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Health Safety Examination
Summary of the Problems and Solutions of the New Product Line
It is undoubtedly that the new product line is very important to my company. However, I found out that the new production line was not as safe as the way Engineer Oh described in his documentation. In this situation, Engineer Oh did not make provision for the safeguarding of life and health, and enforce safety regulations1. Actually, our new production line may cause serious injuries to our new production line workers. If I ignore these problems, I am also against ¡§the Occupational Health and Safety Act¡¨ and ¡§the Professional Engineers Act¡¨. In this summary, the three main problems of the new product line (with references to the acts) and the solutions are discussed.
Problem 1 ¡V High-Voltage Equipment
Not all the workers are familiar with our new high-voltage equipment. It may cause electric shock to the workers. Some of these workers even do not realize they are working in a high-voltage environment. My ethical responsibility is for the safety of the workers and also for the fairness to the workers2. The reason is that the workers can refuse to work with any equipment, which they think might endanger themselves3. It is their right to know what is their working condition.
First of all, I will suggest my company to put adequate warnings near the high-voltage equipment so that the workers know they are working in a high-voltage environment. If we have enough budgets, I will suggest my company to have equipment inspection and preventive maintenance on a regular basis and periodically test the equipment for electric shock hazards.
Problem 2 ¡V Toxic Chemicals
In producing our new product, we need to use a large variety of toxic chemicals (new to our company), that may cause skin irritation or corrosion to the workers. These chemicals are harmless when proper precautions, usually printed on the container, are followed. However, I found out that seldom of our workers read the instructions before using the chemicals and almost none of our workers wear protective clothing when using the chemicals. The Occupational Health and Safety Act states that any worker should use or wear the equipment, protective devices or clothing that the worker's employer requires to be used or worn4. In addition, we do not have a particular place to store the toxic chemicals, which is against the Occupational Health and Safety Act5.
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I will suggest that we have to build a chemical storage room, which has adequate ventilation, to store all the toxic substances. Then, we have to ensure all the labels on the containers are readable and not expired. Some of our old containers have been used for five years. The labels on them are expired. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, we have to update the information6. Finally, we have to educate the workers so that they have a habit to read the label and wear appropriate protective clothing before using the chemicals.
Problem 3 ¡V Unqualified Workers
We have limited time to hire the qualified workers for our new team so that some of them do not have the relevant qualifications. Since our new production line is based on a complex control system, anything goes wrong in the testing department will result in a serious problems to the public when our product is in the market.
The only way is to hire the qualified workers to do the jobs. The term ¡§qualified¡¨ is clearly stated in the Occupational Health and Safety Act7.
First of all, I have to report all of the above problems to my supervisor. Otherwise, it counts as negligence on my part8. If my supervisor does not listen to my advice and is not going to do any improvement for the safety of the workers, I should maintain the honour of my profession9 and I will report to the PEO even though I may lose my job.
1. Professional Engineers Act, Reg.941, Sect.72.(2)(b).
2. Professional Engineers Act, Reg.941, Sect.77.1i.
3. Occupational Health and Safety Act, Reg.851, Sect.43.(3)(a).
4. Occupational Health and Safety Act, Reg.851, Sect.28.(1)(b).
5. Occupational Health and Safety Act, Reg.851, Sect.37.(3).
6. Occupational Health and Safety Act, Reg.851, Sect.37.(1)(b).
7. Occupational Health and Safety Act, Reg.851, Sect.1.(1)(a).
8. Professional Engineers Act, Reg.941, Sect.72.(2)(a).
9. Professional Engineers Act, Reg.941, Sect.77.8.