Volume 16, Issue 5 (10-2019)                   ioh 2019, 16(5): 52-61 | Back to browse issues page

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Ghahramani A, Taghizadeh E, Mohebbi I. A Study of the Formation Status of Technical Protection and Health at Work’ Committee in Manufacturing Companies. ioh. 2019; 16 (5) :52-61
URL: http://ioh.iums.ac.ir/article-1-2295-en.html
Urmia University of Medical Sciences , ghahramani@umsu.ac.ir
Abstract:   (1169 Views)
Background and aims: Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) regulations have been developed with the aim of crating safe conditions at workplaces. Employers are required by OHS laws to provide a safe working environments for employees. A common method to manage OHS in many workplaces is to enforce the requirements of the OHS regulations from inside and outside the organizations. Implementation of the OHS regulations plays a major role in enhancing OHS status in organizations, and safety management approaches emphasize on the compliance with the requirements of the regulations. However, studies show that OHS regulations are not fully implemented in workplaces, especially in the companies that located in developing countries. Therefore, assessing how organizations comply with the requirements of OHS regulations can help policymakers and managers to identify existing problems and to plan for better management of OHS.
 The Code of Committee for Technical Protection and Health at Work (CTPHW) has emphasized on the formation of committee meetings. According to the code, OHS issues in workplaces must be reviewed in the meetings so that decisions can be made to improve the status of OHS in organizations. The formation of OHS committees in workplaces has been associated with reduction of occupational injuries, facilitating senior management cooperation with workers, increasing worker participation in OHS affairs, and overall improving OHS status. Conversely, the lack of formation of OHS committees can lead to the absence of OHS policies and programs in workplaces.
The collection, investigation, and reporting of occupational injury’ data is one of the important requirements of the CTPHW regulation. Recording and storage of OHS data can help to preserve the OHS knowledge of an organization and provide insights into the organizationchr('39')s OHS performance. However, occupational injuries as an imperative OHS data not properly reported to the relevant OHS enforcement agencies i.e., OHS authorities (Labor inspection offices and health centers) in Iran. Given the importance of establishing CTPHW in improving OHS, reviewing the available related documentation can lead to the identification of problems linked with the implementation of the regulation and providing comments for better implementation of it in the future.
Analysis of OHS documentation in workplaces such as CTPHW’ minutes can be done using qualitative and quantitative research methods. Document analysis is a systematic way to study and evaluate paper and electronic documentation. Same as other qualitative research methods, document analysis is an important research method to study and interpret data in order to know the meaning, understand, and acquire empirical knowledge. The data is organized into topics, quotes, and categories, through content analysis. Content analysis is a technique that is used to infer the specific features of a text in a systematic and objective manner. It is a process of organizing information into categories according to the main research questions. Content analysis is also useful in providing a raw picture of the data that determines the number of words used in the text.
Literature review has shown that no research studies have ever been reported on how to enforce the CTPHW regulation in organizations and to review the content of relevant documents in scientific journals. Therefore, this study was conducted to investigate the content of the CTPHW’ minutes using a quantitative approach in manufacturing companies. It also aims to discover how the companies fulfill the requirements of the CTPHW code.
Methods: In this qualitative study, the records of CTPHW’ minutes related to the years of 2011-2015 were collected from the manufacturing companies i.e. 34 firms. The companies located in one of the northwestern city of Iran. Manufacturing activities in the companies include the production of food and dairy products, building materials, gloves, auto parts, electricity, furniture, mattresses, and metal equipment. All studied companies had been hired full-time or part-time OHS officers before the time of the study.
Most of the minutes used in this study were collected from the archives of an OHS authority and some were gathered from the archives of the manufacturing companies. The contents of paper and electronic documentations of CTPHW’ minutes were organized into topics and categories using a quantitative content analysis method and based on research questions. In order to analyze the data, each of the minutes was coded word by word. The terms and number of the words related to safety, health, and ergonomics and the type of related approved OHS promoting programs were determined. Also, the types of approved projects by CTPHW’ members were analyzed in three separate sections. In the first part, the projects were examined in terms of the types of methods used to control OHS risks, including engineering controls, administrative controls, work practices, and personal protective equipment (PPE). The projects were then reviewed for being routine or non-routine organizational practices for management of OHS. The plans were also examined according to the subjects of safety, health, and ergonomics. Each of the minutes was reviewed several times to determine the number and type of control plans approved by the members of the CTPHW in the companies, and then the plans were classified according to the type of control procedures.
Results: The content analysis of the minutes showed that the highest number of them (241 cases) was related to 2015 and the lowest number (34 cases) was related to 2011. The total number of clauses was 4823; that the highest number of them (1431 clauses) was related to 2015 and the lowest number (383 clauses) was related to 2011. Thematically, the highest number of clauses was related to safety (2807 clauses) and the least was related to ergonomic (67 clauses). The total number of examined OHS related words was 4408; with the highest number (1271 words) was related to 2015 and the lowest number (515 words) was related to 2011. The highest number of words was related to safety (1353 words) and the least of the words related to ergonomics (31 words), and among the safety related words, fire-fighting word had the highest frequency. It should be noted that the number of ergonomic word in the years 2011 and 2012 was zero. The total number of approved projects was 2553, the most of them were related to engineering (958 cases) and the least were related to work practices (145 cases). The number of routine projects was 1217 cases and the number of non-routine projects was 1181 cases. Thematically, most of the projects were related to safety (1566 cases) and the least were related to ergonomics (41 cases).
The findings of this study showed that the requirements of the CTPHW regulations were not properly implemented in the manufacturing companies. The number of minutes, clauses, and words was the lowest in 2011 and the highest in 2015. The safety topics had the highest frequency, and ergonomics had the least frequency in the analyzed minutes. Most of the control schemes adopted to reduce OSH risk were engineering controls. These findings indicated an increase in the number of minutes, clauses, and OHS control plans in the 34 studied firms during the studied years. The finding also demonstrates gradually improved compliance with one of the requirements of the CTPHW. According to the findings, this study emphasizes on more follow-up of OHS authorities to better enforce the requirements of CTPHW regulation in manufacturing companies. Training and encouragement of manufacturing companies by the OHS authorities can help to fulfill the requirements of the CTPHW code and the promotion of OHS status in the companies through making a proper culture of safety.
Full-Text [PDF 537 kb]   (127 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Research | Subject: Qualitative and quantitative studies
Received: 2018/02/15 | Accepted: 2019/07/2 | Published: 2020/01/27

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