One mission of an organisation is to ensure the health and safety of workers. Health and safety of employees minimise expenses in insurance premiums, increase productivity, and avoid absenteeism at work among other benefits. However, top management and leaders create a barrier to occupational health and safety programs. They view the strategies as other activities which increase the cost of running the organisations. The programs compete for the same financial, time and other resources with different programs which generate revenue. However, they contribute much to saving income and increase productivity. With the advantages of an increase in return on investment which comes through the programs, it is essential to develop a convincing plan that can make the top management offer support. This study presents an occupational safety management systems (SMS) proposal for the Bubbly Brews Beverage Company (BBB) to help it reduce injuries, illnesses and hazards which risks employees’ health. It analyses the current practices and issues related to health and safety and missing components for an effective program to suggest SMS to BBB management.
Falls is one of the topics in the health and safety of employees occurring in BBB and other organisations. The company is facing significant accidents related to falls when employees are working on a slippery floor or climbing raised places to load or offload materials. The practices which are leading to falls include lack of training of the employees on how to walk on the slippery floor. Also, the company does not provide precaution equipment like pulleys which will reduce the risk of falls.
The toxic event is another major issue facing BBB. The company deals with the processing of many substances which emit different gases. There are also, high concentrated beverages which are harmful to the employees. Another toxic hazard is leakage of gases which the company uses to provide heat energy. The practices leading to the issue include working without gas masks and lack of chimneys in the heating chambers. Also, workers lack knowledge on how to handle processes which result in toxic products.
Overworking is among the practices in the BBB which is risky to the employees. The practice is leading to burnout, work-related stress, sleep deprivation among others. Also, there are other fatalities related to stress disorders and family violence when one of the family members gets home late. Overworking is leading to more expense than revenue because of the treatment costs and reduced productivity by worn out workers.
Workplace violence is also a practice that is creating a risk to the health and safety of the employees in the organisation. The company collects much money from the customers leading to a regular attack of the employees from robbers. Lack of proper security personnel and systems is one of the factors contributing to the violence. Also, the company does not offer regular training on how to face such incidences. The employees are experiencing gunshots where some of them lose their lives, and others left paralysed.
Key components for effective health and safety program
Safety Policy/Leadership Commitment
A safety policy component carries the commitment of the organisation leaders on SMS. Acceptance of such programs by the management lays a foundation which enables all the other key elements to work. SMS programs require permission, resources, coordination and follow up from the management to be effective. There should also be set objectives on health and safety which the administration should commit and lead other staff to achieve. Another component under safety policy is an established process and structure of the organisation designed to meet the set goals.
This component involves having a management function that is responsible for providing confidence in the safety of the organisation’s inputs and output. Safety assurance consists of a process of identifying emerging hazards through risk control strategies. The management component in safety assurance is responsible for ensuring that the organisation complies with the SMS, set standards as well as directives from such organisations. It carries out the mentioned role through audit and evaluation of the organisation practices and correcting views from the employees.
The safety promotion component involves building a culture of responsibility towards health and safety in an organisation. It involves training and communicating among other actions that spread a culture of safety at all levels within the organisation. Health and safety promotion is the role of everyone in the organisation and not for the management only. The component, therefore, ensures that there is a positive culture of safety amongst all stakeholders through awareness and dissemination of safety lessons.
Safety Risk Management
The safety risk management component involves the determination of the need for risk control. Also, it ensures that there are enough updated risk control measures within the organisation. It carries the duty through system analysis to identify any hazard, assessing the risk and establish control measures. Organisations incorporate the process in the chain of providing the products or services. It can detect any danger like unkempt materials which may lead to an accident or a process which requires safety gears.
Missing components in the organisation
One of the missing elements is safety promotion. The management does not work towards creating a culture of health and safety in all workers. Although the management might have the best strategies, they are prone to fail because employees are the primary supporters. They report any hazard or risk and share with the administration the best strategies to ensure safety. The administration, therefore, needs to include and train the employees on health and safety strategies.
Safety risk management component is also missing in the organisation. There is no stable framework to evaluate the organisation processes, products and facilities which might be carrying a hazard. Most of the health and safety issues arising in the organisation started as a hazard which the management can be able to control before they become a risk to the employees. The control measures which the command establishes are not tailor-made to solve the risks because they have no bases of the exact situation.
Management systems approach
Contingency approach assumes that the best management practice is one which deals with each situation separately. According to the model, situations are different from specific prevailing circumstances to them. BBB management should consider the contingency approach because of the variation in hazards, risks and safety needs in the organisations. Today, businesses face dynamic environments which come with unique dangers and threats to employee’s health and safety. BBB is not an exception to such technological hazards. The uniqueness of the risks is one reason that is making the management to fail in enhancing employee’s safety. The approach is compatible and simplifies the safety risk management component which the organisation is lacking. Also, the proposal will enable managers to adjust their safety goals according to the prevailing dangers at a given time and which comes with the growth of the organisation. The changes can include the introduction of a new beverage which creates a different line of toxic waste.
Behavioural system management approach concentrates more on the needs of an individual employee other than generalising them. Managers using this approach concentrate on the motivation and behaviours of their employees. BBB management can adopt this strategy because every employee within the organisation faces different challenges. There are various departments, and each department and section has its risks to health and safety. Also, there are other risks which require specific approach depending on the employee’s behaviours and motivation. The behavioural approach will further help managers increase their commitment to employee’s safety as one of the components of SMS. The approach involves considering employees as people with human needs. BBB managers will, therefore, have that perception and thus treat the workers better like supplying them with protective gears or avoid overworking them.
Drivers of change
Drivers of change
One category of change drivers towards the safety and health of employees in BBB is the economic forces. They are forces which presents an opportunity or challenge through economic uncertainties and competition. The current industry in beverages is introducing competition thereby calling for unique quality products as well as efficiency in delivery. BBB can improve quality and efficiency in the delivery of its products once workers are satisfied healthy and free from stress or worries which results from uncertainties in their health and safety. Health and safety motivate workers and ensures full workforce at any given time.
Technological force is another driver of change to BBB Company towards safe and healthy workers. There are so many changes in equipment and processes which organisations including BBB are using where most of them are automatic. They are presenting a new set of hazards calling for adjustments of SMS in the organisation. Another change driver which BBB is facing is the systematic forces and in particular the employees. There are so many health concerns coming from workers that relate to changes within the company. Such changes include increased work time and technological changes. Employees are therefore exerting pressure on the employees to create a healthy and safe working environment.
Improvements to the safety and health process
Managers’ commitment will create a culture of security that is lacking in BBB. They should generate safety rules and ensure that workers follow them. However, they should be the first in following them to encourage other workers instead of coercing them. Management commitment will easily create a culture of safety with the adoption of training and provision of protective tools. Employees will feel supported and therefore support the managers through the adoption of safety strategies within their working environments.
Training employees on safety measures while working is one of important practice towards fewer injuries and increased safety. The management should launch well organised accessible training for the employee on how to ensure safety, use machines or handle themselves within the workplace. No matter how experienced employees are, there is much they do not know how to identify risks and hazards to their health. Such extensive training should cover different areas like the best ways to handle chemicals, operate machines, use computer software, relate with other workers or behave in case of fire or robbery.
Safety tools and resources
The management should ensure that employees have safety tools and resources which relate to different categories of work. Protective gears prevent so many injuries and illness which include burns, head and leg injuries from falling objects and gunshots from robbers. Some of those protective tools which BBB employees need includes hand gloves, safety boots, CCTV cameras and fire extinguishers. The resources will protect them from potential and help in overcoming accidents like fire before it hurts them
Frequent Maintenance of Machines and Facility
Faulty machines, equipment and unkempt facility, are some of the hazards to safety and health of employees. BBB Company has so many devices in production, loading and security which may become loose and therefore risk the worker’s safety. Also, the floor, roof and walls of the facilities get worn out with time presenting a threat to the health and safety of workers. There should be regular check up on the machines, and renovation of the facilities to control the potential hazards.
Managers are the first stakeholders in SMS. Their role is to create policies and ensure that employees follow them. Also, they provide workers with the necessary tools and resources that keep them free from injuries and illness. Another category of the stakeholders is the employees. Workers can play a significant role in ensuring their safety within the organisation. They are the receivers of the set policies and regulations. Accepting to follow those guidelines is one success of the system. Manufactures and suppliers of equipment to the BBB Company are also stakeholders in SMS. Their commitment to supplying safe equipment and regular service with competence is one of the strategies which they can use to support the health and safety of the employees.
Environmental Aspects to Include in SMS
Some of the ecological aspects which BBB Company should include as part of the occupational safety and health management systems include disposal of waste products and release of toxic gases. Such activities pollute the environment which in turn becomes a hazard to worker’s health and safety. The company disposes glass bottles and other wastes on the land and releases toxic gases from the processing stages of the beverages which bounce back as environmental hazards. The system should include strategies for ensuring safe disposal. They include using gas scrubbers in the chimney as well as recycling of the waste products.
From the proposed SMS, management takes the central role in the system. BBB will only succeed in the program if managers accept to offer enough support. Although there are efforts shown through the request by the management to make this presentation, supplying the resources which include time and finances are the forces behind its success. Also, correct management style of the systems is essential in the program. Managers should first aim at treating the employees as human and not other machine components of the system. Such a culture will make it easy to integrate the SMS in the organisation. The program is inevitable since the overall result is increased productivity.