Basic training: Occupational Health and Safety

What is Occupational Health and Safety? What does it means to you?

Did you know that you have legal rights within the space you work in, in terms of your safety?

Work through this quick course and you will know the basics of workplace safety.

“it will never happen to me”  Captain EJ Smith (Captain of the Titanic – quoted in the press just before sailing)

Unit 1: The law

The law: The bill of rights

Section 24 of the Bill of Rights

The constitution refers to chapter 2 of the Bill of Rights (section 24). Environment – Everyone has the right –

a) to  an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being

b) to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measure that –

  1. prevent pollution and ecological degradation;
  2. promote conservation; and
  3. secure ecologically suitable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.

Research and explore

Labour guide South Africa

Research and explore The South African Labour Guide. Pay close attention to the following sub-categories:

  • Safety health and environmental policy
  • Update: First Aid and Aid Boxes
  • The Vital Importance of Safety Rules

The Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993

Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993

Who must comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act?

  • The employer
  • The employee
  • Health and Safety inspectors only
  • Everyone in the environment

The employee must comply with whose rules and regulations?

  • The employer’s policies and procedures
  • The Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • Health and Safety Rep’s guidelines
  • Their respective line manager and/or director

Is the following statement true or false?

  • The company must ensure the health and safety of any visitors or 3rd parties.

As Mary parks her car in her parking bay at the office at 5:27 am – the usual time she arrives at work, she notices that most of the lights in the parking lot are not working. None of the lights are on. Select which action is the most appropriate.

Choose the best response.

  • Action: Mary proactively uses her cellphone torch to get into the office, she feels quite proud of her creative problem solving.
  • Action: Mary logs a ticket on facilities myHelp as soon as possible to avoid the hazard from becoming an incident.
  • Action: Mary blames the poor maintenance of the building management and moans to herself about how much she is inconvenienced by the situation, she decides she'll email everyone so they know what an inconvenience this issue was to her.
  • Action: Mary assumes that there must be load shedding and decided to go home.

Match the incident with the hazard:

Carefully read each incident to accurately match it to the type of hazard.

  • A dangerous substance was spilled.
    A serious hazard possibly affecting multiple employees.
  • A broken desk chair given to an intern.
    A health hazard, that can cause harm to well-being, negligence.
  • A visitor has an epileptic attack.
    A first-aid incident treatment to include the recovery position.
  • A faulty printer short circuits and starts to smoke.
    A possible fire hazard.
  • A multi-plug is overloaded and starts burning the carpet.
    An fire evacuation.

Unit 2: How to report an incident

Understand the level of the consequences of an incident

Risk levels

For each hazard, consider the consequences if something happens. Consider what could reasonably have happened, as well as what actually happened (if there was an accident / incident). Look at the descriptions below.

Consequence
Description
Fatality
May cause death and/or severe irreversible disability, and/or permanent ill health.
Major
Severe injury or illness
Minor
Minor (usually reversible) injury or illness resulting in days off work.
First Aid only
First aid level medical treatment
Negligible
No treatment required

Preventing falls from slips and trips

Common Causes:

Slippery materials (spills, powders).

Slippery surfaces.

Inappropriate footwear.

Obstructions such as loose wiring or cables.

Uneven walking surface.


To Prevent falls:

  • Use appropriate, non-slip flooring materials.
  • Provide adequate lighting

Practice good housekeeping:

  • Clean up spills and debris.
  • Mark or sign post spills or wet floors.
  • Keep walkways clear from obstacles.

To Reduce risks:

  • Slow down and pay attention to where you are going.
  • Do not let objects you are carrying or pushing obstruct your view.
  • Ensure you have sufficient lighing to complete your tasks.

How to log a ticket in MyHelp

Step 1:

In myCloud select myHelp

There are two main help buttons. Select the 'Ask for Facilities Help'

Step 2:

Fill your name and surname into the input field and select the relevant category.

Step 3:

Specify whether the problem is a safety and security concern or not.

Step 4:

Type out a description of the problem. 

  • Indicate the location.
  • Indicate the time the problem arose.
  • Specify details to aid in the remediation process.


What would you do in the following scenario?

Incident:

Mary is wearing new high heels and when she walked into the main office kitchen which has highly polished tiled floors, she slipped and fell through one of the glass atrium doors. Mary’s hands are severely cut as she tried to break her fall, and there is a lot of glass scattered all across the kitchen and atrium.

Think: Where, when, how and what.
  • What happened?
  • Where did the incident occur?
  • Who was affected?
  • How was the incident dealt with? (Describe the course of action taken.)
  • When did the incident occur?


Note: Your answer should not be longer than 500 words. A factual report is required. 

Total marks: 30

You will be marked in the following manner:

Rubric
Poor Response
Average Response
Exceptional Response

Can identify a risk or hazard, but does not understand the appropriate course of action.
Show partially understanding.
Show good understanding.
Identify the level of risk.
Can identify a problem.
2 Points
Can evaluate either risk.
  1. serious emergency.
    or
  2. potential hazard to other employees.
4 Points
Can identify that there is an incident (emergency) and a risk (hazard).
6 Points
Can take appropriate action in case of an emergency.
Wants to take action but does not know what to do. Takes inappropriate action such as staring at the injured person or not alerting anyone.
0 Points
Takes some action. Calls a Health and Safety Representative / First aider / Fire Marshall to assist.
4 Points
Call ambulance to attend to the injured person. And alerts Occupational Health and Safety representatives to cordon off the area so that no nobody else gets injured.
6 Points
Can report the incident.
Cannot log a ticket.
0 Points
Can log a ticket, reporting the incident. But does so partially.
4 Points
Can log a ticket. Can provide a concise report specifying the location and the problem.
6 Points
Identify the witnesses.
Cannot identify witnesses except for themselves.
1 Point
Can remember the incident and perhaps one other person.
3 Points
Can list the name of the injured person and all the names of everyone who was present.
6 Points
Completion.
Forgets the incident report.
0 Points
Takes part in filling out the incident report.
4 Points
Provides a completed incident report.
6 Points

Unit 3: Evacuating the office

Map of the office

Evacuation map

Have a look at the map. How many zones are there? How many exits can you see? Which department are you in and can you determine what zone that is part of?

Fire Alarm sound

Emergency siren

Order of steps to take in an evacuation.

  1. Recognise the alarm.
  2. Identify the zone you are in.
  3. Take only what you can grab immediately.
  4. Move toward the exit that is within the zone you are in.
  5. Move down the stairwell in single file.
  6. Move toward the assembly point.
  7. Ensure that any visitors are at the assembly point and have left the building.
  8. Find your manager or department by colour-coded flag.
  9. Ensure you are accounted for (role call).
  10. Wait till the fire department has cleared the building before re-entering.

The order of the steps to take in the event of an emergency evacuation have been mixed up. Reorder the tiles so that they are sequential.

Drag the tiles up or down.

  • Recognise the alarm.
  • Identify the zone you are in.
  • Take only what you can grab immediately
  • Move toward the exit that is within the zone you are in.
  • Move down the stairwell in single file.
  • Move toward the assembly point.
  • Ensure that any visitors are at the assembly point and have left the building.
  • Find your manager or department by colour-coded flag.
  • Ensure you are accounted for (role call).
  • Wait till the fire department has cleared the building before re-entering.

Where are the exits?

Mark each exit by clicking on the area.

Where are the zones?

  • Zone 1
  • Zone 2
  • Zone 3
  • Zone 4
  • Zone 5
  • Zone 6

Completion

Which of the following aspects did you find beneficial in this training?

Please select all the options that added value to your understanding of Occupational Health and Safety.

  • Law and the environment
  • Report a hazard / logging a ticket
  • Effective evacuation
  • None of the above

Which of the following aspects did you find need to be improved in this training?

Please select all the options that need to be improved in your opinion of  this course Occupational Health and Safety.

  • Law and the environment
  • Report a hazard / logging a ticket
  • Effective evacuation
  • None of the above

How did you experience this course?

  • Positively effective
  • Adequate
  • Neutral
  • Ineffective

Did you find the content easy to use?

Indicate your preference.

  • Yes
  • No

Tell us more, do you have any suggestions for improvement?

Completion

Congratulations on completing this Basic training: Occupational Health and Safety course!

Wishing you a safe, happy and healthy journey with us!