Every year, approximately 700 workers and more than 300,000 people seriously injured die on the job in Australia. This is not only affecting the life of the workers but also the companies they work for. There is an estimation of $13.5 billion dollars as the payment sustained for time-off work for injury which is a very hugh cost to these companies. If these expenses can be reduce, then not only it could save money but also the lives of many people.
The reason for so many injuries in work places, are due to the lack of guidelines to maintain the level of security in work places. Therefore, the Occupational Health and Safety (“OH&S”) legislation was introduced to prevent work place hazards. So what is hazard? It is defined as a potential source of harm. Therefore, it is the responsibility of both employers and employees to determine any hazards that exist or may exist in their respective workplaces or jobsites.
2.0 Travel Agency
For the purpose of this assignment, I have carefully explored the travel agency I worked for. After an hour of examination, I have successfully identified some hazards around the office. These are:
Electrical and extension cords all over the floor
Excessive use of adaptors on the same power point
These are the three main hazards I have identified which I think could affect both staff and customers the most. There might be other minor hazards which I have not yet revived. Below are the descriptions of the three hazards.
2.1 Electrical Cords & Wires
As a travel agency, the use of computers and other electrical appliances are essential. And due to the layout and the size of the workplace, I have found that all the electrical wires which connected all computers are all over the floor. As there are 5 different work stations all located in different rooms, the wiring of these computers were mainly in the corridor and near the entrance of the office. Not only they are lying freely on the floor, but also the wiring and the electrical cords has a similar colour as the carpet which can be easily missed out by many first visitors.
Having the wiring and electrical cord problem, can lead to many people at risk of tripping and getting hurt. Especially when someone such as a staff member for example, is carrying many things and walking without looking at the ground, could easily be tripped over by the wires and get injured. Another risk of having wires everywhere around the office could lead to loss of valuable data. Imagine if someone kicked the electrical cord accidentally which led to power loss to the computer, it might losses all the unsaved data on the computer hence loss of business. In addition, having the wire and electrical cords in a similar colour could lead to first time visitors getting injured.
2.1 Excessive use of adaptors
Again, as the design of the office is not perfect, there is a over demand of power point. Currently, each power point in the office would hold a double adaptors, and in some cases, an extended power point plugs are used s that more adaptors can be used over the same power point. This would lead to a big risk if all appliances are turned on at the same time, a situation of over demand of electricity might occur hence accident would happen. Risk of power point set of fire or blows up might happen. This is very dangerous as it could hurt all those that are around that area. Also, it could also affect all other companies in the same building.
2.1 Unsafe Filing
Currently, the business is expanding at a rapid rate with many new customers everyday. As many documents are still done through pen and paper, there is a need of filing. Unfortunately, due to the lack of staffs and the busy environment, the filing system is not done properly at the moment. The file cabinets are currently full and all files are at present are stocked on top of the cabinet. As time goes on, the amount of files on top of the cabinets are high and the height of these files at limited. This is not only causing the office to be very untidy, but also very dangerous. If all files are to fall down from the cabinet, it could injured all those underneath it. Also, this could happen if some staff is trying to get one of file from the “file mountain”. Therefore, the idea of stacking the files on top of the cabinets are not such a good idea.
Recommendations & Conclusion
In order to eliminate the problems discussed above are not very difficult and can be inexpensive. Solution to extension cords and wires can be the use of a hub or wireless local area network (“LAN”). These are two new technologies which are invented to prevent having wire running around the office. The purpose of having a hub is to centralize all wire into one central system which means it could reduces the number of wires around the office. Yet, all wires should also be pinned down in the carpet using tools that could purchased in any hardware store.
This could also resolve the problem of similar colour of the wires and carpet, as they are safely located, there would not be a need to warn other people about it. Another option would be to install wireless LAN into the office. This option could cost a little more than the hub, but could totally eliminate the use of wires between computers. Depending of the budget of the company, either options would work very well to solve the wiring and cord problem. The only way to resolve the excessive use of power points would be to install more power points in different rooms around the office.
As there is a demand for the power supply, this is the only option to prevent all risk. Installing more power points is not expensive therefore it would be ideal to take action. Lastly, I would suggest removing all files away from the top of the cabinet and store in another room. As files are needed all time, they should be stored somewhere that is easy to access as well as safe to find. Another point to keep in mind would be files should not stack any higher than a human’s height, so that if it falls, lesser chance of someone getting hurt. Alternatively, all files should be stored into computer hence the business can be in a paperless environment.
Finally, I believe that every workplace must be operated without placing any person at risk of injury or disease. And in order to achieve this, everyone at the workplace has a responsibility to work together as a team to make a safer environment.