Work Health and Safety Management Issue Assignment
Work Health and Safety (WHS) is a research and practise philosophy that is concerned with the preservation of health, as well as the general safety and welfare of individuals and workers who work in a specific business. According to Hughes and Ferrett (2011), WHS is not only morally necessary but also legally and financially necessary. Workplace risks and difficulties can develop as a result of a variety of circumstances and can be divided into several categories, including physical hazards to employees, biological and chemical hazards, and psychological hazards. According to Hughes and Ferrett (2011), as the usage of new technologies, machinery, and equipment expands in various sectors for various objectives, the dangers associated with them expand as well, making it a major concern or topic of attention for the management of various organizations. To ensure that occupational health and safety management practices being implemented properly, a company’s management must adopt appropriate strategies and regulatory frameworks. As a result, this research highlights and examines a WHS management concern in a specific industry, as well as the best strategies for mitigating these dangers. The problem highlighted for this project is related to the mining sector and the use of explosives in mining.
Work Health and Safety (WHS) Management Issue
The “Use of Explosives in Mining Projects” is the WHS problem that is being investigated. According to Laurence (2011), mining projects can cause a variety of health and safety issues for workers, including environmental issues such as hazardous materials, air quality, energy use, and waste management, occupational health and safety issues such as hazardous substances, explosives, ionizing radiation, thermal stress, and noise and vibration, and community health and safety issues such as water storage dams, communicable diseases, and lan. According to Laurence (2011), mining operations frequently use explosives for blasting reasons, resulting in a slew of health and safety hazards and problems for mine personnel and workers.
According to Bahn (2013), the management of explosives in mining operations has become a major source of worry for managers and the government, and a number of regulatory frameworks and rules have been devised and implemented to address the issue. According to Aubynn (2009), the use of explosives can not only cause health problems due to air pollution and the emission of toxic chemicals and substances, but it can also be dangerous since it can cause bodily injuries to mine personnel.
Explosives are hazardous substances that are commonly used in various mine sites and projects in order to break the rocks that are present inside the mines so that the desired ores and minerals can be easily obtained from the earth’s surface. The entire process in which these substances are used for the purpose of breaking rock formations is known as blasting (Ak et al. 2009). When explosive compounds are burned or blasted, huge amounts of heat and pressure are generated under the earth’s surface, resulting in a blast (Ak et al. 2009).
There are several alternative patterns for drilling the holes in which the explosive ingredients are stored for blasting, and the design is determined by the demands of the mining operation as well as the surface and rock conditions (Monjezi and Dehghani, 2008). This method is employed in both underground and open-pit mining operations. In addition to the numerous regulatory requirements and frameworks that exist for blasting, there are particular courses that give knowledge. If these explosives are not used according to the specified specifications or standards, they might cause not only excessive vibration, but also collisions and flyrocks, which can cause bodily harm to mine personnel.
Potential Workplace Incidents and Consequences
As stated below, there are a variety of potential workplace accidents and concerns that might emerge in a mine in terms of worker health and safety. The most serious possible effect and occurrence of utilising explosives for blasting in mining projects is the possibility of physical damage. There are four types of blast injuries that may be induced by the usage of explosives: primary, secondary, and tertiary (Saleh and Cummings, 2011). The principal injuries are those that can impact the employees’ internal organs as a result of the blasting creating an extraordinarily high pressure wave. Secondary and tertiary impacts are caused by debris and rocks flying following explosions and persons being thrown away. Employees suffer bodily injuries as a result of these accidents, which damage various body parts and can even result in death (Saleh and Cummings, 2011).
According to Patterson and Shappell (2010), it’s not only the physical injuries that matter; explosives may also cause a slew of internal health difficulties in employees and workers. Dust explosions are a regular occurrence during blasts, and can result in the explosion of dust containing coal, carbon dioxide, and other hazardous compounds and metals. These substances can get into a person’s lungs and cause long-term respiratory or other issues. Another issue that might arise with the use of explosives in the mining sector is insufficient transportation and storage (Patterson and Shappell, 2010).
Singh and his colleagues Present statistics on the harm caused by the use of explosives in mining operations to demonstrate the presence of these dangers. According to Dhillon, between 1978 and 2000, blasting actions resulted in the deaths of 106 miners and the injuries of 1050 others. Premature firing of the blast, flyrocks, poisoning produced by the gases generated by the blasts, and even misfires have all been identified as common causes of injuries and deaths in most of these instances. These data demonstrate how critical it is to address this occupational or work-related health and safety concern, which has the potential to gravely harm employees and workers in such projects or industries.
Implications of Organisational Culture and Regulatory Frameworks
According to Epstein and Buhovac (2014), managing occupational and work-related health and safety concerns or difficulties is not merely a question of adopting best practises, but also heavily dependent on the organisational culture and regulatory frameworks in place. The fact that organisational culture aids in preserving and lowering overall work health and safety dangers is obvious, according to Mannion and Konteh (2009), in the regular reductions in the rate and quantity of health and safety related events happening in mining or any other industry. Mannion and Konteh (2009) claim that the incidence of accidents has decreased in recent decades as businesses have adopted a more knowledge-based culture, in which employees are taught and made more aware of potential difficulties and how to deal with them. The total levels of awareness and knowledge in an organisation are determined by the culture, which makes workers more aware of the potential sources of dangers. Culture also aids in the development of a corporate culture in which all workers are concerned about workplace injuries and dangers. It is obvious that fatal accidents will be minimised to a minimum if the organization’s culture stays attentive and responsive to WHS standards and safety problems.
According to Burke et al. (2008), an organization’s set of values and attitudes has an impact on the management of health and safety concerns at every step. According to Dov (2008), the attitude and values that employees or workers establish in an organisation impact the priority they place on their safety. Employees’ behaviours are heavily influenced by the beliefs and attitudes that have been instilled in them, impacting their overall commitment to safety. Burke et al. (2008) add to this line of thinking by stating that proper regulatory frameworks must be in place to ensure that the numerous challenges and difficulties associated to employment and occupational health are addressed.
According to Makin and Winder (2008), regulatory frameworks lead personnel in the direction in which they must work. The frameworks and guidelines teach employees on what they must and must not do in order to protect themselves against a certain danger or issue, hence minimising the likelihood of such issues occurring. The frameworks must, however, encompass all of the critical parts of sustaining health and safety, as outlined by Makin and Winder (2008), in order to provide entire advantages to the employees.
According to Sparrow (2011), regulatory frameworks aid in the management of overall hazards connected to workplace health and safety. The frameworks include distinct areas of risk, giving employees and management the opportunity to decrease likely and possible hazards by following and adhering to the rules and features. Furthermore, legal protection is provided by the frameworks, which assist in ensuring that all legal obligations are met and performed by organisations and their personnel (Sparrow, 2011). For example, adopted frameworks or regulatory guidelines can assist in managing potential problems and issues related to the use of explosives in mining projects by providing guidelines for various processes and activities such as explosive transportation and storage, materials to be used, explosion size, and so on. As a result, we’ll go through some of the best practises that are based on these frameworks or organisational culture.
Best Practices Hazard Control Strategies
Official Codes of Practice: Different nations and organisations have developed various codes of practise, such as the Australian Explosives Manufacturer Safety Committee (AEMSC) Code of Practice, to describe the safety measures and processes for avoiding dangers during mining activities. Following these rules will assist mining projects and managers in ensuring that blasting conditions, as well as the equipment and materials used for blasting and the usage of explosives, are acceptable, reducing the risk of any type of danger (United Nations, 2010).
Using Experienced Specialists: The use of explosives for blasting at mining sites can produce risks and issues, which can be prevented and controlled by using trained professionals. According to Bahn (2013), there are unique programmes and educational courses that equip people to handle and manage explosives in mines. Professional training ensures that all safety precautions are implemented and that all needed basic procedures are taken before blasting. According to Bahn (2013), hiring inexperienced specialists for blasting can result in a variety of problems, thus this must be avoided at all costs.
Transportation and Storage Facilities: According to Mishra et al. (2012), suitable transportation and storage facilities are also necessary for the handling of explosives, which can lessen the risks and concerns mentioned above. According to Mishra et al. (2012), there are certain constraints to the transportation of these explosives, which determine the maximum amount of explosives that may be transported at one time on a specific type of vehicle. The container and materials utilised to store these explosives during and after transit are other important factors to consider. According to Bahn (2013), it’s also crucial to keep explosives away from the primary mining site to avoid causing any harm.
Warning activities: According to Dhillon (2010), it is critical to control not only the use of explosives, but also the use of various warning devices and the execution of various warning processes and practises. Mining project managers must install warning systems and indicators, such as flashing lights or horn signals, to alert people that explosives are going to be deployed, lowering the risk of accidents (Dhillon, 2010). Additionally, traffic control and vehicle movement on the highways during blasting are critical and critically significant.
Procedures for auditing: All processes involving the use of explosives must be audited. According to Murphy and Fogarty (2010), audits must be conducted from the moment explosive materials are shipped through the time they are used for blasting. The blast site audit is an important aspect of the overall audit processes. All symptoms of malfunction or any other sign that might lead to possible risk must be thoroughly examined at the blast sites. Regular checks of storage facilities, temperature conditions, and other factors for the compounds are also necessary, according to Murphy and Fogarty (2010). According to Dhillon (2010), the audit must be conducted using a checklist and national criteria.
Misfires or issues caused by explosions can occur even after all preventative and mandatory procedures for preventing dangers have been taken, as highlighted by Misra et al. (2010). As a result, developing and implementing an emergency management strategy is critical to minimising the harm to personnel in the event of an incident. According to Misra et al. (2010), an emergency management plan is similar to a risk management plan in that it identifies the significant issues or risks that may develop, as well as the actions that must be performed at the moment to minimise these problems or dangers. Some of the basic procedures that must be employed in an emergency management plan include training staff for crises, building strong emergency communication solutions, providing immediate medical facilities, and providing supplies for such occasions.
As a result, the procedures and practises stated above may be immensely beneficial in lowering the potential dangers associated with the discussed WHS management issue or problem as seen in the mining sector.