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In order to provide safe working environment Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been obligated to recognize health hazard, Evaluation and Control them. To establish and maintain safe and healthful conditions requires indentifying hazards, evaluating their potential effects and making ways to get rid of them by planning and acting apriority. This procedure acts as the essence uplifting successful safety management.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been facing difficulties on how to make workplace a better place to work this is because of nature of the hazards which exist in many working environments. The Health and Safety at Work Act, and the Hazardous to Health substances law, it is in this regard the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has failed to provide guidance as well as approve Codes of Practice that help to prevent maintain good working practices.
For this reason, this research paper seek to examine the challenges facing, employees in their work environment and the result variables. Again, it seeks to discuss the key factors in the employee’s workplace environment that impact greatly on their level of motivation and performance. In addition, it tries to determine whether work ergonomics is one of the factors in affecting employees’ productivity in considering how good facilities and environment like Furniture , less Noise, Flexibility of working time , Comfort, Communication, Lighting, working temperatures, Air Quality affect productivity.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is an agency of the U. S. department of labor. It was created by Congress under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, It has an obligation of enforcing work safety by making sure that issues like injuries, illnesses and occupational casualties are addressed and prevented by issuing and enforcing standards to be followed at workplace so as to maintain safety and health. The main goal for its establishment was to make sure employers set good working standards to their workers . good place of employment which is free from known hazards to safety and health. Such could include disclosure to toxic chemicals, mechanical dangers, excessive noise levels, heat or cold stress, or unhygienic environments. In addition, Occupational Safety and Health Administrations a division of the U.S is charged with the responsibility to manage the administration of the Act and put into effect the standards in all 50 states of America
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This book serves as a reference and guide for the establishment of occupational health and safety programs and policies. The author states that, Workers have a duty to take care of their own safety, as well as the safety of anyone who might be affected by what they do or fail to do (Alli 2001 p 19).
The above acts as one of the fundamental principles required in occupational health and safety procedures based on the philosophy of ILO in protecting and preventing harmful activities. This originates from the mandate of the organization in the area of occupational health and safety. Again, Alli reiterates that A consistent policy at the national level is particularly necessary in the prevention and control of occupational hazards, where satisfactory and lasting results can only be achieved through sustained and painstaking efforts (Alli 2001 p 28).
This is gotten from the guidelines that are embodied in the standards of ILO, conference solutions and codes of practice. According to Alli, A healthy, motivated and contended workforce is fundamental to future social and economic well-being of any nation (Alli 2001 99).
This is basically the ultimate goal of the principles of protection and prevention reflected in the instruments applied in occupational health and safety laws, programs, policies and regulations.
It is a good source as it delineates an occupational health and safety approach that can be utilized as a foundation for programs and policies to establish a safe and a healthy working environment for everybody. Alli presents generally accepted measures and activities of OSHA that other sources have highlighted.
The authors emphasize the need of ensuring a strong management system of the occupational healthy and safety procedures. Gallagher and her colleagues present a very important aspect of the accountability of management in ensuring continuous check and evaluation processes. In their work, the authors say thatThere is evidence to suggest that management accountability for OHS is often weak; Dawson et al. (1988:164) found that health and safety performance rarely featured in formal and informal management appraisals (Gallagher 2001 p28).
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Moreover, the authors state that establishing and maintaining a good occupational health and safety policy or program cannot be left in the hands of the management team alone. Employees must be included in the programs and in the process of ensuring sustainable occupational healthy and safety procedures, though under close supervision of the management team. They assert that There may also be direct employee involvement programs, for example safety inspections and quality circles, which are also likely to be management-driven (Gallagher 2001 p31).
The authors emphasize the major challenges of occupational healthy and safety administration and come up with proposals that would result into an effective process. Gallagher et al. states that given the problems associated with current measurement tools, one suggestion which will assist on-going research upon OHSMS effectiveness is the establishment of measurement protocols prior to the evaluation of organization OHSMS (Gallagher 2001 p 71).
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Gallagher and her colleagues provide very useful information tackling on the effectiveness of OSHA. This source stands out in the way it analyses OSHA activities to determine the effectiveness of the measures taken to ensure good healthy and safety conditions. Unlike other sources, the authors give the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of the matter in question.
Krause discusses four main factors that are used to evaluate models of safety incentives. These are pointed out as feedback, injury reporting, safety message, and pride of performance. Krause says,as a result, incentives often become an entitlement for the workforce and a "sacred cow" for managers (Krause, 1998 p24).
This means that conventional incentives programs founded on rates, programs of behavior modification that multiply participation in activities of safety, and safety based on behavior using feedback and observations become very important for managers in promoting occupational health and safety. About the above mentioned models of safety incentives, Krause states that compelling reasons prompt a revisit to the pros and cons associated with safety incentive programs” and ”generally, behavior-based safety incentives have stood out in excellence (Krause, 1998 p26).
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It is very appealing to make use of behavior-based safety incentives as they are closely connected to employees, hence producing outstanding results, when compared to the other criteria of evaluating occupational health and safety procedures. According to Krause, lthough the outcome of the two types of incentive programs may be the same, only the former type (non-traditional) truly enhances worker safety and health (Krause, 1998 p28).
This clearly shows that the safety and health of the worker can be enhanced by non-cash incentives. A sense of purpose will yield better results in ensuring occupational health and safety. Krause is an author of behavior-based safety. He presents a balanced score card in matters of health and safety administration that is aimed at providing outstanding results. Thisworkhangs onto professionalism while applying occupational, safety and health measures in the work place. It covers a wide scope that is really useful.
Besides, Machida describes to what extent the effect of economic and industrial growth is felt. The challenge is enormous as it affects both the economy and human existence. As the author states, The cost of every single occupational accident or disease, measured in terms of both human suffering and economic loss, is huge” and “considered nationally, the costs are enormous (Krause, 1998 p41).
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This report also emphasizes the measures as well as the stakeholders supposed to counteract these challenges. The social partners and the government are very important players in ensuring that occupational health and safety is achieved. Machida says that Guarding against those hazards requires the active involvement of all three of the ILO’s tripartite constituents, government, employers and workers (Machida 200 p 47).
Machida presents very essential primary research on the programs of action in matters of occupational health and safety. The authenticity of this report can be verified and used as a very important source in determining the future of OSHA. Unlike other sources that rely on secondary information, it is most certain that the author offers credible data and information that can be effectively used to address issues affecting effective OSHA.
In reference to (Hughes 2007) argument, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Should work towards employee protection in organizational structures, this is because employees work at various organizations and industries at different levels. He points out that, that nine out of ten workers believe that a workspace quality affects the attitude of employees and increases their productivity. Employees in different organizations have different office designs. Every office has unique furniture and spatial arrangements, lighting and heating arrangements and different levels of noise Occupational Safety and Health Administration should make sure that managers have much flexibility in their staffing style in short term and long term ran, managers must deal with the hand they are dealt. In such situations, controlling the work environment is often the most feasible short-term option, beyond skill training, for improving outcomes.
In addition, Occupational Safety and Health Administration should work towards increased personal control since comfort needs of employees triggered the concern among organizations to provide them with an environment and office design, which fulfills the employees’ needs and helps to boost their productivity (Barry 1998 p 60-80).
Moreover, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration should make enforce employers to manage new challenge in creating a work environment that attracts, keeps, and motivates its workforce. The responsibility lies with managers and supervisors at all levels of the organization. Businesses must step outside their traditional roles and comfort zones to look at new ways of working. They have to create a work environment where people enjoy what they do, feel like they have a purpose, have pride in what they do, and can reach their potential. This then influences that employee’s, Error rate, Level of innovation, Collaboration with other employees, Absenteeism and, ultimately, how long they stay in the job (Barry 1998 p 56)
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In addition, Occupational Safety and Health Administration should ensure that any workplace, consistent employee absenteeism can be a potential problem. Consistent absenteeism can be a result of a combination of many factors: Lack of incentives, including employee insurance and performance bonuses or recognition, can cause employees to become apathetic and lose motivation. No performance or attendance policies mean that employees don't have to take responsibility for their own (Barry 1998 p 100)
Secondly Occupational Safety and Health Administration shuld ensure good employers provide good work environment since it has a direct impact on an individual’s ability to work safely, competently and in compliance with operational performance targets. It is important to address matters such as Furniture, Workspace availability, Light, intensity, Weather and temperature ,Ventilation and humidity, Noise/vibration, Premises hygiene and welfare facilities Office furniture components have a specific role to play in the proper functioning of any office and the productivity and the efficiency of the employees. Office furniture should have ergonomic. Ergonomics of office furniture is important because an employee has to work with them for the entire time that he is on office, and if they are uncomfortable and not user friendly, their working style and efficiency gets hampered considerably, in turn affecting the overall organizations
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Occupational Safety and Health Administration should enforce employers to have reduced noise in their working environment. This is because noise harms employees in more ways than we can think of and at times without us even knowing about it. We cannot have a noise free world but we sure can have a noise safe world. There are various sources of noise pollution.
In addition, Occupational Safety and Health Administration should enforce good lighting in work environment since on visual receptors in the retina of the eye form nerve pathways that directly influence our biological clock, the part of our brains that controls and moderates sleep and wakefulness, directly affecting our levels of alertness.
Again, Occupational Safety and Health Administration should ensure that good working temperatures temperature is maintained since workers productivity depends on one’s body temperature. In this regard temperature and humidity can have a significant impact on how alert or tired somebody might feel. This, in turn, can have a dramatic effect on the performance of a worker (Barry 1998 p 105)
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