Handling Hazards at Podunk University
Name of Institution
Hazards Communications In handling Hazards in the Workplace
The aspect of safety should be held with high priority in any working place through the provision of the appropriate safety gear, appropriate safety training to the employees as well as a major strategy in ensuring that hazards are well-handled and mitigated in an institution (Inducil et al. 2006). A hazard can be defined as any potential source of danger and it is upon the employer to ensure that his employees are safe as well as the products and services being offered. The article looks into how hazard communications are to be effected in a neglected institution where the rate of hazards is very high as a result of poor training of the employees on chemical hazards and neglect of various crucial departments International (Program on Chemical Safety & World Health Organization, 1987).
Hazards Communications and Strategies Improvement at Podunk University
Considering that Podunk is an institution that deals with thousands of students and a lot of hazardous risks have been identified especially the one’s related chemicals. Chemical handling is a very crucial matter that forms a lot of hazards especially to the employees and the students as any wrong handling could lead to very serious injuries (Macdonald, 2004). Therefore as a safety manager at the institution, it would be very crucial to come up with a hazard control and mitigation program in reference to the handling of chemicals in the school departments. The best approach is the introduction and streamlining of Hazard Communications Standards (HCS) that would help the students and the employees handle the chemicals in the respective departments (Steere, 1997).
Chemical illnesses and injuries can be controlled through the provision of ample information to both the students and the workers in the neglected departments to enable them handle the chemicals and mitigate the potential risks in their workplaces. A cognitive training program on HCS will be introduced to ensure that the hazards are controlled and mitigated as they pose a lot of danger (Inducil et al. 2006). The approach involves the reinforcement of information via the introduction of communication tools such as material safety data sheets, labels, signs, manuals on company hazards and communication and availing the lists of chemicals in each department. Secondly, the introduction of training sessions to the students and the employees in regards to the potential hazards in each department is very important so that the employees are able to handle the chemicals and other potential hazards in their workplace (Steere, 1997).
The employee standards on information communication and training will ensure that strict rules on safety such as the proper handling of chemicals, ensuring that they are stored in safe shelves and they are in the right temperatures and storage conditions. The school safety department will ensure that effective information and prior training of employees in regards to chemical hazards and other potential hazards are done. All the chemicals in the departments must also be labeled and a danger sign availed for everyone to see (Macdonald, 2004).
Secondly, directives shall be offered to ensure that workers are informed on how their areas of work operating and the potential hazards available (Macdonald, 2004). In addition, when it comes to employee training; such methods such as monitoring for any potential hazards, close observations on how the students are handling the chemicals and how they are stored after the use. Moreover, the protective measures that employees and the students take to protect themselves will be addressed such as wearing of dust coats, gas mask, gloves, and even goggles when handling the chemicals (Inducil et al, 2006).
When it comes to the biology department, considering that it has dissection departments, cleanliness and order have to be prioritized. The small quantities of medical laboratory quantities should be put in well-labelled containers that show which chemical is used and for which purpose (Steere, 1997). The chemicals should also be grouped in accordance with their uses and the potential hazards they pose to the workers and the students. A good inventory keeping system should also be introduced in order to know a number of chemicals that are bought, the ones released to the lab and the ones that have been exhausted, spilled or even wasted to enable the school to reduce wastage (Program on Chemical Safety & World Health Organization, 1987).
The Physics department, on the other hand, considering that it has high-voltage equipment, lasers and LED’s should be handled very critically as these are very dire sources of danger. Considering that in this laboratory, the fire could build up and the chemicals in place could explode, it would be wise to put danger signs to show that the high voltage equipment are dangerous (Macdonald, 2004). The installation of manuals on how to use them, training the employees on how to keep wires insulated, ensuring that the working area is free of water or any other electrical conductors and finally, emphasizing on the need to read the instruction before turning on any electrical device. The chemicals should also be placed in a safe place and a first aid kit availed in case of any danger. A control guide for the lasers should be introduced such as advising the workers to turn the pointer away before turning the machine on, avoid looking directly at a laser and ensuring that rules are followed when handling the lasers and LEDs (Inducil et al. 2006).
The mess at the English department can be solved by installation of shelves and classify the documents in different sections which are labeled. The photocopiers should be arranged well and the staff in the department trained on how to use them and maintain them. On the other hand, the photocopiers should be re-distributed in all the departments so that they can be utilized instead of piling them in one room (Steere, 1997). The computers in the maths department should be placed in one room and get connected to a single server whereby they can be used as the computer department. The room should always be kept free of any water leakages and all the electrical wiring insulated (Steere, 1997).
When it comes to the automotive department, the 5S strategy will be used. The first one will be ensuring that the garage is cleaned, spilled oils are slippery and could cause fall-injuries. The department will also be subdivided in such a manner that the welders work separately to avoid causing eye irritations to the other workers, the pneumatic drills will be kept together and their area of operation cleared of any obstacles, the solvents will also be kept away from gangways. On the other hand, everyone going to the automotive department must wear the appropriate PPE. Workshop rules should be hanged on the walls for everyone to see and each subdivision labeled appropriately. A fire extinguisher should also be installed in each and every department of the school (Macdonald, 2004).
Moreover, asbestos is a very hazardous building material and none of the school structures should have it and it should be removed and disposed of accordingly. The asbestos insulation at the massive arena will be replaced by more eco-friendly materials (Program on Chemical Safety & World Health Organization, 1987). The most important changes would be those of managing chemicals. Employees and students must wear appropriate PPE when dealing with chemicals, all chemical containers should be labeled, hazardous precautions should be hanged at the entrance, no consumables should be brought to the lab and emergency procedures should be trained to everyone, such as dealing with fires and spills. The school will also have an emergency ambulance and hospital to cater for the fatal and serious cases if any (Macdonald, 2004).
After the application of the above hazard control measures in each and every department, Podunk University will be an orderly institution that is well equipped with information on how to handle certain risks as well as how to avoid them. Working with chemicals could be dangerous but if safety rules and regulations are followed, many accidents will be averted (Inducil et al, 2006).
Inducible, M., Baricevic, T., Mattaliano, A., De, R. M., & Classroom Video (Firm : Australia). (2006). Safety in the workshop: Avoiding accident and injury. Bendigo, Vic: Classroom Video.
International Program on Chemical Safety, & World Health Organization. (1983). The International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS). Geneva: WHO/IPCS.
Macdonald, D. (2004). Practical industrial safety, risk assessment and shutdown systems for industry. Amsterdam: Newnes.
Steere, N. V. (1997). Safety in the chemical laboratory. Easton, PA: Division of Chemical Education of the American Chemical Society.