You are on page 1of 5

IGC2: CONTROL OF INTERNATIONAL WORKPLACE HAZARDSEXAMPLE LONG

QUESTIONSQuestion 1
Battery-powered forklift trucks are used in a warehouse to move pallets around.
(a) Describe FOUR hazards arising from the use of battery-powered forklift
trucks. (4)
B) Outlinethe controls needed to ensure pedestrian safety in locations where the
forklifttrucks are in use. (8)
(c) Outline EIGHT rules that must be adhered to when a forklift truck is left
unattended bythe driver during a work shift. (8)
Model Answer
(a) There are a number of hazards associated with battery-powered forklift trucks.
Themain hazards relate to charging the battery of the forklift truck. They include
thegeneration of hydrogen gas (which is highly explosive) and the potential release
of batteryacid. For this reason battery charging should be completed in a
designated area that iswell ventilated. This will prevent any build-up of fumes which
could in turn lead toexplosion and/or injury to personnel. There are also hazards
associated with the handlingof the batteries including manual handling and contact
with battery acids. Contact withelectrical components is another hazard that could
result in electric shocks or burns.Collision with pedestrians might occur due to the
near silent running of the truck.
(b) In order to ensure that pedestrians are kept safe in areas where forklift trucks
are beingused, there are a number of precautions that must be implemented.
Firstly, it is importantto have traffic routes marked out so that it is clear where
forklift trucks are allowed. Inaddition, pedestrian routes should be clearly marked
and forklift trucks must not beallowed in pedestrian areas. Where possible,
pedestrian areas should be physicallysegregated from the traffic route the
warehouse should have adequate lighting to ensuregood visibility at all times. Fixed
wall mirrors may also be necessary for use on corners. Inaddition, high visibility
clothing and transparent doors will ensure that personnel can beseen easily at all
times. The forklift trucks must be fitted with audible alarms and, inparticularly noisy
environments, rotating or flashing lights may also be necessary. It is alsoimportant
to ensure that safe systems of work for loading, unloading and stacking are inuse
and are being adhered to at all times. In the same way, it is essential that all
rulesrelating to the safe use of the forklift trucks are enforced, particularly those
relating tospeed restrictions and access. In addition to the above, it is vital that
drivers andpedestrians are adequately trained and supervised to ensure that the
precautions aboveare adhered to.

(c) There are a number of rules that a driver must follow when leaving his/her
forklift truckunattended. The first one relates to leaving the forklift truck on a firm
level surface, in adesignated area, to ensure that it cannot roll away. The truck must
not be left in a positionwhere it could obstruct emergency exits, walkways or fire
points, and must be parkedaway from other vehicles. The truck should be left with
the mast tilted slightly forward andforks resting on the floor to make sure that it is
stable and not likely to overturn. The truck must not be left until the brake has been
applied and the power switched off.Where a start key is used, the key must be
removed and returned to a responsible person,as appropriate. This will prevent
unauthorized use of the truck.
Question 2
New owners are about to move into an existing office building.
(a) The new owners are carrying out an assessment of the suitability of lighting
within thebuilding.
Identify the factors that should be considered. (8)
(b)Outline FOUR factors, other than lighting, associated with the physical
workingenvironment that may impact on the health and safety of personnel. (4)
(c)Outline the welfare facilities required in the building. (8)
Model Answer
(a) When assessing the suitability of lighting within the building, the new owners
mustconsider a number of factors. Firstly, they must consider the tasks to be
undertaken andthe equipment to be used. Where close work is to be carried out,
then the lightingrequirements will be greater than where general office
administration is being completed.Again, where intricate machinery requiring
precise setting is being used, then extralocalized lighting may be required. The new
owners must look at the suitability of theexisting lighting in all areas including stairs
and corridors. They must also look at theamount of natural light in the building and
make best use of this, as natural light ispreferable to artificial light. In addition, they
must also consider significant contrast inlighting between different areas. For this,
they must look at the layout of the officeincluding the positioning of screen dividers
in relation to overhead lighting, and other areasthat may be in shadow. It may be
possible to move screens and/or furniture around toimprove existing lighting levels,
or to reduce/remove glare from computer screens. Thecondition and
appropriateness of the artificial lighting must be considered. Flickeringfluorescent
tubes can be annoying, as can excessive glare caused by spotlights in thewrong
place. The maintenance and the cleaning procedures may also requireconsideration.
Emergency lighting must also be considered, as people are especiallyexposed to
danger in the event of a lighting failure.

(b) The physical working environment can be affected by a great many factors
which canaffect the health and safety of the employees working in that
environment. One such factoris noise, which can have a stressful effect on
employees. Another factor is temperature.Extremes of temperature can affect an
individuals ability to concentrate and can makethem feel physically unwell. For an
office environment, a temperature of 16 degreesCelsius is reasonable. Space
constraints may also affect employee health and safety.Cramped conditions may
make individuals feel claustrophobic. Additionally, though,inadequate space may
result in accidents. Ventilation is another important factor.Enclosed workplaces must
be ventilated by a sufficient quantity of fresh or purified air.Poor ventilation may
make employees feel ill with symptoms such as headaches andnausea (Sick
Building Syndrome).
(c) There are a number of welfare facilities that are required in the building. An
adequatenumber of well-ventilated and well-lit sanitary conveniences in relation to
the number of male and female employees are essential. In addition, washing
facilities with hot and coldrunning water and a means of drying must be available. A
source of drinking water mustbe present, and this must be clearly marked, where
appropriate. There must also be somefacilities for taking rest and refreshment away
from the working area. Additionally pregnantwomen and nursing mothers must have
rest facilities. The building must protect non-smokers from the effects of inhaling
tobacco smoke. Many buildings will have adesignated area for smoking or smokers
may be obliged to go outside. Accommodationmust be available for clothing not
worn during working hours, e.g. coats, etc. Thisaccommodation may take the form
of lockers or merely a hook. First-aid facilities must beavailable. The number of
people employed in the building will determine whether a first-aidkit is adequate, or
whether a fully equipped first-aid room is required.

EXAMPLE SHORT QUESTIONSQuestion 1Outline


the principal health effects of the following agents and, for
EACH ONE
, identifythe work situation in which a person may be exposed:(a) Carbon monoxide.
(2)(b) Asbestos. (2)(c) Legionella bacteria. (2)(d) Hepatitis virus. (2)
Model Answer

(a) The principal health effects of carbon monoxide are headaches, drowsiness
andpossible suffocation. Exposure could occur when working near a vehicle exhaust
in anunventilated area, e.g. vehicle repair premises.(b) Exposure to asbestos may
cause asbestosis (a fibrotic disease of the lung), lungcancer or mesothelioma
(cancer of the lining of the lung). Workers engaged inmaintenance or demolition
work where asbestos is contained in the fabric of the buildingare at risk.(c) Exposure
to Legionella bacteria may cause legionellosis, which is characterised by flu-like
symptoms, pneumonia and in about 15% of cases, death. Any workplace that
hasuntreated water tanks and systems from which water droplets may be released
into theatmosphere (e.g. from air-conditioning systems or cooling towers) poses a
risk to those inthe vicinity.(d) The principal health effects of the hepatitis virus
include jaundice, fever, abdominalpain and, ultimately, liver failure. Any workplace
situation that exposes people to infectedpersons or used hypodermic needles
presents a risk, e.g. hospitals. The Hepatitis A virus,which is normally less serious, is
transmitted via the mouth; Hepatitis B and C via theblood.
Question 2Outline
the requirements necessary to evacuate people safely from a building on fire. (8)
Model Answer
In order to ensure the safe evacuation of people from a building, it is important that
thefollowing requirements are in place. Firstly, there must be a means for raising
the alarm(e.g. fire alarm, hand bell), and the distance to the nearest available exit
must beacceptable. Escape routes must be of sufficient width and have clear
signage to indicatethe escape route. In addition, escape routes must be kept clear
of obstructions, with firedoors closed to prevent the spread of smoke. Appropriate
fire-fighting equipment must beprovided and be in full working order. Emergency
lighting must be provided wherenecessary.In order to ensure that the evacuation
process itself runs smoothly, fire marshals must beappointed. These marshals will
ensure that the building is evacuated fully and that nobodyis left inside. There must
also be procedures to evacuate people with a physical disability,e.g. in relation to
hearing, sight or mobility. It is important to practice the evacuation plan atregular
intervals.