Saturday, 15 February 2014

Paper: S.H.E - MS on-site


Quality, Safety, Health and the Environment are different fields that integrate disciplines from both the physical and natural sciences. They are able to interact beyond most mathematical logic. Their actual risk to human and the environment are usually prevailed only when it occur either by accidents or catastrophic incidents. We learn to be prepared. Inevitably, despite relentless efforts in magnifying such awareness amongst concerned personnel, these compounded risks seem to persist. This paper presents special emphasis on Potential Hazard and Potential Risk, and, Environmental Aspects’ Impact, and Our Responsibilities in managing them at Work. Undergraduates are encouraged to participate in its discussion as a preparation to enter its 'real world' and job interviews. Wherever you are in this planet. Cheerio!

Environment, safety and health issues are affecting one another in many ways. Literally, it’s a two-way traffic between each of them. A hydraulic press machine for instance, may leak and contaminate the factory floor. This is an environmental aspect that poses potential hazard and risk to human. The hazard of slippery floor may cause a worker to fall and injure himself. Thus, the quality aspect of this machine’s operation comes into the picture. Poor preventive maintenance is the root cause for this example.
An Untold True Story. Another example involved the Scheduled Waste Store belonging to a local factory near us. Five drums of biological sludge cake originating from the filter-press of their IETS. On this particular day these SW204 have been idling here for 190 days. The work procedure states that the sludge shall only be stored for a maximum of 180 days. This is the legal procedure for the sludge and also a safety cum quality procedure for the store operation! Along with these sludge drums were several other drums containing contaminated spent solvents SW322. Licensed SW Contractors weren't willing to collect them as yet because of their 'small' quantity as viewed from their logistic point. The PIC had noticed that the 200L drums containing SW204 were gradually bulging since the last 2 weeks. His further observation includes the presence of solvent smell every time he enters this store room for routine inspection. The smell came from one of the SW322 drum that had some rust spots along its top circumference and beneath the lid cover. All his observation were noted and reported. Two days later, at about lunch hour, the factory was shocked with the sound of a blast. However, this incident was only known to personnel of this factory and one of its neighbor - another factory. They conceded not to report it to the DOE.  According to them the DOE would usually add more insult to injury. They fear of any harsh legal actions or hasty penalties from the authority. So, with that mind-set, they put-off the resultant fire and repacked those waste which were not charred. The enclosed store area were cleared of any remnants of the incident and resumed a sound SW management as quietly and as easy as sunday morning! No liability, no lengthy and tormentous legal repercussion of the accident. In this particular case, I'm concerned on the environmental impact from those drained-out cleaning washing agents as they were not returned to their existing IETS. Their decision to keep it secret wouldn't be much different in terms of environmental effects as compared to have they lodged a report. Well ...

The EMS is about managing significant environmental aspects; that we can control or influence; in a manner that can prevent or control them from causing adverse environmental impact. And, it’s a responsibility of all.
EMS mengurus aspek-aspek alam sekitar yang ketara; yang boleh dikawal atau pengaruhi; dengan menggunakan suatu kaedah pengurusan; supaya tidak berlaku, atau kurangnya atau terkawalnya kesan-kesan ketara terhadap alam sekitar. Maka, didalam EMS ini, semua bertanggung jawab mengurusnya.

The OHSAS is about managing potential hazards that can lead to the occurrence of its associated potential risk to workers and human in general. All job sequence needs to identify and apprehend their potential hazards and potential risks.
 OHSAS mengurus dengan mengenalpasti bahaya yang berpotensi menyebabkan risiko terhadap para pekerja dan manusia amnya. Kesemua aturcara kerja perlu mengenalpasti apa dan bagaimana untuk menangani potensi bahaya dan risiko yang berkaitan.

OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Management System- Requirements  
This standard enables an organization to manage its occupational health and safety (OHS) risks and improve its OHS performance. The requirements of the standard are intended to address occupational health and safety for employees, temporary employees, contractors and other personnel on site rather than the safety of products and services.  
(Reference: SIRIM QAS Website)
Basic concept of Life-Cycle-Assessment

The ISO14001 is about managing SIGNIFICANT Environmental Aspects in a manner that their potential in causing adverse environmental impact are being eliminated, minimized or controlled. In practice, it’s not the environmental policy’s literature that ensures this noble international mission. It’s all cascaded down to the clarity and accuracy of operational control procedures, EMP and root-cause-analysis. In practice, however, a hiatus in the supposedly continuous EMS endeavour has often impedes the potential continuous improvement derived at root level.
The Retention Pond is a mitigation against flash flood
or mud flood that usually follow a session of heavy
rain. This picture is taken from a construction site that
involves hills cutting. As an initiation of our discussion;
Potential Hazard: Pond walls burst in heavier rain fall.
Potential Risk: Death from drowning or washed downhill.
Environmental Aspect: Water run-offs and mud overflow.
Environmental Impact: Flash flood of lower areas.
Kindly imagine the sequence of fate for each environmental aspect released into the environment as output. Could you determine its’ respective impact in short and long term? Don’t you think that they’ll eventually enter the natural resources? – Our source of livelihood!

Sila anggarkan apa yang akan berlaku pada setiap aspek alam sekitar yang dilepaskan sebagai ‘output’. Adakah anda terfikir yang ia akan memasuki semula ke dalam system sumber alam kita – sumber kehidupan kita!

If we are generating plenty of used solvents, have we actually spent time analyzing the costs vs. benefit and its R.O.I of investing in a Solvent Recovery System; as compared to selling them to some licensed recyclers at minimal prices or even paying them some fee? On-site recovery and treatment is recommended under the law, eventually!
Jika kita menghasilkan bahan pelarut terpakai misalnya, pernahkah kita membuat perbandingan secara ekonomik diantara memerolehkembali pelarut terpakai di premis sendiri dengan ‘menjual’ pelarut tersebut kepada pengitar-semula yang dilesenkan? Atau, membayar yuran kepada mereka? Fikirkan.

Kindly observe the following pictures taken from our training slides with the construction industry in the last decade. Kindly attempt to answer each questions posted. Please use the comment below if you require any verification of your work. Remember to indicate the Picture Number with your answers.

picture-7: Working at Heights

picture-8: Storage of production waste - metal off-cuts

picture-9: storage of oil product

picture-10: ship painting at dry dock

picture-11: painting work in confined area

picture-12: bar bending machine powered with diesel engine

picture-13: garnet blasting of outdoor metal fabrication work

picture-14: sand blasting of oil-rig's civil structures

picture-15: paint waste storage in transit prior transfer to main store.

picture-16: water-pipes installation at retaining wall

picture-17: generator set operation on-site

picture-18: diesel fuel store on construction site

picture-19: ditch contaminated with engine coolant leakage

picture-20: washing and rinsing printing tools with thinner

picture-21: landslide control works

picture-22: solvent recovery

picture-23: hazardous waste incineration

picture 24: hazardous waste landfill 

I sincerely hope that undergraduates be benefiting from this humble effort of mine by securing good HSE-MS related job functions in the robust outside world. Please remember, despite your qualification as an environmental scientist, engineers, chemists, etc., we are subscribing to company missions, visions and priorities (if you work for a private body). Hence, please perform your work with great integrity, professionalism, discipline, and obedience. Refrain yourself from being an environmental activist while serving a business entity. On the other hand, keep the environmental passion going and innovate new ideas that helps mitigate potential environmental impacts derived from the company activities. However, if you choose to work for the authorities; (like the DOE), be a good listener, emphatize situations, educative, persuasive, proportionality of actions, and less 'compound-trigger-happy'. Remember, government salaries are paid by taxpayers; most of whom are the businesses themselves! As I've said in an earlier article "Finally, it’s reverting to the power that governing policy-makers wield, in this context, foreign investments versus local sustainable development. This power has great potential use and abuse. I believe that Malaysians with clear conscience on sustainable development shall implore that this power be exercised with great deal of fiduciary and moral responsibility while serving us – the people who shares responsibility in preserving our environment – Our Heritage." 

Appreciate your attention. Do wish me well.
Just another ageing layman.
Reach for the writer Khalid Mohd Ariff
Tel: 019-7725676, +607-2441221