The Private Experimental Chemistry Laboratory has failed to adopt an integrated management system that would enable the owner to put health and safety measures in place for the interest of all employees. One of the best approaches to get the organization interested in embracing a management system that would address the health and safety issues would be through creating awareness to the owner (Jespersen, Hohnen, & Hasle, 2016). The owner is a competent scientist who has worked in several university labs and has knowledge of the safety and health requirements that should be in a workplace. However, she has overlooked the requirements on the assumption that her investment only works on specific tasks and there would be no need to come up with a permanent integrated system. The owner should be reminded of the management responsibility in reinforcing the OHS legislation. Failure to adopt the OHS guidelines and an accident takes place in the organization, then the management has a responsibility to compensate employees who have suffered loss, as the insurance company cannot step in to pay the claims.
The OHS management system in an organization plays a proactive role, in that it helps in preventing the probability of accidents taking place in the firm (Sampaio, Saraiva, & Domingues, 2012). As a preventive measure, the OHS system acts as a quality management control. The owner of the lab should consider adopting an OHS system that not only prevents accidents from taking place, that assesses the risks in an organization. As a manager, the owner reserves the right to organize, control, plan, and lead the staffs towards attaining their short-term and long-term goals (Frick, 2011). It is also important for the manager to regulate the usage of the resources in the lab so that wastage is prevented. An integrated management system assists the leaders in regulating the resources and preventing accidents from happening.
As a legal requirement, the manager should understand the implications of failing to follow the law. Reminding the scientist on her responsibility as a business owner to implement the law requirements would motivate her to implement the procedures in her workplace. Some of the measures that should be implemented include the standard operating procedures for entry, emergency and maintenance procedures, and the industry standards applicable to the laboratory (Sampaio, Saraiva, & Domingues, 2012). The emergency procedures highlight measures the company has taken in responding to fire in case it erupts in the organization as well as the rescue steps the firm has pre-arranged for victims caught in a fire. On the other hand, the maintenance procedures are used to detect defects in electricity and in gas in case there is a short circuit or leak. The standard operating procedures are important for the industry the laboratory operates as it enables the supervisory committee that oversees the firms adhere to the industrial requirements. The laboratory technician is also failing to follow the stipulated rule of law that states that every workplace should keep a written and an updated OHS system in every organization. The OHS system is complex and technical, meaning that the management of organizations cannot maintain such a procedure using verbal notes. In addition, since the laboratory is operating in an environment that poses potential hazards to the employees, a written and updated OHS should be kept in the workplace.
Another way of convincing the investor on the need to adopt an updated OHS management system in the organization is the potential costs and losses that the organization is most likely to incur if an accident occurred in the laboratory, and employees sue the firm (Sampaio, Saraiva, & Domingues, 2012). Staffs injured during an accidental fire have a right to be compensated by an organization through the insurance company. However, with the absence of the OHS procedures, it would be hard to pinpoint the individual who had the responsibility of preventing a fire, and all responsibility would turn to the management, which will be forced to incur the losses. A court of law may also blame the management for failure to implement specific OHS programs like the Fire Emergency Plan.
The International Labor Organization Guidelines on occupational safety and health management systems, ILO-OSH 2001 model would be useful to this laboratory. Safety procedures in organizations should be one of the major interests that management takes into consideration to ensure that employees are assured of their wellbeing (Frick, 2011). Staffs are more confident working in an organization that has adopted safety measures to ensure that in case an accident occurs, they will not lose their lives or be affected in a way that their capacity to work is reduced. Safety measures include being trained on ways to respond to a fire emergency and having an alarm in place so that in the event that a fire breaks, all staffs will be notified so that they can evacuate the room within the shortest time. In addition, a laboratory works with chemicals that are highly explosive and flammable, meaning that employees will need constant training on ways they can handle the liquids, and reduce the possibility of causing danger to their bodies. Protective clothing should be worn all the time while working in the laboratory as well as the protective goggles (Jespersen, Hohnen, & Hasle, 2016). Occupational safety and health management systems should be strictly observed by every workplace.
The ILO-OSH 2001 model would be useful to this lab as it would enhance the management's understanding of the need to observe and come up with occupational safety and health procedures in an organization, and the impact such has on the working environment (International Labour Office, 2001). the working conditions of every workplace should favor the employee and they should not pose danger to their lives during their working hours. Every worker has a right to be protected from injuries or sicknesses that might be triggered by their workplaces. The owners of an organization have a responsibility of coming up with preventive measures that protect the wellbeing of employees during the period they work with an organization.
The ILO-OSH 2001 urges organizations to develop a culture that comes up with precautionary and preventive measures to ensure that employees are protected (International Labour Office, 2001). It also provides technical help to organizations that have not implemented the occupational safety and health measures in place to come up with customized procedures relevant for the different industries. The investor would consider the ILO-OSH 2001 model applicable in the organization since it specifies the types of risks that employees should be protected against in their line of work. Employees should also be educated on ways they can protect themselves against potential dangers in the workplace, and also inform the management of areas that need immediate attention to be rectified or enhanced to ensure their safety levels while working are satisfactory.
Frick, K. (2011). Worker influence on voluntary OHS management systems-A review of its ends and means. Safety Science, 49(7), 974-987.
International Labour Office. (2001). Guidelines on occupational safety and health management systems: ILO-OSH 2001. International Labour Office.
Jespersen, A. H., Hohnen, P., & Hasle, P. (2016). Internal audits of psychosocial risks at workplaces with certified OHS management systems. Safety Science, 84, 201-209.
Sampaio, P., Saraiva, P., & Domingues, P. (2012). Management systems: integration or addition?. International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 29(4), 402-424.
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