Safety at the Work Place
The workplace has become a more dangerous place in the modern-day world. This is particularly in industries such as mining, manufacturing, construction, and extraction among others. There are several factors such as the increase in pollutants and the emergence of more communicable diseases in the workplace, which might put the lives of the employees in danger (Sargeant & Maria 20). It is with this in mind that health, safety, and environment at the workplace have become crucial subjects.
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The importance of highlighting safety has been prompted by the huge number of illnesses reported at work, many cases of accidents being witnessed, and the number of lives lost due to accidents or negligence while working. For sustainability purposes, it has become so imperative that governments have to develop policies to set the standards for any workplace (Ghanem, Chitram, & Rohanie 12). This paper investigates the safety issues at the workplace and in particular, in the mining sector, before and after the creation of the pertinent legislation. The paper further lays down the procedure for researching to obtain adequate information about workplace safety. According to Ghanem, Chitram, & Rohanie (14), there are four main types of research strategies. They are qualitative, quantitative, pragmatic, and participatory approaches to research. The nature of our research problem requires that we deal with facts and numbers. Our investigation is a quantitative type of study, and will, therefore, require us to employ the quantitative approach to research.
Our research on safety in quarries and mines seeks to answer the question of the number of employees who have fallen ill, sustained injuries or lost their lives while on duty in an organization over the last one year. This will set the foundation of our study, by comparing the results of twenty different mining companies, to see if the laws have helped mitigate dangers at work and how the situation is now compared to previous years. This is compared to our assumption in this study which assumes that the numbers of work-related health concerns and accidents have greatly reduced in the mining industry since the passing of the government legislation on health, safety and environment (HSE) in organizations three years ago (Blaxter, Christina, and Malcolm 23).
The quantitative research method is best suited for study because we are more interested in numbers. This technique is appropriate in a case like ours, where we are using figures to draw conclusions of a case and get inferences that will enable us to make proper recommendations. To obtain these figures, we are going to use questionnaires as our research tool. The questionnaire form will bear a series of questions about companies’ health and safety equipment, and their preparedness to handle disasters. Human resource managers of 20 different companies will be approached and interviewed to assist in filling our questionnaires. The twenty personnel will form the sample of our survey and will represent the different enterprises that are there (Jones 21).
The filling in of questionnaires by our evaluators is to prevent the managers from filling the information in a biased manner. Also, from the guidelines provided in many research materials, some of the questions in our survey are observation questions, which means that we will be able to countercheck if the information being given by the respondents is correct and impartial. This is followed up by evaluating those measures, by weighing their effectiveness and what can be done to better them and enable us to narrow down from the general to specifics. This is important in validating or negating our thesis for this study (Richey and James 15).
The following are the queries that will be contained in our questionnaire.
- How many employees have;
- Fallen ill,
- Sustained injuries,
- Died at the workplace this year?
- What were the numbers for the questions in 1 above in 2008?
- What new safety measures has your organization implemented in the last three years?
- Have you received any training on what to do in case of an accident in the mine?
- Observation questions
- Can you spot any fire extinguisher systems in the premises, and are the staff wearing protective gear required in their work?
- Are emergency exits clearly labeled, spacious, and easily accessible?
- What do you think can be done to improve your safety in the workplace?
From the above questions, we can ably evaluate if there has been any change in people’s attitudes and practices while at work. The implementation of safety procedures does not have to be a costly affair, but simply a matter of using common sense and obeying the law. Risk management and identification of risk factors at the workplace are equally important. Common accidents or types of injuries can be identified and employees trained regularly on how to react when disasters strike (Richey and James 17).
Some of the recommendations fronted by HSE and lessons are drawn, such as the regular maintenance and repair of firefighting equipment and conducting frequent safety drills, which will go a long way in ensuring that we protect human life. Another effective way has been to provide clear visible signboards for evacuation, and conducting evacuation drills during a crisis. First aid skills have been identified as a must-have for all employees. Employees should also be provided with protective gear for this kind of work (Richey and James 25).
Blaxter, Loraine, Christina, Hughes, and Malcolm Tight. How to Research. New York: McGraw-Hill International, 2011. Print.
Ghanem, Waddah, Chitram, Lutchman, and Rohanie Maharaj. Safety Management: A Comprehensive Approach to Developing a Sustainable System. London: CRC Press, 2012. Print.
Jones, Maurice. Fire Protection Systems. Connecticut: Cengage Learning, 2008. Print.
Richey, Rita, and James Klein. Design and Development Research: Methods, Strategies, and Issues. London: Routledge, 2008. Print.
Sargeant, Malcolm, and Maria Giovannone. Vulnerable Workers: Health, Safety, and Well-Being. Farnham: Gower Publishing, 2011. Print.