Posted: August 14th, 2013
Safety and Accident Prevention
Safety and Accident Prevention
In the article, Safety, Accidents and Investigations: Be Prepared for the Unexpected, by Robert A. Battles, the author focuses on describing the verification and maintenance of an Accident Prevention Plan. According to Battles (2011), an Accident Prevention Plan forms the main basis for an effective safety program. This is because the plan delineates probable safety consequences within the workplace. Additionally, an Accident Prevention Plan outlines the methods of decreasing or eradicating such consequences. The author insists on the inclusion of a documented and dynamic Accident Prevention Plan within the safety program. Furthermore, Battles (2011) acknowledges that the plan guides in the implementation of the safety program through the incorporation of procedures that delve on the management of accident investigations.
Throughout the article, the author focuses on the employers of organizations. Based on the costs and disadvantages safety hazards pose to most organizations, Battles observes the importance of safety programs in the framework of any organization. According to Battles (2011), one formidable manner in which employers can reduce the costs arising from the safety hazards is ascertaining the inclusion of a safety program. Based on this assertion, the incorporation of safety program negates the detrimental impact of costs such as healthcare expenses, fines, penalizations and lost efficiency that arise from the implications of safety hazards. Furthermore, the author notes the laws that employers must follow in ensuring the safety of their employees. As such, Battles focuses on informing employers regarding the regulations encompassing the notion of safety and health within their firms based on the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Act (OSHA) as well as the corresponding State programs.
According to Battles (2011), the development of an Accident Prevention Plan requires the assessment of probable workplace hazards. As such, the analysis of job hazards will involve identification of the potential mannerisms that can cause injury to an employee in the event of performing a task. Subsequently, after recognition, the employer should note the probable causes of the injuries and proceed to provide solutions and countermeasures that will mitigate the causes. Aside from job hazard assessment, developing a Plan requires the inclusion of basic essentials such as the program overview, emergency actions, first-aid kits locations, injury and precarious condition reporting, identification of workplace hazards, employee safety course and safety meetings and committee. In addition, documentation of training and constant reviewing is vital for plan development since both provide steps for safety instruction of employees and evaluating the plan’s application and effectiveness.
Consequently, Battles (2011) also necessitates the importance of effective response to accidents. As such, the author outlines steps important for the process. Foremost, the employer should ensure that medical attention is present in case of a major casualty. Secondly, the employer should ascertain that the facility is safe after the injured receive care. Thirdly, the employer should refrain from the accident scene with the exception of providing first aid or preventing more casualties. Fourth, as mandated by law, the employer should report the accident to government agencies and finally, perform an internal investigation after informing appropriate authorities and securing the sight. Regardless, the employer should prepare for an accident investigation by including interviews from those that possess knowledge regarding the event, visiting the accident site, plan review, review of current safety paraphernalia and review of manuals and recommended uses for the equipment based on the manufacturer.
Usually, external investigations stress employers due to the possibility of incurring fines and penalties based on the investigation findings. As such, employers should learn on how to address external investigations. For instance, in the event of an obligatory investigation, employers can contact their legal counsel forehand. Regarding OSHA investigations, employers should know about the constituents of the mentioned investigation, which include the Opening Conference, Document appeal, Employee and Administration Reviews and Closing Conference. In the Opening Conference, employers can determine the way in which the authority plans to perform the investigation in order to have an idea of the probable issues that may arise. In the document phase, employers can provide the only documents required. In the interviews, the employers should permit and pay for the time used by the employee in the interview. Lastly, the employers should provide reasons that deter the citations provided by the agency in the Closing Conference.
Indeed, the article provides considerable information on the configuration and implementation of safety programs within the workplace. However, improvement of the article can take place by including the hazard preventive measures such as the conduction of daily precautionary and standard maintenance, implementation of processes and controls for correcting hazards and ascertaining that employees grasp utilization and sustenance of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (Stuhlmacher & Cellar, 2001). In addition, in the job hazard assessment, various methods may be put in place in order to report the hazards. For instance, verbal reports can be vital for reporting risks directly. Suggestion programs are also important in encouraging workers to offer propositions based on safety improvement. Additionally, hazard card programs can be vital for the process since they will provide the employees with cards for documentation of perilous situations and hazardous events (Friend & Kohn, 2007).
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