The safety of the employees is one of the most important human resource topics. According to OSHA rules, an employer is entirely responsible for the employees’ well-being when working. This implies that the employers must provide safe workplaces, failure to which the employer can be sued either by the individual employees or by OSHA itself. In order to minimize accidents in the workplace, OSHA requires employers to not only enforce rules and guidelines that favor safety but also train the employees on how to operate the equipment for improved safety (Jackson et al. , 2012).
When an accident happens in the workplace, like the following scenario, either the employer is to blame for negligence or the employee for irresponsibility. Before the accident happened, the victim was working as a maintenance and installation engineer implying that he was responsible for any installations, shipments, and removals that may be required. The victim was working for a company known as Chas Coal, Inc. , which was affiliated with a bigger company that was responsible for the mine site, Calvary Coal Company, Inc. Since Calvary Coal Company had decided to terminate operations at the site, it was moving most of its equipment to a new site.
A neighbor to the victim was interested in acquiring a metal structure that had been constructed at the site for private use. This implies that the victim would have to be involved in the dismantling process as well as assembling it at the neighbor’s compound. The neighbor had already removed most of the materials and only wooden support posts that had been reinforced using concrete remained. The victim and his neighbor decided to use a truck from the Tyco Trucking Company that had been leased for moving the equipment.
The bucket truck was designed to act as an implement crane but not for lifting heavy loads. They used the bucket truck to hoist the posts from the concrete. Since the victim was the professional, he would perform his part from the bucket of the truck, which was against the truck’s operation requirements. As he attempted to wiggle the second post so that it could free from the concrete, it came loose suddenly causing a force that threw the victim from the bucket.
He then landed on the concrete ground acquiring fatal injuries. Fortunately, such accidents as this are preventable. Application of the most appropriate strategies can prevent a reoccurrence. Although this accident can be blamed largely on the employee due to irresponsibility, the management also has a significant stake. The management needs to undertake certain measures to guarantee that such accidents do not occur in the future. First, they must make it mandatory for every employee to use the safety harness whenever working from the bucket.
This would make it possible to prevent an occurrence even if a person is thrown from the bucket. Second, the management should ensure that all employees are aware of all safety guidelines when operating specific equipment. This would prevent them from applying it incorrectly ensuring that accidents resulting from ignorance are avoided. Lastly, the management should also ensure that any previously enforced rules are followed. If the victim followed a previous direction, that the truck should not be used to lift such loads after a similar accident happened a year before, the accident could have been avoided.
It would also be strategic to ensure that all employees are adequately trained on how to use the equipment (Stranks, 2010). Therefore, the management is to blame for not doing their party of the job accordingly. If such actions were followed by the management, these accidents would be avoided. This is because it is clear that the employee did not follow the already established rules by the organization.
This implies that the organization is not strict enough at ensuring that the employees follow the safety guidelines, which are paramount to organization’s reputation. The victim made several mistakes such as failing to use the safety harness, which was available to him. This would have prevented him from falling even after the force that threw them from the bucket. The victim failed to follow the operation procedures on the bucket truck manual. The manual explained that a person should avoid being in the bucket when heavy loads were being lifted.
This would have prevented the fall from occurring. One of the best consequences of strictness by the management would be to improve the situation. Strictness can be realized through increased supervision (Hughes & Ferrett, 2010). However, one of the risks involved include de-motivating the employees due to more supervision as employees prefer lower supervision. However, the management can explain the importance of increased supervision as facilitating their well-being. Possible alternative future actions include acquisition of better equipment such as those that can facilitate dismantling of structures when relocating operations.
Although this may require the organization to spend more, it would be one of the best ways of guaranteeing employee safety. It would also make employees’ work easier and more enjoyable, which would mean more motivation. Accidents in the workplace are preventable. When they happen, either the employee or the employer is to blame. Since the employer is to blame during most occurrences, appropriate measures must be taken to prevent reoccurrence. Such strategies depend on the nature of the accident and previous occurrences of similar accidents.
This implies that the employer must be strict to ensure that all rules and guidelines are followed for improved safety in the workplace. References Hughes, P. & Ferrett, E. (2010). Introduction to International Health and Safety at Work. New York: Routledge. Jackson, S. E., Schuler, R. S., & Werner, S. (2012). Managing human resources. Mason, Ohio: South Western cengage learning. Stranks, J. W. (2010). Health & safety at work: An essential guide for managers. London: Kogan Page.