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The decentralisation of the companies within Strathgammon hinders the implementation of health and safety policies and procedures; this delay puts staff and visitors to the workplace further at risk.
1.2 Further advice should be sought regarding the means by which more systems may be centralised within the Strathgammon Group.
The cost of this advice should be 3000.
1.3 Communication methods within the firm are poor and, thus relations between staff and management is of such a state that productivity is affected. A fully fledged communication policy needs to be established. A website offering information on every facet of the company and its policies is recommended.
1.4 Advice from specialists should be sought in dealing with the threat of asbestos at construction sites, during cutting of material made of asbestos; maintenance and renovations. The report should give emphasis on maintaining the health and safety of all that may be at risk of exposure, at the site or surrounding area.
This advice should cost 12000.
1.5 Staff training programmes specified to each specialisation need to be put in place, focusing on all the aspects of health and safety where in the particular individual correlates. Staff are most at risk in the workplace and so should be consulted in relation to what risks they have identified.
Further recommendations regarding the content and methods of such training programmes is required, and by which means programmes may be conducted regularly so as to maintain high working standards amongst staff.
A recommendation of this nature is estimated to cost 10000.
1.6 Conventional building materials and methods correlate to numerous health problems. The use of green material is highly recommended in offsetting these health problems and in preserving the future of the earth. Resistance to this change is very strong and so an intensive thorough investigation into the benefits of such a change is recommended. A further investigation on how to implement the use of green materials in the company is sought.
Management should consider the investment from a long term perspective to offset doubts on this change. An amount of 18000 should be allocated to fund this activity.
1.7 Advice from relevant specialists is required for the area containing the abandoned brick works and settling ponds at Much Wickham. The future of the area has three possibilities for either: sale; or renovations so as to erect a new plant; or for cleanup and removal of hazardous material, in preparation for a future plan yet to be decided upon.
1.8 All recommendations should be accessed thoroughly and a decision upon which recommendations to implement should be taken in 8 months. Upon this period, the board should decide when the new systems and policies will be centralised into the Strathgammon Group. The publication should recommend how these new policies and systems will be implemented and applied in both the medium and long terms.
1.9 The main Board should review the results of the above actions in 3 months and again 6 months subsequent to that.
2.1 The purpose of this report is to evaluate the efficiency of the health and safety policies and systems of Neville Construction Ltd within the Strathgammon Estate Group Ltd. This report provides a structured in depth analysis of the operational environment. It addresses the vulnerabilities, threats, risks and safeguards within the workplace. The assessment proposes cost-saving safeguards to help prevent threats and associated vulnerabilities.
2.2 This report will provide practical steps that the associated companies can take to improve health and safety in the workplace, with a focus on what systems the group should be thinking of implementing.
2.3 Having assessed the companies within the Strathgammon Estate Group Ltd, it is evident they operate independently from each other with different health and safety systems, but with a common health and safety culture that is not of a high standard. Creating a common health and safety culture within the whole Strathgammon Estate Group Ltd is imperative. The practical steps to accomplish this goal will be addressed in the report.
2.4 An effective health and safety policy is of great importance to the business: Costs associated with accidents and incidents are reduced. The morale of employees improves as they recognise that their health and safety is priority. The responsible attitude towards employees improves the public perception of the company; this may help lower insurance premiums and give confidence to banks and potential investors.
2.5 The overall aim is to create a centralised health and safety system for the companies within Strathgammon Estate Group Ltd with a focus on its construction branch, Neville Construction Ltd.
3 PROBLEMS IDENTIFIED
3.1 Building operatives are susceptible to falling objects that may cause serious head or bodily harm. This hazardous scenario is not limited to workers, but to members of public and other visitors to the site as well.
3.2 Measures to control and prevent a fire outbreak are required. Staff could suffer from smoke inhalation and/or burns. This may be caused by materials that are not properly extinguished or smoking. Electrical equipment that are not maintained properly pose a fire hazard. Vandals may set fire to external rubbish bins placed too close to the building
3.3 The abandoned brick works and settling ponds at Much Wickham may contain rundown manufacturing equipment that may pose great risk to the potential user. Sharp objects, pallet debris and brick bands may be lying around.
The area is not entirely inaccessible to the public to whom these dangers are more likely, specifically children.
3.4 Certain equipment emit excessive noise. This causes noise pollution and is unpleasant to the surrounding public. Hearing loss may occur when such equipment is used near people. Equipment causing vibrations may lead to the development of vibration white finger.
3.5 Falling from any height can cause fractures or death. Staff may fall through roofs while trying to do repairs or while doing maintenance on a high ceiling. Being under pressure to complete work in a specified time also results in workers being too hasty.
3.6 Faulty wiring and building equipment can cause electrical shocks and burns
3.7 Car parking space at the Much Wickham head office is limited to 40 cars, this is insufficient. Parking is required for 65 full-time staff; this figure excludes parking required for temporary staff and clients.
The limited parking causes congestion and poses a risk to pedestrians when cars enter and leave the car park
3.8 Contractors, fitters and people in the vicinity may be exposed to asbestos fibres which may potentially cause lung disease. Exposure to asbestos occurs when it is inhaled. It becomes a threat when released into the air through maintenance work.
3.9 Conventional building materials and methods correlate to numerous health problems. Chemical pollutants and biological pollutants from moulds and dust mites cause various symptoms such as chronic fatigue, headaches and depression. Various common building materials also pose such risks and more.
3.10 Staff do not express themselves to management when they have issues of discomfort. This promotes low morale and depression amongst staff leading to low productivity.
3.11 The companies within the Strathgammon Estate Group Ltd have evolved and grown independently from each other with individual policies and actions. Senior management of the parent group are not fully aware of the transparencies in other companies within the group. The public and therefore staff, view the separate companies as independent. This perception makes it harder for senior management to centralise health and safety systems.
4. ANALYSIS OF CAUSES OF PROBLEMS
4.1 Cause of problem 3.1.
Loads carried overhead may not be secured properly, causing the objects to dislodge and fall. Adequate personal safety equipment that can protect them from falling objects is available, but their use is not strictly enforced on workers or visitors to the site. There is a lack of warning signs indicating possible hazards and the work going on; visitors and public are thus unaware of possible dangers.
Poor communication amongst workers and management makes it harder to collaborate in identifying hazards.
4.2 Cause of problem 3.2.
Some of the staff are not aware of the precautions needed to be taken to prevent a fire outbreak. Only the minimum requirements set by law on fire prevention are in place with no further regulations based upon the characteristics of the area.
The safe smoking areas still raises concerns as wind may blow the flames unto hazardous areas. Inspection and monitoring of ignition hazards is not aggressive enough. Precautions to avoid arson have yet to be taken.
4.3 Cause of problem 3.3.
The area has been neglected since the 1950 and is seen as insignificant by city council and senior management. Warning signs and barricades to prevent entry have thus not been emplaced
4.4 Cause of problem 3.4.
Improper use of equipment by staff is due to lack of training. Constructing near to public areas and the use of angle grinders encourages noise pollution. Any sign of developing the indicated side effects should be reported immediately.
4.5 Cause of problem 3.5.
Supervisors not monitoring the scaffold and ensuring it can withstand the load. Workers misuse the scaffold and wear it down. Monitoring of roofs during the erection phase is not stringent enough. Supervisors are not always present to manage proceedings and maintain calm.
4.6 Cause of problem 3.6.
Staff have not been adequately trained to identify and report faulty wiring and equipment. A qualified electrician doing regular maintenance work has not been put in place to identify and remove such hazards.
4.7 Cause of problem 3.7.
The company continues to evolve and there by staff and potential clients increase. Much Wickham head offices are situated in a narrow street susceptible to congestion. There is no pedestrian crossing on the most crossed area of the road.
4.8 Cause of problem 3.8.
Asbestos was used in construction material due to its resistance to heat, chemical and electrical damage, sound absorption and tensile strength. Material such as pipe insulation, floor tiles and cement pipe.
Fibres are dispersed into the air at the construction site when construction materials made of asbestos are cut, shaved or ground to fit specific dimensions. Most worker exposure occurs during renovation and maintenance of buildings and structures containing asbestos.
4.9 Cause of problem 3.9.
Establishing environmentally friendly construction policy requires the approval of senior management who fear that quality may be compromised with green material. Certain green material is more expensive than conventional material.
4.10 Cause of problem 3.10.
Staff and management do not correlate to solve problems. Management do not encourage staff to express their feelings and do not know what they need to work more productively.
4.11 Cause of problem 3.11.
As the individual companies developed they focused more on themselves and less on the group as a whole. Not all senior management seek to centralise the policies and procedures of the group. The individual companies fear that being controlled by a centralised system will halt their development and end their semi-independent existence.
5.1 Upon reviewing this report it becomes evident that the decentralised policies and procedures hinder the health and safety of staff and visitors to the workplace.
The expansion of the companies away from each other remains a threat to the solidarity of the Strathgammon Estates Ltd. The decision by senior management to try to end this movement will have been met with enthusiasm by many within the group.
The proposed centralisation of health and safety policies and procedures is the first step in this direction. There may have been previous attempts at centralising the group s policies and procedures that have been unsuccessful, but this time there is much more enthusiasm from senior management for change to take place.
5.2 As a centralised health and safety policy, due care should be taken by Strathgammon to ensure it is approved by all companies in the estate so as to not enforce it without prior consent and cause unnecessary tension within the estate.
5.3 Extensive research should conducted in the other specialisations within Strathgammon with similar reports to give a whole overview of the required health and safety policies needing to be put in place in those relevant specialisations; so as to provide the safest working environment possible.
5.4 Security systems need to be put in place to prevent vandals from setting fire to external rubbish bins placed too close to the building
5.5 Communication between staff and management is poor. Staff do not feel as thou they are allowed to express their grievances, concerning the workplace to management. As they are the ones exposed to the various potential hazards, their input could also help improve productivity and health and safety.
Management should be more aware of staff members so as raise moral and to understand how to ensure they work productively.
5.6 The abandoned brick works and settling ponds at Much Wickham poses great risk to the public. The area has been neglected since the 1950 and is seen as insignificant by city council and senior management.
5.7 Training programmes need to be put in place so as to obscure the growth of untrained staff. The training should focus on the use of equipment and identifying hazards.
The satisfaction of completing such a programme should provide a further boost to the moral of staff and an appreciation towards the company for providing the training.
6.1 It is recommended that an outlined detailed report be formulated on the previous health and safety system, together with recommendation for a new health and safety policy, meeting the demands of the new requirements set out by the by the Health and Safety Executive.
Consultation with relevant staff and management should take place to identify possible procedures that may improve the new system. Ideally health and safety systems should be reviewed every 2 years so as to assess new regulations and to judge the relevant system in place.
It is suggested that the lead in this process should be Wallace James, with Colin Rington and Graham De Costa offering support.
6.2 The area containing the abandoned brick works and settling ponds at Much Wickham needs to be reviewed by relevant specialists to prepare it for either: sale; or renovations so as to erect a new plant; or for cleanup and removal of hazardous material, in preparation for a future plan yet to be decided..
6.3 Training programmes specified to each specialisation need to be put in place focusing on all the aspects of health and safety where in the particular individual correlates. Training should be conducted upon the purchase of new equipment and upon the change of policies in the workplace. Training is compulsory to new staff members.
6.4 A fully fledged communication policy needs to be established. A website offering information on every facet of the company and its policies is recommended. Work expectations of staff are controlled by supervisors. Senior management and supervisors should correspond more so as to make sure staff complete the expectations of senior management.
It is suggested that the lead in improving communication should be Reginald Hilditch, with Carmen Andrews and Alan Smith offering support.