Objectives After studying this chapter, you should be able to:
Summarize the general provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA).
Describe what management can do to create a safe work environment.
Identify the measures that should be taken to control and eliminate health hazards.
Describe the organizational services and programs for building better health.
Explain the role of employee assistance programs in HRM.
Indicate methods for coping with stress.
Safety and Health: It’s the Law
In 2002 there were 5.5 million injuries/illnesses among private-sector firms.
Back problems cost employers $50 billion yearly in workers’ compensation costs and $50 billion in indirect costs In 2002, more than 340,000 OSHA calls involved injuries to the back.
In 2003, there were 609 private-sector work-related homicides.
In any year, approximately 75 million working days are lost because of on-the-job injuries.
In 2003, 5,559 employees died from work accidents.
Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) of 1970
Mission of OSHA
To assure the safety and health of America’s workers by setting and enforcing standards
providing training, outreach, and education
establishing partnerships with businesses
encouraging continual improvements in workplace safety and health
Coverage of employees —a ll nongovernmental employers and employees; state and local government employees
Provisions of OSHA
Apply to general industry, maritime, construction, and agriculture
Cover the workplace, machinery and equipment, material, power sources, processing, protective clothing, first aid, and administrative requirements.
Enforcement of the Act
The Secretary of Labor is authorized by the Act to conduct workplace inspections, to issue citations, and to impose penalties on employers.
Inspections are conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the Department of Labor.
Enforcing OSHA Standards
Citations and penalties
Voluntary protection programs
Training and education
OSHA’s System of Inspection Priorities First Level Second Level Third Level Fourth Level Inspection of imminent danger situations Investigation of catastrophes, fatalities, and accidents that result in hospitalization of five or more employees Investigation of valid employee complaints of alleged violations of standards or of unsafe or unhealthful working conditions Special-emphasis inspections aimed at specific high-hazard industries, occupations, or substances that are injurious to health
Citations and Penalties Other-Than- Serious Serious Willful A violation that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but one unlikely to cause death or serious physical harm. OSHA may propose a penalty of up to $7,000 for each violation. A violation where there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard. OSHA may propose a mandatory penalty of up to $7,000 for each violation. A violation that the employer intentionally and knowingly commits, or a violation that the employer commits with plain indifference to the law. OSHA may propose penalties of up to $70,000 for each violation.
Voluntary Protection Programs (VPPs)
Programs that encourage employers to go beyond the minimum requirements of OSHA.
Star, Merit, and Demonstration programs
Purpose of VPPs:
Recognize outstanding achievement of those who have successfully incorporated comprehensive safety and health programs into their total management system.
Motivate others to achieve excellent safety and health results in the same outstanding way.
Establish a relationship among employers, employees, and OSHA that is based on cooperation rather than coercion.
Employer Responsibilities under OSHA
Provide hazard-free workplace.
Be familiar with mandatory OSHA standards.
Inform all employees about OSHA.
Examine workplace conditions for conformity to applicable standards.
Minimize or reduce hazards.
Provide safe tools and equipment.
Warn employees of potential hazards.
Establish operating procedures to protect employee safety & health, and communicate them.
Provide medical examinations where required by OSHA standards.
Provide training required by OSHA standards.
Employer Responsibilities under OSHA (cont’d)
Report major accidents and all job-caused deaths to nearest OSHA office.
Keep OSHA-required records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
Post OSHA poster.
Provide employee access to Log (OSHA Form 300)
Provide employee access to employee medical/exposure records.
Cooperate with OSHA compliance officer for inspections.
Do not discriminate against employees who properly exercise their rights under the Act.
Post OSHA citations at or near the worksite involved.
Abate cited violations within the prescribed period.
Employee Responsibilities under OSHA
Read the OSHA poster at the jobsite.
Comply with all applicable OSHA standards.
Follow all employer safety and health rules and regulations.
Wear or use prescribed protective equipment at work.
Report hazardous conditions to the supervisor.
Report any job-related injury or illness to the employer, and seek treatment promptly.
Cooperate with OSHA compliance officer on inspections.
Exercise employee rights under the Act in a responsible manner.
Computing the Incidence Rate
The following equation computes the incidence rate, where 200,000 equals the base for 100 full-time workers who work forty hours a week, fifty weeks a year:
Hazardous Materials Regulation
Laws that require employers to advise employees about the hazardous chemicals they handle.
Hazard Communication Standard (HCS)
OSHA-published hazardous chemical regulations known as the HCS prescribes a system for communicating data on health risks of handling certain materials.
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs)
Documents that contain vital information about hazardous substances.
Creating a Safe Work Environment Elements in Creating a Safe Work Environment Safety Awareness Programs Safety Motivation and Knowledge Enforcement of Safety Rules Accident Investigations and Records
Creating a Safe Work Environment (cont’d)
Promoting Safety Awareness
The Key Role of the Supervisor
Communicating the need to work safely.
Proactive Safety Training Program
First aid, defensive driving, accident prevention techniques, hazardous materials, and emergency procedures.
Information Technology and Safety Awareness and Training
Highlights in HRM 3 Organizations Providing Safety Awareness and Training Materials National Safety Council Occupational Safety and Health Administration American Society of Safety Engineers American Industrial Hygiene Association Canadian Society of Safety Engineering American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists American Association of Occupational Health Nurses American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Risk and Insurance Management Society British Occupational Hygiene Society Drug & Alcohol Testing Industry Association Emergency Nurses Association International Association of Fire Chiefs National Hearing Conservation Association Society of Human Resource Management
Creating a Safe Work Environment (cont’d)
Typical Safety Rules
Using proper safety devices
Using proper work procedures
Following good housekeeping practices
Complying with accident- and injury-reporting procedures
Wearing required safety clothing and equipment
Avoiding carelessness and horseplay
Enforcing Safety Rules
Actively encourage employee participation in the safety program by:
Jointly setting safety standards with management
Participation in safety training
Involvement in designing and implementing special safety training programs
Involvement in establishing safety incentives and rewards
Inclusion in accident investigations.
Investigating and Recording Accidents
Any occupational death, illness, or injury to be recorded in the log (OSHA Form 300).
Recordable accidents include: death, days away from work, restricted work or transfer to another job, or medical treatment beyond first aid.
Other problems include loss of consciousness or diagnosis of a significant injury or illness by a healthcare professional.
Figure 12 –1 Guide to Recording Cases under the Occupational Safety and Health Note: A case must involve a death, or an illness, or an injury to an employee.
Highlights in HRM 4 Job Safety and Health Protection Poster
Health Hazards and Issues Indoor Air Quality Proliferating Chemicals Cumulative Trauma Disorders AIDS Video Display Terminals
Creating a Healthy Work Environment
Recognizing and Controlling Health Hazards Related to Hazardous Materials and Processes
Use substitutes for hazardous materials.
Alter hazardous processes and engineering controls.
Enclose or isolate hazardous processes.
Issue clothing to protect against hazards.
Creating a Healthy Work Environment (cont’d)
Problems with Video Display Terminals (VDT)
Visual difficulties, muscular aches and pains, and job stress
Place the computer screen four to nine inches below eye level.
Keep the monitor directly in front of you.
Sit in an adjustable-height chair and use a copyholder that attaches to both the desk and the monitor.
Use a screen with adjustable brightness and contrast controls.
Use shades or blinds to reduce the computer-screen glare created by window lighting.
Injuries involving tendons of the fingers, hands, and arms that become inflamed from repeated stresses and strains resulting from jobs requiring repetitive motion of the fingers, hands, or arms.
Injuries lower employee productivity, increase employer health costs, and incur workers’ compensation payments.
Figure 12 –2 Key Elements for a Successful Ergonomics Program
Provide notice and training for employees.
Conduct pre-injury hazard assessment.
File injury reports.
Plan and execute.
Evaluate and assess the ergonomics program.
Reducing Violence in the Workplace
Commitment to prevent violence
Identify areas of potential violence
Develop violence prevention policies
Provide violence prevention training
Evaluate program effectiveness
Figure 12 –3 Violence Indicators: Know the Warning Signs
Direct or veiled threatening statements
Recent performance declines, including concentration problems and excessive excuses
Prominent mood or behavior changes; despondence
Preoccupation with guns, knives, or other weapons
Deliberate destruction of workplace equipment; sabotage
Fascination with stories of violence
Reckless or antisocial behavior; evidence of prior assaultive behavior
Aggressive behavior or intimidating statements
Written messages of violent intent; exaggerated perceptions of injustice
Serious stress in personal life
Obsessive desire to harm a specific group or person
Violence against a family member
Source: Adapted from Violence in the Workplace: Risk Factors and Prevention Strategies , NIOSH Bulletin #59; Walter Brennan, “Sounding Off about Verbal Abuse,” Occupational Health 55, no. 11 (November 2003): 22; and Larry J. Chavez, “Benefits That Can Prevent Workplace Violence,” Employee Benefit Plan Review 58, no. 2 (August 2003): 6.
To deter terrorist attacks:
Heighten ID checks and baggage screening
Increase video monitoring with threat-recognition software to back up human surveillance
Install blast-resistant glass to reduce casualties
Have offsite emergency offices
Tighten garage security with stepped-up inspections
Stagger deliveries to reduce truck traffic
Develop emergency evacuation procedures, including escape routes, emergency equipment, and gathering locations
Crisis Management Teams
Teams, composed of both hourly and managerial employees, conduct:
Initial risk assessment surveys
Develop action plans to respond to violent situations
Perform crisis intervention during violent, or potentially violent, encounters
Figure 12 –4 Calming an Angry Employee
Strive to save the employee’s dignity during an angry confrontation. Don’t attack a person’s rash statements or continue a muddled line of thinking.
Hold all conversations in private. Do not allow the employee to create an embarrassing public situation for himself or herself, yourself, or other employees.
Always remain calm. Anger or aggressiveness on your part will trigger a similar response in the employee.
Listen to the employee with an open mind and nonjudgmental behavior. Give the employee the benefit of hearing him or her out.
Recognize the employee’s legitimate concerns or feelings. Agree that the employee has a valid point and that you will work to correct the problem.
If the employee is very emotional or if the engagement seems out of control, schedule a delayed meeting so people can calm down.
Keep the discussion as objective as possible. Focus on the problem at hand, not the personalities of individuals. A cornerstone of conflict resolution is to “attack the problem, not the personality.”
If the employee appears overly aggressive, withdraw immediately and seek professional help before any further discussion with the employee.
If your efforts fail to calm the employee, report the incident to your manager, security, or human resource personnel.
Source: Adapted from professional literature on crisis management and seminars attended by the authors.
Building Better Health Alternative Approaches Wellness Programs Health Services Focus on Nutrition
Employee Assistance Programs Emotional Problems Alcoholism Abuse of Illegal Drugs Personal Crises Abuse of Legal Drugs
Dealing with Troubled Employees
Employee performance and document unusual employee behavior
Employee about negative job-performance and suggest professional counseling assistance
Make reasonable accommodations:
To employees covered by Federal legislation
Take disciplinary action when appropriate
Maintain contact with HR personnel for guidance and advice
Abuse of Illegal Drugs
The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988
Requires federal contractors and recipients of federal grants to ensure a drug-free work environment.
Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Transportation (DOT) specify that employers entering into contracts with them certify their intention to maintain a drug-free workplace.
Required drug testing for specific positions
What Is Stress?
Any adjustive demand caused by physical, mental, or emotional factors that requires coping behavior.
A response to stress that involves an elevated heart rate, increased respiration, elevated levels of adrenaline in the blood, and increased blood pressure.
Positive stress that accompanies achievement and exhilaration.
Harmful stress characterized by a loss of feelings of security and adequacy.
Most severe stage of distress, manifesting itself in depression, frustration, and loss of productivity.
Coping with Stress
Responsibility without authority
Inability to voice complaints
Prejudice because of age, gender, race, or religion
Poor working conditions
Lack of a clear job description or chain of command
Unfriendly interpersonal relationships
Figure 12 –5 Tips for Reducing Job-Related Stress
Build rewarding relationships with co-workers.
Talk openly with managers or employees about job or personal concerns.
Prepare for the future by keeping abreast of likely changes in job demands.
Don’t greatly exceed your skills and abilities.
Set realistic deadlines; negotiate reasonable deadlines with managers.
Act now on problems or concerns of importance.
Designate dedicated work periods during which time interruptions are avoided.
When feeling stressed, find time for detachment or relaxation.
Don’t let trivial items take on importance; handle them quickly or assign them to others.
Take short breaks from your work area as a change of pace.