Health And Safety Compliance In Indian Companies Construction Essay

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A very well-known proverb "Health is wealth" is sadly not followed in this globalized and industrialized word any more, in a developing countries like India, often health is neglected to earn wealth. Increasing number of MNC's, are outsourcing their factories and industries to India. Which has given rise to economic benefit to the country, but the life expectancy ratio of the country has fallen too, work related accidents and illness has increased. Not many organisation's follow health and safety rules lay down by Indian government or International bodies or even companies safety policy. Many a times employees themselves neglect their heath by not following the safety procedures, and management of the team not taking action against such neglectance, resulting in work related accidents and death. Conditions are even worst in small time hotels and restaurants and sweat shops, where laborers are forced to neglect their health because of their poor economic background, resulting in early back pain, Blood pressure etc.

Background to the problem/issue:

Increasing number of firms are outsourcing their firms to India, resulting in economic benefit to the country, but with economic benefit, health and safety is neglected by the management and the employees which has given rise to work related illness and accidents. Therefore implementing "Health and Safety" standards at work has become very important. Numbers of people are killed every year in accidents and over million people are injured at work. Many people suffer illness caused by work, such as early back pain because of wrong posture chair provided by a company, or work accidents because of careless attitude of a worker for example; laborer working in a sweat shops does the same work every day with no variety or change in the way they work for year and years together, in such environment laborers may develop dull attitude towards their health and safety. They may assume "we have been doing this for years together nothing can happen and unfortunately accident does occur" To avoid such attitude training team should give and remind health and safety training of the company time to time.

It is extremely important for workers to understand the purpose of the training session, on why it will be useful to them, and what will be the outcome or result for not following safety rules and procedures. Numbers of industrial workers died every year in different projects in different accidents. This requires immediate actions from the authorities entrusted with responsibilities to ensure safety guideline being adhered to.

Most of the Industrial accidents and deaths can be easily avoided, simply by following rules and regulation laid by the company.

Why is implementation of safety standards at work important to Firm/Organisation?

With the help of globalization, employments have increased considerably in recent years, it has also given rise to cut throat competition around the world resulting in laborers health is neglected to meet the dead lines or targets or to survive the competitions It has become very important for an organisation to implement safety standards at work for their labors health and safety. It will prevent accidents and ill health caused by work.

Implementation of health and safety measures will develop a positive health and safety culture. Laborers or employees are the back bone of the organisations, without employees, organisation cannot run on its own, and at the same time organisation cannot be successful or survive in the business without healthy and energetic employees. Implementing Healthy and safety measures will contribute towards making employees competent in health and safety; resulting in less absenteeism due to illness, good concentration at work that will enable business to avoid the distress that accidents and ill health cause; it can help to avoid the financial costs of accidents and occupational ill health. As a matter of facts insurance doesn't cover all these costs, especially costs like, Damaged Products, lost production and demotivated staff and also according to the law organisation requires to provide, instruction and training that is needed to the employee failing to do so may result in legal consequences.

Research questions & objectives:

Research:

Research on "Health and safety standards" implemented and followed by different organisation in India

Guru Dhaba, a family restaurant in Mumbai.

Airtels call center in Mumbai.

Pantaloons sweatshop in Mumbai

Health and safety issue is gaining more and more importance in today's competitive business environment, Employees are the backbone of an organisation, their security and safety is of prime importants to the organisation for the better future of the organisation, the supervisor and Human Resource manager are responsible to coordinate and make employee follow health and safety policy of the company, by controlling and training the employees and workers, they are responsible for the maintenance of the health and safety policy of the company and by the government of the nation.

For example, HR manager and supervisor must:

Give health and safety instruction time to time

Make employees aware of fire exits of the company

Give employees health and safety coaching in time interval.

Provide correct posture chair to avoid early back problem

Provide technical training for avoiding accidents and to Handel technical equipment's

Objective:

The overall objective is "to implement health and safety standards at work" this has been broken into the following sub - objective.

Investigation in "Guru Dhaba" family restaurant, Airtel BPO, and Pantaloons sweat shops on do they give health and safety training to their newly appointed staff?

Identifying employees/worker attitude towards health and safety measures at work

Determining why Implementation of health and safety standards are important at work.

Recommendation of improvement

Investigation in "Guru Dhaba" family restaurant, Airtel BPO, and Pantaloons sweat shops on do they give health and safety training to their newly appointed staff?

Small times restaurant's like "Guru Dhaba" in India, Mumbai, don't give important's to health and safety at work, workers are not given fixed rota time for the week or day, they are made to work according to the requirement of the company, since the restaurant's like Guru dhaba are small time restaurant's opened with the licenses called "Shop establishments act 1984" issued by government of Maharashtra India. It becomes deficit for the workers working in such organisation to raise their voice or give complain to the authorities who can take action, because these companies are setup and winded up every day. And also many a times people are forced to work in these organisation because of poverty poor economic background, resulting health work related illness and depression.

In today's competitive business environment most of the national and multinational companies outsource their call centers in different parts of the world like wise "Airtel" have setup their call centers in different parts of the country, Airtel has its one of its call center in Mumbai, India. Where I will conduct my research, My research will include, to find out what is the health and safety measures of the company? If, the employees are given health and safety training in induction, and then later on in time interval. Owing to the fact that BPOS have their waking standards and patterns that are different from other Industries, like different shift patterns long hours of speaking over headphone, constant use of computers and laptops, which in longer run results in hearing problem, lack of sleep, depression etc.

Pantaloons' India is the leading retailer of fashion clothes in India, pantaloons have their sweat shops in out skirts of city where it is easy to get cheap laborer, due to poor economic back ground laborers are ready to work in less wages too, the management of such sweat shop doesn't care much about health and safety measures at work, at times when orders of garments are high they are even forced to work 7 days a week without holiday, that leads to early health problems.

Identifying employees/worker attitude towards health and safety measures at work

Globalization has generated employment opportunities in India, unemployment rate is gradually falling down, with the ever increase in employment it has become vital important to enforce health and safety policy in organisation to avoid work related illness and accidents and to avoid and maintain this there are various national and International bodies governing health and safety measures in different organisation. Organisations have to abide by the rules laid down by such organisation.

Organisations such as..

Ministry of labour government of India.

International laborer organisation(ILO)

These organisations are setup to prohibit work related abuse, to support laborers, With the positive effects of globalization there are several negative effects too, that is although many new industries have been set up which in turn has increased the employment opportunities for the labors but most of the companies do not follow the Labor Standards that has been set by the countries government or by International Labor Organization. As a result of this, laborers are being exploited by the companies, especially in developing countries like India. Many companies exploit their laborers by not giving the standard wage (nation's minimum adult wage) to their employees, making employees work over time without paying them extra wage, employees from by providing unsatisfactory working conditions to their employees, and to ensure people from every cultural back ground, race, and gender ability are respected.

Determining why Implementation of health and safety standards is important at work.

Health and safety is important at work because it is beneficial to the employee and employer both. By following health and safety policy the employer saves money and adds value to the business.

Benefit to the employer are..

Reduction in compensation and insurance cost

Reduction in medical expenses

Increase in production due to healthy and happy workers

Reduction in faulty waste

Increase the value of the company

Benefit to the employee:

Healthy and secured long life

Income is protected

Happy family life

Happy working life

Less stress

Recommendation for improvement:

"Accidents are unexpected and undesired event" (Oxford dictionary), it doesn't warn and happen and no organisation would want accident in their business because it reduces the profit share of the company or legal consequences and sometimes to the worst even shutting down of a company. Unhealthy and ill employees reduce the speed of the production and service in the organisation again hampering the profit good will and sustainability of a company, to avoid all this the company's, "health and safety policy" should be strong and HR manager and supervisor should be vigilant and strict about following the policy.

Company should address and plan the types of health hazards and accidents that can happen at work place, to avoid any types of health hazards and work accidents, management and the employees should follow health and safety policy of the company they are working with, time to time training to be given by Human resource manager and supervisor of the company of the company to the employees, demonstration of fire safety and accidental safety to be given, so that that the event of hazards employees are aware what security actions has to be taken to safe their life.

Literature review

Globalization of MNC's and Industrialization has been boon to the developing countries like India, it not only has been economically beneficial to the county but also has increasing employment opportunities. With the ever increase in demands of goods and services the target and pressure of meeting deadlines or reaching goal has increases. Hitting targets on time or earning goals or meeting deadlines is benefit for the company, it increases profit of the company, but at times employees neglect there health to achieve the team target or company's target or are depressed because of monotonous work, that they do every day. Or even management of the organisation doesn't follow or is careless about 'health and safety policy' laid down by the company and government, giving rise to work related accidents, illness etc.

Every nation's government imposes legal rules and regulation for health and safety requirement for employee's health and safety; therefore there is debate about whether international labour standards should form the basis of national regulation and company policies.

Child labour:

In many parts of India, small scales industries employ children who are 14 years and under die to poverty these children work in sweat shops small time restaurants or garments making factories etc. In 1979, Government of India formed the first committee called Gurupadswamy committee to abolish child labour form India, further 'child labour (prohibition and regulation act was enacted in 1986 and national policy on chil labour was formed in the year 1987. There legislative action plan was enforced for the safety of child so that they are not employed in hazardous working environment, for the health and safety of the child. (Ministry of labour and employment, National child labour Project, http://labour.nic.in/cwl/ChildLabour.htm viewed on 21st dec 2009.)

Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

Before 1974 approximately 8 million employees had no legal safety protection at work.

HASAWA 74 provides the legal framework to promote, stimulate and encourage high standards of health and safety in places of work. It protects employees and the public from work activities.

Everyone has a duty to comply with the Act, including employers, employees, trainees, self-employed, manufacturers, suppliers, designers, importers of work equipment.( health and safety at work act 1974 http://www.hse.gov.uk/legislation/hswa.htm view on 5th January 2010)

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 requires employer to provide employee with whatever information, instruction, training and supervision is necessary to ensure, they practice the health and safety at work.

This is further expanded by the Management of Health and Safety at Work

Regulations 1999, which identify situations where health and safety training is particularly very important, for example; when new employee is appointed, when new technique is introduced or on exposure to new or increased risks and where existing skills may have become rusty or need updating. Employer must provide training during working hours and not at the expense of their employees.

The Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977 and the

Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996 requires employer

to consult their employees, or their representatives, on health and safety issues.

Representatives should be appointed or trainers should be appointed to give training to the new employees/ labours, or provide training in change or implementation of new technology, or to give time to time training to avoid health hazards. And for all the training provided by the company employee should be paid as same as they are paid for the duties done by them.

The Health and Safety (Training for Employment) Regulations 1990 ensure that learners doing work experience are covered by health and safety law.

International labour organization has laid down eight ILO core for the employers to abide the rules laid down by them, following is the eight ILO Core Convection cover..

The eight ILO core Conventions cover:

1. The Worst Forms of Child Labour (Convention 182)

2. Minimum Age (Convention 138)

3. Abolition of Forced Labour (Convention 105)

4. Forced Labour (Convention 29)

5. Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right

to Organise (Convention 87)

6. Discrimination in Employment and Opportunity

(Convention 111)

7. Equal Remuneration (Convention 100)

8. Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining

(Convention 98)

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 requires employer to provide employee with whatever information, instruction, training and supervision is necessary to ensure, they practice the health and safety at work.

This is further expanded by the Management of Health and Safety at Work

Regulations 1999, which identify situations where health and safety training is particularly very important, for example; when new employee is appointed, when new technique is introduced or on exposure to new or increased risks and where existing skills may have become rusty or need updating. Employer must provide training during working hours and not at the expense of their employees.

The Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977 and the

Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996 requires employer

to consult their employees, or their representatives, on health and safety issues.

Representatives should be appointed or trainers should be appointed to give training to the new employees/ labours, or provide training in change or implementation of new technology, or to give time to time training to avoid health hazards. And for all the training provided by the company employee should be paid as same as they are paid for the duties done by them.

The Health and Safety (Training for Employment) Regulations 1990 ensure that learners doing work experience are covered by health and safety law.

Main legislation

The legislation relating to health and safety is very extensive. One of the most important statutes is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA). All work places are covered by this legislation which says that an employer must do everything reasonably practicable to provide a safe and healthy workplace with adequate welfare facilities. HSWA has been supported and extended by various sets of regulations, codes of practice and guidance, all of which deal with various aspects of health and safety.

The Health and Safety Commission (HSC) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) were established under the HSWA to respectively decide upon and implement health and safety policy. These two bodies merged into a new unitary body, retaining the name Health and Safety Executive in 2008.Only duly authorized officials of the HSE make individual enforcement decisions.

Some examples of other relevant legislation includes:

Health and Safety Inquiries (Procedure) Regulations 1975 (SI 1975/335) 

Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 (SI 1981/917)

Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 (SI 1989/635)

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992 (SI 1992/2051)

Health and Safety (Enforcing Authority) Regulations 1998 (SI 1998/494)

Methodology

My research work will involve investigation and there by critically evaluating the factors, issues and problems, by generating illustrative examples, to do so, I will take my college letter stating I am writing my dissertation on "Investigation into health and safety compliance with in selected Companies in India" which will grant me permission to investigate and interview selected employees of the selected companies and also since I have worked with Airtel, will help me to get more information from my past experience and by interviewing current employees of Airtel.

Research methodology steps:

Investigation

Guru Dhaba

Pantaloons sweat shop.

Airtel call center

Drafting literature

Reviewing Indian ministry of law for laborers and workers

Data collection

Analyzing collected data

Interviewing

Questioner's preparation

Figure 1. steps in research methods.

Data collection:

Collection of data for dissertation is one of the important and difficult task that will take maximum time. Data collection will be done through intense research, literature reviews, Interviews. Most importantly interview Questionnaires will help to collect data from a wide group of participants like workers from Pantaloons sweat shop, laborers from Guru Dhaba and employees from Airtel call center hotels etc.

(Wilson and McLean 1994). "Data gathered by the questionnaire often lacks 'personality' and depth."

Analyzing collected data:

Analysis of data is the stage where the Investigation, literature review, interviewing is done, with the help of all this desertions can be made, it require careful review and mixing of available data. It's a stage where the research starts getting reliable. It is one of the important task of research management, without which research on the subject can't be done.

After investigation and interviewing employees in Pantaloons, Airtel and Guru Dhaba, all the collected data will be analyzed to start with dissertation writing Data interpretation will be processed according to the objective information acquired and not on the personal views of the research..

Interviewing:

Before interviewing the employees from respective organisations they will be assured their names and identity will not be released, questions like there name age won't be asked, questions are framed in such a way that answer will be 1 word answer, yes or no, to avoid hurting any once sentiments and also the questions that a interviewee doesn't want to answer will be passed.

According to Moser and Kalton (1977) "three main undertakings should be performed during questionnaire data processing: completeness (each question is answered), accuracy (check for misleading answers) and uniformity (check for uniform instructions' interpretation). Meanwhile results of the interview require more complicated processing because of their qualitative nature."

Questions for the interview are as follow..

How long have you been working with the organisation?

Are you happy with your work?

Have you had any minor accidents at work that has been resolved?

When did you have that minor accident? Was the management supportive and helpful?

Did you ever suffer from work related illness like depression, high blood pressure, deafness, etc

Are you aware of labour rights?

Have you ever heard of ILO, WHO, Indian Labour Ministry or any other organisation acting for labours rights?

Are you aware of nation's minimum wage?

Do you know fire exits in your work premises?

Does your company have first aid box in different location?

What health benefits does your company provide?

Does your company give you clean drinking water facility?

Does your company provide you with correct posture chair?

Do you get maternal or paternal leave?

Do you get paid sick leave from your company?

Do you get fire safety training time to time?

Were you given health and safety training when you joined the company?

Are you aware of your rights with in the company?

Does your company provide you with regular health checkup time to time?

Does your organisation employed children below 14years of age?

Reflections

'Health' is concern with stamina of the person, if the person has low stamina then he/she is week and requires medical treatment or rest or food. If a person is not health then he/she can't work, there is no wealth without heath. Healthy person is capable of concentrating in work, resulting in meeting deadlines on time or before time, happy working and family life.

'Safety' is concerned with physical safety issues such as strains, falls, accidents and injury. Safety means avoiding work-related diseases, such as industrial deafness, dermatitis, occupational overuse syndrome, asbestosis, and occupational cancers. It may also include more general health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure and stress, where the work environment and procedures can be shown to be contributing factors. Therefore Health and safety both are the important factor to be considered by employee and employer, at work.

Ethical Considerations:

While carrying out the research proposal, ethical consideration of the interview and questionnaire will be given vital importance, no offending questions will be asked Interviewees will be given an opportunity to abandon the study at any stage; if they don't want to answer certain question, no personal questions will be asked. Bias questions will be avoided and the assurance of validity and reliability in the questionnaire will be considered with needed

Methodological rigor:

"Methodological rigor is an ethical, not simply a technical, matter" (Morrison 1996);

Interviewees will be given assurance and guarantee that the research will not harm them and their privacy will remain unharmed. Their name gender age won't be disclosed to anyone. For most questions like there name and age won't form the questioners and won't be asked.

Time scale and resources

Gantt chart:

Gantt chart of the project research: "Investigation Into health and safety compliance with in a selected organisation in India"

Months

Description

Week1-2

Week3-4

Week5-6

Week7-8

Week 9-10

Week11-12

Investigation

Airtel

Pantaloons

Guru Dhaba

Literature review

Preparing questionaries'

Interviews

Airtel

Pantaloons

Guru Dhaba

Data Collection

Data Analyzing

Time scale for interviews of labours working in factories.

Preparing questions for interviews and questionnaires

3 weeks

Arranging interviews

1 week

Holding questionnaires

1 week

Producing report on results

2 week

Time reserved for unexpected occurrences

5 days

Resources:

Resources of research methods will include, investigation in organisation in India Mumbai, Guru Dhaba family restaurant, Airtel's call center, Pantaloons sweat shop. Books on health and safety, government law books on Indian Labour law, Internet browsing for latest updates of new law implemented for health and safety. Study on old new and modified health and safety policy. Sites of IOL,WHO, Indian ministry of labour etc.. feedback from the interviews with peoples view and suggestions.

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