Exercise Initiative in a Business

Occupational Health and Safety in the workplace was introduced not only for employees but also for employers to help prevent the numerous work related accidents and to formulate a safe workplace for everyone. The regulation of the Occupational Health and Safety act covers all areas which may be harmful for everyone in the workplace, but a lot of people still suffer from incidents at work. This is due to the fact that workers do not take the regulations seriously, or that the employees and employers are not well-informed of the regulations. Either way, the issue of health and safety is important and employees of different work places can improve the situation by addressing their judgment of any problems to the management.

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The Occupational Health and Safety act relates to the protection of workers, it seeks to achieve this by recognizing that constructive employment relationships generate safe and healthy workplaces, and having an organized management of all hazards. The act is not obliged upon workers to make particular work situations safe and healthy; rather, it is a guideline for them to approach flexibly. Therefore it is up to each individual worker whether to follow the conditions that the act recommends to keep their workplace a safe and healthy environment.

Every year thousands of people in Australia suffer painful injuries while performing manual handling in the workplace. This leaves Australia with an enormous expenditure every year in workers’ compensation, lost production, and repair of equipment. The most unfortunate thing is that most injuries can be prevented. Manual handling basically refers to most physical movements carried out within a workplace.

Throughout this report research has been achieved to identify in detail the code of practice for Manual Handling, which is projected to provide a convenient guidance to employers and employees with respect to the identification, assessment and control of risks to health and safety arising from manual handling activities at workplaces. 2. Objection of Research An examination of PFM Removals occupational health and safety policy, procedures and practices in relation to manual handling with the use of carrying heavy loads, and the identification of improvements to reduce accidents of manual handling.

3. Research Manual handling basically refers to most physical movements carried out within a workplace. The most popular of these include lifting, pushing, pulling and carrying of objects with the hands. These circumstances lead to one of the most common occupational health and safety issues, and unfortunately are responsible for a great number of injuries and long-term health problems amongst Australians. A primary source of information for manual handling was gained from a survey referring to the code of practice of manual handling and looks at:

The findings from the survey prove that most organisations are not strict with the policies and procedures for manual handling. The main problems arise from the movements, posture and layout. Many procedures used at workplaces require frequent bending down below mid-thigh height, reaching above the shoulders and twisting of the back. These are severe movements of manual handling, causing pains of the back and even damage in the long term. The task and object is another issue concerned as few of the objects are considered a very heavy weight and some loads are difficult to handle. This is when pressure is put on the back and may cause spinal injuries. The upside to the survey is that most workplaces maintain a good work environment and individual factors.

Secondary sources from books, educational videos and websites backup most of the findings from the survey. Indicating that the act is not adequately referred to in most organisations and employees should be trained efficiently to follow the policies and procedures of safe manual handling. 4. Background Information PFM Removals is a reasonably large organisation situated in the removals industry. They provide services to private companies such as Schweppes, Cannon, Coca-Cola, etc. and to public companies such as schools, surgeries, offices, etc. There are a several managers within the organisation, and approximately thirty employees, who’s duties are to move, pack, deliver and un pack heavy goods to other companies, homes, etc.

4.1 Background information; The Situation The Occupational Health and Safety issue being researched within the organisation of PFM Removals is Manual Handling. Many employees have been experiencing bad posture and strains in the muscles of the back, and the spine. The organisation has policies, procedures and practices for manual handling but is very rarely referred to; this becomes a major concern as it may cause damage in the long term to the employees at PFM Removals.

5.1 Performance Criteria; Basic Requirements of Occupational Health and Safety Legislation It is estimated that one third of all compensatable injuries within Australia are due to Manual Handling, therefore the team at PFM Removals should look at the situation more seriously. The analysis of workplace injury records at PFM Removals shows that the majority of work related injuries are due to manual handling.

Code of Practice According to the Occupational Health and Safety legislation, a code of practice applies for manual handling. It applies to every manual handling act at a workplace and is projected to provide a convenient guidance to employers and employees with respect to the identification, assessment and control of risks to health and safety arising from manual handling activities at workplaces.

Basic Requirements By looking at the code of practice and applying it to PFM Removals, will provide the main issues which need to be concerned due to manual handling. This may require the company to purchase new and safe material, or even re-design the work place. 5.2 Performance Criteria; The Organisations Occupational Health and Safety Policies, Procedures and Programs The current company policies, procedures and programs at PFM Removals are applied during the training of each employee, and refer to all hazards which relate to health and safety at work. The systems used while training the employees include being spoken to by a manager, a video, and few documents which are given to the employees to examine in their own time.

The way the company policies, procedures and programs are communicated to the work team is not very efficient as employees do not have to take it seriously. Instead, employees should be tested on the policies, procedures and programs, every now and then so that it can be taken seriously. 5.3 Performance Criteria; Identifying Hazards, Risk Assessment and Control Identifying Hazards

The first stage to safe manual handling, risk identification, is the method of identifying the tasks which are likely to be a risk to health and safety so they can become efficiently examined and assessed. There are three main steps to risk identification, the first step involves an analysis of the workplaces injury records, the second concerns consultation with the employees, and the last step is direct observation or inspection of the task or work area. This task particularly helps in identifying risks because of work inspections, audits and walkthrough surveys.