Management of Workplace Stress...

Management of Workplace Stress Workplace stress occurs when there is a mismatch between the demands of the job and the resources and capabilities of the individual employee to meet those demands. It is the adverse reaction which the employees have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them. There is a clear distinction between pressure, which can create a ‘buzz’ and be a motivating factor, and workplace stress, which can occur when this pressure becomes excessive. Workplace stress is a matter of great concern.  Excessive stress can interfere with the employee’s productivity and impact the physical and emotional health and the ability of the employee to deal with it. It can mean the difference between success and failure. Stress has been defined in different ways over the years. Originally, it was conceived of as pressure from the environment, then as strain within the person. Stress is defined as “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them”. The generally accepted definition today is one of interaction between the situation and the individual. It is the psychological and physical state that results when the resources of the individual are not sufficient to cope with the demands and pressures of the situation. Thus, stress is more likely in some situations than others and in some individuals than others. Stress can undermine the achievement of goals, both for the individual employee and for the organization. Earlier the typical response from the management to workplace stress used to be blaming the victim of the stress, rather than its cause. But presently the situation is changing and it is now being recognised that the management has a duty, in many cases enforced by the statutory authorities, to ensure that...

Hazard and Risk Management in a Steel Plant...

Hazard and Risk Management in a Steel Plant Hazard is a source or situation that has the potential for harm in terms of human injury, ill health, damage to property or the environment, or a combination of these factors. It has got a short or a long term effect on the work environment with considerable human and economic costs. It has also got a great demoralizing effect on the workforce. A hazard can have a potential to create an emergency like situation at the work place. Hazard is defined as “a condition, an event, or a circumstance that can lead to or contribute to an unplanned or undesirable event”. Hazard is a potential cause to generate a disaster. It has got the potential to cause (i) serious harm to the individual or the environment, (ii) harm, the severity of which depends on the extent and frequency of exposure to the hazard, and (iii) harm that does not usually occur, or is not usually detectable until a significant time (years) after exposure to the known hazard. Any activity, procedure, plant, process, substance, situation or other circumstance that has the potential to cause harm constitutes a hazard. Hazards exist in every workplace in different forms and required to be identified, assessed and controlled regarding the work processes, plant or substances. They arise from (i) workplace environment, (ii) use of plant and equipment (steel plant processes), (iii) use of substances and materials, (iv) poor work and/or plant design, (v) inappropriate management systems and work procedures, and (vi) human behaviour. Types of hazards include the following. Physical – These hazards are due to noise, vibration, lighting, electrical, heat, cold, dust, fire, explosion, moving parts, and workspace etc. Ergonomic – These hazards are due to tool design, equipment design, job...

Safe Working Procedures and Safe Work Practices...

Safe Working Procedures and Safe Work Practices For the implementation of the safety management system, the organization is to establish safe working procedures and safe work practices so that all the works are carried out safely and the risks of injury to work men and damage of equipment and property are eliminated or minimized. The safe working procedures and safe work practices are to be established meeting the requirements of the Factories Act as well as meeting the requirements of the work processes. Safe working procedures and safe work practices are established in the organization for addressing significant hazards or for dealing with circumstances that may present other significant risks/liabilities for the organization. They reflect the approach of the organization for controlling safety hazards. Safe working procedure is a step by step process that guides a work man through a task from start to finish in a chronological order. Safe work procedures are designed to reduce the risk by minimizing potential exposure for performing a work safely from beginning to end. Safe work practice is a set of guidelines established to help work men to perform a task which may not require a step by step procedure.  Safe work practices are generally written methods outlining how to perform a task with minimum risk to people, equipment, materials, environment, and processes. Safe working procedures and safe work practices tells work men  how to perform a specific task so as to mitigate hazards that have been identified through the hazard identification process. They are guideline documents for the maintenance of safety in the organization. The extent of the application of the safe working procedures and safe work practices depends on the safety policy of the organization, the nature of the activities in the organization, and complexity of...

Hazard, Hazid, Hazan and Hazop – part of Safety and Risk Management...

Hazard, Hazid, Hazan and Hazop – part of Safety and Risk Management Hazard, Hazid (hazard identification), Hazan (hazard analysis), and Hazop (hazard and operability studies) are important safety and risk management techniques in the steel industry (Fig 1).  Fig 1 Safety and risk management techniques Hazards Hazard is defined as ‘a condition, an event, or a circumstance that can lead to or contribute to an unplanned or undesirable event’. Hazard is a potential cause to generate a disaster. It has got the potential to cause (i) serious harm to the individual or the environment, (ii) harm, the severity of which depends on the extent and frequency of exposure to the hazard, and (iii) harm that does not usually occur, or is not usually detectable until a significant time (years) after exposure to the known hazard. Any activity, procedure, plant, process, substance, situation or other circumstance that has the potential to cause harm constitutes a hazard. Hazards are logically classified in the same way as the disaster events are classified.  Since a hazard exists because it may result into a disaster, it is usually viewed as natural based, human systems based, or conflict based.  Not every hazard results into a disaster, but every disaster is the result of a hazardous condition, whether or not that condition was recognized in advance of the event. Hazards are normally not identical, not uniform, not exclusive, and not transposable. They are not uniform in their range of occurrence, impacts, or timelines. They have got non identical pattern of development. Hence each hazard is to be understood in the context of its time and place. One hazard generally does not substitute for another, at least at the higher level of classification.  Since hazards are not the same, each hazard is to...

Safety in a Steel Plant – General Aspects...

Safety in a Steel Plant – General Aspects The health, safety and protection of employees, equipment and the environment are of serious concern in a steel plant since steel plant is an industry of hazardous nature.  The health and safety of employees is crucial since it affects both economic and social factors. It is necessary that steel plant management recognizes the advantages of safe work environments and progressively adopt safety management practices to prevent hazardous events, avoid production and manpower losses and fall outs associated with the accidents. Seriously following of safety practices also assists enhancement of employee’s knowledge of operation, results into improvement of technical procedures, maintenance of accurate process safety information and increase in overall plant productivity. A safe work place also contributes towards plants competitiveness as well as in profit growth. As per Board of Directors of World Steel Association, “Nothing is more important than the safety and health of the people who work in the steel industry”. Following of safety practices results reduction of risk to a level that is as low as is reasonably predictable. There are three imperatives for adopting safety practices. They are ethical, legal and financial. There is a moral obligation placed on the steel plant management to ensure that the work place and the work activities are safe. There are legal requirements defined for safe working. Safe working also reduces down time, improves workman’s morale and promotes systematic working, resulting into substantial reduction in the cost of production and financial savings. The nature of various types of accidents is shown by an iceberg of incidents (Fig 1). They are unsafe actions, incidents, minor injuries, lost time injuries, serious accidents and fatalities. Fig 1 The iceberg of accidents Every steel plant should aim at accident. To...