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Team4.A5.IE441

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King Abdul-Aziz University
Faculty of Engineering
Industrial Engineering Department
Industrial Safety Engineering – IE441
Summer 2019
Section GA
Case Study (2)
Team 4
ID
Name
1636142
Aseel Khalid Khurmi
1635246
Thamer Alotaibi
1636944
Mohammed Alghamdi
Date of Submission: Wednesday 10 July, 2019
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Introduction
This is the fifth assignment of IE441 course, which is about a case study of Canadian
manufacturing plant of a global automotive company with headquarters in Canada. In this
assignment, we must answer all the six given questions based on what we have learnt during
this course.
Q1: What are the unsafe conditions and acts in the plant?
Firstly, the difference between the unsafe condition and act from the definition as mention
below:
Unsafe condition is an unsatisfactory physical condition existing in a workplace environment
immediately before an accident that was significant in initiating the event. It is a condition
where something exists that varies from a normal accepted safe condition and can result in
injury, death, or property damage, if not corrected properly. (US Legal, 2017)
Unsafe act is any act that deviates from a generally recognized safe way or specified method
of doing a job, and which increases the probabilities for an accident. It must contain an element
of unsatisfactory behavior immediately before an accident that was significant in initiating the
event. (US Legal, 2017)
So, after we got a briefly information and knew the difference between them, Now will
show the unsafe conditions and acts in the plant according to the case study #1, #2.
-Unsafe conditions:
➢ Workers have to bend to the ground throughout the day to attach several small parts
onto a large and heavy vehicle component. Some workers have begun to develop lower
back pain, likely due to the repetitive bending.
➢ There are no tests had been carried out on the ventilation system, or on the air quality
around the paint spray booths, so it is uncertain whether or not; there have been any
leaks into the plant from the paint-spray booths.
➢ Extensive use of natural gas in the plant could lead to an explosion in the plant in some
circumstances.
➢ Only one natural gas sensor is in place at the plant, but it is not located in the main area
where an accumulation of natural gas is likely to occur.
➢ The natural gas sensor is connected neither to an automated shut-off system for the
natural gas supply nor to an alarm, thus increasing the likelihood of an incident and its
potential severity.
➢ No training has been provided to workers on either understanding the potential for
explosion, or the steps to take to avoid an explosion.
➢ No written procedures relating explosions exist within the plant.
➢ The plant contains toxic materials that can harm people and animals. The way this
material is stored in the plant, it could, in the event of a plant explosion.
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-Unsafe acts:
➢ In an area of the plant where metal cutting occurs and workers use protective eyewear.
The workers complain that they find the protective eyewear uncomfortable and do not
think it is needed or important. In addition, the plant manager knows of this behavior
but overlooks it
➢ Maintenance is supposed to be done quarterly on the natural gas lines and equipment,
no evidence is found that maintenance has ever been performed since they were first
installed four years ago.
Q2: What are some steps can be taken to rectify the noted safety concerns?
Safety Steps
1. Tests should be made periodically on the ventilation system throughout the plant to
make sure there is no gas leak.
2. Eliminate the usage of natural gas in the plant or substitute this gas with a less harmful
type of gas if possible or minimize the use of this gas.
3. Install new natural gas sensors in the areas that has higher gas concentration.
4. Connect the sensor to the automated shut-off system and the alarm system.
5. Provide workers with training to understand the potential of explosions.
6. provide written procedures and evacuation plan within the plant.
7. Toxic materials should be stored properly in storage area and separated from each
other.
8. Provide more comfortable protective personal equipment and apply restrictions on not
using them.
9. Provide preventive maintenance quarterly for equipment and gas lines.
3: From point (c) in the consulting company report, it is clear that the problem affects
not just worker safety, but also the safety of the public and the environment. Should the
difference in who or what is affected cause head engineer to modify her actions in
addressing the problem? If so, how?
Yes, while the problem is only affecting the worker, the company has only to pay for
compensation and treatment costs. if there is major threat to human, environment and animals,
further preventions must be considered by both government and plant administration. The
following are the preventions that can be made:
1. The plant facility should be relocated to unpopulated location that has less potential of
affecting environment and human.
2. Government should enforce mandatory inspection on the plant facility to ensure that
there is not any leakage and workplace is safe.
3. The plant administration should focus on the facility's housekeeping, maintenance and
provide training to workers in the matter of handing toxic materials.
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4: Can the head engineer choose to ignore or not act fully upon the safety concerns raised
by the consulting company? If yes, in what instances and under what conditions?
Every Hazard must fall into one of the following categories:
(1) Hazards that are physically infeasible to correct.
(2) Hazards that are physically feasible, but economically infeasible to correct.
(3) Hazards that are both physically and economically feasible to correct.
So, we first have to do risk assessment (as we mentioned in assignment 6), which is a
methodology of analyzing and evaluating risks. This qualitative technique has five steps, which
are:
Step 1: Identify the risks
You and your team uncover, recognize and describe risk that might affect your project.
Step 2: Analyze the risks
Once the risks are identified, you must determine the likelihood and consequence of each
risk, understand how each risk has the potential to affect your objectives.
Step 3: Evaluate the risks
Decide whether each risk is acceptable or whether it’s serious enough to warrant
Treatment.
Step 4: Treat the risks
Look closely and the highest ranked risks and develop a plan to reduce each one.
Step 5: Review and monitor the risks
Continue to monitor, trach and review your risk assessment document.
So, the head engineer can ignore or not act fully upon the safety concerns raised by the
consulting company if hazards are physically infeasible to correct or physically feasible, but
economically infeasible to correct. Moreover, if the risk assessment showed that this hazards
has low probability of occurrence and low impact if it has happened.
5: If the head engineer at the plant decides that measures must be taken to protect health
and safety, but the plant manager refuses to approve the measures, what are the
obligations of the head engineer?
1-Moral Obligation
➢ Clear commitment to the safety of the organization staff.
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➢ More motivation
➢ High efficiency
➢ High productive workforce
2-Legal Obligation
➢
➢
➢
➢
Employers responsibility such as:
Safe working conditions
Training, supervision and competency of staff
Covered injuries costs.
3-Economic obligation
➢ Accident & ill-health cost money
➢ Direct costs (compensation, medical expenses, lost products)
➢ Indirect costs (loss of staff morale, recruiting & training temporary)
6; Do any of the problems cited demonstrate that it is best to address health and safety
comprehensively in the early stages of an engineering activity, preferably within the
design process and not as an afterthought? For instance, can you indicate some measures
that will likely be more expensive to implement to fix the problem compared to the cost
that would have been incurred during the design process to resolve the problem then?
Yes, is better to address health and safety in the early stage of process design that will prevents
poor design in the facility which in future leads to resolve problems of high cost of fixing.
1. One natural gas sensor is in place at the plant, but it is not located in the main area where
an accumulation of natural gas is likely to occur. In addition, natural gas sensor is
connected neither to an automated shut-off system for the natural gas supply nor to an
alarm, thus increasing the likelihood of an incident and its potential.
2. The plant contains toxic materials that can harm people and animals. The way this
material is stored in the plant, it could, in the event of a plant explosion, be released and
impact an area within one kilometer of the plant. Such an incident could lead to illnesses
or deaths among members of the public and could harm animals in the environment.
For this problem, organization should provide a high-quality material and the worker who
responsible about it should have a training course to work on. However, stored in the plant is
wrong, so they can study to develop a new storage to protect public and animals, but this will
generate extra costs. So, if they studied these things from the beginning, they could have chosen
another place and not bear with extra expenses.
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Conclusion
This case study of Canadian manufacturing plant of a global automotive company with
headquarters in Canada has helped us in a lot of aspects regarding safety. First, we understand
the differences between the unsafe acts and unsafe conditions. Second, we have seen real
examples how a safety engineer can rectify the hazards in the workplace. Finally, we realized
the importance of engineering design processes, and how can we reduce the costs, by reducing
the rework through good planning of engineering process.
References:
1. https://definitions.uslegal.com/u/unsafe-condition
2. https://definitions.uslegal.com/u/unsafe-act
3. https://www.mbaskool.com/business-concepts/human-resources-hr-terms
4. www.mbaskool.com/business-concepts/human-resources-hr-terms
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