MGTM643 – HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
Chapter 6 Assignment
Safety, Health and Risk Management
Mohd Fadzil Mohd Siam
Q1. Based on everything you read in this
chapter, what is Milliken doing “right” that you believe helps to
explain why they have such a good safety record?
Miliken & Company was established
in 1865. Currently it has an outstanding global presence at 39 facilities with
approximately 7000 employees all over the world. Miliken is proud to be recognised
not only for the quality of its innovative product but also for maintaining a good
safety record achieved through its world class employee engagement-based occupational safety program. The
followings are the key factors that Miliken has done right in achieving this
good safety record.
Involvement-based Employee Engagement
The company encourages and practices full
involvement of its employees in safety activities. The employees fully involve
in the safety steering and safety subcommittee system. They take ownership in
looking at the opportunities improvement within the company, to review and to
take the necessary action required. Feedbacks are given on the suggestion,
hence giving the message that the company values and take action on any given
Clear Cascading Goals
The Milliken Safety Policy and
Guidelines are cascaded at various levels following the relevant federal and
state guidelines. These goals are translated through its weekly meeting into
specific targets to be achieved by the different plant’s subcommittee. This
will ensure each plant understand their safety guidelines, responsibilities and
various matrices that can be tracked and measured. To ensure successful and
effective implementation, the safety audit performs weekly audit and checks.
Training and Empowerment
As part of the engagement, Milliken
safety program empowers employee by providing training each to effectively
undertake their safety roles and functions. At minimum level, each employee
must be knowledgeable about OSHA safety requirements. The employees are trained
to give and receive peer to peer safety comments as well authorizing them to
act by giving constructive and appreciative feedback on observed safety acts.
Safety Tracking Mechanism
Milliken is able to ensure a good
safety report by providing a tool for employees to track safety suggestions,
audit findings and other safety items. The specific action can be tracked and
finalized by assigning the target completion date and person responsible.
Each employee’s involvement in safety
program is quantified and recorded e.g. involvement in safety committees,
performing audits, being a trainer or subject matter expert. These various
safety involvement and contributions are recognized in formal celebratory
events throughout the year.
Q2. Describe the steps employers can
take to reduce workplace violence
Employer is responsible to ensure
workplace safety which relates to risks of injury or illness to employees as
well as workplace security. In the case of workplace security, it involves
protecting employees from internal and external security risks such as criminal
acts and violence. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)
states that workplace violence is any act or threat of physical violence,
harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behaviour that occurs
at the work site. It includes anything from verbal threats to physical
confrontations and in some cases homicide. There are many cases where customers
are often the perpetrators. However there are also assaults that involve co-workers
or a current or former partner or spouse. Employers can take several steps to
reduce workplace described below
1. Policy and Awareness
In OSHA, it provides a clear
recommendation that employer must establish a zero-tolerance policy towards
workplace violence against or by their employees. This can be done for example
in adopting a formal workplace violence policy and prevention program. It is
not just sufficient to have a clear policy but at the same time it must be
clearly communicated to employees. Managers must take an active role in
employee awareness of the plan. They can provide guidelines on how to
understand and be alert to warning signs and what are the correct way to
respond. Generally it is a good practice to establish a climate of trust and
respect among workers and between employees and management. Indirectly it can
help in preventing a bad culture and behaviour of bullying or harassment.
2. Heighten Security Measures
This is the first line of defense
whether the violence is coming from co-workers, customers or outsiders. Based
on risk assessment and where appropriate to the business, the employer can consider
installing video surveillance, extra lighting, and alarm systems. Unauthorized
access by outsiders can be controlled through identification badges, electronic
keys, and guards. It is recommended that in instituting a basic facility
security program, it requires four steps ; analysing the level of risk,
installing natural, mechanical and organisational security system.
3. Improve Employee Screening
Employers can screen out potentially violent workers before they are
hired. Studies have shown that personal and situational factors correlate with workplace
aggression. During the hiring process, employee can carefully check the
applicant’s employment history, education and references. Certain background
circumstances may require in depth background checking for examples :
Unexplained gap in employment
insubordinate or violent behaviour on the job
criminal history involving harassing or violent behaviour.
Strong indications of instability for example by
frequent job changes
4. Provide Workspace Violence Training
Once the policy and plan has been
established, employer must effectively communicate the plan and to engage the
identified strategies with employees to ensure their understanding. Training is
a key factor in an effective workplace security plan. The company can conduct regular
workplace violence and bullying prevention training for all employees (both new
and current), involving various levels of employees including supervisors and
Employer can train supervisors to
notice the clues that can identify potentially violent current employees. Examples
of common clues include:
confrontational or antisocial behaviours
behaviour with a threat of violence
of privacy rights of others
complaining and the raising of frequent and unreasonable grievances
5. Establish Guidelines for Firing High Risk Employee
Employer must formally record and
document any threats and response to high risk employees including terminating
employees who make a threat. It is highly advisable to terminate employees with
care and caution by involving witnesses or security personnel in the case of
dealing with violent employees. We must plan all aspect of the termination
meeting including the time, location, the people to be present and items to be
discussed. It is important also to protect the employee’s dignity by not
advertising the event.
Q3. What would you do to reduce
accidents in your workplace?
There are three basic causes of workplace accidents:
chance occurrences, unsafe conditions and employees’ unsafe acts. Safety and
accident prevention concern employers for several reasons. Not only that it
causes injuries and illnesses to the employee, but it also cause suffering to
the employee’s family and their loved ones. Accidents affect the employer in
terms of productivity, cost and profit.
Chance occurrences might happen beyond management’s
control (such as walking past a tree just when a branch falls). Thus accident
prevention typically can be focussed in reducing
unsafe conditions and reducing unsafe acts. The followings are the key
measures that can be implemented at a work place:
1. Identify Potential Risks in
Some of the common hazards for many businesses may
include slippery floors, objects obstructing paths, potholes and damaged walkways,
improper way of carrying heavy items that can strain employees’ backs. It is
necessary to explore and identify all possible scenarios for injury and to make
a list of these potential risks. TNB Safety Excellence Management Systems
(SEMS) for example requires the process of Hazard Identification, Risk
Assessment and Control (HIRAC) is first to be undertaken in any work
environment. By carrying out HIRAC, it will enable and be the starting point
whereby potential harm or danger is uncovered. Through HIRAC, the magnitude and
potential risk will be analysed so that the appropriate controls can be undertaken.
Performing job hazard analysis may
involve assessment of the situation and asking the following questions in order
to provide the basis for creating countermeasures.
What can go wrong ?
What are the consequences?
How could it happen?
What are other contributing factors?
2. Reducing Unsafe Conditions
Reducing unsafe conditions is an employer’s first
line of defence. The employer may assign the safety engineers to properly design
jobs to remove or reduce physical hazards. The unsafe conditions can be due mechanical,
physical or workforce climate. Steps that can be taken are as follows :
Provide checklists to identify, remove or reduce
hazards. Computerized tools can also be used to automate hazard analysis, risk
assessment and safety options identification.
Ensure office conditions and environment comply
to relevant building codes and OSHA requirements (including lighting,
ventilation and air conditioning)
Use administrative control such as job rotation
to reduce long term exposure to the hazards
Provide and ensure employee wear suitable
personal protective equipment (PPE). In addition to providing reliable
protection PPEs should fit properly, provide comfort and reduce unnecessary
3. Reducing Unsafe Acts
Unsafe acts are due to human misbehaviour which can be intentional or
not. People often focus on the idea of unsafe conditions, while ignoring their
own unsafe acts. The followings are some actions that can be taken to reduce
unsafe acts :
will identify traits that might predict accidents on a typical job, and then
screen potential candidate based on this. As an example Employee Reliability
Index (EEI) measures reliability dimensions such as emotional maturity,
conscientiousness and safe job performance. Job simulation tests and physical
capability tests can also be used to predict who will have more accidents. Behavioural
interview questions can also be designed to reveal potential unsafe acts and
traits of the candidates for example by asking “What would you do if you saw
another employee working in an unsafe way”.
is effective way to reduce unsafe acts especially for new employees. The main aim
of safety training is not merely to meet OSHA’s training standards. What’s more
important is to ensure and to impart the knowledge and skills required to reduce
accidents. Employees should be trained on safe practices and procedures. They
should be warned on potential hazards and have safety conscious attitude
individually as well as the right safety culture for the organisation.
Unsafe Acts through Posters, Incentives and Positive Reinforcement.
posters create continuous awareness and reminders. Incentives are useful but
may not be able to sustain the safety culture required. By using positive
reinforcement program, it can provide employees with continuing positive
feedback, typically in the form of graphical performance report and supervisor
report to shape employees’ safety related behaviour.
Culture of Safety and Supportive Environment
culture can be achieved if it is implemented at various level from top
management to working level with one common shared visions. It might be
difficult to achieve but over time will ensure unsafe acts and environment to
be addressed and removed. Supervisors can be trained to provide the supportive
environment that exhibits teamwork, social support and establish the value of
and Health Audits and Inspection
should routinely conduct the audits to ensure safety compliances and stress the
importance of ‘safety first’. To ensure the audit results in improvement, we
need to track and trend the audit data as well as the corrective actions.