Health and safety are very important issues that any workplace must comply with. In accordance to legislative requirements and effective in its daily operation and service delivery an industry must meet the workplace health and safety standards (Richardson, 2004). A work place is a place where activities of different kinds take place. Workplace Health and Safety Audit is always undertaken to determine the degree under which a business complies with the workplace health and legislations. Many businesses have low potential incidents but still they don’t have any compliance with legislative requirements.
Summary of 7-Elleven
This Workplace Health and Safety Audit are about the 7-Elleven company which is a large franchise company with many retail stores. This company offers many services and goods, this range from frozen beverages, packed soft drinks to gas and auto parts. In Australia this company which was first set up in Melbourne in the year 1977 has over four hundred retail stores. Most of these stores are located in city centers mostly operating as gas stations.
This company is run as a franchise having management hierarchy from the individual stores managers to area managers, regional managers, the chief executive and then the president. Apart from the gas stations other stores are involved in the business of selling confectionaries, newspaper, drinks, beverages, snacks and gift cards. Workers at 7 -Eleven companies have an average of 35 years. Most workers at 7Elleven work during the day with different shifts and breaks although there are those who work late in the evenings and at night especially in the gas stations.
This company has its premises in many City and town centers in Australia. Since these premises are in town centers they don’t sufficient space allocation for their operations. For gas stations they have open refilling places in central business districts with small offices and stores keeping and selling lubricants, auto parts and snacks. 7-Elleven has a minimal incidents occurring during operation. These incidents range from slight injuries, exposure to hazardous substances especially in gas stations, confined working spaces (especially mechanics) and noise originating from machines used and in the cities, injuries from working objects among others.
Standards of the Industry
7-Elleven is classified within retail industrial operations. “The standards of a retail workforce principally encompass young part time workers with an average age of about 35 years this is as per the Australian skills information. Research by the Australian safety and compensation council has it that the total verified rates of injury in this section are below claim rates for businesses at the national level” (Goldberg, 2008).
Legal obligations, code of practice and legislation are some of standard of law requirement that 7-Elleven must understand in order to embrace and put into practice all workplace health and safety requirements (Goldberg, 1998). This are provided by workplace and health and Acts some of them are; Workplace health and safety regulation 2008, Workplace health and safety, Formwork code of practice 2006, Hazardous substance code of practice 2003 and First Aid code of practice 2004.
In addition to legislative requirements other things to consider are campaigns focusing on the level of compliance in the business. The 7-Elleven management is supposed to make sure its workers have access to hygiene. Better health and safety priorities which coincides with current retail business action plan which further gives a clear indicator on the standards of workplace health and safety. Work plans and work method statements provide a projection for and possible ways of handling safety cases in the working environment. Furthermore information on basic health and safety issues is paramount, since having general ideas on such things like protective equipment, could lead to safer working environment for workers.
In 7-Elleven some risky tasks emerges and the workers need to know risks which may result due to chores that are hazardous in nature. Being conversant with such information is relevant in identifying the manual task that is required. Managers need to be guided on matters pertaining supervision and security in 7-Elleven retail stores and how to deal with hazardous petroleum by products and other corrosive materials which can be highly flammable or explosive (especially in gas stations). Apart from this, the relationship between workers is also important to address, for instance workplace consultation and information relating to WHSO and WHSR.
In accordance to revealed research, managers find it hard to comply with the standards of workplace health and safety laws. This is attributed to funds awarded to this sector, experience and resources available including time factor (Houston & Falek, 2007). These problems hinder full compliance by those involved in this kind of business.
The most common hazards and safety challenges identified in this organization are associated with lack of putting on personal protective equipment during manual tasks, exposure to sun, exposure to hazardous substances (petroleum, gas and acids), confined working spaces, noise originating from machines, going home late (which is risky for those who work late), among others.
Table of contents.
|SPECIFIC AREA WHERE AUDITING WAS DONE||METHOD/CRETERIA USED||COMPLIANCE|
|Safety and health structure||Principles regarding, course of actions and procedure on how certification is done and precedence given to urgent hazardous work compliance with risk management code of practice of 2007.||POOR: there is lack of modus operandi or implementation, very little certification; lack of safety and health monitoring and other administrative procedures|
Consultation involves encouraging working together and the partnering between management and workers to ensure WH&S.
|Compliance with: |
Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995 ( in particular part 7 of the Act)
Workplace Health and Safety Regulation 1997
|Workplace health and safety committee are available one consists of about 8 Workplace Health and Safety Representatives. |
Multiple WHSR were selected through election facilitated by the employer.
WHSR are informed about proposed changes to workplace & are permitted to conduct inspections on the workplace
Notices are available.
Inspections/audits are conducted by WHSO.
|Manual Tasks||Compliance with Manual Task Code of Practice 2000 Compliance with: |
Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995
Workplace Health and Safety Regulation 1997.
|Moderate: good and reasonable with some safety practices. There is low risk assessment of tasks. Equipment well situated but monitoring of tasks should be done by supervisors, which is not the case here.|
|First Aid||Compliance with: |
First Aid code of practice 2004
Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995
Workplace Health and Safety Regulation
|GOOD: first aid kits locations of first aid officers are clearly indicated throughout the stores. |
Suitable amount of first aid kits have been provided (5 at administration building and 5 at the service areas. Emergency telephone numbers are clearly identified on every first aid kit. This includes the fire brigade.
|Compliance with Noise Code of Practice 2004||POOR: no measurement of noise; no areas assigned for noise making.|
|Workplace situation||Conformity with workplace health and safety regulation 1995.Observance with risk management code of practice, 2007.||Excellent; clean and organized working environment, and sufficient facilities with proper protective mechanisms, like working boots and helmets.||Compliance with Noise Code of Practice 2004||POOR: no measurement of noise; no areas assigned for noise making.|
Safety is necessary because it provides measures of ensuring safe working conditions. For that reason it’s obligatory for retail businesses to follow the rules under the legislation because its structure suits them. Observance in tasks that are manual and the environment of the places of work has been realized incidentally not because of set up health and safety risk assessments. The adherence to first aid is not up to date even with the availability of all the facilities. Most of the people are not qualified in emergency measures. Administrative structures together with consultation have not had specified consideration by this company. For small retail businesses recommendations should be put forward involving health and safety acts.
The audit at 7-Elleven showed a considerable level of non-corporation as far as the set legislation of the working environment are concerned. This report shows underperformance linked to OHSMS (Occupational Health and Safety Management System), which is an arranged process showing how to address and control this issue. Literature review has it that organizations of this kind, have very little funds that are allocated to workplace health and safety, lack of sufficiency in this field, lack of adherence, lack of full commitment to healthy and safety at the workplaces and very little compliance to set up legislations (Coles, 2003).
The instrument of an OHSMS are shown above, which are put together to manage OHS. As seen in this organization there is lack of implementation of these instruments. With retail business of this kind, the basics of an OHSMS are not given top priority. As displayed in the audit table it is true that there is no OHSMS at 7-Elleven. There is little display of administrative dedications to OSHM, or practical planning towards attaining a safe workplace. Responsibility for OHS is allocated out of organizational hierarchy, rather than OHS expertise, and there is no policy or procedures for OHS practices or risk management.
Performance and better services delivery at 7-Elleven should be as a result of compliance to workplace and safety laws and codes of practices by both the administration and the workers. Health and safety in the workplace gives a clear picture to stakeholders in organizations of this kind on how to deal, address and control safety and health issues during operation. This is not the case with 7-Elleven. Detailed information on better health and safety priorities, hazards and injuries at the workplace, responsibilities and roles of both the managers and workers together with the proper planning constitutes a balanced workplace safety and health measures (Goldberg, 2005). This has not been realised here.
In accordance to revealed research, managers find it hard to comply with the standards of workplace health and safety laws. This is attributed to economic, experience and resources available including time factor especially in organizations of this nature. This problem hinders full compliance by those involved in the workplace operation. “Workers are not proactively involved in health and safety measures, although informal discussions take place sometimes on the job.
Here it is evident that there is lack of OHS training, although employees are trained to fulfil their day to day activities in a safe manner. Additionally, there is very little documentation which is done mainly as a formality” (Boulter, 2000). In explanation of 7-Elleven accidents are rare, which is attributed to workers general carefulness. The directors of this business therefore demonstrate very little concern for safety and the legislation.
With respect to coordination within management officials in 7-Elleven integration is upheld to the maximum. There is proper allocation for planning processes and resourcing. Organization, health safety plans and strategies are up-to-date with under normal circumstances. There is annual checking of safety accounts for accountability with proper policies established in dealing with any workplace incidence.
Devices for managing risk are available and they include fire extinguishers, masks, head helmets and others. Monitoring of risk is also considered by a special worker (Quinlan, 1999). The officials of this organization seem very sensitive to incidents that may occur (especially in gas stations) and they demonstrate better understanding of the legislation. This may be attributed to the losses that may occur to the organization but not to the safety of the workers. This has apparently contributed to minimal number of incidents for the last decade.
Standards in 7-Elleven
Health and safety standards at 7-Elleven slightly comply with the legislation requirement although some areas shows that businesses of this nature do not completely comply with legislation as well as some large businesses.
This was conducted by a Danish study on risk management (Jenson, 2002) further, studies in New Zealand reveals that 94% of businesses knows the significant of legislation yet only a smaller percentage of about 45% shows competency to comply with the legislation (Schofields, 2006) over 55% do not have written health and safety policy and above 80 percentage their actions are based on archaic forms of reporting such as informal reporting while not more than a half keep records of hazards. Studies reveal that 25% of workers do not do consultation on matters pertaining health and safety. In fact a small number of them record what to do in case of an accident that happened early reoccur.
This are the recommended elements that are supposed to be embraced by 7-Elleven. The administrative structure should set plans that comply with the strategies of OSHM, accountability to be given to a certain individual, there should be a check of efficiency in the management of hazards, workshops and meetings should be set up for training purposes, Issues concerning workplace health and safety should be identified on time and corrective measures taken, there should be the institution of OHS knowledge in the organization (Walters, 1998), “Structures, planning activities, responsibilities, processes and procedures, resources and action taken to develop, implement, evaluate and review OHSM are documented” (Coles, 2003).
Small businesses of the 7-Elleven kind reportedly experience a big number of workplace incidents, therefore a practical approach to workplace safety must be mandatory” (Goldberg, 2000). “This approach however, must appease business pressures and competencies, without compromising safety” (Coles, 2003). In small retail business where dangerous events are little, it is possible that putting a risk supervision process would attain ASCC’s preferred outcome without over burdening workers with inappropriate documentation.
OHSMS offer ways of ensuring workplace health and safety is adhered to and in the set legislation standards. “It is said that OHSMS structure is designed for big business and does not accommodate the unique and dynamic environments of small business like the 7-Elleven stores. These businesses are said to run on minimal workforce and financial resources with a focus on day-today financial viability.
Additionally consultation between employees and their employers is not proactive. “Research reveals that 25% of workers do not do consult on matters of health and safety. In fact a small number of them record what to do in case of an accident that happened early reoccur, shockingly about 80% of workers assume that they are at low risk of getting involved in an accident” (Farrel & Campbell, 1998). This is usually not the case thus necessitating health and safety to provide a systematic plan to ensure a safe working environment. It’s therefore mandatory for large businesses to abide by the rules under the legislation because its structure suits them. With respect to small businesses operating under limited human capital and financial resources this structure does not accommodate.
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