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Safety Report and Program, Term Paper Example

Pages: 1

Words: 1863

Term Paper

This paper provides the essential steps required for Copter Inc., in the development of a Health and Safety Program at work.  This provides the main entry requirements for establishing a safety management system.  This is not a full-blown system but more the identification of the core elements required in the plan.

Introduction

Coptors Inc.  is a helicopter sightseeing business based at Poolawhooie Beach on the Big Island of Hawaii. The firm operates a number of reliable helicopters and this provides for ten pilots and a number of support staff. The firm is well established with a good reputation and is well liked by the locals. The pilots come from different backgrounds and to date they have an excellent safety record.  Training is not high on the agenda and the safety standards are pretty relaxed. The owner has noted that the pilots tend to work long hours in order to make good money.  The difference in helicopter configuration, via digital cockpits on some but not others, creates a lack of standard configuration for the pilots. The owner (Nick) believes in safety standards but these are not well enforced.

The key safety standards

Health and Safety Policy –  The firm needs to develop a policy statement that is effectively the firm’s charter for Health and Safety practices at work.  This needs to be jointly agreed upon by all the management and staff.  The policy statement sets out the Health and Safety standards for all employees at work and the instructions they are expected to abide with.  The policy should be brief, concise and to the point with easy to read and understand instructions. Both the Management and workers agree to abide by this charter. (WorkSafe BC, 2011)

Regular Inspections –  Copter Inc. needs to conduct regular inspections at work in order to ensure compliance with the Health and Safety Policy.  This has three prime objectives: (1) To identify any unsafe practices that might serious health or injury problems at work (2) The determination of any required corrective actions needed (3) The prevention of any further or future unsafe work practices developing.  In the first instance of carrying out this investigation for Coptors Inc., the following points were raised:

Ref Health and Safety Issue Corrective Action Required
1 Pilots are working long hours in excess of safety guidelines. Max = 10 hour shift No pilots to work more than 10 hours without taking a 6 hour rest break from flying.
2 No Training Plan A formal training plan needs to be developed for pilots with standard approach and routines to flying
3 Helicopter Configurations These need to be standardised throughout the fleet ( ergonomics)
4 Policy Framework for Health & Safety Needs to be developed and implemented without delay
5 Inspections Need to be scheduled and maintained over equipment, operational procedures and flight control
6 New Appointments required Operations Manager and Health and Safety Manager
7 Safety Protocols These need to be enforced and properly managed e.g. weather reports, flight navigation reports, flight safety reports, Fuel reports etc.
8 Risk Management A formal Risk Management and mitigation plan needs to be developed

 

Posting Written Instructions- Written Health and Safety instructions need to be posted in visible locations throughout the business premises.  This will include reception areas, operational areas, maintenance areas and visitor / client information areas. This facilitates both training and making all of the workers aware and familiar with standard health and safety protocols in the organization. The following are examples of the type of instructions that should be on display:

  • Fire instructions and procedures to follow in an emergency
  • How to lockdown important machinery
  • Any personal protective equipment that must be worn e.g. Life Jackets
  • Fall protection
  • Helicopter Emergency landing procedures
  • Engine maintenance standards
  • Workshop machinery / safety guards – emergency stops

Formal Management Meetings – Health and Safety needs to be incorporated into all Board meeting agendas.  This with a view towards continuous monitoring and improvement of the Health and Safety policies; including Executive support to same. To receive employees feedback and any concerns from the customers. To create appropriate action plans that will help refine and improve the health and safety standards at work.

Investigation Procedure – A formal procedure needs to be developed in order to investigate any complaints or reports at work.  This will include both employee and customer complaints. This should be an integral part of the ongoing monitoring process in order to ensure the maintenance of health and safety standards at work.  The following type of health and safety investigations are considered the norm:

  • Accidents resulting in a situation where a worker was injured or killed
  • Accidents where nobody was hurt but property was damaged
  • Near misses (no visible injury or damage but the incident could have resulted in a serious injury, death, or property damage)

Records and Statistics – Both the OHS and FAA require you to maintain proper records and statistics over the health and safety measures in your organization.  This includes such items as:

  • Inspection reports and records of corrective actions taken
  • Incident investigation reports together with reports on corrective action
  • Worker training and orientation records
  • Records of meetings and crew talks at which safety issues werediscussed
  • Supervisors’ notes and logs of safety contacts
  • Records showing use of progressive discipline to enforce safety rules and written safety at work procedures
  • H& S Committee meeting reports showing steps taken to addresshealth and safety issues

Instruction and Supervision of staff

Insurance requirements will cover the employer responsibility for providing effective supervision of staff and keeping the appropriate records in the events that an insurance claim is made for any accidents or other covered incidents. Most countries will also have specific legal requirements for reporting accidents together with the documentation sets that must be filed.

All staff needs to be properly informed of the Company Health and Safety procedures, including the policy statement and instructions for carrying these out. The Management have the responsibility to ensure that these measures are put in place and adequately supervised in order to ensure adherence to it.

The importance of training

Training in Health and Safety procedures is a vital component of any firms Health and Safety policy.  This can vary in accordance with the scope of the firms operations and size. It will also vary in accordance with the degree of potential risk of hazard. Although Copters Inc. has a good safety record it may be considered more by good fortune than adequacy of planning and preparedness.  There will be a certain amount of legislated mandatory training requirements for the firm and this should be obtained by consultation with such bodies as the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), the Occupational Health and Safety Board (OHSB) and others. The firm should seek legal consultation to ensure adequate coverage and these requirements should be built into the overall Company training policy.

In this instance, Copters Inc. might examine the following checklist for reference and considered relevancy to the business.  All of the requisite items should then be examined from a health and safety training perspective:

  • Fire Prevention and Safety
  • First Aid
  • Orientation for new employees
  • Workplace Hazards
  • Health and Safety Committee Training
  • Marine and Aviation Training
  • Air Rescue Training
  • Operation of mobile equipment etc.

Training is best conducted by subject matter experts in the particular field.  This will need to be properly planned and built into a schedule of activities.  The courses should be updated on an annual basis and repeated frequently in accordance with service requirements. A training log should be maintained for all individuals and this needs to be visited frequently to ensure compliance with the training requirements and adequacy of individual coverage. (Government of Newfoundland & Labrador, 2004).

The importance of due diligence

In general, terms this means it is the responsibility of all employees to monitor their own health and safety procedures at work. They have a duty to themselves and the organization to minimise the possibility of accidents or potential for the compromise of safety procedures. This often extends beyond standard regulatory compliance. This works on the concept of the greater the individual responsibility then the greater the accountability from a Health and Safety procedures perspective. Occupational Health and Safety Legislation set out the following requirements, in general terms:  (1) The Management must provide a suitable environment at work which includes the proper safety measures over machinery, tools and maintenance procedures (2) Appropriate levels of training in order to protect the health and safety of employees at work (3) The Managers need to familiarise themselves with all of the Health and Safety regulations and ensure that these are properly carried out in the workplace (4) Employees should follow safe working practices and ensure that all of the defined safety measures have been put in place. Any breaches should be immediately reported to the line Manager and the Health and Safety Committee. (US Department of Labor, 2011)

Breaches in health and safety regulations

Both the Federal Authorities and the OHCP have jurisdiction, within each of the States, in order to impose disciplinary action for the breach of Health and Safety legislation. This varies somewhat between States but generally follows the following format:  (1) A Verbal Warning – stating the considered breaches in Health and Safety standards and a prescribed time to make remedial changes, subject to a further inspection  (2) Failure in compliance will lead to a written warning stipulating a compliance date and second inspection  (3) Prosecution – Court action for failing to comply with the legal requirements for Health and Safety procedures.  This can lead to heavy penalties plus the possibility of closure of the business.

Summary

Coptors Inc need to take immediate remedial action in order to demonstrate compliance with the Health and Safety Regulations prior to the FAA inspection.  The key elements of this are: (1) Get a Health and Safety policy document in place and have this posted in key areas (visibility) and have a copy distributed to all employees. Establish a Health and Safety Committee.  Start drilling down the more important elements of the policy and at least get these into place i.e.  Health and Safety notices, development of training courses and plans, safety notifications over all machinery and considered hazard areas, procedures covering the mandatory items such as first aid, fire, air/sea rescue etc.  The firm should produce a suitable checklist that can be produced showing all of the key areas that have been covered. This should as a minimum cover all of the prescribed standards as defined by the Federal Aviation Authority and the Occupational Health and Safety Board.  The Inspectors will examine degrees of compliance and the firm’s efforts to make progress in this area.  They will then advise of any shortfalls and allow a prescribed period to make any further desired improvements.  In this situation, Coptors Inc is in a recovery position that needs to satisfy the minimum inspection requirements.  From that point forward, it is a case of continued process improvement to reach and maintain the desired state.  (Federal Aviation Authority, 2000)

Works Cited

Federal Aviation Authority. (2000). FAA / OSHA Health and Safety at work . Washington DC: Federal Aviation Authority.

Government of Newfoundland & Labrador. (2004). Occupational Health and Safety Report. St.Johns: Government of Newfoundland & Labrador.

US Department of Labor. (2011). Occupational Health and Safety. Retrieved 8 27, 2011, from US Department of Labor: http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owastand.display_standard_group?p_toc_level=1&p_part_number=1910

WorkSafe BC. (2011). How to Implement a Formal Health & Safety program at work . Retrieved 8 28, 2011, from WorkSafe BC: http://www.worksafebc.com/publications/health_and_safety/by_topic/assets/pdf/howtoimplement_ohs.pdf

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