The Influence Of Occupational Health And Safety On Employee

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The Influence Of Occupational Health And Safety On Employee


Abstract


The study was conducted in Nozie Tea Factory. A total of 60 respondents who were drawn from all departments were selected to participate in the study. The study findings showed that the factory did not have an up to date Health and Safety Measures system. During the study it was revealed that there existed unsafe and unhealthy conditions and practices in the factory that contributed too many accidents and injuries to the employees. Most of the respondents affirmed that they would be impressed by a management that enforces Health and Safety Measures through Policies, procedures and communication structures.

75 % felt that the organization was unsafe and unhealthy while 70% felt the organization did not prioritize Health and Safety in the factory against 30% and 25% respectively.

They also, within the above percentage margin, believe that Health and Safety has a great impact on employees and productivity of the organization. All the 60 respondents (100%) answered that unsafe and unhealthy conditions and practices have a negative impact on employees and productivity.

The respondents said the management was slow to act on reports about accidents and unsafe conditions and practices as shown by 67% affirmative answers against 33% negative answers.

According to the findings therefore Health and Safety Measures have direct impact on employees and should be enhanced to through drafting and enforcement of Health and safety policies and regulations. This will go a long way to reduce the accidents and injuries, and consequent indirect costs of the same.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Health and safety policies and programs are concerned with protecting employees_ and other people affected by what the company produces and does_ against the hazards arising from their employment or their links with the company (Armstrong, 2009). The need to provide a safe work environment for employees has had a long history in personnel management. In Beer et al.’s model of HRM, it is acknowledged that work system can not only affect commitment, competence, cost effectiveness, and congruence_ the ‘four Cs’- , but also have long-term consequences for individual well-being, ‘there is some evidence to indicate that work system design may have effects on physical health, mental health, and longevity of life itself. This certainly understates the importance of safe and healthy work systems to the health of employees (Bratton and Gold, 1999).

Problems of occupational safety and health (OSH) have been present since the emergence of human work. The recognition that work is risky to life, safety and health was highlighted in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as the industrial revolution occurred in Europe. The scope of occupational safety and health has gradually broadened from the diseases or injuries attributable to work to the nature of work itself, the wider work environment, and workers wellbeing. OSH is divided into a number of specializations related to particular problems and applications within physiology, psychology, sociology, ergonomics, medicine, hygiene, work safety, toxicology, and epidemiology amongst others (Elgstrand and Petersson, 2009).

Occupational health and safety issues are not limited to physical injuries that occur in the job but also occupational diseases for example excessive and constant noise, long ignored as a source of problems in the past, can lead to
serious health problems such as neurologic, cardiovascular and endocrinological, also cancer and hypertension are due to occupational hazards and stress, furthermore, the proliferation of chemicals in the working and living environment particularly chlorinated and synthetic organic chemicals, create serious long short-term problems. For example carbon tetrachloride induced liver and kidney damage in plastic and dry cleaning workers and bladder cancer in paint manufacturing workers textile. Many employers are attempting through assistance programs to address a variety of employee’s health problems such as drugs and alcohol abuse and accumulative effects of exposure to toxic substances and psychological stressor. Additionally, employers are advocating employee’s wellness programs, thereby encouraging healthy lifestyles (Leap and Crino, 1989).

As (Bratton and Gold, 1999) highlighted in their study, In the 1960s, something like a thousand employees were killed at their work in the UK. Every year of that decade about 500 000 employees suffered injuries in varying degrees of severity, and 23 million working days were lost annually on account of industrial injury and disease. Such statistics led investigators to argue that ‘for both humanitarian and economic reasons, no society can accept with complacency that such levels of death, injury, disease and waste must be regarded as the inevitable price of meeting its needs for goods and services. There are also indirect costs associated with work-related accidents. The indirect costs include overtime payments necessary to make up for lost production, cost of retaining a replacement employee, a wage cost for the time spent by HRM personnel recruiting, selecting and training the new employee and, in less typical cases, the cost associated with loss of revenue on orders cancelled or lost if the accident causes a net long-term reduction on sales, and attendance at court hearings in contested cases.

Regardless of the size of the enterprise, or how you chose to measure it, the safety of each and every employee is crucial to your organization’s success. No matter how sophisticated the operations, activities, communication, and data processing systems are, they are designed, maintained, and operated by people. The importance of having an emergency plan, disaster recovery plan, or business continuity plan to minimize the negative impact of potential natural or man-made disasters cannot be overlooked. The need for planning has been reinforced by the lessons learned in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001 and catastrophic natural events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes (Jyothi and Venkatesh, 2006). And, the achievement of a healthy and safe place of work and the elimination to the maximum extent possible of hazards to health and safety is the responsibility of everyone employed in an organization, as well as those working there under contract. But the onus is on management to achieve and indeed go beyond the high standard in health and safety matters required by the legislation – the Health and Safety at Work, etc Act, 1974 and the various regulations laid down in the Codes of Practice (Armstrong, 2009).

This study propose was to investigate the impact of occupational health and safety on employee. Formerly the work place was filled with risks and health hazards due to unsafe environments and work practices. It was therefore important to understand what is health and safety and what impact it has on employee at the work place.
This study showed how health and safety is related to employee performance, how the employee responds to unhealthy and unsafe work performance practices and what should be done to enhance safety measures for increased safe job performance.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

A recent official survey put the costs to society for death and accidents (excluding occupational disease) in British workplaces at £10 – 15 billion or 1.75 – 2.75 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (Bratton and Gold, 1999). Rapid advancement in modern technology and rapid increase in the use of hazardous chemical substances in industry and commerce have increased the chances that significant numbers of people both employees and members of general public, could have their health and safety endangered by workplace hazards.

Agola (2009) reported on Ippmedia.com that, “Likewise when the Tanzanian government flung ajar doors for investments in the mining sector, we cheered, hoping the level of poverty would decline, but the dream has remained elusive.

The mining sector is now a curse rather than a blessing for Tanzanians”. Those were sentiments that Kahama legislator on the CCM ticket James Lembeli voiced when contributing to the budget speech of the Prime Minister’s Office this week in Dodoma recently. This week it came to the limelight that for people of Kibasuga and Matongo villages in Kibasuka ward in the neighborhood of North Mara Gold Mine in Tarime District, Mara Region, there is absolutely nothing to cheer abut minerals; instead they are “dangerous” precious stones.

Mwikwabe Mwita (65) survived severe body burns from the toxic, hazardous and lethal emission from one of the mine pits to narrate the story but lost all his livestock. All along the memory lane, river Thigithe provided inspiration to the ecosystem of Matongo village. It was a reliable source of drinking water, protein not only for human beings but to all living things. Then came the monster in the name of investor; that changed the lifestyle of the society. With disregard to basic human rights and environmental degradation, they have polluted the river source and registered misery in the faces of people all for lust of money. As a result mysterious diseases have emerged in the area claiming lives of human beings and animals.

“In a span of less than one Month, 20 human deaths and 270 livestock were recorded in the area,” says Mwita. This, he says, happened in May this year alone. A peasant farmer Simon Magaiga crosses river Thigithe as a daily routine to and from his Shamba; he quenches his thirst and bathes from the river after hard work. But that fateful day, he developed a protruding stomach accompanied by diarrhea and vomiting. His face swelled and he died a few hours later. Esther Mugusuhi, a mother of three children in her early thirties could be mistaken for a 95-year-old grandmother. Her skin developed shrinks and itches severely. She has protruding, bleeding lips, due to using polluted water.

The effects of work place hazards are not confined to organizational premises alone; they can often do cause injuries and deaths to members of the general public as well. The importance of healthy and safe policies and practices is, sadly, often underestimated by those concerned with managing businesses and by individual managers within those businesses. It is commonly known that, there is an inherent conflict between the employer’s need to increase output, and efficiency and employee’s needs to maintain good health and be protected from hazards at workplace. If this left to go its way, it would be difficult for many organizations and employees to realize the value for money, because employees will spend their earnings treating job- related diseases, injuries, and/ or death occurrence at large number, while organizations will be busy paying compensations and reparations, fines to authorities, repair of buildings and machines cracks and broken due to accidents and hazards.

The Nozie Tea Factory (NTF) is faced with persistent health and safety problems, accidents and employee injuries at work have been the bone of contention as employees through their associations and unions pressed for better health care, sanitary conditions and safe working environments. Failure by management to improve on safety and health conditions at Nozie Tea Factory have led to conflicts between employees and management, absenteeism and high employee turnover. The management has lost at large in terms of compensation to injured employees; loss of due to turn over and even reduced overall productivity. This problem extends to the milies and other stakeholders of the community who are directly or indirectly affected by the fluence of the factory and resultant accident and injuries to their family members. This aims to understudy the relationship, impact and relevance of health and safety measures employee and productivity at the Nozie Tea Factory and provide more lasting solutions to poor health and safety measures at the organization.


1.3 Purpose of the Study

In this study, the problem was to investigate the impact of occupational health and safety on employees’. It was investigated what is health and safety, how health and safety affected employees at work and what kind of measures could be taken to improve on the health and safety in order to enhance employee performance and productivity.


1.4 The Objectives of the Study

The research was guided by the following objectives.

  1. To establish Unsafe Health and Safety Work Practices and Remedies.
  2. To establish the Relationship between Health and Safety and Employee Performance.
  3. To investigate the Impacts of Health and Safety Measures on Employee Performance.

1.5 Research Questions

The researcher formulated the following Research Questions to guide the Study:

  1. What are the unsafe health and safety practices in Nozie Tea Factory?
  2. What is the relationship between Health and Safety and Employee Performance in Nozie Tea Factory?
  3. What are the Impact of Health and Safety Measures on Employee Performance?

1.6 Scope of the Study

The study was about health and safety, its resultant effects on employee. The main center of focus was Nozie Tea Factory 76 Nyango Gyel Bukuru Lowcost, Jos, Plateau State Nigeria. The research focused on prevailing health and safety conditions in Nozie Tea Factory, effects of health and safety on employee performance and to identify solutions to the problems in order to improve employee performance


1.7 Significance of the Study

Health and safety is an important attribute in organization. This study was expected to benefit organizations and individuals.

First the study would benefit the employees of the organization to understand what are the health and safety measures required to achieve optimum performance at the work place. They would also understand their rights of health and safety standards before they work effectively and also ow compensation can be achieved when need be.

The study would enable the organization to underscore the importance of health and safety at the work place and what measures need to be put in place to have a healthy workforce and safe working environment. Also penalties and costs due to unsafe and unhealthy working environments would be understood and avoided by the management as much as possible.

The government would benefit through the study by understanding what causes injuries, accidents and deaths at work and be guided to make better and comprehensive policies and labor laws. By studying and implementing the conditions and terms of service it provides to workers in the industry, the government would identify bargaining weakness and blind-spots, and assist to emphasize a collective responsibility approach in understanding the plight workers’ health and safety at work. Policy makers would be helped to come up with better and more conversant policies which are to the prevailing conditions in manufacturing organizations, more safe and motivating to the employees and the management.

Other researchers would be able to use this information to perform further research on the subject to come up with other concepts and models not covered in this study.


1.8 Organization of the Study

This study is organized into five chapters. Chapter one included the background of the study, research problem, research objectives and questions as well as limitation of the study. Chapter two contains the literature review. Chapter three includes the methodology and study area. Chapter Four contains the results and discussion of key findings of the study. Chapter Five finally looks at the summary, conclusions, and recommendations based on the findings.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

This chapter mainly deals with summary, conclusions and recommendations related to the impact of Health and Safety Measures on Employees, drawn from the findings and analysis made after conducting the study.


5.1 Summary of the Research

The summary of the findings were presented in accordance with the Research Objectives of the study. It has been observed that Health and Safety has a great impact on employees. Nozie Tea Factory needs a safe and healthy working environment to prevent injury, accidents, promote health and safety by putting in place health and safety measures.

The main objective was to study the impact of health and safety measures on employee performance. It has been noted that health and safety is important and therefore needful to reduce accidents and injuries and increase on performance.

The first objective was to study the unsafe health and safety practices and their remedies. It was discovered that NTF has slippery floors, faulty machines and poor lighting system. Such a condition is unsafe.

The second objective was the relationship between health and safety measures and employees. It was discovered that good health and safety measures lead to high employees and productivity. Employees indicated that if the slippery floors, poor lights and faulty machines were rectified, their performance would increase.

The third objective was to study the impact of health and safety on performance. It was discovered that absence of or low health and safety standards reduced performance and productivity. This was proven from the factory records that showed that production and performance was high when accidents and injuries were lowest, and declined when accidents and injuries were highest.


5.2 Conclusions

From the above study it has been proven that health and safety are important and have a great impact on employees and thus productivity.

According to the main objective of the study, it was established that health and safety measures have direct and indirect impact on employees. Direct impacts include injuries, accidents and damaged machines. Indirect costs include compensation costs to injured employees, hospital bills and repairs to damaged machines.


5.3 Recommendations

On the basis of the findings of the study, the researcher cited areas that needed improvement to have a healthy and safe working environment.

First it was recommended that Nozie Tea Factory should provide a safe and healthy working environment by removing hazards mentioned, including slippery floors, providing brighter lights and repairing faulty machines.
Secondly the researcher recommended that compensation policy should be enforce and practiced, injured employees compensated according to the features of every case.

Training of employees on healthy and safe working techniques should be done. Communication of all Health and Safety Policies, rules and procedures needs to be done consistently on a more regular basis. This will enable gathering of useful suggestions, better decisions from employees that lead to better working environment.

The researcher recommended that more study is needed in accident prevention techniques, automation of processes and more safe and efficient ways of working to improve employees.

The study also identified unsafe and unhealthy practices and conditions and required remedies. The researcher concludes that these hazards ought to be removed on order to enhance health and safety in Nozie Tea Factory.


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Frequently Asked Questions


What occupational factors affect health and safety in the workplace?

In this article, we will discuss some important occupational factors that affect health and safety in the workplace. Organization’s priority: When the organization places job delivery ahead of health and safety, a lot can go wrong.

How does health and safety affect organizational performance?

To illustrate the economic effect of health and safety on organizational performance. The linkage from health and safety measures gives a qualitative overview on how a company’s performance can be improved through the fewer liabilities, accidents, and the enhancement of employees’ morale towards work.

Does Occupational Safety and health (OSH) affect labour productivity?

 Establishment of Occupational Safety and Health Offices in Organizations From the results, health and safety has a direct impact on labour productivity; the institution of OSH offices in every kind of organization will hence be beneficial to firms’ operations.

Why is Occupational Safety and health promotion important?

The occupational safety and health promotion increases creativity and innovation of employees which are key elements for a firm’s success. Also in support of the idea of promoting OSH at the work site in order to address the negative effects of health and safety at 

What are the factors that affect health and safety in the workplace?

It covers job design, job plan, job schedule, job procedure, welfare structure, management structure, etc. In this article, we will discuss some important occupational factors that affect health and safety in the workplace. Organization’s priority: When the organization places job delivery ahead of health and safety, a lot can go wrong.

What are human factors in the workplace?

According to a definition shared by the World Health Organization, human factors “refer to environmental, organizational and job factors, and human and individual characteristics which influence behavior at work in a way which can affect health and safety.” These factors can be further isolated to include several specific elements as follows:

What are the hazards in the workplace?

Although work provides many economic and other benefits, a wide array of workplace hazards also present risks to the health and safety of people at work. These include but are not limited to, “chemicals, biological agents, physical factors, adverse ergonomic conditions, allergens, a complex network of safety risks,”…

What is occupational health and safety?

As defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) “occupational health deals with all aspects of health and safety in the workplace and has a strong focus on primary prevention of hazards.”.

How does health and safety impact employees from the HR perspective?

Health, Safety, Wellness, & Security impact on employees from the HR perspective. Every organization wants to provide a good work environment to all employees to attract possible employees, ensure retention and guarantee employee satisfaction.

What occupational factors affect health and safety in the workplace?

In this article, we will discuss some important occupational factors that affect health and safety in the workplace. Organization’s priority: When the organization places job delivery ahead of health and safety, a lot can go wrong.

How can I improve my organization’s Health and safety culture and performance?

Improving your organization’s health and safety culture and performance involves clearly demonstrating that the organization places a high priority on: Solving occupational health and safety issues Engaging your entire workforce in health and safety Being transparent and open about health and safety

How does safety and health affect production?

Production is positively and indirectly impacted by an effective safety and health program. Studies have shown that when a safety culture is developed in a facility, employee productivity significantly increased, and factory costs noticeably decreased.

How does Occupational Safety and health affect labour productivity?

Establishment of Occupational Safety and Health Offices in Organizations From the results, health and safety has a direct impact on labour productivity; the institution of OSH offices in every kind of organization will hence be beneficial to firms’

Why promote OSH at the work site?

Also in support of the idea of promoting OSH at the work site in order to address the negative effects of health and safety at the work environment, ILO (2003) noticed from the analysis that safety pays in business operations. This ideal draws from the conviction that human performance is higher when people

What is Occupational Safety and health (OSH)?

Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) is aimed at a multidisciplinary field that is concerned with the safety, health and well-being of employees. Various disciplines join forces and research this topic, such as healthcare, psychology, epidemiology, physiotherapy and occupational therapy.

Does occupational health and safety law in Ghana promote economic growth?

A reform of the occupational health and safety law as stipulated in the Ghana labour Acts It is evident from the findings that health and safety are vital to the productivity of employees and this can positively affect economic growth, since the sustainability of the economy depends on the productivity of its work force.

Why promote occupational safety and health?

Promote the health and safety of people at work through prevention and early intervention. The intent behind the Occupational Safety and Health topic area is to prevent diseases, injuries, and deaths that are due to working conditions.

What is the role of health promotion in the workplace?

Health promotion in the workplace complements occupational safety and health measures as part of the combined efforts of employers, workers and national authorities to improve the health and well-being of men and women at work.

What is the importance of OHs in workplace?

OHS needs to be a top priority for the organisation to implement workplace health and safety measures for their employees. It is also mandatory by law to make sure that the employees are aware of all the safety measures.

Is Osh promotion in the workplace a good programme?

Introduction Professionals in occupational safety and health (OSH) are generally convinced of the importance of OSH promotion in the workplace. Yet most would also agree that having a good programme is a challenge, and problems can be encountered at almost every stage in the planning and delivery of the programme. 

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