On January 4th, 2011, an incident at a warehouse resulted in the death of a 63-year-old supervisor who was hit by discarded clothing bales that fell on her. The victim, the shoe manager, was struck by two bales adjacent to the entrance on each side as she returned from a break. Even though the entrance was often utilized, the bales were dumped next to it and piled six bales high by a forklift operator. The event resulted in one death, which may be considered the sole death and injury it caused. However, as these were worn garments and there were no other reported losses outside the woman’s death, the occurrence brought no further damages. In recent years similar accidents have been occurring in different workplaces when carrying out our daily activities, causing death or permanent damage of some losing their body parts.
The gravity danger, whose possible connected injury might result in a fracture, long-term injuries, concussions, dislocations, lacerations, bruising, or death, as in the occurrence under investigation, contributed to the incidents. This kind of risk may be brought on by slips, slides, falls, or falling items that were unintentionally positioned in the way of people. Frequently, things, particularly those that are overweight, are carelessly put such that they may harm individuals if they fall on them.
Similar to the instance presented above, the forklift operator sets the bales next to a door often used by employees, lowering the likelihood that anybody struck by one of the bales would survive (Watjanatepin & Prodano, 2018). Of course, there are other locations where the bales might have been put. If that was the only location where he wanted the used clothing bales to be placed, he could have also attempted another way of stacking them, maybe up to a maximum of three or even placing them in the normal ways they were keeping them before. Considerable care should be made to prevent such risks from happening to anybody shortly (Leso et al., 2018). The seriousness of the hazard, which in many circumstances may be dangerous, has been demonstrated to be one of them.
Ways of prevention of the hazard
There are several ways the same danger may have been avoided and eliminated by following the four phases of hazard management and control in the workplace. The first stage is hazarding identification, which may teach employees and forklift operators about the many risks and how to spot them (Watjanatepin, & Prodano, 2018). Gravity is the danger in this situation, implying that objects can fall and may do so to the point where they strike a person which is not supposed to happen. This could result in permanent injuries such as concussions, dislocations, lacerations, bruises, and fractures, or it could be even more dangerous and result in the victim’s death (Fox et al., 2018).
Of course, there are other techniques for discovering hazards, some of which include moving about the workplace and identifying both safe and harmful objects. When choosing where potentially dangerous equipment could be located, it is also crucial to consider how people and the operator move and they can be protected from similar dangers. Like in the case scenario, the forklift operator should have done enough research on the location to know that the workers frequently used the door he was staking the bales on and that using such tools in the industry could result in injury and that stacking them in a path that almost every employer uses were not a safe activity (Fox et al., 2018). He should have warned everyone about the issue before they stampeded into it after stacking the bales and discovering that they were unstable and even after that try to make them to be stable to prevent that from happening.
Once the danger has been located, the risk assessment is next conducted. The bales may be stacked adjacent to the entrance (Johannessen, 2018). Still, you should make the employees aware that it is unsafe for them to approach the items in this example, the bales, especially if you know that any external pressures applied to such materials might cause toppling. Unless one is sure it will not hurt anybody at work, one should do risk assessments on everything labelled dangerous. Ask them if their everyday tasks require the employees to adopt uncomfortable or prolonged postures, move repetitively, or do both (Fox et al., 2018). Once you are sure they are there or you have evaluated the hazards associated with the item or danger, go on to hazard control.
The level one measure is the most suitable and efficient one according to the hierarchy of hazard management. The optimum course of action in this circumstance would be elimination, which is the most convenient method. After seeing the repetitious employees’ movement, the forklift driver might have removed the bales from the entrance to avoid the accident. By doing this, the incident may have been avoided, and under the given circumstances, this approach could have worked well.
He may have, instead, marked the space and the entrance as dangerous and isolated it. To do this, it could have required time to inform everyone about the present situation and put each employee in the loop (Li et al., 2022). As a result of their tight working relationships, teaching them about the dangers of the bales beforehand rather than revealing them after it is too late and they need to be made aware of what is happening, as happened in this instance, may prove to be useless. Lastly, the risk should be evaluated to make sure that every precaution taken does not prove harmful in any way, and if it does, then all actions should be taken to guarantee that the employees are free from the risks in the workplace (Fox et al., 2018).
Hazard control defence
Hazard management procedures should be frequently carried out in every workplace to ensure that operational activities do not harm employees. Additionally, regularly conducting this helps the organization avoid many hazard-related risks (Johannessen, 2018). There should be a written document identifying the locations where these bales are to be stored, and those locations should be open, well-spaced, and away from the employees’ usual pathways. Hazard control procedures should be regularly carried out, and most importantly, the risk evaluation associated with such hazards to ensure that future accidents are prevented is a requirement as a safety measure for hazard control. For example, the incident could have been prevented if the forklift operator had known where such bales should be stored (Leso et al., 2018).
It is true that some accidents cannot be prevented as sometimes the machines which we use sometimes are faulty but it always good for each and everyone should try to prevent this from happening. This can be done by introducing safety measure in the working in the workplaces which can be even giving the working staff some protective gears like helmets, safety boots, gloves and other considerable equipment which will help to prevent or even reducing the impact of the accident incase it occurs. Even educating the staff on the types of dangers which may occur in these workplaces is important as they will be able to keep them safe and know what to do when the accidents occur. It can be also be good if the workplaces can be designed in a better way and standard on in which can be setting special areas to put the items which can cause the dangers. Also constructing spacious workplaces which I believe it will help to reduce the amount of the accidents and the hazards that occur a good example is in this case if the workplace was spacious the victim could maybe walk a distance from the bales or even the driver would have stored it away from the door. At sometimes some accidents that occur can be avoided and this will be a big step to reduce the amount of them making the work be done well and all the working staff feel safe and cared for.
Fox, M. A., Spicer, K., Chosewood, L. C., Susi, P., Johns, D. O., & Dotson, G. S. (2018). Implications of applying cumulative risk assessment to the workplace. Environment international, 115, 230-238. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412017319864
Johannessen, J. A. (2018). The workplace of the future: The fourth industrial revolution, the precariat and the death of hierarchies. CRC Press. https://library.oapen.org/handle/20.500.12657/43897
Leso, V., Fontana, L., & Iavicoli, I. (2018). The occupational health and safety dimension of Industry 4.0. La Medicina del lavoro, 109(5), 327. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7682172/
Li, Y., Xie, D., He, L., Zhao, A., Wang, L., Kreisberg, N. M., … & Liu, Y. (2022). Dynamics of di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) in the indoor air of an office. Building and Environment, 223, 109446. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360132322006771
Watjanatepin, P., & Prodano, D. (2018). Tools for assessment of occupational health risks of some engineered nanoparticles and carbon materials used in semiconductor applications. Occupational Health and Safety-A Multi-Regional Perspective. London, 10. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=E3eQDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA39&dq=).+Hazard+and+risk+assessment+of+workplace+exposure+to+engineered+nanoparticles:+Methods,+issues,+and+carbon+nanotube+case+study&ots=QSTecKUGPN&sig=-U4ihayuhOQ7zJlS5fJkD-MoLNw