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Running Head: WORKPLACE SAFETY.

Workplace Safety Name Institution Instructors name Date of submission Course name and number

WORKPLACE SAFETY.

Abstract This paper looks at the workplace safety at a power plant/energy plant, highlighting the major concerns on the site and off the site, the organizational roles in ensuring the safety of their employees and what the employees should do to make sure of their safety. The paper focuses on an electric plant, the dangers involved with electric shocks and electricutions and the various ways in which the associated problems can be addressed. In addition, the paper provides recommendations to the organization on how to reduce electric faults and ensuring of general work environment that ensures their employees and the organization stay safe in the course of their duties.

Workplace Safety

WORKPLACE SAFETY.

To ensure suitable standards of living, we all have to go to work. Working is a daily and normal routine for any average human being who dreams of ever having a good life for him or her and their families. According to United States Congress House (2011), we all go to different work places, working under different working conditions/environments. Personally, I work at a power plant and I cannot guarantee that our working environment is entirely safe due to a number of reasons. In addition, many working environments are not always safe which necessitates this research to be carried out to figure out what really causes work places to be unsafe, and what really makes them safe and conducive for working. It is for this reason that a team was assembled and given the task of conducting a research on the safety risks on the site and come up with the major solutions to these safety risks. Thesis Statement This research paper is aimed at looking at the various risks that work places provide for their employees, narrowing down the research to focus on power plant risks that employees face, exploring their possible causes and how these risks can be addressed for maximum workplace safety. Objective: To provide employees with a suitable and safe working environment for their continued efforts towards fulfilling the desired goals of the organization. Planning To kick off our research, we had to put in place suitable plans to arrive at suitable solutions to our problem. First and foremost, we had to identify the safety hazards in the organization, which involved collection of relevant data from different employees including the managerial team. This is very important as it gives you different platforms on which to base your research on, for the

WORKPLACE SAFETY.

views of the employees and the management and the employees are hardly similar in almost any organization. These facts were to help in the definition of our problem so that we can start our research on how to solve the problem, and truly, they were productive (Spear 1999). Problem Definition Approximately 300 people globally die due to electric faults, leaving thousands injured (Revae 2010). These faults may be minor and in some cases major. During the research, it was found that most of the minor faults are as a result of negligence by either the organizational management and/or employees, but a few of the major faults are a result of technical faults, which to some extend point towards the same; management and/or employee negligence. The best part of this problem is that it can be controlled if suitable stern measures are put in place and strictly adhered to, with consequences of failure to adherence being very harsh as stated by Aloise (2010). Data Collection Collection of data was conducted in two major ways: Questionnaires and observations. Observation was chosen because those who carried out the research are among the employees and a combination of junior and senior managers and are always on site during working hours, and the questionnaire was preferred to interviews with regard to senior most managers who rarely are on site for it is easy to fill and submit with minimal time wastage.

Data Evaluation and Analysis

WORKPLACE SAFETY.

After effective collection of data, it was necessary to present the analyzed data to the management so as it can be put into effect. During the research, we found out a number of safety issues in our organization. From the questionnaire, we asked five questions and collected samples from fifteen different respondents. According to the results collected from the fifteen respondents on the first question, it was found out that most of the workers in the plant had suffered from electric shocks while working in the fields and even some in the office, with the appliances they use. It was alarming to find out that office electric appliance lacked proper insulation, which was the cause of most of the shocks in the office. Outside the office, employees lack proper equipment like gloves to protect them from the electric shocks. This is a clear indication that the organization is working below per since such errors should not be allowed in the organization. Most employees complained of using old equipment that did not guarantee maximum protection, and most of the appliances also had the same problem of being old. Accidents occur in our day to day lives, and when they do we should be able to have first hand treatment in place to keep the casualty in good shape until they get to a proper medical facility. Results from these questionnaires show that the first aid team in the organization is not good, and in some cases, it is totally unavailable. When asked about the kind of medication they got when they suffered electric shocks, most of the employees claimed that nothing was done but they had to wait bluntly until the shock was over. This is incorrect for an organization that deals with energy supplies of very high voltages, since severe electrocutions can lead to death. Inside the offices, it was observed that many departments did not have fire extinguishers, which is a massive blow to the organization. It is advised that one should always prepare for fire accidents through acquisition of a fire extinguisher, and in this case, a power plant that deals with high levels of energy, the chances of a fire occurring are very high due to electric faults. In

WORKPLACE SAFETY.

addition, first aid kits should be supplied in each and every department and every employee should also be educated on the basic first aid procedures to be administered to individuals who suffer from electrocutions. When errors occur, we always find suitable ways or methods to revert to the normal situation. One major problem in the organization is that nothing much has been done or is being done to solve these problems with shocks at the work places. To make matters worse, there are no future plans in progress to deal with the situation as the results show. When a system error occurs, it probably had a causal agent and when you do little or even do nothing to solve that problem, and then you are inviting more trouble. The results from the questionnaire show that the organization has not done anything to prevent future shocks and electrifications. In essence, the least they can do is install warning signs all over the dangerous areas that cautions employees from the dangers involved with mishandling of such areas. In addition, electric cables without insulators should be insulated properly to prevent further shocks and electrifications, with the acquisition new safety equipment being the primary subject since most of the employees complained of using old safety equipment and appliances. Mixed reactions were realized in the case of whom or what was the cause of most electric faults. Most employees blamed the old appliances for the faults, with a number of them citing ignorance of some employees causing the faults. A case where one handles electric appliances with wet hands when there is a clear warning on the appliance is complete ignorance. This is where measures by the organization have to be strict and punish who jeopardize the safety of other employees due to such ignorance. On the other hand, old appliances should be replaced in order to reduce the electric faults associated with them.

WORKPLACE SAFETY.

Findings regarding observations were based on observing the working traits of the employees, mainly, without their knowledge, and coming to conclusions on the way their behavior can be a safety hazard. We came up with a number of conclusions:
i.

Most employees do not have proper safety equipments like helmets, proper shoes and gloves (Aloise 2010).

ii. A few of the employees come to site with fluids. iii. There are no safety cautions/signs on site for the workers to observe (Danna & Ricky

1999).
iv. There are no standard rules and regulations regarding the safety procedures of the

organization (Akinyele 2010).


v. There are no efficient communication channels in the organization (Danna & Ricky 1999).

vi. There is no direct control of power, i.e. a supervisor to monitor the operations on site.

Data Presentation The data collected from the questionnaires was presented in terms of charts as below.

WORKPLACE SAFETY.

14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0

Max. Protection They do not Respondent This chart displays the result of the first question

in the questionnaire.

14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0

YES NO Respondent The chart above suggests that most of the employees

have been victims of electric shocks, which implies that the safety at work is not good.

10 8 6 4 2 0

YES NO Respondent The chart is an indication that when employees

suffer from electric shocks, the first aid team/equipment is not good enough to their rescue.

WORKPLACE SAFETY.

12 10 8 6 4 2 0

YES NO Respondent According to this chart, it is a clear indicator that

little has been done to control the alarming rate of electric shocks in the organization, which in my opinion, is very risky to the health of the employees.

10 8 6 4 2 0

HUMAN MECHAN ICAL Respondent The above chart seems to lean the blame on

mechanical incorrectness as the major causal agent of many electric faults in the organization (Spear 1999). This can be evident from the observations as we saw that there are no supervisors and guidelines as to how operations should be conducted, which might lead to faulty appliances being put in place. Recommendations According to the data we collected and sampled, it is evident that the organization is running under great safety risks, which the organization and the employees included are doing too little to get rid of (Revae 2010). It is for this reason that my team and I came up with a number of recommendations for the organization to put in place so as to ensure that the safety of the

WORKPLACE SAFETY.

employees is guaranteed. It is necessary for any individual going through this paper to note that these recommendations are not only for power plants, but they also apply to the general safety of other workplaces.
i.

It is the duty of the management to ensure that all employees are well trained in a given field of expertise before they hire them for failure to have clear knowledge of a job may result in damage and injuries.

ii. Make sure that there is a qualified supervisor on site to control the operations of the junior employees.
iii. The supervisor should make sure that all the employees are doing their work accordingly,

using the appropriate tools for the specific job.


iv. All employees, including the supervisor should wear protective equipment while on site to

reduce the risk of electrifications i.e. clothing, boots, gloves and helmets. v. All circuits and electric conductors should be tested before they are touched to avoid shocks.
vi. All the other equipment should be kept far from the power sources so that there is less

frequent access to the power sources that might cause damage.


vii. All naked electric wires should be insulated to avoid contact with either human or even

water to reduce the risk of shocks and electrifications.


viii.

The organization should lay down strategic rules regarding safety of the employees and the organization to guide them and caution them from danger zones.

WORKPLACE SAFETY. ix. There should be severe consequences to those who neglect to adhere by the safety rules in

place, with punishments like losing of jobs and pay cut being administered to faulty employees. With this knowledge, I am confident that organizations and employees who will apply them and abide by the safety rules of the organization will bear the fruits of it and reduce the levels of deaths and injuries that are being caused by electrical faults and generally, other evident safety hazards at work places, keeping them safe and enjoyable to work from. In conclusion, workplaces, specifically power plants, provide numerous risks to their employees and these risks are caused by different factors or people, which of course can be handled if well managed. It is evident that employees at various power plants face numerous and dangerous risks while in the line of duty. It also shows that the risks are caused by either the employees, the organization or in some cases as a result of mechanical or technical faults. Organizations are stepping up their efforts towards reducing these risks by introducing policies that ensure employees are safe at their work places to avoid injuries and death to employees and property damage to the organization. It is the responsibility of the organization and the employees of the organization to work hand in hand to ensure that these safety rules and regulations are adhered to so as to reduce, if not stop, the safety risks that we face at our work places (Penland 2010). Let us not wait for them to occur so that we can start finding ways to stop them, instead, let us stop them before they can find a way of occurring, causing human and property damage.

WORKPLACE SAFETY.

References Akinyele, S. Taiwo (2010). He influence of work environment on workers productivity: A case of selected oil and gas industry in Lagos, Nigeria. African Journal of Business Management, 4(3), 299-307. Aloise, Gene (2010). Nuclear and worker safety: Limited information exist on costs and reasons for work stoppages at DoEs Hanford site. DIANE Publishing, 17-19, 47-58.

WORKPLACE SAFETY.

Danna, Karen & Ricky W. Griffin (1999). Health and well-being in the workplace: A review and synthesis of literature. SAGE Publications. Journal of Management 25, 22-31. Penland, Dolly (2010). Increase profits through workplace safety. Jacksonville Business Journal. Revae, E. Moran (2010). Workplace safety and health: Enhancing OSHAzs records audit process could improve the accuracy of worker injury and illness data. DIANE Publishing, 35, 4758. Spear, J. Steven (1999). Workplace Safety at Alcoa (B). Harvard Business School. United States Congress House (2011). Workplace safety: Why do millions of workers remain without OSHA coverage? General Books LLC, 12-27.

Appendix Questionnaire i. Do the appliances you work with provide you with maximum protection from electrocutions? MAXIMUM PROTECTION 2 THEY DO NOT 13

ii. Have you ever been a victim of an electric shock?

WORKPLACE SAFETY.

YES 14

NO 1

iii. Is the recovery team good enough after minor or severe electric shocks? YES 5 NO 10 iv. Has anything been done to control, if any, the occurrence of electric shocks? YES 4 v. NO 11 Is the cause of electric faults in the organization human or mechanical? MECHANICAL 9

HUMAN 6