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Health and saftey - Essay Example

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In the metal fabrication and welding industry, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (Management Regulations) has had a great impact on risk assessment procedures. In many weld shops and factories, the same procedures have been followed for many years. The…
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Download file to see previous pages Welders needed to use very awkward upper body movements to lift the canisters onto a trolley, which they then transported to their individual welding stalls as needed (American Welding Society).
When the discussion of potential ergonomic injuries and accidents caused by handling a hazardous material in an awkward way was attempted, the workers always responded by saying, in essence, “But we’ve always done it this way and no one has gotten hurt.” The response of the supervisor was obviously that no one has gotten hurt yet. The awkward unloading of the acetylene was identified as a hazard that had potential to injure individuals but the loading and transporting onto the trolley could have injured many, due to the hazardous nature of the pressurized and flammable nature of the acetylene (BBC).
Following the steps outlined in the Management Regulations, a baseline of injuries was established by analyzing data on injuries in the departments that handled the acetylene in the manner described (National Health Service). A higher rate of back strains was reported for these departments. The supervisor theorized that the loading and unloading of the acetylene could be a source of some of the strains. The supervisor knew that eliminating the risk of injury at the source was the best practice, so he began to investigate why the acetylene was stored in that specific area. To his surprise, he discovered that the acetylene was stored in that awkward area for the past several decades because the supplier of the acetylene and the former management agreed that this was the easiest spot to unload the canisters. In those days, this was done by hand, one canister at a time. Now the canisters were unloaded safely by hydraulic lift, so there was no longer a need to store them in that awkward spot. An alternative spot was identified and new procedures for lifting and transporting canisters were established for the welders in that shop.
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