Scenarios on safety and health hazards

Scenario 2

A grounds-keeping worker was found dead on a riding mower that had plowed into a horizontal pipe that was about 4 feet off the ground. The worker was pinned to the mower seat by the pipe that had crushed him. The ground was sloped and had well heads and other obstructions that required careful steering to drive around. The worker was experienced in operating mowing equipment, but it was his first day on the job with this employer and his new supervisor had told him not to get started until he (the supervisor) returned from an errand he had to run. The fatally injured worker was discovered by another worker who immediately called the emergency response team. The body was removed by ambulance. The scene was preserved to the extent possible and barrier tape was posted to keep everyone out. Because you are on the safety committee, you have been asked to serve on the accident investigation team to determine the causal factors and root cause(s) of this fatality. The company management is providing full support for this investigation. As you think about working on this investigation, list three questions that you would want to find answers to and describe how each question will help the team determine possible causes, or rule out possible causes. For each of your questions, discuss two specific ways that the team might get the information needed to answer the question (i,e., who you would interview, what documents you would review, what measurements you would take, etc.) Your team will have access to the accident scene and to all documents that might be needed, interviews will be arranged, and experts can be brought in. At this point, you don’t know what happened, beyond the scenario described above.

Scenario 3

Ten workers started working in a bakery room only one year ago. None had previously worked in this trade. Recently they developed lung disorders. The bakery asked a team of safety and health professionals to investigate the causes. As part of the team, you conduct interviews and sampling and analyze materials used in the bakery room. The bakery room is a large open area where five employees weigh and load fragrances, flavorings, starch and 50- to 100-lb bags of flour into one of three mixers. Area samples indicate a moderate amount of dust.

• How would you evaluate exposure?

• What safety and health (including ergonomic) hazards can you identify?

• Is there an explosive hazard? What suggestions would you make to minimize this problem from developing in the future?

Scenario 4

You are a member of the safety committee of a large private security force whose 5-year contract with a major government installation, covering dozens of square miles and over 100 buildings, will come up for re-bid in three years. The scope of work includes 24/7 security guard coverage, badge processing, intelligence gathering, emergency planning and response, etc. The officers must maintain high levels of physical fitness and proficiency in weapons and tactical force and they have onsite facilities for this training. Looking ahead and seeing lots of competition for this contract, management decides to apply to OSHA for recognition in the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), believing that this prestigious recognition will impress the selection board for the next contract. The safety committee is asked to make an assessment of what will need to be done to qualify for the VPP Star recognition. You agreed to identify and analyze management commitment and employee involvement and report to the committee. You report will consist of:

• Identify and briefly discuss three actions management can take to help build/improve safety culture.

• Describe how two of the selected actions can be measured over time to show improvement or effectiveness. (hint: think about more or fewer, or less time to… )

• Briefly discuss three ways that employees can be involved in the safety program and describe how two could be measured over time to show improvement.

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