Biosis Pty Ltd is a consultancy firm or environmental consultancy firm which is registered in Australia. It is a type of proprietary limited company which deals in environmental consultancy. The company was founded in 1983. The Headquarter of the company is in Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Biosis, 2018). The company actually is a team of highly professional and qualified consultants who are having experienced in cultural and ecological heritage, and the consultants are also very passionate about culture and ecological heritage. They use their experience and knowledge of cultural landscape and natural system to create an innovative and ideal solution to meet the requirement of legislation. The company has a policy as well as heritage experts in historical and aboriginal heritage and sustainable ecological development. The main function of the company is to provide expert evidence at Supreme Court and Panel Hearing, Planning and Environment Court, Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunals, Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal, and VCAT and Panel Hearing. 75 employees are working in the company. The company has eight offices in Australia (Biosis, 2018). The company provides the following services; Aquatic Ecology Services, Terrestrial Ecology Services, Historical, Heritage Services, Aboriginal Heritage Services.
Definition of a Hazard
Hazard is anything which can damage or harm the individuals. Hazard can harm the human, animal, and the property along with the environment. Hazard can be categorized into two different categories such as Health Hazard as well as Safety Hazard (Urben, 2017). As the name suggests the health hazard is associated with the health of the individuals which affects the health a person and bring about the late result or the impact of health hazard can be seen after a passage of time. It means health hazards do not have an immediate or instant impact on the health of the concerned individuals (Karimli et al., 2018). For instance, an employee is working in the coal mine. He will be at health risk such as lung-related disease. On the other hand, safety hazard is something different from health hazard. It is associated with the safety of an employee at the workplace. And the impact of safety hazard can be seen instantly or immediately (Kim et al., 2016). For example, at a construction site, a worker falling from the ladder and got head injuries because he had not used advised safety helmet. So, the effect of safety hazard can be seen immediately while the effect of health hazard can be seen after a passage of time.
Identification of hazard
The company Biosis Pty Ltd has involved in a wide range of project such as the development of infrastructure (Buildings, roads, bridges, etc.), resources and energy, industrial and residential, tourism and recreation, etc. Due to the involvement in the project like resource and energy such as mining, harvesting, exploration, etc. the company may face health hazard because of the emission of harmful gasses or due to exposure to toxic substances (Biosis, 2018). Apart from this, the company may also face the safety hazard due to the involvement in the development of the infrastructure such as roads, bridges, buildings, etc.
Acute Toxicity (Health Hazard)
The company has mining projects, or the company deals with the mining project. So, the health hazard which is found within the organization is acute toxicity. The acute toxicity is comparatively short in its duration and severe in nature. It could be very painful. The acute toxicity is a very serious issue because it progresses very rapidly (Rottman et al., 2017). For example, in the morning there is nothing and the place if safe, but in the evening the place is not safe due to the presence of a large amount of toxin at the place. So, we can say that acute toxicity can progress from almost nothing to a serious problem quite quickly or within a day. The problems associated with the acute toxicity are changing very rapidly. It would be very difficult to manage the problems as it goes from bad to worse very quickly (Kifayatullah et al., 2015). The acute toxicity does not last for months because the duration of the acute toxicity is comparatively short. But one thing that we need to understand here is that the acute toxicity can change into chronic toxicity may last for months.
Working at Height (Safety Hazard)
As we have discussed above that the company has construction project as well. The company deals with the construction of buildings, dams, bridges, etc. So, the safety hazard which is found in the company is working at height. Working at height is one of the most serious safety hazards which may cost the lives of the workers (Nguyen et al., 2016). Among all the safety hazards the accident of falling from a height while working is high. A statistic shows that more than 14% of total accidents are accidents associated with working at height. If the workers are not following the standard procedures and they are not using proper safety tools, the chance of an accident is high. Sometimes the accident of falling from height costs the life of the worker. So, it is a very serious issue. If the workers meet such accident or fall from a relatively more height either they would die, or they would not be capable of working further due to hand, leg, or head injuries (Bellamy, 2015).
Methods of risk assessment
There are various methods used to evaluate the potential risks of the health as well as a safety hazard. One of the most important methods of evaluating the potential risk associated with the acute toxicity is Dose-Response Assessment (Suter, 2016). There are two forms of Dose-Response Assessment to evaluate the potential risks of acute toxicity. One form of Dose-Response Assessment is used for Cancer, and another form of Dose-Response Assessment is used to evaluate the other effects of toxic.
To assess the potential risk associated with the working at the height, we need to follow some steps; such as identifying the hazards, in which we need to observe the workplace, obtain feedback from the employees, review pass accident, check the instruction of manufacturer, etc. The second step is to analyze who might be affected by the hazard, and then evaluate the risks (Suter, 2016).
According to Sochod et al., 2007 more than 6300 people die every day due to the occupational accidents or occupational disease. They have estimated that due to occupational accident or disease more than 2.3 million people die every year. More than 317 million accidents occur at the workplace every year. Out of all the accidents or deaths, most of the accidents occur due to accidentally hit by the moving parts of the machines. Apart from this, working at height is also one of the serious causes of accidents. More than 14% of all the accidents are related to working at height.
According to Yessuf et al., 2014 there are various health and safety hazards at workplaces which are becoming a global concern. The rate of accident is being increased day by day. The workers who are working in mines (coal) are increasingly facing the health-related problems. The workers face the lung related disease, kidney related disease, and many another disease. One of the most serious issues related to health hazard is cancer which is life-threatening. The rate of employees affected by cancer is increasing at increasing rate.
According to Gallagher et al., 2001 almost every organization faces safety and health hazards such as acute toxicity, serious eye damage or eye irritation, germ cell mutagenicity, skin corrosion or irritation, respiratory or skin sensitization, reproductive toxicity, carcinogenicity, head injuries, body injuries, working at height, exposed to chemicals. It is very difficult to deal with such hazards at the workplace with one measure. The impact of and reach of every hazard is different. For example, leaking of toxic gas can affect many workers at the same time, but if a worker falls from the height, he or she will be injured only. So, it is very difficult to deal with the entire hazard with a single measure.
Codes of Practice
It is very important to ensure safety at the workplace to eliminate the fear of hazards from the employees. If the organization is not taking appropriate measures to tackle the problem of hazards within the organization the rate of accident would be high. Due to increasing rate of the accident the government has also directed the organization to take appropriate measures to mitigate the hazards. There are some codes of practice which can be used to mitigate the health as well as safety hazard from the organization (Safe work Australia, 2018).
- The first and foremost important thing is that the organization should provide the protective equipment to all the employees and direct them to use the personal protective equipment while working on the dangerous site. For example, if workers are working at a construction site, they should have their helmet with them; if the workers are working in mines, they should have a mask and other protective equipment.
- The organization should reduce exposure to the hazard by taking administrative actions. The organization should provide proper training to the employees to work at a dangerous site. For example, the workers working at a construction site should get proper training about how to use equipment, how to work at height, how can ensure safety at the dangerous site, etc. The organization should use the indicator to identify the dangerous site.
- The organization can also reduce the risk through engineering control. Apart from this, the organization can also isolate the hazard from the workers. The dangerous site can be banned by the organization, and all the workers should be warned to not to visit the site. The company can place a signboard of danger at the site to prevent the workers to visit there.
- The Company can also substitute the hazard with something safer than previous one if possible. If the hazards can be substituted with something safer, the company must substitute that. For example, if the company can get work done by a robot at a dangerous site the company should not employee human at that site to prevent the accident.
- One of the most important but most difficult tasks to mitigate the risk is to eliminate the hazards. It is very difficult to eliminate the hazards, but if possible the company should eliminate the hazards to protect the employees from any possible hazards.
Almost every organization faces health and safety hazards. It is very difficult to eliminate the hazards from the organization especially from those organizations which deal in construction and mining. The employees are at risk of getting harm. The employees may meet health hazards such as acute toxicity, serious eye damage or eye irritation, germ cell mutagenicity, skin corrosion or irritation, respiratory or skin sensitization, reproductive toxicity, carcinogenicity and safety hazards such as head injuries, body injuries, working at height, exposed to chemicals, etc. It is the priority of the organization to ensure the safety of the workers by providing them appropriate protective equipment as well as training. The employees are also required to follow the safety instructions of the trainer to avoid the accidents.
The following are the recommendations to ensure safety at the workplace (Donham et al., 2016);
- The company should give training to the employees to be safe in the workplace.
- The company should hire a full-time safety trainer to guide the employees always.
- The company should provide the protective equipment to the employees.
- All the dangerous sites should be isolated from the employees.
- The entire dangerous site, as well as machinery, should be identified and a signboard of danger should be placed.
- The old machinery should be replaced by the new one.
- The employees should also cooperate with the instructions of the trainer.
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