A Research Report OnRisk Assessment At Workplace
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This study focuses on the various concerns and pitfalls of workplace health and safety principles and risk assessment in the organisational workplace. The study introduces the topic from a broad perspective in relation to the various safety and health concerns of the organisational workplace. The study introduces the three common pitfalls concerning the organisational workplace from the point of view of the author. The pitfalls discussed in this study are failure of identification of common hazards in the industry, not following the hierarchy of controls, and overlooking of health and wellbeing of the employees working in the organisation. To safeguard the firm and its employees, it is essential to identify the failures related to the common hazards in the organisational workplace. It is well known that one of the root causes of workplace incidents, illness, and injuries is the failure to identify and address or recognise hazards that are present that could have been anticipated earlier. Being proactive, and process to identify and access such hazards is a critical element of any effective safety and health program. Customer dissatisfaction is one of the primary reasons for failure in the identification of the hazards in the organisation. Failing to satisfy customer needs can be a potential risk for any organisation. Employee turnover is important for any organisation as failure to do so poses a potential threat to the organisational culture. Furthermore, factors such as mixed opportunities, damaged reputation, financial loss, and business failure are some of the factors related to some of the common hazards in the industry discussed in the section. The next pitfall in an organisational workplace focuses on not following the hierarchy of controls. The study discusses that by providing a structure to select the most effective control measures to eliminate or reduce the risk of hazards identified in the risk assessment process, a consistent approach in managing workplace safety is provided by the hierarchy of control. It is emphasised that by applying control measures, the identified risks should be reduced to the lowest achievable level. It is discussed in order to remove the hazards by elimination, an effective elimination criterion should be set. Then comes the substitution of the elements, engineering controls, by developing a solution that controls hazards. Furthermore, safe work practices are discussed along with training and administrative controls and then the challenges while implementation of control measures was addressed. The final pitfall is discussed next in the following section that recognises the overlooked essentials of employee wellbeing in a healthy workplace. There are several factors affecting employee wellbeing in the workplace that are discussed in-depth to provide an idea of how productivity improves with the same. Factors such as job control, increasing job control in the workplace, motivating employees, providing social support to the employees, and commitment to care by creating connections help massively in the improvement of the employee wellbeing. Finally, conclusions are drawn in the end to provide an overview of the common discussion summed up in a structured manner related to the discussed pitfalls concerning workplace health and safety principles.
The main aim of this report will be to discuss the three most pitfalls in carrying out the process of risk assessments. It can be mentioned here that these three pitfalls are considered as the most common that are faced by the stakeholders who are involved in the risk assessments of the business corporations. The name of the selected pitfalls will be described in brief, after which the justification of the selection of these three pitfalls will be done. In the justification, the nature of the identified pitfalls along with the challenges that are faced by the stakeholders will be evaluated. Proper examples will also be given at the time of discussing the pitfalls so that it will be easier to relate them with the modern contemporary business environment. The benefits that will be received if proper risk assessments are done against the selected pitfalls will be discussed as well in this report. The main discussing points will be summarised at the end under the conclusion.
Justification of the Pitfalls
Selection of 3 Pitfalls
The three pitfalls, which can be considered as the most common in carrying out risk assessments while conducting the same within the organisational projects(Dolezel, Lüthi and Gaugitsch, 2020). It can be discussed here that there are several pitfalls that are involved within the project management that is done by the management of various companies across the globe. Among them, the three most common pitfalls that have been selected to be discussed here in this paper are failure of identification of the hazards, not following the hierarchy of controls and overlooking of health and wellbeing. All these three are regarded as the most common pitfalls that are faced by the people or stakeholders who are involved in risk assessments of the projects performed within the business corporations. From the viewpoint of failing of identification of the hazards, it can be noted that the invisible hazards are overseen by the people while focusing on the general or visible hazards. This causes serious risks to the health and safety of the people who are involved in the projects of the organisations(Heyset al., 2016). On the other hand, not following the hierarchy of controls refer to the non-following of different control measures that need to be followed by the worke4rs while carrying out different tasks related to project management. For example, Personal Protective Equipment or PPE kit need to be used by different workers while carrying out particular tasks (Pourchetet al., 2020). But this is usually used and followed by the middle of top-level employees, and normally not followed by the lower-level workers. Lastly, overlooking health and wellbeing signifies the mismanagement of the companies, where the health of the workers who are carrying out the risky tasks are overlooked. This is a serious pitfall that is faced by the higher authorities mainly due to their negligence towards the workers, who mainly contributes to the overall profit generation of the people. Degrading of the health of the employees is a serious concern to the management of the organisations (Henman, 2020).
Pitfall 1 - Failing of Identification of the Hazards
Identifying the possible hazards for any organisation is essential because without evaluating the risk factors the company can suffer sudden problems that can cause serious damage to the market position and goodwill of the company (Solomon et al., 2021). The possible hazards include losing the customer base, deterioration of the organisational culture, loss of employee motivation, being left behind by the rivals, and losing standards in the market. Therefore, any company should have to enrol a risk assessment team to be prepared to handle all the negative impacts invented from the risks. Without identifying the potential threats, the companies can suffer the following risks-
Customer dissatisfaction- Retaining customers to a business or product is a difficult and dynamic process because gaining customer satisfaction does not follow any stipulated pathway (Fan et al., 2020). Therefore, failing to satisfy customer needs can be a potential risk for any organisation. The indicators of this process can be a gradual decrease in goods and service sales, continuous negative feedback, and a grown-up of rival companies. If the management failed to identify these indicators, then within a short time the company can experience a huge setback in the case of gaining customers.
Employee turnover- Employees are the spinal cord for an organisation because, without their dedication, any organisation cannot develop a stable position within the market outset (Lee et al., 2017). However, the loss of passion of the employees can be a potential threat for the company because it can destroy the organisational culture. Employees lose motivation mainly due to constant negligence of their demands, not carrying a proper work-life balance, not receiving due rewards and appreciation, and being victimised of harassment both sexually and mentally. If this sort of activity continues within the organisation then the market thrash will be inevitable.
Missed opportunities- A company can experience missing opportunities to grow in the market due to negligence towards possible threats. If the management is not able to anticipate the probable threats in the case of company operations, product marketing, employee unrest, and stakeholder problems, then missing tenders and failing deadlines are very common (Loprest, Spaulding and Nightingale, 2019). This happens because the company cannot identify the risks of the specific order and in turn, the market goodwill and standards start to diminish.
Project failure- Not identifying the market situations and customer choices can lead to a thrashing out of a new product or an update of an existing product from any specific market (Mohamad et al., 2021). This type of activity occurs because the management does not gather exact information about the sales of the product or the chances of the product and lastly it will enlist as a failed project of the organisation.
Fines- An organisation also have to face financial penalties if they do not follow the rules and regulations of the market authority and the concerned government because not maintaining rules can impose risk factor to the firm.
Damaged reputation– Reputational damage is more like a realisation of the potential source of risk facing an organisation or a company (Sun et al., 2021). It can happen for many reasons. Damage in reputation can create many adverse impacts in a company if it is not taken care of properly or recognised early and take necessary actions. For instance, Nestle Company faced the same issue of product clutter and they didn’t take that seriously and witnessed a downfall in their reputation which caused serious damage in the business of the global market.
Financial loss– Financial loss is directly related to a damaged reputation. A company that has faced damage in the case of product and consumer market, is more prone to face financial loss. During a long period, a reputational and huge company like Nestle was enjoying favourable profit in the business but once a premier product Maggi has faced controversy in quality control and got negative feedback from the quality controller and their business was almost ruined. This would not have happened if the company checked and monitored its quality of products. Therefore, it is significant to check the potential risk well before it became a foe to the company (Yumin, 2020).
Business failure – Sometimes financial loss becomes so acute that companies’ businesses get highly damaged and face failure in the business (Bayat, Talebi and Ghoddoosi, 2018). The potential risk is significant to analyse from time to time unless it can create an adverse impact on the company. Financial hurdles are the main reason for the failure in the business. Potential causes like financial loss, poor business management, marketing mishaps are the basic reason to experience business failure. Once this kind of problem is faced, it becomes very hard to recover from this major problem.
Pitfall 2 –Not following the Hierarchy of Controls
The hierarchy of control helps in constantly managing safety in the workplace. If it is safely applied then the organisation is able to create a safe workplace (Kruzhilkoet al., 2021). It provides a structure to effectively selecting the most effective measures of control and reduce any risk of hazard during the process of risk assessment. The risk that is identified needs to be lowered to a significant level by applying the control measures using the process of risk management process (Uzunet al., 2018). traditionally hierarchy of control helps in determining the most effective and feasible control solution. A pictorial representation of the hierarchy of control is represented below
Figure 1: Hierarchy of control
(Source: Kruzhilkoet al., 2021)
Elimination: Physically removing the hazards is the most effective hazard control. For example, if an employee is working on high ground, the hazard could be eliminated by moving the price into a lower ground to eliminate the hazard.Substitution: Replacing something of hazard with something that does not produce any hazard or of lesser hazard. For example, replacing any lead-based paint with titanium white as lizard based paint is hazardous to health.
Engineering control: This kind of controlling hazard is the third most effective control as it does not eliminate any hazard but isolate the people from the hazard. For example, a crew uses fume hoods to remove any kind of airborne contaminants.
Administrative control: It means changing the way that people work. It does not remove any hazard but prevents people from exposure to any kind of hazard. For example, instructing the workers to work at night to prevent any kind of problem, as a result, few people are driving.
Personal protective equipment: This may be the least effective form of control hazards such as Nomex, Tyvek and safety glasses. For example, medical examiners use respirators to make sure that they could complete the task without any effort.
Challenges implementing control measures
the challenges are as follows:
Inconsistent application: This is appropriate for multinational businesses when the risk assessment process is replicated and consistent across all sites. According to van Kleef and Cheng (2020), it enables the business to track risk assessment and implement risk assessment control measures.
Poor culture towards Health and safety: It is a struggle for any organisation to understand health and safety. It is not only the responsibility of the H&S rep or manager to understand health and safety but all the other staff must understand health and safety.
One of the symptoms of poor work culture is
- The organisation failed to train the staff through the correct use of equipment.
- The managers failed to inform the workers regarding the risks and hazards present.
- The managers failed to create and implement a safe procedure for working.
- There are no formal means of authorisation.
- Supervision failure.
If an organisation can consistently and correctly use the control method then there would be safer and more productive in the workplace for all the various employees. The hierarchy of control measures is followed to ensure the smooth working of the organisation.
Benefits of the Hierarchy of Controls
Controls of the hierarchy are significant as well as a beneficiary in various aspects for a company or an organisation. In general, the hierarchy of controls is significant just because it helps employers and workplace leaders to confirm the safety and protection of their employees. Every giant company like TATA, HYUNDAI, SAMSUNG, WALMART and AMERICAN EXPRESS looks after well on this particular section, named hierarchy control. This is crucial in a certain occupation where the employees come into regular contact with hazards like air pollutants, diseases and illness, toxic chemicals, SPM elements, vehicle-related accidents, heavy machinery errors, and many more. The safety and precaution of the employees help every company to maintain a well-balanced economic structure as the employees seem to be happy working under the respected company (Chawla and Kumar, 2020). It is significant to notice that the hierarchy of controls ensures stakeholders control, manage, and even sometimes extracted such hazards effectively, regardless of their industry. This will surely help the employees from witnessing life-threatening illnesses or injuries and save the particular organisation a significant amount of money in terms of financial loss. Safety also can keep the employees safer and the company can operate at the best level of possibility.
Pitfall 3 - Overlooking of Health and Wellbeing
In any organisation, it is extremely important to look after the health and well-being of the employees. Be it a corporate office or a normal logistics office, everywhere it is important to maintain basic health and hygiene for the employees. There are many offices where employees are directly in touch with consumers. In these cases, it is important to look after the health and well-being of these consumers as well so that there is no complaint regarding the same. When any construction work is going on in a project, the importance of health and well-being is increased manifold. Construction works in a project mostly happen in a locality. This industry is famous for producing tons of waste. If any organisation is not careful enough, it will end up harming the residents of the locality as well. It means, when an organisation is planning to move with a project, it has to think about the health and well-being of not only the employees but also the consumers and residents.
The Importance of Health and Well-being in Workplace
When an organisation is cautious to upgrade the health and well-being of the workplace, it automatically improves the lifestyle of employees as well. Along with the improved lifestyle, it also benefits to upgrade the quality of the work and employees feel more motivated towards their work. When the employees are motivated, they remain engaged in the work in a better manner and started to perform better in the workplace (Fox et al., 2021). The entire situation helps the organisation to achieve its organisational goals more systematically.
The Factors Enhancing the Importance of Health and Well-being
The modern world is highly competitive and the pressure to perform better makes people tired and job stress is becoming a reality. Workplace stress is not only physical but also psychological as well. If the employees are too much pressurised in a workplace, it will ultimately leave an adverse effect on the overall performance of the employees and in long run, the company will face the problem of poor productivity rate (Hähn, Essah and Blanusa, 2020). Hence, job stress is considered a severe problem by various researchers and this is the reason that many organisations are taking steps to control the same.
Gritzkaet al. (2020) stated that the primary reason behind the growing job stress is job control. It is common in most organisations, that the employees are continuously monitored and are advised to perform a certain task in a particular way. Continuous interference from colleagues, seniors and management can affect the mental health of an employee and that will cost him to perform poorly. On the other hand, Sadick and Kamardeen (2020) stated that if the employees are not monitored properly, they might end up performing poorly and the chances of fraudulent activity are also increased. To solve this major problem, now the organisations are more focused on creating job roles with more fluidity, flexibility and autonomous power. This method can help to erect the barriers of micromanagement.
The physical and mental health of an employee should be checked properly at a regular interval by the organisation. It is important to understand that physical and mental health plays a very important role in any work. Pfeffer (2018) opined that the people with higher rank have more control over their job and they can decide on what to perform and how to perform. This sense of autonomy gives huge satisfaction to the employees and they feel more relaxed in the workplace. This is the reason, that people with better rank have lower chances of cardio-vascular diseases (Pfeffer, 2018). However, these types of employees are also having job stress as the organisation demands better performance from them and whenever the organisation faces any severe issues, these higher-ranked employees are directly blamed. Hence, this can leave a severe effect on their mental health too. Organisations must be careful enough to do a proper balancing between this so that the employees can perform tasks in a more relaxed way. Various data have shown that severe stress at work can directly cause metabolic syndrome.
As the organisations are now aware of the health and mental well-being of their employees, they are focused on offering better learning and motivation at the workplace. It is slowly understood that the employees want a healthy work-life balance so that they can perform better. Similarly offering good incentives or paid leaves once in a year for the recognition of good performance can encourage the employees at a higher level and this lowers the chances of work stress. For example, for workers who are involved with the manufacturing of chemicals, there is a high chance of accidents that can be faced by the workers while dealing with different substances. Here, the management of the organisations who are involved in the manufacturing of the chemicals needs to take necessary actions or measurements. This would help to save the workers from any kind of accident.
From all the above discussion, it can thus, be concluded that all the above three mentioned pitfalls are equally important in nature. All of them are equally important that need to be overcome by the higher authorities or management of several organisations so that it would help the workers to motivate and encourage them to give their best. The benefits that have been discussed in this paper need to be followed within a structured and efficient manner. This would help the decision-making authorities of the companies to overcome the pitfalls well in advance and overcome them with an efficient plan of actions or strategies. It needs to be kept in mind by all the higher authorities of the companies to prioritise the safety as well as the health of the workers who are involved in the risky assignments within the project management of the organisations.
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