Safety and health management can best be described as organized efforts and procedures put in place in any workplace so as to identify any hazard which may be associated with such kind of workplace to reduce accidents and any exposure to various harmful situations and substances. It may include training of the company personnel in different methods of accident prevention, responses, emergency readiness, and the use of protective garb and equipment (Hughes and Ferrett, 2015). In an organization, the safety and health management would imply that part organizational management system which covers the health and safety work organization and policy in the company, the planning process for accident and ill health prevention, and the line management responsibilities among others.
Health and Safety Audit of Bayer Chemical Industries
Material science products being undertaken by the Bayer companies require most stringent of health and safety requirements. Such productions safety and health management should apply to those substances assessment regarding the potential risks they pose to the environment including human health (Hess and Johnson, 2014). The safety measures should start at the entire life-cycle of their products which include the research and procurements through production and logistics to the application, disposal, and recycling. Such health and safety measures should cover both the company employees, visitors and the customers to avoid injuries and ill health.
Therefore, the purpose of this safety and health audit is to evaluate how Bayer Chemical Manufacturing Company has put in place various health and safety measures to avoid the occurrence of both physical and other health related issues that may occur as a result of exposure to different chemicals and production materials involved in chemical manufacture. It also evaluates the measures initiated both inside the company plants workplaces, suppliers, contractors and the company logistics sector to avoid accidents, injuries, and deaths of its employees.
In the workplace, the company uses products such as MDI, TDI, Polycarbonate and polyether which are of significant health and environmental risks which need to be addressed to avert such kind of risks. The audit found that various technical measures such as protective clothing, marketing restrictions among others are in place to avert such accidents like that happened on August 28, 2008, in which a runaway chemical reaction occurred in the Bayer crop facility in Institute, West Virginia killing two people (Hess and Johnson, 2014).
Occupational Health and Safety Policies Planning
According to the company reports on occupation health measures of 2014, occupational injuries to the company employees with lost workdays (LTRIR) in the same year alone declined to 0.22 percent, those of recordable occupational injuries to workers stood at 0.43 percent, and the total fatal injuries were four individuals in 2014. Of the four fatal injuries, three involved the company employees while one involved the contractor employee (Hess and Johnson, 2014). The decline was attributed to various measures the company initiated after the accident witnessed in 2008.
The company has also started various occupational health policies such as an intensive training and awareness targeting the company employees, visitors, and users and included the logistics staff as their management planning procedures to avoid the occurrence of such accidents and health related issues. The planning of health and safety management at Bayer plants are the responsibility of a task group with responsibilities and framework to regulate such conditions. It also involves internal auditors to ensure their health and safety management systems at all sites meet the specific requirements in every case.
The task group for safety and health system work in consultations with the board of executives and executives of various sub-groups and the service companies including the similar organizations who have their management systems, representatives and working groups to steer the many safety and health system issues (Hess and Johnson, 2014).
Another notable finding of the audit report was that the absolute number of injuries within the company sites have decreased since the occurrence of the accident in the West Virginia facility. Such work-related accidents and injuries were related to employee’s behaviors linked errors. As a result, the company safety council adopted the behavioral safety as an implementation initiative of the occupational health policy to avoid those behavioral workplace accidents and injuries (Castleman, 2013).
The initiative is to focus on the human factor and the safety-conscious behaviors of the employees. Behavioral safety entails identifying and preventing unsafe working procedures by reinforcing and consolidating safe working methods at all levels. The initiative is focused majorly on the production plants but also not limited to include areas of work such as research and development, marketing and sales including administration
Measurements and Evaluation
The audit findings have discovered that Bayer company has put up a top performance in process and plant safety (TOPPS) as the company first measurement initiative regarding safety and health management. The TOPPS initiative primary measurement task is to conduct different intensive training of all the Bayer employees who can influence the process and plant safety in their related workplace environment. In the evaluation assessment, the audit discovered that the company TOPPS initiative involves close to 26,000 employees drawn from both engineering and production areas all over the company plants globally. Those selected received regular training in compulsory seminars tailored to their areas of activities and included both web-based training involving artisans and chemical technicians in the production facilities.
Review and Improvements
The audit findings recorded that the company has used what happened to the company site in West Virginia in 2008 as an evaluation strategy for the formulation of many safety and safety measures to avert such occurrences again. In that case, the company has developed an improvement policy to ensure that the standards achieved regarding the employees training on their safety and health knowledge within the subgroups are maintained in the long term (Hess and Johnson, 2014). The company is also using their incident rate analysis of the past years since 2008 to determine the number of such incidents rate per 200,000 working hours in areas relevant to plant safety which has since reduced because of such review analysis.
(B) Recommended Actions
As per the safety and health audit findings, this report does recommend various measures which the company needs to put in place in prioritizing their plant’s safety, employees, visitors, customers among other’s safety risks evaluation procedures. According to the chemical safety board investigation report in 2008, the company facility in West Virginia accident occurred as a result of bypassing critical safety devices intended to prevent such conditions causing the runaway chemical reactions leading to the fire.
To that, the company should formulate various safety precaution measures aimed at ensuring that such plants technical issues are dealt with by training the plant operators in understanding that the better they manage and control the operation negligence which may result in an accident, the more they become safe while working. That is, the company has put too much emphasis on the employee’s safety but less in educating the employees on the need to avoid negligence which may result in accidents.
Another recommended action should be that the company should educate the public especially those whose residence are close to their factory plants. Factories like that of Bayer chemicals produce a lot of toxic substances which if emitted accidentally may become a health hazard. As a result, the company should organize safety and health training seminars to the public of what to do in similar circumstances.
The company should also strengthen its systematic, regular, global optimization safety program in crop science project for the global standardization of safety measures to prevent fire, explosions, leakages and spills. That can also be achieved if the company work exclusively with the international council of chemical associations including the American Petroleum Institute that focuses on developing global reporting standards for the key performance indications in plants safety.
Bayer chemicals should also strengthen its transport safety and health management programs by laying out strict directive procedures that at the end will ensure that all transported materials are handled in line with applicable regulations, and their fulfillment of safety and quality standards is regularly assessed.
Consequently, leakages from original containers including pipelines, pumps, tanks, drums and drums are constant problems that have been witnessed in the company (Castleman, 2013). Such are indicators of incidences in their production facilities that should be cleared to avoid future occurrences of accidents and injuries. The company should ensure the additional provision of protective clothing to its employees, customers, contractors, visitors among others are well protected and well equipped with their safety and health awareness before entering the company premises in the case of visitors, contractors and suppliers.
(C) Action Plan for Implementation
As an action plan for the Bayer company to implement the set safety and health management systems policies, the audit report does recommend the following procedures for the company implement. They include; the company should provide the necessary resources to implement the policy and to ensure that the competence of all employees in providing their personal commitments to safety and health related issues set out by the company. Secondly, the company should use professional advice and services when necessary especially in training the employees on many safety and health measures that include the employee’s behaviors change regarding safety and health regulations.
Consequently, the company should strive to achieve a continuous improvement in health and safety standards with various legal requirements which define minimum standards which must be in place as laid down by the safety and health regulatory boards before setting up such factories (Castleman, 2013). Additionally, they should maintain an efficient system of communication on health and safety matters and finally provide a simple annual report on health and safety management performance to the company board and the regulatory bodies.
1. Is there any written statements of health and safety policies displayed anywhere within the factory, signed and dated by the head of the department?
2. Does the policy contain a commitment to health and safety by the company head of department and a designated safety coordinator.
3. Is the written policy been reviewed in the previous 12 months and are there records of the review?
1.Are all workers required to complete the general workplace safety induction and are the workers needed to complete the annual chemical and accident training?
2. Are all new employees required to participate in a local site induction, and complete the new worker occupational health and safety induction checklist?
3.Is there a system to ensure that training is provided and the contents of training been determined?
Plant and Equipment
1.Have the plant and equipment which requires regular inspection and maintenance been identified?
2. Have various statutory requirements and factory guidance been considered?
3. Is there a system for ensuring that inspection and maintenance are carried out at designed times by a competent person?
1. Are all workers made aware of all the dangers poses by each chemical the company uses including how to handle them, and which one to handle or not?
2. Are all the employees provided with various protective clothing including visitors who tour the company?
3. Are all the staff provided with health insurance cover by the corporation regarding accidents and injuries
You are required to make a general comment regarding how you think the company handles the safety and health related issues and what yourself believe the company needs to adjust on including the risk factors you face in the plant during work.
The safety, health, and welfare at work Act of 2005 orders all factories to ensure their worker’s safety, health and well-being including to manage and conduct their work-related activities in a manner that improves and perfect their work environment (Castleman, 2013). Therefore, Bayer should ensure that all injuries and measures are introduced to avoid such occurrences in future. Such will prevent accidents and incidents in day-to-day work when operating production facilities and work-related travel and transportation routes to prevent environmental harm.
Castleman, B.I., 2013. The migration of industrial hazards. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health.
Hess, G. and Johnson, J., 2014. Deconstructing inherently safer technology.CEN, 82(10), pp.11-16.
Hughes, P. and Ferrett, E., 2015. Introduction to Health and Safety in Construction: For the NEBOSH National Certificate in Construction Health and Safety. Routledge.