Health care and safety policies are meant to ensure safety of manufacturing and processing employees, the safety and assurance of the consumers as well as the safety of the environment. The safety and health and precautions are communicated to the parties concerned through different channels and systems to ensure total compliance and avoid legal procedures that may be preceded against the firm concerned at the long run. The policies further improve the consumer manufacturer relations as well as the employee management relationship within the producing firms. The policies are specific to certain areas and are applied to the maximum to ensure the beneficiaries of the policies get the maximum benefits out of the legislative acts. The acts however have some dilemmas in the application, as not all policies are favorable to productions lines involved.
Implementation of Health and Safety Policies
The policies are communicated to the concerned parties by use of different systems and channels that are defined and systematic. The systems are defined within the acts to ensure they are accessible and easy to understand to all.
The systems used for communicating the policies are defined within the law and firms and manufacturers are expected to abide by them. The systems are either high tech or manual procedures of ensuring safety within the production points at the work place or even at the consumption level. The concerned firms may opt to organize conferences to alert their employees on the existence of the laws. Other firms opt to use technological devices like the CCTV to manage and ensure that all procedures pertaining to safety are adhered to.
Policies and Procedures
There are several policies and acts pertaining to work place safety and health. They range from fire safety policies, food policies amongst others. They are controlled by specific legislative acts through defined ways and channels as laid down by the specific legislative acts that brought them to existence.
Food Safety Act
The food safety act was formulated in 1990 and was meant to bring under control the food market as from the production point, processing, packaging and distribution. The act has several clauses each biding a different of the food production process.
The act requires that food be produced in a clean, hygienic and save the environment. The act requires that the person preparing the food be healthy and free of any diseases which may be communicable through handling of food. The law further that the person be dressed appropriately with their hair covered. They also ensure that the person preparing the food is safe from other hazards such as fire, boiling fluids among others (Fisher 2005).
Processing and Packaging
The right material which ensures safety, freshness and palatability of any foods should be used. The packaging materials should further be well labeled and the contents with their amounts well indicated. This ensures the consumers knows and understands what the content of whatever products they are consuming is.
Distribution of the food products is required by the act that it be done within a specific period of time when the food is still palatable and fit for human consumption. It should further be distributed and stored as per the conditions stated within the act.
Injuries, Accidents and Negative Occurrences Act
This is an act that is concern with the industrial or work place safety of the workers. The act covers all occurrences that occur at the work place and which happen when people are working. Incidents that occur outside the work station are not part of the act. The occurrences only qualify for this category if there is death, serious injuries, fractures and long term effects. Diseases may only be reported if they are directly connected with the working environment and their occurrence is wide and overly distributed.
Requirements of the Act
The act defines and describes what a work station should entail and its effects. The act requires that all working environments be even in times of temperatures, moisture content, gases and other environmental factors. It further states that all employees should have protective gear as depending with the type of work done there. Furthermore, the employees should be medically fit for the environment and its surroundings. The act insists that any working environment should be well equipped with safety and first aid tools and equipments. This may be fire fighting instruments, first aid kit etc.
Safety and Health Priorities
The network is meant to improve a lot when it comes to the work place environment. The policies give clear guidelines as to what should happen at every stage and point.
Improve Working Conditions and Environment
The policies ensure that the working condition of any human being is habitable and free of any health hazards. The policy ensures that any employer provides a conducive environment to the employees. The employer is awarded a recommendation certificate once the individuals implementing the programme inspect his premises and ensure the conducive environment according to act has the following characteristic:
The floor should be smooth but not slippery depending on the type of job carried out out in the premises. The floor should further be kept dry to reduce physical injuries and fractures. They should further be even and suitable for all types of people including the disabled. The act states that the floor space should be wide enough to allow for movement the work station. It should further allow for movement during emergencies.
Workstations should have the right atmospheric moisture to allow for dryness of other parts of the work station. They should further be regulated into the right temperatures. Incase they are unusually moist and hot, than safety clothing should be used to regulate the same.
The work station should be well aerated and free of any toxic gases which may result to damages or even loss of life. Should there be any harmful gases, than they should be regulated and safety gear applied at all times.
Limiting Work Related Accidents
The policies are further meant to reduce accidents occurring at the work place. This is done through the application of several social and human measures. They include training the members of staff on the right approach of holding and handling tools and equipment, handling of emergency cases and other basic skills like fire fighting and electric current control (Martin & Henderson 2010).
The formulation of the policies and its application in the social and economic cycles has widely and deeply affected the decision making practice of the firms and industry players. The regulations have come with the cost of implementation and application of new and modern technology to help implement and come up with concrete measures of handling the same.
The safety devices required in work stations come at an extra cost. Devices such as water reels and hoses require a lot of capital to purchase them. The cost further swells when the work stations have to be modified to fit the stated requirements. The firm has further to use an extra cost on training to their employees on the application of the same policies. Other factors that lead to added costs are purchase of other devices such as first aid kits, cc devices among others. This influences the decision making process in the firm as this has to be considered at the beginning or before setting up any industry.
The type of technological devices used by the firm is influenced by the policies. The use surveillance devices and other user friendly devices come as a result of the requirements of the policies. The technological aspect of the firms may further be extended to the type of plants they have, their fundamental source and their effects to the environment in the long run. In this case. Firms have been forced to use eco friendly materials in construction. All these decisions have been influenced by the policies which the firms are expected to comply with (Clouston & Westcott 2005).
The firms have been forced to change and alter their management policies. They have been forced to adopt methods that ensure the workers are safe and their work station is safe and free of any hazards. They have come up with management programs that ensure the supervisors walk around to check on the progress.
Effects on Customers
The policies set affect the consumer both positively and negatively depending on the effects they have on the products and the production lines. The application of the laws may affect the delivery, distribution and the prices of commodities. This may affect the consumer negatively. On the other hand, the policies affect the safety of products consumed ensuring the safety and health of the consumer. This is positive and is the uttermost objective of the policies.
The implementation of policies in production lines leads to increased cost in the actual production of goods and services. This means the prices of goods and services goes up so as to cover this cost and still retain the profit margin put up by the producing firm. This leads to goods being expensive and to some extent unavailable to some consumers. The factors that lead to increased costs are inspection fee imposed on the firm, additional cost of specialized packaging material and the high costs incurred in securing the production units and training the producing employees.
The space required and specified by the acts as the appropriate one for production may be small or widely unutilized. The safety space specified may stand in as a space initially used in production. Reduced space means reduced production and thus a high possibility of shortage of some products.
The policy requires that some people suffering from certain conditions not to work in some sectors of production. This means that this people may be forced to stay jobless as employing them would be equal to breaking the law and may take a legal stand against the firm or individual. This may lead to laying off of experienced workers. This may lead to reduced quality of goods to consumers.
The fact that the laws calls for maximum hygiene and safety in preparation and packaging of different products may lead to good health and environmental safety. The regulations for instance ensure that all food is handled in a clean environment with no contamination at all. This also applies to other products like sweets, water, medicines and other consumable’s. The regulation further ensures safety against other form of contaminations that may have long term effects. This may include alcohol and mercury poisoning, toy intoxication in children and physical injuries and damages in humans. For instance, the regulations define the right environment for pregnant women. This assures the safety of women and good health for the unborn. The regulations further work to curb the spread of diseases that may be spread and whose effects may be long term in the consumers ( Bryans 2005).
Protecting the Environment
The regulations define and elaborate the best way to dispose of industrial waste and other materials that may be harmful to the environment. The regulations ensure the environment is safe by regulating the bulk of non biodegradable materials going into the environment. This is imposed by controlling the amount of chemicals used in any form of production, regulating the type and form of packaging materials used in the production lines as well as ensuring there is total recycling of different materials used. The policies impose heavy fines and penalties on any part that fails to adhere to these requirements. The policies in this manner ensure safety of the soil, water, air and other working environments. It further ensures that all the natural resources within and without the work station are protected.
The policies and laws set in this acts define and establish ways of ensuring that persons working in certain environments are comfortable and at peace with themselves. This is possible by ensuring there is minimal intake of toxic substances and gases, minimum noise and minimum injuries. This is possible by defining the type of clothing and safety materials to be used in particular workstations. This range from gloves, headgears, eye protective devices and gumboots. The regulations also requires that the amount of heat, wind, gases, noise and dust be reduced to smell able levels to allow for better communication, posture and movements (Cook 2007).
Dilemmas in Application and their Solutions
The application of the laws may be difficult and demanding at the long run. In their application, all the stake holders must be involved to ensure they consider all the effects that the process may have on the economy, consumers, producers and to some extent the government policies and interests.
The cost of implementing the laws may be unusually high and choking to the involved firms and sectors. The factors involved such as the cost of training the employees on the policies and their application, the cost of installing certain devices such as CCTV cameras, fire fighting devices, waste disposal systems amongst other factors may be terribly expensive and demanding. These proofs to be a massive dilemma
The Industry Players
This may be solved by liaising with the financial institutions to provide loans and grants to the firms to allow them by the implements. Although it will burden the firms, the process will be gradual and easy to adapt to. The government may also help by extending time to allow firms to purchase the equipment.
Lack of knowledge
The members of staff of the firms, managers and consumers in general may lack knowledge on the existence of such laws and their functions. In this case, they may have their rights abused but fail to know. This may lead to slow or total lack of implementation of the laws. The stakeholders and the government can help solve this problem by educating and sensitizing the entire public of the laws and their existence as well as their functions.
Unwillingness to Apply the Laws
Firms may be unwilling to implement the laws so as to avoid the high costs involved and reduced production which may occur as a result. In this case, the industries or firms will continue abusing their employees while at the same time disregarding their consumers’ welfare. The government and other legislative departments may ensure application of same by applying strict rules and penalty for offenders.
Reduced Production and Unemployment
The observation of the laws may render some citizens jobless and also lead to reduced production. This posses a monumental challenge in adoption of the laws as it may to some extent fail to disregard in the public interest. To curb this, the firms are advised to try and implement capital intensive production to prevent recurrence of such factors in the long run.
Effects of Non-Compliance
Firms and individuals who fail to comply with the laws may be faced with some consequences. The consequences are both short term and long term. They have adverse effects on both the individual firm and society as a whole.
Spread of Diseases
One of the main reasons of formulating the laws is to curb and control the spread and development of diseases within the environments of operations. These diseases are either infectious or chronic. Food related policies are meant to control such diseases such as cholera that arise from food contamination to others such as cancer which develop due to prolonged intake of poisonous and harmful food and other food contents mostly found in industrial foods. Disregard of the act would then mean spread of such diseases.
Disability and Injuries
Workplace accidents may lead to extensive injuries and sometimes disability. This may range from fires, falls and even intake of dangerous substances like hot poisonous chemicals, metals or even water. These injuries may be expensive to treat and may lead to total dependence. They may further lead to death of individuals. In such cases, the industry may lose experiences labor stalling production in the future.
Legal action may be taken against those who fail or refuse to comply. This may lead to legal tussles which waste a lot of firms’ resources which would have been otherwise used in other measures of production. It may further lead to heavy fines being imposed on the firms. This will lead to reduced profit margin of the firm thus leading to low growth in production line. It may also lead to shortage of commodities in the market.
Some of the legislative acts are meant to protect consumers and their environment. They govern and control use of some products like the packaging materials and their disposal. They also control the content of some industrial compounds in a bid to ensure they are safe and harmless to the environment. Disregard of the acts may thus lead to pollution of the environment and in the long run imbalance in the ecosystem. This may have long term negative effects to the environment as a whole (Foster-Turner 2006).
Monitoring and Reviewing of the Policies
The policies are reviewed and monitored from time to time through different methods and channels to ensure they are convenient, reliable and fair. During the process,. They are amended or strengthened accordingly.
Oversight committees comprised of experts are put in place to oversee the implementation of the laws. They elaborate each and every part of the law and its function. They further ensure that the laws are in line with national laws and defined standards. The committees may propose an amendment of the laws for it to fit into the communal and public interests. The committee further recommends penalties for offenders.
The government is widely involved in ensuring the rights of the workers as well as those of the employees of the concerned firms are catered for. The departments follow up the legal requirements of operations of all the firms by ensuring they meet the set legal threshold. They act as the supervisors and widely help the firms implement the law. Such departments include the state labor department, the inspectorate department and the law courts which are used to determine the legality of the measures in relation to the state laws.
This refers to the industry players, consumer representatives and other relevant departments. They all come together and agree through a consensus on ways of implementing the laws and the effect on each group involved. They further agree on reasonable grounds and time of implementation of the same. They further set reasonable fines for offenders. This helps maintain products standards.
Analysis of Effects
The analysis of effects by several bodies and organizations helps determine the milestone taken in implementation and the effects so far experienced in the whole industry. It helps determine the level of positive or negative effects that the laws may have on production. This widely helps evaluate the laws and allows for any reforms that may be necessary. The concerned parties get the background information by interacting with the concerned parties and make recommendations to the oversight committee for necessary changes and reviews.
Effectiveness in Promoting a Healthy Culture
The laws have played a significant role in promoting a healthy and safe culture in industries and production lines. It has promoted the courtesy with which food producers and marketers have in handling human food. It has further allowed the food handlers to understand the consumers’ needs and attitude during food handling and preparation processes. This has improved the seller buyer relations. The laws have further overseen the making and achievement of conducive working environment for workers who previously worked in harmful environments. It has also helped save the environment from further destruction.
Effects on Individuals
The effects of the laws may be different on different individuals. The workers may benefit in that they are assured of a safe and clean working environment. This means that the workers may be motivated thus becoming more productive. Their life spans are also increased by a certain percentage making them productive over a long period of time. They may also be able to save or invest more considering that they experience reduced medical costs.
The laws may however affect some workers negatively. Workers considered unfit to work in certain environments are laid off and forced to get other types of jobs or become dependent at the long run. This may demoralize them.
The consumers are the prime beneficiaries of the laws. They are assured of safe and hygienic products with minimum negative effects on their health both in short and long terms. This gives individual’s confidence to consume different products ( McCarthy & Rose 2010).
In conclusion, it is evident the Health and Safety Policies have made a lot of differences in bringing normalcy in the production industries. This has ensured that the safety and health condition of employees is retained and ensured. It has further ensured that the working environment is conducive and thus attractive and enjoyable to the workers. The laws have further ensured that consumers stay healthy by consuming only the healthy and fit food products. This will ensure more benefits in the long run.
The policies have also reduced the cost of medical care resulting from food contamination and intake of contaminated foods. However, they have led to an increase in food prices and government expenditure. The laws can however be upheld for their role in keeping the environment safe for now and for the sake of the future generations. This is ensured by the strict control of dumping procedures, packaging procedures as well as storage and processing means used. It has further encouraged the use of technology available. This has further created a ready market for technology based products in the world. It has further led to improved worker employer relations as well as improved production and reduced medical costs.