There was the new act of Occupational Safety and Health Administration, called OSHA in short introduced in 1970. This new act gave rise to a lot of growth in the development of Safety officers. At the same time it also led to an increase in the cost of Worker's Compensation for injury and illness and this has also increased the importance of the Safety and Health Manager. While the growth in importance certainly leads to a lot of self satisfaction for the managers, they have to realize certain home truths, and the first of them is that it is not possible to totally remove all the hazards that exist in the places of work, and that if that becomes the objective, it would be impossible to achieve it, and naive to even try for it. There are now clear comparisons of the terms 'safety' and 'health' as they point out clear differences in hazards and there have to be different persons to deal with the hazards. There have also been clear studies of the role, within the organization of the Safety and Health manager. There has been the development of a large number of professional societies and councils to assist the people in charge of industrial safety and health responsibilities. There are now clearly recognized courses through which the health and safety officers may go through and do their job better.
The benefits of training are being taken up by most organizations, and there has been the training of 9 fire wardens in the organization within the third quarter of the current financial year already. The number of permissions given or hazardous operations is also clearly recorded and there have been 336 such permissions given during the same quarter. The prevention of fire hazards is tried through different training systems for the general staff, and there have been 9 fire drills, testing of systems in flow 4 times, air testing for hot work permits 18 times as well as 475 instances where the public have been educated about fire safety. The different standards institutes and trade associations have to play a clear role in this development. The government and its agencies have setup different organizations for the promotion of safety and health. The overall agency of OSHA is responsible for the enforcement of the standards, yet it also provides funds for assistance through consultation though the state programs are in the main responsible for that function. There is also the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in this regard which has research data for the assistance of the manager.
At the same time that OSHA was introduced, there was also the introduction of NIOSH. They were created by the same act of Congress but they are two different agencies with different responsibilities. The first difference is in the positioning of NIOSH in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is viewed as a research agency, whereas OSHA is in the U.S. Department of Labor and is the organization responsible for developing and enforcing workplace safety and health regulations. They however often work together for the common aim of protection of worker safety and health. As an organization, NIOSH views all employees as respected individuals committed to and respected for the accomplishment of the goal of the organization. The organizations are viewed as diverse for their ability to attract, recruit, hire, mentor, develop, retain and serve a large population as they foster an environment that embraces values and respects all individuals. The mission of the organization makes NIOSH operate programs in every state so that the health and safety of workers can be improved.
This makes NIOSH assist in evaluation of workplace hazards and come out with solutions at the request of workers, employers, or agencies of the state or federal government. It builds on worker safety and health capacity through provision of grants and cooperative agreements. It provides funds for occupational safety and health research on a wide variety of topics at different universities and other similar organizations. It also supports the programs for occupational safety and health training. One of the achievements of NIOSH was in 1998 when it established the Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program which led to a reduction of fire fighters in the line of duty deaths and injuries. This was though surveillance, investigations of fatalities and development and dissemination of practical recommendations.
The individual reports that were collected were distributed to more that 25,000 volunteer and career fire departments throughout the nation. The organization also conducts and supports a number of programs to track occupational injuries and illnesses. Among these efforts is the Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risks or SENSOR. This is collaboration with health departments in the states to improve recognition and prevention of health problems like asthma, silicosis, amputations, burns, dermatitis and noise-induced hearing losses. They also support the Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance Programs in many states, and this program finds out about excessive lead exposure cases, replies to questions regarding them and finds out better methods of controlling the diseases. (About NIOSH)
In the process of work there are different individuals, at different roles in the field of safety management. The chief responsibility is to make sure that the Safety Programs that are in operation are fully compliant with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Standards as defined in 29 CFR 1910, 1926 and 1960. The Acts are now fairly widespread and apply to all employees and employers in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and other places that are under the jurisdiction of the federal government. A few are exempt from the coverage and these people are self-employed individuals, family farms employing only family members; workplaces regulated by the government under different federal laws like mining, nuclear energy, rail, air and highway safety; and the employees of state and local governments. The safety and health standards are in general under four main categories of general industry, construction, maritime and agriculture.
Every one of these categories has standards that impose special requirements that are suited for that particular industry. If the workers are dissatisfied they have the right to complain to OSHA about the safety and health conditions in their place of work, and their identity is supposed to be kept secret from their employers. The employees also have the right to refuse work they think is hazardous. If any particular employee feels that his performance of a task will end up creating a real hazard to himself or her, then the employee can refuse to do the job and there should be no removal, demotion or harassment for this refusal. Employees also now have the right not to be discharged or discriminated against for making a health and safety complaint. If the employees believe that the employer retaliated against the individual, then the employee is at liberty to make a complaint to OSHA. Thus occupation safety and health are now a fairly serious matter. (Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970)
The target of the Safety and Health Manager has to be to reduction of mishaps, reduction of costs due to payment of workers' compensation and creating an environment where the employee feels it is in order for them to get involved. There is no way to feel that the goals are not attainable. According to the definition of goals, they should be attainable, as otherwise they should not be set as goals. There is definitely a requirement of reducing mishaps, and even having zero mishaps is a realistic and attainable target. This is seen from the accidents achieved in I&L division where there were no lost time accidents in 8 of the 9 months in the 3 quarters of the current year. There was only one accident causing loss of time in the month of May. The situation before 3 rd of May was that the organization had worked for a total period f 316 days without any lost time accident. The attention to stoppage of accidents was always there, and the organization had also implemented a six-month supervisory training schedule, and road master was continued with GMV seat belt check for the base. This had meant that there were only 25 stops with just 3 citations. The reduction in total mishaps was by a sharp figure of 55% when the number of total mishaps is compared to the same period of the previous year in 2003.
The drop in accidents causing loss of time was even sharper and there was a drop of 90% when compared to the same period in the previous year. This automatically leads one to judge who can have the authority and responsibility for all the work safety and health. There is no doubt that the total authority for employee safety and health should be placed with the person in charge of the organization, and that means that the person should be the CEO, Corporate President or the Commanding Officer. These…