helmets incorporate or can be fitted with specially-designed eye or hearing protection
- Don’t forget neck protection, eg scarves for use during welding
- Replace head protection if it is damaged
Noise: is combination of sound level and duration of exposure, very high-level sounds are a hazard even with short duration
Earplugs, earmuffs, semi-insert/canal caps
- Provide the right hearing protectors for the type of work, and make sure workers know how to fit them
- Choose protectors that reduce noise to an acceptable level, while allowing for safety and communication
Hands and arms
Abrasion, temperature extremes, cuts and punctures, impact, chemicals, electric shock, radiation, vibration, biological agents and prolonged immersion in water
Gloves, gloves with a cuff, gauntlets and sleeves that covers part or all of the arm
- Avoid gloves when operating machines such as bench drills where the gloves might get caught
- Some materials are quickly penetrated by chemicals take care in selection, see HSE’s skin at work website
- Barrier creams are unreliable and are no substitute for proper PPE
- Wearing gloves for long periods can make the skin hot and sweaty, leading to skin problems. Using separate cotton inner gloves can help prevent this
Feet and legs
Wet, hot and cold conditions, electrostatic build-up, slipping, cuts and punctures, falling objects, heavy loads, metal and chemical splash, vehicles
Safety boots and shoes with protective toecaps and penetration-resistant, mid-sole wellington boots and specific footwear, e.g. foundry boots and chainsaw boots Note
- Footwear can have a variety of sole patterns and materials to help prevent slips in different conditions, including oil – or chemical-resistant soles. It can also be antistatic, electrically conductive or thermally insulating
- Appropriate footwear should be selected for the risks identified
Oxygen-deficient atmospheres, dusts, gases and vapor
Heat, chemical or metal splash, spray from pressure leaks or spray guns, contaminated dust, impact or penetration, excessive wear or entanglement of own clothing
Conventional or disposable overalls, boiler suits, aprons, chemical suits
- The choice of materials includes flame-retardant, anti-static, chain mail, chemically impermeable, and high-visibility
- Don’t forget other protection, like safety harnesses or life jackets
10.0 BITES AND STINGS
A bite is a wound, usually a puncture or laceration, caused by the teeth. An animal bite usually results in a break in the skin but also includes contusions from the excessive pressure on body tissue from the bite. The contusions can occur without a break in the skin. Bites can be provoked or unprovoked. Other bite attacks may be apparently unprovoked. Biting is a physical action not only describing an attack but it is a normal response in an animal as it eats, carries objects, softens and prepares food for its young, removes ectoparasites from its body surface, removes plant seeds attached to its fur or hair, scratching itself, and grooming other animals. Animal bites often result in serious infections and mortality. Animal bites not only include injuries from the teeth of reptiles, mammals, but fish, and amphibians. Arthropods can also bite and leave injuries.
Fig 3: The image below shows a dog trying to bite a man
Fig 4: The picture below shows a leopard bites an impala
10.1 Signs and symptoms
Bite wounds can cause a number of signs and symptoms
- Generalized tissue damage due to tearing and scratching
- Serious hemorrhage, if major blood vessels are pierced
- Infection by bacteria or other pathogens, including rabies
- Introduction of venom into the wound by venomous animals such as some snakes
- Introduction of other irritants into the wound, causing inflammation and itching
Bites are usually classified by the type of animal causing the wound. Many different animals are known to bite humans.
- Companion animals such as dogs, cats, ferrets, and parrots may bite humans.
- Wildlife may sometimes bite humans. The bites of various mammals such as bats, skunks, wolves, raccoons, may transmit rabies, which is almost always fatal if left untreated.
Teething infants are known to bite objects to relieve pressure on their growing teeth, and may inadvertently bite people’s hands or arms while doing so. Young children may also bite people out of anger or misbehaviour, although this is usually corrected early in the child’s life.
The bites of arthropods have some of the most serious health consequences known. Mosquito bites transmit serious disease and result in millions of deaths and illnesses in the world. Ticks also transmit many diseases such as Lyme disease.
Fig 5: A mosquito bite
These are other animals that bites
The first step in treatment includes washing the bite wound. If there is a low risk of infection the wound may be sutured. Debridement and drainage bite wound were practiced in the pre-antibiotic era, but still had a high infection rate.
Antibiotics to prevent infection are recommended for dog and cat bites of the hand and human bites if they are more than superficial. They are also recommended in those who have poor immune function. Evidence for antibiotics to prevent infection in bites in other areas is not clear.
The first choice of antibiotics is amoxicillin with clavulanic acid, and if the person is penicillin-allergic, doxycycline and metronidazole are given. The antistaphylococcal penicillins (e.g., cloxacillin, nafcillin, flucloxacillin) and the macrolides (e.g., erythromycin, clarithromycin) are not used for empirical therapy, because they do not cover Pasteurella species.
Tetanus toxoid treatment is recommended in those whose vaccinations are not up to date and have a bite that punctures the skin. Tetanus immune globulin is indicated in people with more than 10 years since prior vaccination. Tetanus boosters (Td) should be given every ten years.
A stinger is a sharp organ found in various animals typically arthropods capable of injecting venom usually by piercing the epidermis of another animal. An insect sting is complicated by its introduction of venom, although not all stings are venomous.
Bites, which can introduce saliva as well as additional pathogens and diseases, are often confused with stings. Specific components of venom are believed to give rise to an allergic reaction, which in turn produces skin lesions that may vary from a small itching wheal, or slightly elevated area of the skin to large areas of inflamed skin covered by vesicles and crusted lesions.
Stinging insects produce a painful swelling of the skin, the severity of the lesion varying according to the location of the sting, the identity of the insect and the sensitivity of the subject. Many species of bees and wasps have two poison glands, one gland secreting a toxin in which formic acid is one recognized constituent, and the other secreting an alkaline neurotoxin; acting independently, each toxin is rather mild, but when they combine through the sting, the combination has strong irritating properties. In a small number of cases the second occasion of a bee or wasp sting causes a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis.
Fig 6: The image below is an example of a stinger
A few insects leave their stinger in the wound, but this is overstated. For example, at of 10,000 species of bees worldwide, only the half-dozen species of honeybees Apis are reported to have a barbed stinger that cannot be withdrawn of wasps, all are reported to have smooth stingers.
Among arthropods, a sting or stinger is a sharp organ, often connected with a venom gland and adapted to inflict a wound by piercing, as with the caudal sting of a scorpion. Stings are usually located at the rear of the animal. Animals with stings include bees, wasps and scorpions
Fig 8: The image above is a scorpion’s stinger
In all stinging Hymenoptera the sting is a modified ovipositor. Unlike most other stings, honey bee workers’ stings are strongly barbed and lodge in the flesh of mammals upon use, tearing free from the honey bee’s body, killing the bee within minutes. The sting has its own ganglion, and it continues to saw into the target’s flesh and release venom for several minutes. This trait is of obvious disadvantage to the individual but protects the hive from attacks by large animals. The barbs of a honey bee’s attack are only suicidal if the skin is elastic, as is characteristic of vertebrates such as birds and mammals, honey bees can sting other insects repeatedly without dying.
Organs that perform similar functions in non-arthropods are often referred to as “stings”. These organs include the modified dermal denticle of the stingray, the venomous spurs on the hind legs of the male platypus, and the cnidocyte tentacles of the jellyfish.
11.0 ACCIDENT AND PREVENTION
An accident, is also known as an unintentional injury, undesirable incident and unplanned event that could have been prevented if circumstances leading up to the accident has been recognized and acted upon prior to its occurrence. Most scientists who study unintentional injury avoid using the term “accident” and focus on factors that increase risk of severe injury and that will help to reduce injury occurrence and severity.
There are two types of accident namely physical and non-physical
Physical accidents include unintended motor vehicle collisions or falls, being injured by touching something sharp, hot, moving objects, contacting electricity or ingesting poison.
Non-physical accidents include unintentionally revealing a secret or otherwise saying something incorrectly, accidental deletion of data, forgetting an appointment etc
Fig 9: The image above is an example of an accident that occur in a railing at Texas Longhorns College football.
Fig 10: The image above is a versailes rail accident
Is the act of stopping something from happening or arising, It’s also an act of avoiding the occurrence of accident.
11.3 General safety prevention
- Crime prevention e. the attempt to reduce crime and criminals
- Disaster prevention e. measures taken to prevent and provide protection for disasters
- Hazard prevention e. the process of risk study, elimination, and mitigation in emergency management
- Pollution prevention e. activities that reduce the amount of pollution generated by a process
- Preventive maintenance e. maintenance performed to prevent faults from occurring or developing into major defects
- Prevent strategy: a scheme in the UK to report radicalization
- Risk prevention: reducing the potential of loss from a given action, activity and/or inaction
12.0 FIRST AIDS
First aid is the assistance given to any person suffering a sudden illness or injury, with care provided to preserve life, prevent the condition from worsening, or to promote recovery. It includes initial intervention in a serious condition prior to professional medical help being available, such as performing Cardiopulmonary resuscitation(CPR) while awaiting an ambulance, as well as the complete treatment of minor conditions, such as applying a plaster to a cut. First aid is generally performed by the layperson, with many people trained in providing basic levels of first aid, and others willing to do so from acquired knowledge.
There are many situations which may require first aid, and many countries have legislation, regulation, or guidance which specifies a minimum level of first aid provision in certain circumstances. This can include specific training or equipment to be available in the workplace such as an Automated External Defibrillator, the provision of specialist first aid cover at public gatherings, or mandatory first aid training within schools. First aid, however, does not necessarily require any particular equipment or prior knowledge, and can involve improvisation with materials available at the time, often by untrained persons. It can be performed on all mammals. The image below is the universe first aid logo
The key aims of first aid can be summarized in three key points, sometimes known as ‘the three P’s:
- Preserve life: The overriding aim of all medical care which includes first aid is to save lives and minimize the threat of death.
- Prevent further harm: Prevent further harm is also known as prevent the condition from worsening, or danger of further injury, this covers both external factors, such as moving a patient away from any cause of harm and applying first aid techniques to prevent worsening of the condition, such as applying pressure to stop a bleed becoming dangerous.
- Promote recovery: First aid also involves trying to start the recovery process from the illness or injury, and in some cases might involve completing a treatment, such as in the case of applying a plaster to a small wound.
12.2 Key skills
Certain skills are considered essential to the provision of first aid and are taught omnipresent (everywhere). Particularly the “ABC”s of first aid, which focuses on critical life-saving intervention, must be rendered before treatment of less serious injuries. ABC stands for Airway, Breathing, and Circulation. The same mnemonic is used by all emergency health professionals. Attention must first be brought to the airway to ensure it is clear. Obstruction is a life-threatening emergency.
A first aid attendant would determine adequacy of breathing and provide rescue breathing if necessary. Assessment of circulation is now not usually carried out for patients who are not breathing, with first aiders now trained to go straight to chest compressions and provide artificial circulation but pulse checks may be done on less serious patients.
12.3 Preserving life
In order to stay alive, all persons need to have an open airway i.e. a clear passage where air can move in through the mouth or nose through the pharynx and down into the lungs, without obstruction. Conscious people will maintain their own airway automatically, but those who are unconscious (with a GCS of less than 8) may be unable to maintain a patent airway, as the part of the brain which automatically controls breathing in normal situations may not be functioning.
If the patient was breathing, a first aider would normally then place them in the recovery position, with the patient leant over on their side, which also has the effect of clearing the tongue from the pharynx. It also avoids a common cause of death in unconscious patients, which is choking on regurgitated stomach contents.
The airway can also become blocked through a foreign object becoming lodged in the pharynx or larynx, commonly called choking. The first aider will be taught to deal with this through a combination of ‘back slaps’ and ‘abdominal thrusts’.
Once the airway has been opened, the first aider would assess to see if the patient is breathing. If there is no breathing, or the patient is not breathing normally, such as agonal breathing, the first aider would undertake what is probably the most recognized first aid procedure—cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR, which involves breathing for the patient, and manually massaging the heart to promote blood flow around the body.
The first aider is also likely to be trained in dealing with injuries such as cuts, grazes or bone fracture. They may be able to deal with the situation in its entirety (a small adhesive bandage on a paper cut), or may be required to maintain the condition of something like a broken bone, until the next stage of definitive care (usually an ambulance) arrives.
Fig 11: First aid scenario training in progress
Basic principles, such as knowing to use an adhesive bandage or applying direct pressure on a bleed, are often acquired passively through life experiences. However, to provide effective, life-saving first aid interventions requires instruction and practical training. This is especially true where it relates to potentially fatal illnesses and injuries, such as those that require cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR); these procedures may be invasive, and carry a risk of further injury to the patient and the provider. As with any training, it is more useful if it occurs before an actual emergency, and in many countries, emergency ambulance dispatchers may give basic first aid instructions over the phone while the ambulance is on the way.
Training is generally provided by attending a course, typically leading to certification. Due to regular changes in procedures and protocols, based on updated clinical knowledge, and to maintain skill, attendance at regular refresher courses or re-certification is often necessary. First aid training is often available through community organizations such as the Red Cross and St. John Ambulance, or through commercial providers, who will train people for a fee. This commercial training is most common for training of employees to perform first aid in their workplace. Many community organizations also provide a commercial service, which complements their community programs.
12.5 Specific disciplines
There are several types of first aid and first aider which require specific additional training. These are usually undertaken to fulfill the demands of the work or activity undertaken.
- Aquatic/Marine first aid is usually practiced by professionals such as lifeguards, professional mariners or in diver rescue, and covers the specific problems which may be faced after water-based rescue or delayed MedEvac.
- Battlefield first aid takes into account the specific needs of treating wounded combatants and non–combatants during armed conflict.
- Hyperbaric first aid may be practiced by SCUBA diving professionals, who need to treat conditions such as the bends.
- Oxygen first aid is the providing of oxygen to casualties who suffer from conditions resulting in hypoxia.
- Wilderness first aid is the provision of first aid under conditions where the arrival of emergency responders or the evacuation of an injured person may be delayed due to constraints of terrain, weather, and available persons or equipment. It may be necessary to care for an injured person for several hours or days.
- Mental health first aid is taught independently of physical first aid. How to support someone experiencing a mental health problem or in a crisis situation. Also how to identify the first signs of someone developing mental ill health and guide people towards appropriate help.
Although commonly associated with first aid, the symbol of a red cross is an official protective symbol of the Red Cross. According to the Geneva Conventions and other international laws, the use of this and similar symbols is reserved for official agencies of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent, and as a protective emblem for medical personnel and facilities in combat situations. Use by any other person or organization is illegal and may lead to prosecution.
The internationally accepted symbol for first aid is the white cross on a green background shown below.
Some organizations may make use of the Star of Life, although this is usually reserved for use by ambulance services, or may use symbols such as the Maltese Cross, like the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps and St John Ambulance. Other symbols may also be used.
Fig 12: St. Andrew’s First Aid Badge
Fig 13: Emblem of the Red Cross
12.7 Conditions that often require first aid
- Altitude sickness, which can begin in susceptible people at altitudes as low as 5,000 feet, can cause potentially fatal swelling of the brain or lungs.
- Anaphylaxis, a life threatening condition in which the airway can become constricted and the patient may go into The reaction can be caused by a systemic allergic reaction to allergens such as insect bites or peanuts. Anaphylaxis is initially treated with injection of epinephrine.
- Battlefield first aid: This protocol refers to treating shrapnel, gunshot wounds, burns, bone fractures, etc. as seen either in the ‘traditional’ battlefield setting or in an area subject to damage by large-scale weaponry, such as a bomb
- Bone fracture, a break in a bone initially treated by stabilizing the fracture with a splint.
- Burns, which can result in damage to tissues and loss of body fluids through the burn site.
- Cardiac Arrest, which will lead to death unless CPR preferably combined with an AED is started within minutes. There is often no time to wait for the emergency services to arrive as 92 percent of people suffering a sudden cardiac arrest die before reaching hospital according to the American Heart Association.
- Choking, blockage of the airway which can quickly result in death due to lack of oxygen if the patient’s trachea is not cleared, for example by the Heimlich Maneuver.
- Cramps in muscles due to lactic acid build up caused either by inadequate oxygenation of muscle or lack of water or salt.
- Diving disorders, drowning or asphyxiation.
- Gender-specific conditions, such as dysmenorrhea and testicular torsion.
- Heart attack, or inadequate blood flow to the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle.
- Heat stroke, also known as sunstroke or hyperthermia, which tends to occur during heavy exercise in high humidity, or with inadequate water, though it may occur spontaneously in some chronically ill persons. Sunstroke, especially when the victim has been unconscious, often causes major damage to body systems such as brain, kidney, liver, gastric tract. Unconsciousness for more than two hours usually leads to permanent disability. Emergency treatment involves rapid cooling of the patient.
- Hair tourniquet a condition where a hair or other thread becomes tied around a toe or finger tightly enough to cut off blood flow.
- Heat syncope, another stage in the same process as heat stroke, occurs under similar conditions as heat stroke and is not distinguished from the latter by some authorities.
- Heavy bleeding, treated by applying pressure (manually and later with a pressure bandage) to the wound site and elevating the limb if possible.
- Hyperglycemia (diabetic coma) and Hypoglycemia (insulin shock).
- Hypothermia, or Exposure, occurs when a person’s core body temperature falls below 33.7 °C (92.6 °F). First aid for a mildly hypothermic patient includes rewarming, which can be achieved by wrapping the affected person in a blanket, and providing warm drinks, such as soup, and high energy food, such as chocolate. However, rewarming a severely hypothermic person could result in a fatal arrhythmia, an irregular heart rhythm. Insect and animal bites and stings.
- Joint dislocation.
- Poisoning, it can occur by injection, inhalation, absorption, or ingestion.
- Seizures, or a malfunction in the electrical activity in the brain. Three types of seizures include a grand mal (which usually features convulsions as well as temporary respiratory abnormalities, change in skin complexion, etc.) and petit mal (which usually features twitching, rapid blinking, or fidgeting as well as altered consciousness and temporary respiratory abnormalities).
- Muscle strains and Sprains, a temporary dislocation of a joint that immediately reduces automatically but may result in ligament damage.
- Stroke, a temporary loss of blood supply to the brain.
- Toothache, which can result in severe pain and loss of the tooth but is rarely lifethreatening, unless over time the infection spreads into the bone of the jaw and starts osteomyelitis.
- Wounds and bleeding, including lacerations, incisions and abrasions, Gastrointestinal bleeding, avulsions and Sucking chest wounds, treated with an occlusive dressing to let air out but not in.
12.8 Making of the First Aid Kit
Though professional first aid kits are readily available, one can make a simple kit easily at home. Still, readymade First Aid kits/boxes/pouches/cases are recommended, as they have well organized compartments. To make a First Aid kit, a strong, durable bag or transparent plastic box should be taken and a white cross in a green square placed on the sides and on the top. This will make for easy identification of the box to any user. The kit should be kept such that it is within reach in case of an emergency.
A First Aid Kit should have the following contents
- first-aid manual different sizes
- adhesive tape
- adhesive bandages in several sizes
- elastic bandage
- a splint
- antiseptic wipes
- antibiotic ointment
- antiseptic solution (like hydrogen peroxide or saline)
- hydrocortisone cream (1%)
- acetaminophen and ibuprofen
- extra prescription medications (if traveling)
- sharp scissors
- safety pins
- disposable instant cold packs
- calamine lotion
- alcohol wipes or ethyl alcohol
- tooth preservation kit
- plastic non-latex gloves(at least 2 pairs)
- flashlight and extra batteries
- thermal shock blanket
- mouthpiece for administering CPR (can be obtained from your local Red Cross) blanket (stored nearby)
- First Aid Card containing emergency personal information, phone numbers, medications, manual,
- pocket defibrillator
The image above is an example of some of the first aid kit
13.0 JOB HAZARD ANALYSIS
A job hazard analysis is a technique that focuses on job tasks as a way to identify hazards before they occur. It focuses on the relationship between the worker, the task, the tools, and the work environment. Ideally, after you identify uncontrolled hazards.
13.1 Job hazard analysis important
Many workers are injured and killed at the workplace every day in the United States. Safety and health can add value to business, job and life. It can help prevent workplace injuries and illnesses by looking at workplace operations, establishing proper job procedures and ensuring that all employees are trained properly. One of the best ways to determine and establish proper work procedures is to conduct a job hazard analysis. A job hazard analysis is one component of the larger commitment of a safety and health management system.
13.2 Value of a job hazard analysis
Supervisors can use the findings of a job hazard analysis to eliminate and prevent hazards in their workplaces. This is likely to result in fewer worker injuries and illnesses safer. The analysis also can be a valuable tool for training new employees in the steps required to perform their jobs safely. For a job hazard analysis to be effective, management must demonstrate its commitment to safety and health and follow through to correct any uncontrolled hazards identified. Otherwise, management will lose credibility and employees may hesitate to go to management when dangerous
How do I correct or prevent hazards?
After reviewing your list of hazards with the employee, consider what control methods will eliminate or reduce them. The most effective measures are engineering controls that physically change a machine or work environment. The less likely a hazard control can be circumvented, the better. If this is not feasible, management controls may be appropriate. The JHA itself can be an effective management control.
Hazard Control strategies
There are four approaches used to eliminate or reduce hazards and exposures. They are as follows:
- Engineering controls – Strategies to eliminate or reduce the hazard primarily through equipment replacement, substitution, redesign, or other engineering methods. If you can get rid of the hazards in a job, you may not need to conduct the JHA!
- Management controls (Also called administrative or work practice controls) – Strategies to eliminate or reduce exposure. You do this
primarily by changing work practices, procedures, and schedules. Developing effective management controls is what the JHA is all about!
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Using PPE is considered a safe work practice and can be expected to be a part of most JHAs. PPE establishes a barrier between the hazard and the worker. PPE is most always used in conjunction with management and engineering controls.
- Interim (temporary) measures. Cones, guards, tape, etc., can all serve to temporarily protect employees from hazards until permanent control strategies can be used. You may need to temporarily protect employees while working toward a permanent solution.
Criteria for an Effective Safe Job Procedure
- Write in a step-by-step format. Usually this means writing a number of paragraphs.
- If no hazard or possible unsafe behavior exists in a step, just state the action.
- If a hazard does exist in a step, state the action and identify:
- the hazard
- the possible injury it could cause, and
- safety measures to prevent the injury.
- Try to paint a word picture – concrete vs. abstract.
- Write in the active voice – “take,” not “should be taken.”
- Write as clearly as possible using simple words – “use,” not “utilize.”
- Keep sentences short. Use no more than 7-15 words.
- Try to write in a less technical, more conversational style.
Reviewing the JHA
Reviewing JHAs Supports Continual Improvement
Periodically reviewing your job hazard analysis ensures that it remains current and continues to help reduce workplace accidents and injuries. Even if the job has not changed, it is possible that during the review process you will identify hazards that were not identified in the initial analysis.
- It is particularly important to review your job hazard analysis if an illness or injury occurs on a specific job. Based on the circumstances, you may determine that you need to change the job procedure to prevent similar incidents in the future.
- Any time you revise a job hazard analysis, it is important to train all employees affected by the changes in the new job methods, procedures, or protective measures adopted.
Use the JHA as a lesson plan
To get more value out of the JHA program, consider using the completed JHA as a lesson plan when training new employees. Incorporate the SJP into the organization’s safety training plan. Doing so helps guarantee safe job procedures are taught from the start.
14.0 WASTE MANAGEMENT
Waste management is an activities and actions required to manage waste from its inception to its final disposal. This includes amongst other things collection, transport, treatment and disposal of waste together with monitoring and regulation. It also encompasses the legal and regulatory framework that relates to waste management encompassing guidance on recycling.
Waste can take any form that is either solid, liquid, or gas and each have different methods of disposal and management. Waste management normally deals with all types of waste whether it was created in forms that are industrial, biological, household and special cases where it may pose a threat to human health It is produced due to human activity such as when factories extract and process raw materials. Waste management is intended to reduce adverse effects of waste on health, the environment or aesthetics.
A large portion of waste management practices deal with municipal solid waste (MSW) which is waste that is created by household, industrial, and commercial activity.
Fig 14:The image above is how some country perform their waste management
14.1 Waste hierarchy
The waste hierarchy refers to the “3 Rs” reduce, reuse and recycle, which classify waste management strategies according to their desirability in terms of waste minimization. The waste hierarchy remains the cornerstone of most waste minimization strategies. The aim of the waste hierarchy is to extract the maximum practical benefits from products and to generate the minimum amount of wastes. The waste hierarchy is represented as a pyramid because the basic premise is for policy to take action first and prevent the generation of waste. The next step or preferred action is to reduce the generation of waste i.e. by re-use. The next is recycling which would include composting. Following this step is material recovery and waste to energy. Energy can be recovered from processes i.e. landfill and combustion, at this level of the hierarchy. The final action is disposal, in landfills or through incineration without energy recovery. This last step is the final resort for waste which has not been prevented, diverted or recovered. The waste hierarchy represents the progression of a product or material through the sequential stages of the pyramid of waste management. The hierarchy represents the latter parts of the life-cycle for each product.
Life-cycle of a product
The life-cycle begins with design, then proceeds through manufacture, distribution, use and then follows through the waste hierarchy’s stages of reduce, reuse and recycle. Each of the above stages of the life cycle offers opportunities for policy intervention, to rethink the need for the product to redesign and minimize waste potential, to extend its use. The key behind the life-cycle of a product is to optimize the use of the world’s limited resources by avoiding the unnecessary generation of waste.
Resource efficiency reflects the understanding that current, global, economic growth and development cannot be sustained with the current production and consumption patterns. Globally, we are extracting more resources to produce goods than the planet can replenish. Resource efficiency is the reduction of the environmental impact from the production and consumption of these goods, from final raw material extraction to last use and disposal. This process of resource efficiency can address sustainability.
The polluter pays principle is a principle where the polluting party pays for the impact caused to the environment. With respect to waste management, this generally refers to the requirement for a waste generator to pay for appropriate disposal of the unrecoverable material.
12.2 Waste handling and transport
Fig 14: Molded plastic, wheeled waste bin in Berkshire, England
Waste collection methods vary widely among different countries and regions. Domestic waste collection services are often provided by local government authorities, or by private companies for industrial and commercial waste. Some areas, especially those in less developed countries, do not have formal waste-collection systems.
12.3 Disposal methods
Fig 15: A landfill compaction vehicle in action.
Fig 16: Spittelau incineration plant in Vienna
Incineration is a disposal method in which solid organic wastes are subjected to combustion so as to convert them into residue and gaseous products. This method is useful for disposal of residue of both solid waste management and solid residue from waste water management. This process reduces the volumes of solid waste to 20 to 30 percent of the original volume. Incineration and other high temperature waste treatment systems are sometimes described as “thermal treatment”. Incinerators convert waste materials into heat, gas, steam, and ash.
Incineration is carried out both on a small scale by individuals and on a large scale by industry. It is used to dispose of solid, liquid and gaseous waste. It is recognized as a practical method of disposing of certain hazardous waste materials such as biological medical waste. Incineration is a controversial method of waste disposal, due to issues such as emission of gaseous pollutants.
Fig 18 Steel crushed and baled for recycling
Recycling is a recovery process that refers to the collection and reuse of waste materials such as empty beverage containers. The materials from which the items are made can be reprocessed into new products. Material for recycling may be collected separately from general waste using dedicated bins and collection vehicles, this procedure is called kerbside collection. In some communities, the owner of the waste is required to separate the materials into different bins (e.g. for paper, plastics, metals) prior to its collection. In other communities, all recyclable materials are placed in a single bin for collection, and the sorting is handled later at a central facility is known as single–stream recycling.
The most common consumer products recycled include aluminum such as beverages cans, copper such as wire, steel from food and aerosol cans, old steel furnishings or equipment, rubber tyres, polyethylene and pet bottles, glass bottles and jars, paper board cartons, newspapers, magazines and light paper, and corrugated fiberboard boxes. The type of material accepted for recycling varies by city and country. Each city and country has different recycling programs in place that can handle the various types of recyclable materials. However, certain variation in acceptance is reflected in the resale value of the material once it is reprocessed.
Fig 19: An active compost heap.
Recoverable materials that are organic in nature, such as plant material, food scraps, and paper products, can be recovered through composting and digestion processes to decompose the organic matter. The resulting organic material is then recycled as mulch or compost for agricultural or landscaping purposes. In addition, waste gas from the process such as methane can be captured and used for generating electricity and heat maximizing efficiencies. The intention of biological processing in waste management is to control and accelerate the natural process of decomposition of organic matter.
Energy recovery from waste is the conversion of non-recyclable waste materials into usable heat, electricity or fuel through a variety of processes, including combustion, gasification, pyrolyzation, anaerobic digestion, and landfill gas recovery, this process is often called waste to energy. Energy recovery from waste is part of the non-hazardous waste management hierarchy. Using energy recovery to convert non-recyclable waste materials into electricity and heat, generates a renewable energy source and can reduce carbon emissions by offsetting the need for energy from fossil sources as well as reduce methane generation from landfills.
Pyrolysis is often used to convert many types of domestic and industrial residues into a recovered fuel. Different types of waste input such as plant waste, food waste, tyres are placed in the pyrolysis process to produce a reformed recovery energy source that can be an alternative to fossil fuels.
Pyrolysis is a process of thermo-chemical decomposition of organic materials by heat in the absence of oxygen which produces various hydrocarbon gases. During pyrolysis, the molecules of object are subjected to a very high temperature that leads to a high vibration. Therefore, every molecule in the object is stretched and shaken to an extent that molecules starts breaking down, the rate of pyrolysis increases with temperature. In industrial applications, temperatures are above 430 °C (800 °F). Fast pyrolysis produces liquid fuel for feedstock like wood. Slow pyrolysis produces gases and solid charcoal.
Pyrolysis helps to convert waste biomass into useful liquid fuel. Pyrolysis of waste plastics can produce millions of litres of fuel. Solid products of this process contain metals, glass, sand and pyrolysis coke which cannot be converted to gas in the process. Compared to the process of incineration, certain types of pyrolysis processes prevent the release of harmful product residues that contain some alkali metals, sulphur, and chlorine. Pyrolysis results in smaller contaminant gas emissions which make for smaller clean-up methods that would reduce cost.
14.7 Resource recovery
The image above shows some of the recovery waste product
Resource recovery is the systematic diversion of waste, which was intended for disposal, for a specific use. It is the process of recycling to extract or recover materials and resources or convert to energy. These activities are performed at a resource recovery facility. Resource recovery is not only environmentally important, but it is also costeffective. It decreases the amount of waste for disposal, saves space in landfills, and conserves natural resources.
Resource recovery uses LCA (life cycle analysis) attempts to offer alternatives to waste management. For mixed MSW (Municipal Solid Waste) a number of broad studies have indicated that administration, source separation and collection followed by reuse and recycling of the non-organic fraction and energy and compost/fertilizer production of the organic material via anaerobic digestion to be the favored path.
As an example of how resource recycling can be beneficial, many of the items thrown away contain precious metals which can be recycled to create a profit, such as the components in circuit boards. Other industries can also benefit from resource recycling with the wood chippings in pallets and other packaging materials being passed onto sectors such as the horticultural profession. In this instance, workers can use the recycled chips to create paths, walkways, or arena surfaces.
14.8 Avoidance and reduction methods
An important method of waste management is the prevention of waste material being created, also known as waste reduction. Methods of avoidance include reuse of second hand products, repairing broken items instead of buying new, designing products to be refillable or reusable such as cotton instead of plastic shopping bags, encouraging consumers to avoid using disposable products such as disposable cutlery, removing any food/liquid remains from cans and packaging, and designing products that use less material to achieve the same purpose for example, light weighting of beverage cans.
Waste is not something that should be discarded or disposed with no regard for future use. It can be a valuable resource if addressed correctly, through policy and practice. With rational and consistent waste management practices there is an opportunity to reap a range of benefits. Those benefits include:
- Economic: Improving economic efficiency through the means of resource use, treatment and disposal and creating markets for recycles can lead to efficient practices in the production and consumption of products and materials resulting in valuable materials being recovered for reuse and the potential for new jobs and new business opportunities.
- Social: By reducing adverse impacts on health by proper waste management practices, the resulting consequences are more appealing settlements. Better social advantages can lead to new sources of employment and potentially lifting communities out of poverty especially in some of the developing poorer countries and cities.
- Environmental: Reducing or eliminating adverse impacts on the environment through reducing, reusing and recycling, and minimizing resource extraction can provide improved air and water quality and help in the reduction of greenhouse gas
- Inter-generational Equity: Following effective waste management practices can provide subsequent generations a more robust economy, a fairer and more inclusive society and a cleaner environment.
The image above shows some of the technology use in waste management
Traditionally, the waste management industry has been a late adopter of new technologies such as RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags, GPS and integrated software packages which enable better quality data to be collected without the use of estimation or manual data entry.
15.0 RISK ASSESSMENT AND ACCIDENTS
- Accidents and Preventions
Reducing risk and protecting people
Recent figures show that an average of 250 employees and self-employed people are killed each year as a result of accidents in the workplace.
A further 150 000 sustain major injuries or injuries that mean they are absent from work for more than three days. Over 2.3 million cases of ill health are caused or made worse by work.
According to the Labour Force Survey,3 over 40 million working days are lost through work-related injuries and ill health, at a cost to business of £2.5 billion.
“If you think safety is expensive, try an accident” Chairman of Easy Group
Clearly, there are good financial reasons for reducing accidents and ill health. Costings show that for every £1 a business spends on insurance, it can be losing between £8 and £36 in uninsured costs.
The same accidents happen again and again, causing suffering and distress to an everwidening circle of workers and their families. The investigation and analysis of workrelated accidents and incidents forms an essential part of managing health and safety.
However, learning the lessons from what you uncover is at the heart of preventing accidents and incidents. Identify what is wrong and take positive steps to put it right. This guide will show you how.
Carrying out your own health and safety investigations will provide you with a deeper understanding of the risks associated with your work activities. Blaming individuals is ultimately fruitless and sustains the myth that accidents and cases of ill health are unavoidable when the opposite is true. Well thought-out risk control measures, combined with adequate supervision, monitoring and effective management (i.e. your risk management system) will ensure that your work activities are safe. Health and safety investigations are an important tool in developing and refining your risk management system.
An effective investigation requires a methodical, structured approach to information gathering, collation and analysis. The findings of the investigation will form the basis of an action plan to prevent the accident or incident from happening again and for improving your overall management of risk. Your findings will also point to areas of your risk assessments that need to be reviewed. This link with risk assessment(s) is a legal duty.
This guide will help you to adopt a systematic approach to determining why an accident or incident has occurred and the steps you need to take to make sure it does not happen again.
Certain key words and phrases will be used regularly throughout this guide.
‘Adverse event’ includes: accident: an event that results in injury or ill health;
- near miss: an event that, while not causing harm, has the potential to cause injury or ill health. (In this guidance, the term near miss will be taken to include dangerous occurrences);
- undesired circumstance: a set of conditions or circumstances that have the potential to cause injury or ill health, eg untrained nurses handling heavy patients.
- Dangerous occurrence: one of a number of specific, reportable adverse events, as defined in the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR).
- Hazard: the potential to cause harm, including ill health and injury; damage to property, plant, products or the environment, production losses or increased liabilities.
- Immediate cause: the most obvious reason why an adverse event happens, e.g. the guard is missing; the employee slips etc. There may be several immediate causes identified in any one adverse event.
Fatal: work-related death;
major injury/ill health: (as defined in RIDDOR), including fractures (other than fingers or toes), amputations, loss of sight, a burn or penetrating injury to the eye, any injury or acute illness resulting in unconsciousness, requiring resuscitation or requiring admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours;
Serious injury/ill health: where the person affected is unfit to carry out his or her normal work for more than three consecutive days;
Minor injury: all other injuries, where the injured person is unfit for his or her normal work for less than three days;
Damage only: damage to property, equipment, the environment or production losses.
(This guidance only deals with events that have the potential to cause harm to people.)
Likelihood that an adverse event will happen again: certain: it will happen again and soon; likely: it will reoccur, but not as an everyday event; possible: it may occur from time to time; unlikely: it is not expected to happen again in the foreseeable future; rare: so unlikely that it is not expected to happen again.
Risk: The level of risk is determined from a combination of the likelihood of a specific undesirable event occurring and the severity of the consequences(i.e. how often is it likely to happen, how many people could be affected and how bad would the likely injuries or ill health effects be?)
Risk control measures: are the workplace precautions put in place to reduce the risk to a tolerable level?
Root cause: an initiating event or failing from which all other causes or failings spring. Root causes are generally management, planning or organisational failings.
Underlying cause: the less obvious ‘system’ or ’organisational’ reason for an adverse event happening, eg pre-start-up machinery checks are not carried out by supervisors; the hazard has not been adequately considered via a suitable and sufficient risk assessment; production pressures are too great etc.
The causes of adverse events
Adverse events have many causes. What may appear to be bad luck (being in the wrong place at the wrong time) can, on analysis, be seen as a chain of failures and errors that lead almost inevitably to the adverse event. (This is often known as the Domino effect.) These causes can be classified as:
immediate causes: the agent of injury or ill health (the blade, the substance, the
underlying causes: unsafe acts and unsafe conditions (the guard removed, the ventilation switched off etc.);
root causes: the failure from which all other failings grow, often remote in time and space from the adverse event (e.g. failure to identify training needs and assess competence, low priority given to risk assessment etc.).
To prevent adverse events, you need to provide effective risk control measures which address the immediate, underlying and root causes.
There are hazards in all workplaces; risk control measures are put in place to reduce the risks to an acceptable level to prevent accidents and cases of ill health.
The fact that an adverse event has occurred suggests that the existing risk control measures were inadequate.
Learning lessons from near misses can prevent costly accidents. (The Clapham Junction rail crash and the Herald of Free Enterprise ferry capsize were both examples of situations where management had failed to recognize, and act on, previous failings in the system.) You need to investigate adverse events for a number of reasons.
Legal reasons for investigating
To ensure you are operating your organization within the law.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, regulation 5, requires employers to plan, organize, control, monitor and review their health and safety arrangements. Health and safety investigations form an essential part of this process.
Following the Woolf Report on civil action, you are expected to make full disclosure of the circumstances of an accident to the injured parties considering legal action. The fear of litigation may make you think it is better not to investigate, but you can’t make things better if you don’t know what went wrong! The fact that you thoroughly investigated an accident and took remedial action to prevent further accidents would demonstrate to a court that your company has a positive attitude to health and safety. Your investigation findings will also provide essential information for your insurers in the event of a claim.
Information and insights gained from an investigation
An understanding of how and why things went wrong.
An understanding of the ways people can be exposed to substances or conditions that may affect their health.
A true snapshot of what really happens and how work is really done. (Workers may find short cuts to make their work easier or quicker and may ignore rules. You need to be aware of this.)
Identifying deficiencies in your risk control management, which will enable you to improve your management of risk in the future and to learn lessons which will be applicable to other parts of your organisation.
Benefits arising from an investigation
The prevention of further similar adverse events. If there is a serious accident, the regulatory authorities will take a firm line if you have ignored previous warnings.
The prevention of business losses due to disruption, stoppage, lost orders and the costs of criminal and civil legal actions.
An improvement in employee morale and attitude towards health and safety. Employees will be more cooperative in implementing new safety precautions if they were involved in the decision and they can see that problems are dealt with.
The development of managerial skills which can be readily applied to other areas of the organization.
While the argument for investigating accidents is fairly clear, the need to investigate near misses and undesired circumstances may not be so obvious. However, investigating near misses and undesired circumstances is as useful, and very much easier than investigating accidents.
Adverse events where no one has been harmed can be investigated without having to deal with injured people, their families and a demoralized workforce, and without the threat of criminal and civil action hanging over the whole proceedings. Witnesses will be more likely to be helpful and tell the truth. (Consider the following: ‘I mistakenly turned the wrong valve which released the boiling water because the valves all look the same’ or ‘I don’t know how John was scalded.’ Which is the likely response to a near miss and which to an accident? More importantly, which is the most useful?)
It is often pure luck that determines whether an undesired circumstance translates into a near miss or accident. The value of investigating each adverse event is the same.
An investigation is not an end in itself, but the first step in preventing future adverse events. A good investigation will enable you to learn general lessons, which can be applied across your organization.
The investigation should identify why the existing risk control measures failed and what improvements or additional measures are needed. More general lessons on why the risk control measures were inadequate must also be learned.
Which events should be investigated?
Having been notified of an adverse event and been given basic information on what happened, you must decide whether it should be investigated and if so, in what depth.
It is the potential consequences and the likelihood of the adverse event recurring that should determine the level of investigation, not simply the injury or ill health suffered on this occasion. For example: Is the harm likely to be serious? Is this likely to happen often? Similarly, the causes of a near miss can have great potential for causing injury and ill health. When making your decision, you must also consider the potential for learning lessons. For example, if you have had a number of similar adverse events, it may be worth investigating, even if each single event is not worth investigating in isolation. It is best practice to investigate all adverse events which may affect the public.
Who should carry out the investigation?
For an investigation to be worthwhile, it is essential that the management and the workforce are fully involved. Depending on the level of the investigation (and the size of the business), supervisors, line managers, health and safety professionals, union safety representatives, employee representatives and senior management/ directors may all be involved.
As well as being a legal duty, it has been found that where there is full cooperation and consultation with union representatives and employees, the number of accidents is half that of workplaces where there is no such employee involvement.
This joint approach will ensure that a wide range of practical knowledge and experience will be brought to bear and employees and their representatives will feel empowered and supportive of any remedial measures that are necessary. A joint approach also reinforces the message that the investigation is for the benefit of everyone.
In addition to detailed knowledge of the work activities involved, members of the team should be familiar with health and safety good practice, standards and legal requirements. The investigation team must include people who have the necessary investigative skills (e.g. information gathering, interviewing, evaluating and analyzing). Provide the team with sufficient time and resources to enable them to carry out the investigation efficiently.
It is essential that the investigation team is either led by or reports directly to someone with the authority to make decisions and act on their recommendations.
When should it start?
The urgency of an investigation will depend on the magnitude and immediacy of the risk involved (e.g. a major accident involving an everyday job will need to be investigated quickly).
In general, adverse events should be investigated and analyzed as soon as possible. This is not simply good practice; it is common sense – memory is best and motivation greatest immediately after an adverse event.
What does it involve?
An investigation will involve an analysis of all the information available, physical (the scene of the incident), verbal (the accounts of witnesses) and written (risk assessments, procedures, instructions, job guides etc.), to identify what went wrong and determine what steps must be taken to prevent the adverse event from happening again.
It is important to be open, honest and objective throughout the investigation process. Pre-conceived ideas about the process, the equipment or the people involved in an adverse event may blind you to the real causes. Question everything. Be wary of blaming individuals.
What makes a good investigation?
To get rid of weeds you must dig up the root. If you only cut off the foliage, the weed will grow again.
Similarly, it is only by carrying out investigations which identify root causes that organisations can learn from their past failures and prevent future failures.
Simply dealing with the immediate causes of an adverse event may provide a short-term fix. But, in time, the underlying/root causes that were not addressed will allow conditions to develop where further adverse events are likely, possibly with more serious consequences. It is essential that the immediate, underlying causes and root causes are all identified and remedied.
Investigations should be conducted with accident prevention in mind, not placing blame.
Attempting to apportion blame before the investigation has started is counterproductive, because people become defensive and uncooperative. Only after the investigation has been completed is it appropriate to consider whether any individuals acted inappropriately.
Investigations that conclude that operator error was the sole cause are rarely acceptable. Underpinning the ‘human error’ there will be a number of underlying causes that created the environment in which human errors were inevitable. For example, inadequate training and supervision, poor equipment design, lack of management commitment, poor attitude to health and safety.
The objective is to establish not only how the adverse event happened, but more importantly, what allowed it to happen.
- The root causes of adverse events are almost inevitably management, organisational or planning failures.
- Man slipping Inadequate Inadequate on a patch maintenance housekeeping of oil
- Management Inadequate not being Lack of health committed supervision and safety to health and monitoring management and safety
- Look carefully at your health and safety policy and how it is reflected in the workplace.
- Do staff understand the health and safety message in general and in particular those parts that relate to their work?
- Is something missing from the policy?
- Is it implemented, or is management failing to ensure that health and safety measures remain in place and are effective at all times?
- If not, your health and safety policy needs to be changed.
- The investigation should be thorough and structured to avoid bias and leaping to conclusions.
Don’t assume you know the answer and start finding solutions before you complete the investigation. A good investigation involves a systematic and structured approach.
- Explores all reasonable lines of enquiry;
- Is timely;
- Is structured, setting out clearly what is known, what is not known and records the investigative process.
Is objective and unbiased;
Identifies the sequence of events and conditions that led up to the adverse event;
Identifies the immediate causes;
- Identifies underlying causes, i.e. actions in the past that have allowed or caused undetected unsafe conditions/practices;
- Identifies root causes, (i.e. organizational and management health and safety arrangements – supervision, monitoring, training, resources allocated to health and safety etc.).
Risk control measures:
Identify the risk control measures which were missing, inadequate or unused;
- Compare conditions/practices as they were with that required by current legal requirements, codes of practice and guidance;
Identify additional measures needed to address the immediate, underlying and root causes;
- Provide meaningful recommendations which can be implemented. But woolly recommendations such as ‘operators must take care not to touch the cutters during run-down’ show that the investigation has not delved deep enough in search of the root causes.
Action plan and implementation:
- Provide an action plan with SMART objectives (Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic and Timescale);
Ensure that the action plan deals effectively not only with the immediate and underlying causes but also the root causes;
Include lessons that may be applied to prevent other adverse events, e.g. assessments of skill and training in competencies may be needed for other areas of the organisation;
Provide feedback to all parties involved to ensure the findings and recommendations are correct, address the issues and are realistic; Should be fed back into a review of the risk assessment.
The Approved Code of Practice5 attached to the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 regulation 3 (paragraph 26), states that adverse events should be a trigger for reviewing risk assessments);
- Communicate the results of the investigation and the action plan to everyone who needs to know;
- Include arrangements to ensure the action plan is implemented and progress monitored.
The last three steps, though essential, are often overlooked. But, without them, the full benefits of the investigation will not be realised and in the long term nothing will change.
Techniques for analysing adverse events
There are many tools and techniques for structuring the investigation, analysing adverse events, and identifying root causes.
HSE does not endorse any one method – it is for you to choose which techniques suit your company. These techniques are simply tools, not an end in themselves.
For large, complex or technically demanding investigations, these techniques may be essential in determining not only how the adverse event happened, but also what were the root causes.
However, provided a methodical approach with full employee participation is adopted, a less complicated approach, such as that set out in this publication, will be appropriate.
A step by step guide to health and safety investigations
Steps to take following an adverse event
- Take prompt emergency action (e.g. first aid);
- Make the area safe (in some cases this may need to be done first).
- Initial report:
- Preserve the scene;
- Note the names of the people, equipment involved and the names of the witnesses;
- Report the adverse event to the person responsible for health and safety who will decide what further action (if any) is needed.
- Initial assessment and investigation response:
- Report the adverse event to the regulatory authority if appropriate.
The four steps include a series of numbered questions. These set out in detail the information that should be entered onto the adverse event investigation form. The question numbers correspond to those on the form.
Step one Gathering the information
Find out what happened and what conditions and actions influenced the adverse event. Begin straight away, or as soon as practicable.
It is important to capture information as soon as possible. This stops it being corrupted, e.g. items moved, guards replaced etc. If necessary, work must stop and unauthorised access be prevented.
Talk to everyone who was close by when the adverse event happened, especially those who saw what happened or know anything about the conditions that led to it.
The amount of time and effort spent on information gathering should be proportionate to the level of investigation. Collect all available and relevant information. That includes opinions, experiences, observations, sketches, measurements, photographs, check sheets, permits-to-work and details of the environmental conditions at the time etc. This information can be recorded initially in note form, with a formal report being completed later. These notes should be kept at least until the investigation is complete.
Where, when and who?
- Where and when did the adverse event happen?
- Who was injured/suffered ill health or was otherwise involved with the adverse event?
Gathering detailed information: How and what?
Discovering what happened can involve quite a bit of detective work. Be precise and establish the facts as best you can. There may be a lack of information and many uncertainties, but you must keep an open mind and consider everything that might have contributed to the adverse event. Hard work now will pay off later in the investigation.
Many important things may emerge at this stage of the process, but not all of them will be directly related to the adverse event. Some of the information gathered may appear to have no direct bearing on the event under investigation. However, this information may provide you with a greater insight into the hazards and risks in your workplace. This may enable you to make your workplace safer in ways you may not have previously considered.
How did the adverse event happen? Note any equipment involved.
Describe the chain of events leading up to, and immediately after, the adverse event. Very often, a number of chance occurrences and coincidences combine to create the circumstances in which an adverse event can happen. All these factors should be recorded here in chronological order, if possible. Work out the chain of events by talking to the injured person, eye witnesses, line managers, health and safety representatives and fellow workers to find out what happened and who did what. In particular, note the position of those injured, both immediately before and after the adverse event. Be objective and, as far as possible, avoid apportioning guilt, assigning responsibility or making snap judgements on the probable causes.
Plant and equipment that had a direct bearing on the adverse event must be identified clearly. This information can usually be obtained from a nameplate attached to the equipment. Note all the details available, the manufacturer, model type, model number, machine number and year of manufacture and any modifications made to the equipment. Note the position of the machinery controls immediately after the adverse event. This information may help you to spot trends and identify risk control measures. You should consider approaching the supplier if the same machine has been implicated in a number of adverse events.
- Be precise.
- Shop floor process and layout changes are a regular occurrence.
- Unless you precisely identify plant and equipment, you will not detect, e.g. that a machine or particular piece of equipment has been moved around and caused injuries on separate occasions, in different locations.
What activities were being carried out at the time?
The work that was being done just before the adverse event happened can often cast light on the conditions and circumstances that caused something to go wrong. Provide a good description, including all the relevant details, e.g. the surroundings, the equipment/materials being used, the number of employees engaged in the various activities, the way they were positioned and any details about the way they were behaving etc.
Was there anything unusual or different about the working conditions?
Adverse events often happen when something is different. When faced with a new situation, employees may find it difficult to adapt, particularly if the sources of danger are unknown to them, or if they have not been adequately prepared to deal with the new situation. If working conditions or processes were significantly different to normal, why was this?
Describe what was new or different in the situation. Was there a safe working method in place for this situation, were operatives aware of it, and was it being followed?
If not, why not?
Learning how people deal with unfamiliar situations will enable similar situations to be better handled in the future.
Was the way the changes, temporary or otherwise, were introduced a factor? Were the workers and supervisors aware that things were different? Were workers and supervisors sufficiently trained/experienced to recognise and adapt to changing circumstances?
Were there adequate safe working procedures and were they followed?
Adverse events often happen when there are no safe working procedures or where procedures are inadequate or are not followed. Comments such as ‘…we’ve been doing it that way for years and nothing has ever gone wrong before…’ or ‘…he has been working on that machine for years and knows what to do…’ often lead to the injured person getting the blame, irrespective of what part procedures, training and supervision – or the lack of them – had to play in the adverse event. What was it about normal practice that proved inadequate? Was a safe working method in place and being followed? If not, why not? Was there adequate supervision and were the supervisors themselves sufficiently trained and experienced? Again, it is important to pose these questions without attempting to apportion blame, assign responsibility or stipulate cause.
What injuries or ill health effects, if any, were caused?
It is important to note which parts of the body have been injured and the nature of the injury – i.e. bruising, crushing, a burn, a cut, a broken bone etc. Be as precise as you are able. If the site of the injury is the right upper arm, midway between the elbow and the shoulder joint, say so. Precise descriptions will enable you to spot trends and take prompt remedial action. For example, it could be that what appears to be a safe piece of equipment, due to the standard of its guarding, is actually causing a number of inadvertent cut injuries due to the sharp edges on the guards themselves. Facts such as whether the injured person was given first aid or taken to hospital
If there was an injury, how did it occur and what caused it?
Where an accident is relatively straightforward, it may seem artificial to differentiate between the accident itself (question 3) and the mode of injury, but when the accident is more complicated the differences between the two aspects become clearer and therefore precise descriptions are vital.
The mode of injury concerns two different aspects:
The harmful object (known as the ‘agent’) that inflicted the injury; and
The way in which the injury was actually sustained.
The object that inflicted the injury may be a hand-held tool like a knife, or a chemical, a machine, or a vehicle etc. The way in which it happened might, e.g., be that the employee cut themselves or spilt chemicals on their skin.
Was the risk known? If so, why wasn’t it controlled? If not, why not?
You need to find out whether the source of the danger and its potential consequences were known, and whether this information was communicated to those who needed to know. You should note what is said and who said it, so that potential gaps in the communication flow may be identified and remedied. The aim is to find out why the sources of danger may have been ignored, not fully appreciated or not understood. Remember you are investigating the processes and systems, not the person.
The existence of a written risk assessment for the process or task that led to the adverse event will help to reveal what was known of the associated risks. A judgement can be made as to whether the risk assessment was ’suitable and sufficient’, as required by law5 and whether the risk control measures identified as being necessary were ever adequately put in place.
Did the organisation and arrangement of the work influence the adverse event?
The organisational arrangement sets the framework within which the work is done.
Here are some examples; there are many more:
- Standards of supervision and on-site monitoring of working practices may be less than adequate;
- lack of skills or knowledge may mean that nobody intervenes in the event of procedural errors;
- Inappropriate working procedures may mean certain steps in the procedures are omitted, because they are too difficult and time-consuming;
- lack of planning may mean that some tasks are not done, are done too late or are done in the wrong order;
- Employees’ actions and priorities may be a consequence of the way in which they are paid or otherwise rewarded;
- High production targets and piecework may result in safety measures being degraded and employees working at too fast a pace.
Was maintenance and cleaning sufficient? If not, explain why not,
Lack of maintenance and poor housekeeping are common causes of adverse events. Was the state of repair and condition of the workplace, plant and equipment such that they contributed to or caused the adverse event?
- Were the brakes on the forklift truck in good working order? Were spills dealt with immediately?
- Was the site so cluttered and untidy that it created a slipping or tripping hazard?
- Was there a programme of preventative maintenance?
- What are the instructions concerning good housekeeping in the workplace?
- You should observe the location of the adverse event as soon as possible and judge whether the general condition or state of repair of the premises, plant or equipment was adequate. Those working in the area, together with witnesses, and any injured parties, should also be asked for their opinion. Working in the area, they will have a good idea of what is acceptable and whether conditions had deteriorated over time. Consider the role the following factors may play:
- A badly maintained machine or tool may mean an employee is exposed to excessive vibration or noise and has to use increased force, or tamper with the machine to get the work done;
- A noisy environment may prevent employees hearing instructions correctly as well as being a possible cause of noise-induced hearing loss;
- Uneven floors may make movement around the workplace, especially vehicle movements, hazardous;
- Badly maintained lighting may make carrying out the task more difficult;
- Poorly stored materials on the floor in and around the work area will increase the risk of tripping;
- Ice, dirt and other contaminants on stairs or walkways make it easier to slip and fall;
- Tools not in immediate use should be stored appropriately and not left lying around the work area.
Were the people involved competent and suitable?
Training should provide workers with the necessary knowledge, skills and hands-on work experience to carry out their work efficiently and safely. The fact that someone has been doing the same job for a long time does not necessarily mean that they have the necessary skills or experience to do it safely. This is particularly the case when the normal routine is changed, when any lack of understanding can become apparent. There is no substitute for adequate health and safety training. Some of the problems that might arise follow:
- A lack of instruction and training may mean that tasks are not done properly;
- Misunderstandings, which arise more easily when employees lack understanding of the usual routines and procedures in the organisation;
- A lack of respect for the risks involved, due to ignorance of the potential consequences;
- Problems due to the immaturity, inexperience and lack of awareness of existing or potential risks among young people (under18). You must assess the risks to young people before they start work;
- Poor handling of dangerous materials or tools, due to employees not being properly informed about how things should be done correctly.
People should also be matched to their work in terms of health, strength, mental ability and physical stature.
Did the workplace layout influence the adverse event?
The physical layout and surroundings of the workplace can affect health and safety. Injuries may be caused by sharp table edges. Hazardous or highly inflammable fumes may be produced in areas where operatives work or where there are naked lights. Or, the workplace may be organised in such a way that there is not enough circulation space. Or, it may be impossible to see or hear warning signals, e.g. during fork lift truck movements.
Employees should be able to see the whole of their work area and see what their immediate colleagues are doing. The workplace should be organised in such a way that safe practices are encouraged. In other words, workplace arrangements should discourage employees from running risks, eg providing a clear walkway around machinery will discourage people from crawling under or climbing over it.
Did the nature or shape of the materials influence the adverse event?
As well as being intrinsically hazardous, materials can pose a hazard simply by their design, weight, quality or packaging, eg heavy and awkward materials, materials with sharp edges, splinters, poisonous chemicals etc.
The choice of materials also influences work processes; eg a particularly hazardous material may be required. Poor quality may also result in materials or equipment failing during normal processing, causing malfunctions and accidents.
Did difficulties using the plant and equipment influence the adverse event?
Plant and equipment includes all the machinery, plant and tools used to organise and carry out the work. All of these items should be designed to suit the people using them. This is referred to as ergonomic design, where the focus is on the individual as well as the work task the item is specifically designed to carry out. If the equipment meets the needs of the individual user, it is more likely to be used as it is intended – i.e. safely. Consider user instructions here. A machine that requires its operator to follow a complicated user manual is a source of risk in itself.
Was the safety equipment sufficient?
You should satisfy yourself that any safety equipment and safety procedures are both sufficient and current for all conditions in which work takes place, including the provision and use of any extra equipment needed for employees’ safety. For example:
- Extra technical safety equipment at machines;
- Power supply isolation equipment and procedures;
- Personal protective equipment (PPE);
- Building safety systems, e.g. an extract ventilation system.
Make a note of whether the safety equipment was used, whether it was used correctly, whether or not it was in good condition and was working properly etc.
HSE RISK ASSESSMENT
DEFINITION. Risk is defined as a function of the probability of occurrence of an undesired event together with a measure of its adverse consequences.
Risk analysis seeks to answer questions such as, how likely and seriously can things go wrong? What is the potential loss or damage? what can go wrong? How likely is it? What are the impacts?
TYPES OF HSE RISK.
Generally, risks associated with the hazards of activities include Potential loss of life, asset, production, insurance.
- Potential damage to health including injury and sickness, environment, asset, reputation.
All types usually manifest in serious financial and adverse consequences.
OBJECTIVE OF RISK ASSESSMENT.
Risks are assessed to
- Provide a clear framework in which all available information is used
- Compare alternatives, particularly in the design phase
- Optimize the use of scarce resources, money, people, and time
- Meet regulatory requirements
- Identify potential economic vulnerability
- Identify hazardous situations/procedures
- Provide knowledge of patterns of events and identify critical parts of the operation.
BASIC CHARACTERISTICS OF DECISION MAKING UNDER RISK ASSESSMENT.
Risk assessment enables decision making based on the principle that
- Risk without benefits is unacceptable.
- Risk decision can be based on value of the consequences, or the likelihood to obtain a positive result.
- Estimate likelihood and consequence of undesirable events e.g. fires and explosions.
- Define cost effective risk reduction measures providing a maximum level of safety of personnel and assets.
PROCEDURE TO FOLLOW.
- Identification of hazards.
- Quantification of likelihood and consequences.
- Evaluation of effect on business.
Once a potential hazard has been identified, questions arise with regard to severity.
The risk associated with a potentially hazardous event consists of two basic elements:
- The likelihood of the event.
- A measure of its adverse consequences
Quantification of both elements is often a useful exercise to form an opinion of the seriousness of the risk. This quantification is often essential with respect to structured decision-making on risk reduction measures.
THE RISK ASSESSMENT MATRIX.
The risk assessment matrix is a tool that standardizes qualitative risk assessment and facilitates the categorization of all threats to health, safety, environment and reputation. The matrix axes, consistent with the definition of risk, are consequences and probability (or likelihood).
|A scale of consequences from 0 to 5 is used to indicate increasing severity. The consequences are those of credible scenarios (taking the prevailing circumstances into consideration) that can develop from the release of a hazard. The potential consequences, rather than the actual ones, are used. These are defined as the consequences that could have resulted from the released hazard if circumstances had been less favorable.|
The probability on the horizontal axis is estimated on the basis of historical evidence or experience that the identified consequences have materialized within the industry, the company or a smaller unit. Note that this should not be confused with the probability that the hazard is released; it is the probability of the estimated potential consequences occurring.
CLASSIFICATION OF POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES.
The consequences of the release of a hazard or effect are identified in each of the four categories (harm to people, asset damage, environmental effect and potential impact on the reputation of the company) by selecting an appropriate row description on the vertical axis of the matrix.
ASSESSMENT OF PROBABILITY.
The horizontal axis represents the probability or the measure of likelihood of the occurrence of an undesired event following the release of a hazard. The scale of the horizontal axis is indicatively defined:
|A:||Never heard of in the — industry|
|B:||Heard of in the industry|
|C:||Has occurred in our company|
|D:||Happens several times per year in company|
|E:||Happens several times per year in location.|
This assessment is based on experience and is indicative of the likelihood of undesired consequences materializing. Note again that this should not be confused with the probability that the hazard is released; it is the probability of the estimated potential consequences occurring.
In smaller operating units or new ventures where experience is limited it is recommended that the probability is assessed on the basis of knowledge from similar operations in other operating units. In new ventures, the potential consequences scale only can be used and investigations carried out for all incidents with potential 3 or higher. By doing so, every opportunity is used for learning from the potentially serious incidents, no matter how unlikely their occurrence may be.
Using the risk assessment matrix, risk is classified by three characters made up as follows: The first character is a measure of the likelihood of an undesired event: a — e
The second character is the consequence severity that could occur with that event: 1 — 5 The third character shows to which consequence category the assessment pertains: People (P), Assets (A), Environment (E) Reputation (R).
The intersection of the chosen column with the chosen row is the risk classification. For the same scenario, different classifications may apply to p, a, e, and r.
APPLICATION IN HSE RISK MANAGEMENT
Objective setting is at the heart of the HSE management system, and the risk assessment matrix is a useful tool that can help management in the interpretation of risk (expressed in the policy and strategic objectives of the company) and also help the line in understanding how this policy and these objectives are to be regarded (in terms of tolerable risk) in their day to day operations.
The definition of tolerable risk should be derived from the policy and strategic objectives of the company and can be indicated on the risk assessment matrix by company management by shading-in the appropriate areas. The shading indicated in the matrix is recommended practice; deviations can be considered for small operating entities. The focus provided by using the risk assessment matrix in this way enables company management to determine whether the risk levels inherent in the company’s operations are tolerable and whether they fit with current corporate policies and objectives. For example, if an operation would result in scenarios, which lie in an area on the risk assessment matrix that the company would normally, regard as intolerable in policy terms, then alternative ways of carrying out the operation should be investigated. If there are no alternative ways, then management must decide whether the operation should produced or not. If it has to proceed, then special treatment in regard to the level of control must be implemented before the operation takes place.
A company should consider using the risk assessment matrix as a part of its implementation of the HSE management system and of HSE cases (HSE reports). The use of the risk assessment matrix will:
- Enhance the appreciation of HSE risk tolerability and ALARP at all levels in the company,
- Assist in making the SHELL group policy and standards and local company HSE policies relevant to day to day operations via the setting of clear risk based objectives that can be cascaded into the setting of individual tasks and targets, and
- Provide the basis for the implementation of the risk-based HSE management system in accordance with SHELL group guidelines.
HAZARD ANALYSIS THE BOW TIE: A CAUSE CONSEQUENCE DIAGRAM
- The undesired release of a hazard is a hazardous event.
- If the hazardous event is the first event resulting from the release of a hazard, then it is called the top event.
- This is the undesired event at the end of the fault tree and at the beginning of the event tree.
- Threat is something that could potentially cause the release of a hazard and result in an incident; e.g. Corrosion, fatigue damage, poor visibility, over pressure, lack of knowledge/competence.
- Barriers are countermeasures put in place to prevent a threat or combination of threats ultimately resulting in the release of a hazard. E.g. For corrosion, barriers could be corrosion resistant coating, inspection programs, or corrosion allowances. For overpressure, one barrier could be a pressure relief system.
- Consequences, mitigation and recovery preparedness measures: should barriers fail to prevent or avoid the release of a hazard, then some kinds of counter-measures are required to limit the consequences of the hazardous event or effect. The purpose of these counter-measures is the mitigation of consequences and to aid reinstatement. E.g. fixed fire protection system, evacuation of personnel from the area. Those measures aimed at reinstating or returning the situation to a normal operating condition are also called recovery preparedness measures.
Risk Assessment: An introduction
The purpose of a risk assessment is to systematically identify all of the risks associated with a task, activity or process, and put appropriate controls in place to eliminate or reduce the risks associated with that activity.
This entails breaking the activity down into separate components and ascertaining all of
the risks associated with each component of the activity. Once the risks are identified you then assess the level of risk, to determine its priority. According to the level of risk and hence the priority, you decide on what controls you can put in place to eliminate or reduce the risk.
Obviously something with a high level of risk is a greater priority and may need to have more complex controls in place. In many circumstances you will find that it is impossible to totally eliminate the risk.
The degree of risk that remains after you have implemented controls is referred to as residual risk. If you find that the residual risks are too high (ie you just can’t put controls in place that reduce the risk), you may have to abandon the activity or think of other controls to put in place to reduce the risk.
Best results will be achieved if the risk assessment is undertaken by more than one person, as this enables different views and perspectives, meaning that you are better
Steps in doing a risk assessment
1. Define the scope
This means setting the boundaries of what you are going to look at. For example: if you are doing a risk assessment for a field work activity; do you just want to look at the field work itself, starting from when you get to the venue and finishing when you leave the venue? Or do you want to start with getting ready for the field work and include the trip there etc? Both of these will have very different results. If you do not define the scope you can get rather inundated and lose track.
able to identify all of the risks. It also means greater and more varied input on determining controls.
Once the scope has been defined break the activity into components, this can make it easier to identify all hazards. For example:
- loading vehicle travel unload and set up camp
“activity” set up
2. Identify the risks
Looking at one component at a time brainstorm all of the hazards or •potential risks and list them in the left-hand column of the risk
assessment• table. For example:
- loading vehicle
loss of unsecured equipment
- mechanical problems/breakdowns
(including running out of fuel)
This must be done for every component identified. There may be some repetition at this stage, as risks such as musculoskeletal injury will occur throughout many components of a task, activity or process. How you act on this risk in each different component may vary considerably though, so it should still be recorded.
3. Assess the risks
When all the risks have been identified you then have to ascertain the level of risk associated with each one. To do this you have to determine the potential consequence of the risk, if it were to occur, and the potential likelihood of this happening.
Consequence is described using the table below
4. Decide on control measures
Now that the risk rating has been determined we can then ascertain what sort of action we need and its priority. Obviously something with a higher risk rating is of greater priority. This doesn’t mean that you do not action the lower risk ratings, as sometimes these are quick and easy to action and are good to show progress (get some small wins on the board).
This naturally leads you into what things/strategies you are going to use to eliminate or reduce the risk.
When deciding how to reduce risk it is important that you do so in accordance with the “Hierarchy of Control”. This stipulates the best methods for controlling risks:
The following diagram depicts the Hierarchy of Control
Until better methods of appropriate controls are available.
- Obviously, eliminating the hazard is the best and most effective
way of controlling it. This may entail simply not doing the activity.
- Substitution refers to substituting something that you have deemed to be a risk with something that is a lower risk that achieves the same or similar thing. The best example of this would be substituting a hazardous substance with a less hazardous substance.
- This requires redesign of the workplace to make it safer.
Examples might be; non-slip flooring/paving to prevent slips, trips
and falls; the provision of storage facilities to ensure safe and
effective storage of items; introduction of mechanical lifting aids/ devices; the purchase of low noise tools and machinery.
- Sometimes it is easiest to isolate the worker from the hazard. This
is best seen in working with machinery where protective partitions
and guards are put in place to prevent contact with hazardous
- We often see administrative controls in the workplace. These consist of policies, procedures, guidelines, training and the like. These are
necessary practices that attempt to guide people into working safely. But they are not as effective as the above mentioned controls. The above controls, especially the first two are designed to remove the
hazard, therefore eliminate the risk. With administrative controls,
the hazard still exists and we are relying on guiding human behavior
You may plan numerous controls, but find that you cannot bring the residual risk down to an acceptable level. If this is the case you will have to decide whether or not you should actually be undertaking this activity, or maybe brainstorm with some of your colleagues to determine if there are other controls that you could put in place. You should then record the controls that you plan to implement on your risk assessment form. You should document in your risk assessment form what the residual risk would be after your controls have been implemented. This residual risk is calculated in the same way as
the initial risk; by determining the likelihood and consequence in accordance with the tables used earlier and then combining them in the risk matrix.
At this stage the risk assessment should be authorized. This process involves another party (usually a department head or cost center manager) reviewing the risk assessment to ensure that it is appropriate and that the implementation of controls is approved. For more complex risk assessments or if numerous stakeholders are involved, it may
be advisable to have the requirement of two people authorizing the risk assessment.
5. Implement controls
Once you have decided on the controls you are going to put in place and the risk assessment is authorised, you have to implement these controls. This may require the addition of further training, procedures, guidelines etc. to facilitate implementation of some controls.
6. Monitor and Review
The next step is the most important step, as there is no use implementing controls if you don’t monitor and review what you have implemented. This should be a continual process if it is to be effective. The best planned control measures may not be as effective as you thought they would be once put into practice. Or, you may find that by implementing certain controls, creates other hazards. If this is the case you may have to implement further.