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CMS1 Assignment 8: Employee Safety and Health
Terms in this set (42)
OSHA established system of inspection priorities:
First level: Inspection of imminent danger situations
Second level: Investigation of catastrophes, fatalities, and accidents that result in hospitalization of five or more employees
Third level: Investigation of valid employee complaints of alleged violations of standards or of unsafe or unhealthful working conditions
Fourth level: Special-emphasis inspections aimed at specific high-hazard industries, occupations, or substances that are injurious to health
Strategic Partnership Programs (SPPs)
Voluntary Protection Programs (VPPs)
Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP)
Laws that require employers to advise employees about the hazardous chemicals they handle
Evaluations randomly conducted to determine an employee's physical, mental, and emotional fitness for a job
There are a number of ways to involve and engage employees in company safety programs. In addition to TQM programs, they include having employees:
(1) jointly set safety standards with managers
(2) participate in safety training
(3) help design and implement special safety training programs
(4) establish safety incentives and rewards
(5) be involved in accident investigations
-Other ways to engage employees is to solicit their ideas and opinions when assessing the risk or jobs during the job analysis process
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health defines workplace violence as:
Any physical, assault, threatening behavior, or verbal abuse occurring in the work setting. It includes, but is not limited to, beatings, stabbings, suicides, shootings, rapes, near suicides, psychological traumas such as threats, obscene phone calls, an intimidating presence, and harassment of any nature such as being followed, sworn at, or shouted at.
- According to OSHA, a workplace emergency is an unforeseen situation that threatens employees, customers, or the public; disrupts or shuts down operations; or causes physical or environmental damage.
Emergencies can be natural or manmade. In addition to workplace violence, they can include the following:
Toxic gas releases
Civil disturbances and terrorism
emergency action plan
A plan on organization develops that contains step-by-step procedures for dealing with various emergency situations
cumulative trauma disorders
Injuries involving tendons of the fingers, hands, and arms that become inflamed from repeated stresses and strains
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs)
Documents that contain vital information about hazardous substances
Any adjustive demand caused by physical, mental, or emotional factors that requires coping behavior
Positive stress that accompanies achievement and exhilaration
Harmful stress characterized by a loss of feelings of security and adequacy
A severe stage of distress, manifesting itself in depression, frustration, and loss of productivity
Four factors have a major influence on employee stress:
High demand: having too much to do in too short a time
High effort: having to expend too much mental or physical energy over too long a period
Low control: having too little influence over the way a job is done on a day-to-day basis
Low reward: receiving inadequate feedback on performance and no recognition for a job well done
A negative emotional state marked by feelings of low spirits, gloominess, sadness, and loss of pleasure in ordinary activities
The _________ of the occupational safety and Health Act (OSHA) is to "assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing __________; providing
training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvements in workplace _________ and _______." The act has been very effective in reducing the number of injuries resulting in lost work time, the incident rate of specific injuries such as back problems and the number of job-related deaths.
Describe the role of OSHA in establishing job safety and health standards.
OSHA has the responsibility for the development and enforcement of mandatory job safety and health standards. These standards cover the workplace, machinery and equipment, materials, power sources, processing, protective clothing, first aid and administrative requirements.
It is the responsibility of employers to become familiar with those standards that are applicable to their establishments. OSHA can begin standards-setting procedures on its own initiative or on petition from other parties, including the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Other
bodies that may also initiate standards-setting procedures are state and local governmental units, national standards-oriented organizations, employers and labor representatives.
How is compliance with OSHA obtained?
OSHA obtains compliance with its standards in several ways. It has the authority to conduct workplace inspections, to issue citations and to impose penalties in the form of fines upon employers. Additionally, OSHA provides a free on-site consultation service to help firms identify hazardous conditions and determine corrective measures. The consultative service does not involve any citation actions. (However, employers must agree to eliminate any hazardous conditions that the consultants warn could result in death or serious physical harm.) OSHA also is involved with voluntary, cooperative relationships among employers,
employees and unions. There are four specific cooperative programs—alliances, strategic partnerships, voluntary protection programs, and the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). Alliances enable organizations to collaborate with OSHA to prevent injuries and illnesses in the
workplace. Strategic partnerships are long-term agreements between employers and OSHA aimed at reducing serious workplace hazards and achieving a high level of worker safety and health. Voluntary protection programs (VPPs) are designed to extend worker protection beyond the minimum OSHA standards. VPPs are designed to give recognition to those who have successful and comprehensive safety and health programs, motivate others to achieve
excellent safety and health results, and establish a cooperative relationship among employers and OSHA. SHARP provides recognition to small businesses that demonstrate exemplary achievement in workplace safety and health.
What are the responsibilities and rights of employers under OSHA? Explain.
Employers are basically required to provide a hazard-free workplace and to comply with the applicable OSHA standards. Employers must inform all of their employees about the safety and health requirements of OSHA, display the OSHA poster that informs employees of their rights and responsibilities, keep certain records, and compile and post an annual summary of work-related injuries and illnesses. It also is an employer's responsibility to make employees wear safety and protective equipment when necessary. Employers, therefore, must engage in safety training and be prepared to discipline employees for noncompliance with safety rules. Employers may not discriminate against employees who exercise their rights under the law by filing complaints. Notwithstanding their obligations, employers are afforded many rights
under the law generally pertaining to receiving information, applying for variances in standards and contesting penalties.
Identify the responsibilities and rights of employees under OSHA.
Employees are required to comply with all applicable OSHA standards, to report hazardous conditions and to follow all employer safety and health rules and regulations including the use of prescribed protective equipment. Employees have a right to demand safety and healthy conditions on the job without fear of
punishment, and to request and receive information about safety and health conditions.
Explain the nature of right-to-know laws.
Most state and federal laws require that employers provide information to employees about the hazardous chemicals they handle. These laws are commonly known as right-to-know laws. The laws typically address such issues as definition of toxic or hazardous substances, and duties of employers and manufacturers to provide health risk information to employees.
Employers are required by law to provide safe working conditions for their employees. To achieve this objective, the majority of employers have a ______ safety program. Typically, the human resources (HR) department or the industrial relations department is _________ for the safety program.
With respect to maintaining a safe work environment, explain the nature of safety awareness programs.
The success of a safety program is dependent largely upon managerial and supervisory personnel of operating departments. Managers and supervisors must explain and reinforce the importance of safety to their workers. Additionally, it is recognized that it is critical that firms today try to create an organizational culture of safety that goes beyond managing
operational processes. A culture of safety exists when health and safety permeates the organizational climate along with customer service, work processes and innovation.
Describe (a) how safety rules are communicated to employees in an organization; (b) the types of penalties employers impose for violations of these rules; and (c) the role of employee engagement in safety programs.
(a) The safety rules and regulations of an employer generally are communicated through supervisors, bulletin board notices, employee handbooks and signs attached to equipment. Safety rules are also emphasized in regular safety meetings, at new employee orientations and in manuals of standard operating procedures.
(b) Penalties for rule violations typically include an oral or written warning for the first violation, suspension for repeated violations and dismissal as a last resort. Some serious violations involve immediate dismissal even on the first offense.
(c) While being disciplined may force employees to work safely, the most effective adherence to safety rules occurs when employees willingly comply to and "champion" safety rules and procedures. This can be achieved when managers actively encourage employees to participate in all aspects of the organization's safety program. One study showed that engaged employees were five times less likely than nonengaged employees to have a safety incident and seven times less likely to have a lost-time safety incident.
Under OSHA regulations, what is a recordable case?
OSHA requires employers with 11 or more employees to maintain a log and summary of occupational injuries and illnesses. All recordable cases must be entered in the log. A recordable case is any injury or illness that results in any of the following: death, days away
from work, restricted work or transfer to another job, or medical treatment beyond first aid. Each year the summary portion of the log is to be posted for a specified period where notices to employees are customarily posted. For every recordable case written in the log, an Injury and Illness Incident Report on the case must be completed.
________ is a major safety issue in organizations that operate around the clock or have night shifts. Studies show that 30% to 50% of night shift workers report falling asleep at least once a week while on the job.
What is the leading cause of worker fatalities each year?
The leading cause of worker fatalities each year is motor vehicle crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving accounts for 80% of all accidents. To help prevent distracted driving accidents, a growing number of employers are adopting mandatory cell phone policies for their employees. Others are doing much more; they are outfitting their employees' phones with software (mobile apps) that prevent them from texting, browsing the Web, or checking e-mail when they are traveling above a certain speed.
Identify recommendations that OSHA and others suggest for reducing workplace violence.
Recommendations suggested by OSHA and others for reducing workplace violence include:
(a) Analyzing the workplace to uncover areas of potential violence
(b) Providing violence prevention training throughout the organization
(c) Having workers team up in pairs rather than working alone and making environmental adjustments
(d) Having the HR department effectively communicate to a firm's employees that it has a zero tolerance policy for violence.
What does OSHA require to be included in a company's emergency action plan?
An emergency action plan must include, among other things, procedures for reporting a fire or other emergency, evacuating a facility and accounting for employees after an evacuation. The plan must also include procedures for employees who remain in facilities to ensure critical plant operations continue, as well as procedures for workers performing rescue and medical duties. A copy of the emergency action plan should be either provided to employees or kept in a convenient location where employees can access it.
Explain the purpose of ergonomics in the workplace.
One way to help eliminate health hazards in the workplace is through ergonomics. The approach focuses on ensuring that jobs are designed for safe and efficient work while improving safety, comfort and performance of users. Ergonomics can be as simple as
rearranging a workstation so fewer steps are needed to gather items or organizing items so they are within easier reach. Part of ergonomics involves looking at the design of equipment and the physical abilities of the operators who use it. There is substantial variation in the way people move depending on their physical sizes, genders, ages and other factors.
State (a) the nature of repetitive motion injuries, and (b) three problems that managers typically have to confront when computers and video display terminals
(VDTs) are used in the workplace.
(a) Many jobs such as meat cutters, fish filleters, dental hygienists, textile workers, violinists, flight attendants, office workers at computer terminals and others require the use of repetitive motion of the fingers, hands or arms. People in these types of jobs are
reporting repetitive motion injuries (also known as cumulative trauma disorders) in growing percentages. These injuries involve muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints and spinal discs from the repeated stress and strains. One of the more common conditions is carpal tunnel syndrome.
(b) When computers and video display terminals (VDTs) are used in a workplace, managers must confront three major groups of problems from operators and others:
(1) Visual difficulties often are experienced as blurred vision, sore eyes, burning and itching eyes.
(2) Muscular aches and pains in the back, neck and shoulders are common.
(3) Job stress resulting from eye strain, posture problems, insufficient training, excessive workloads and monotonous work are common complaints.
What is the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that forbids employers from prohibiting women from holding certain jobs because of potential job-related risks to their fetuses?
In the case of International Union v. Johnson Controls, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that employers may not bar women of childbearing age from certain jobs because of potential risk to their fetuses. The decision was rendered on the basis that such policies constitute illegal sex bias. The additional impact of the case is that employers have to take positive actions to warn
women workers about fetal health risks on the job.
Explain why organizations both large and small have smoking policies.
There are many harmful health effects attributable to smoking, including the breathing of secondhand smoke (inhaling other people's smoke). Because of these harmful health effects, smokers have been banned from lighting up on airplanes, at work, in restaurants and hotels, in public buildings, and in various business establishments. Virtually all large organizations and
even smaller ones have initiated smoking policies. In developing smoking policies, it is advisable to have the involvement of both smokers and nonsmokers.
In addition to eliminating hazardous working conditions, many employers take positive steps to improve the general level of physical and emotional health among their employees. Many firms have ____________________________ to help
employees get assistance with problems of stress, personal crises, alcoholism and drug abuse. Employers are also launching or improving programs specifically
designed to help employees maintain or lose weight by exercising and eating properly. ______________ address two lifestyle changes: (1) increasing a person's
physical exercise and (2) adopting nutritional dietary programs that emphasize eating lots of fruits and vegetables, fish and low-fat dietary products.
employee assistance programs (EAPs)
Explain the nature of stress and its multiple aspects.
Stress is any demand on the individual that requires coping behavior. Stress comes from two sources: physical activity and mental or emotional activity. The physical reaction of the body to both sources is the same. Moreover, stress has positive and negative forms. Eustress is positive stress that accompanies achievement and exhilaration, such as the stress of meeting managerial challenges that forces individuals to forge ahead against obstacles. The negative and harmful form is distress which involves feelings of a loss of security and adequacy, helplessness, desperation and disappointment. Prolonged stress can result in fatigue, exhaustion and even physical and/or emotional breakdowns such as heart attacks, strokes,
high blood pressure and ulcers.
Define (a) job burnout and (b) the sources of job-related stress.
(a) Burnout is a severe stage of distress. Career burnout generally occurs when a person begins questioning his or her own personal values. The person does not feel that what he or she is doing is important any longer. The symptoms of burnout are depression,
frustration and a loss of productivity. Burnout itself is due primarily to a lack of personal fulfillment or positive feedback about performance.
(b) There are many sources of stress associated with an organization. The organizational stressors involve high demand (having too much to do in too short a time), high effort (having to expend too much mental or physical energy over too long a period), low control (having too little influence over the way a job is done on a day-to-day basis) and low reward (receiving inadequate feedback on performance and no recognition for a job well done). Other recognized job stressors include layoffs and organizational
restructuring; disagreements with managers or fellow employees; prejudice because of age, gender, race or religion; inability to voice complaints; and poor working conditions. Even minor irritations such as lack of privacy, unappealing music and other conditions
can be distressful to one person or another.
State the types of topics that are typically included in job-related stress management programs.
The subject matter of a typical employer-sponsored stress management program might include relaxation techniques, coping skills, listening skills, ways to deal with difficult people, time management and assertiveness. These techniques are designed to break the pattern of tension that accompanies stress situations and to help participants achieve greater personal control of their lives. Organizational techniques, such as clarifying the employees' work role,
redesigning and enriching jobs, correcting physical factors in the environment and effectively handling interpersonal factors, also may be included in the process of teaching employees how to handle stress.
Describe how alcoholism is treated under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Employers must remember that alcoholism is classified as a disability under ADA. Alcoholism is regarded as a disease, similar to a mental impairment. Therefore, a person disabled by alcoholism is entitled to the same protection from job discrimination as any other person with a disability. However, under ADA, employers can discipline or discharge employees when job
performance is so badly affected by alcohol usage that the employee is unable to perform the job.
The abuse of both illegal and legal drugs is one of the major employment issues today. Identify and describe three actions of the federal government that are specific initiatives to eliminate the use of illegal drugs on the job.
The federal antidrug initiatives include the following:
(1) The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, which requires federal contractors and recipients of federal grants to take specific steps to ensure a drug-free work environment. One of the main provisions of the act is the preparation and distribution of an antidrug policy
(2) Department of Defense (DOD) contract rules, which specify that employers entering into contracts with DOD must agree to a clause certifying their intention to maintain a drugfree workplace
(3) Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations, which require that employees whose jobs include safety- or security-related duties be tested for illegal drug use under DOT rules.
Under ADA, what is the status of an individual with a serious, life-affecting drug problem?
ADA considers an individual with a serious, life-affecting drug problem as disabled, provided the person is enrolled in a recognized drug treatment program and not currently using drugs. While a recovering addict is entitled to ADA protection, an active user of illegal drugs is not. (Individuals using legal drugs (taking prescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs) to treat a
disability also are entitled to the protection.)
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