Industrialization in the 20th and 21st century has resulted in the mass employment of workers with the aim of serving diverse organization needs. There exists different employment opportunities that have come with a lot of safety threats and risks to the employees, both self-employed and those employed in normal company settings. Some of the common dangers are caused by the ignorance of the employers, employees and the other parties involved in the entire working system in the process of performing their responsibilities. It is for these reasons that the government came with the safety, health, and welfare at work act 2005 to add up on the other laws concerned with the safety and welfare at the workplaces. This paper explains the various responsibilities that the act requires the participants at the workplaces to adhere to so that safety at workplaces is improved and risks minimized. Subsequently, it explains the various risks that are associated with building and civil engineering and other related occupations have and the possible ways in which these risks can be minimized if not completely avoided at the workplaces.
Building engineering is one of the occupations that is linked with the highest number of risks at the site. Civil engineering works involve the use of heavy machines such as drillers, hydraulic lifts, and bulldozers. These machines produce sounds that are not friendly to the environment and human hearing. Nevertheless, these sounds can be controlled such that they do not cause harm to the daily machine operators and the other workers at these sites through the utilization of ear masks. The 2005 health, safety and welfare act mandates the site managers the responsibility to provide the ear masks to all the workers who are at the site. Managers are required to ensure that no employee is allowed into the site without the ear mask. The suppliers and manufacturers of the ear masks are also required to provide clear instructions to the construction companies on the way these protective tools are used and possible cautions that can arise using them. Employees role according to the 2005 safety and welfare activities is to ensure that they have their ear masks on while the machines are in operation.
Civil engineering works are at times so involving and overloading to the workers and the managers. The workers in these sites, therefore, may get stressed due to the huge workloads that they are expected to handle within a given time span. Some of the site foremen may develop unlawful policies at the workplace that lead to bullying acts on the workers who are working under them. The large workloads may mean that the workers increase the number of working hours per day so that they accomplish their assignments in time. Health safety and welfare act 2005 is meant to ensure that the workers have their working hours fixed and not extended to give them enough time of rest and exercise for refreshment. The act requires the managers to keep time so that the workers have enough of their personal time for brain refreshment and relief of fatigue. The act requires that inspection is done so that any site manager is charged on the spot depending on the offense he or she has committed. Employees are required to report to managers in case they begin to get negatively affected with the job so that they are permitted to have a break.
The machines that are used in most civil engineering works use petroleum products which release harmful substances to the environment. If by any chance these fumes and the dust are inhaled by workers, they is a likelihood of being harmed. The 2005 act requires that the site foremen provide sufficient dust masks that would help in reducing the rates of inhalation of the dust and fumes in the air. This act also requires that the employees wear protective garments that can prevent their bodies from getting into contact with harmful chemicals that are often used in the civil works. The mask suppliers are expected to bring quality equipment to the market for use by workers to ensure optimum protection. The civil engineering firms are required to provide diets that would deal appropriately with the effects of the chemicals and fumes that have been inhaled in the course of the working process. The 2005 act provides instructions on the maximum years' workers should work to ensure that workers get retired before these poisonous chemicals accumulate to a harmful level at the workplaces.
A significant number of activities at the construction sites are manually handled. This means that the workers handling these jobs need to be assured of their safety when at the site. Companies must provide helmets and safety belts as a way of minimizing the physical injuries. Managers need to supervise the workers occasionally to ensure that they are always in their protective garments Employees are allowed to demand gloves to avoid injuries or even burns when at work.
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