MSc Occupational Safety Health and Environment

Course Title: Risk Perception and Management

Assessment Title: Risk Management

Executive Summary
The essay below is a risk management paper basing its arguments on a company that has won packaging contracts and precipitously increased its workers. The workers have inadequate abilities and training in handling industrial warehouse machinery, making operations difficult due to near-accidental misses. The essay below shall give a background on the warehouse packaging process, identify concerns in the warehouse, give a risk assessment report and suggest the ergonomic tools to be used in the warehouse.

Ergonomics is a science entrenched in comprehending how people interact with diverse elements of the vicinities or systems to ensure efficiency by reducing lethargy, risks of injury, and discomfort (Realyvasquez, 2023). In this essay, we shall discuss the safety management process of United Packaging Limited (UPL), in which we see that the whole packing process is repetitive for employees throughout their shifts. Employees must acclimate to their duties, tools, and the numerous workstations the management allocates. In the case of the UPL warehouse, ergonomic strategies need to be applied at strategic points to maximize the company’s overall production. In the essay below, the particular tasks we shall focus on include packing, placement on the conveyor belt, and box stacking on pallets. The essay below also stipulates a report addressed to the managing director regarding the well-being of the employees in the warehouse’s packaging space.

Background Research
As stated in the introduction statement above, the whole packaging process is repetitive throughout the shift in the warehouse. There seems to be an upsurge of workers due to an increment in work from the two contracts attained by the company. This translates to workers acclimatizing to the new equipment and tasks used and given in their numerous workstations. In the case of UPL, ergonomics must be applied at the calculated points to exploit production. The specific functions to focus on will be packaging boxes and the conveyor belt placing and stacking the boxes on the pallets. The staff would be required to stand and work at fixed points in the warehouse. The packaging points will have fixed-height benches where the employees are expected to stand, and their responsibilities will include cutting open boxes and manually removing and stuffing the products into new boxes. These activities will require them to do repetitive tasks over their long shifts at the warehouse.
Standing over a long period without anywhere to lean on or taking a break can take a serious toll on a worker’s spinal cord and leg muscles due to the fixed position they are required to stand and work all through (Realyvasquez, 2023). This will result in the workers getting tired much faster, hence reducing their productivity levels. The static level of the working benches is required to be of comfortable to standard human height to lessen the need for one to lift or bend the arm too high during the work shifts. The table heights should also take into consideration the ease required to pack new containers depending on the varying sizes required. The tools required to cut the boxes should be productive in terms of affluence of handling and speed of cutting to ease and decrease frustrations while still saving time (Realyvasquez, 2023). Once the new boxes are done being packed they are then placed on the conveyor belt to be stacked in a different section of the warehouse. The efficacy of the conveyor belt should ensure that none of the boxes are prevaricating, which may result in a blockage of any sort.
The ease of moving the containers from the worktables to the conveyor belt should also be taken into consideration. The questions at hand would be;
i. Are the containers too big for an average-sized worker to comfortably carry the boxes without any visual obstructions or the containers being too heavy? If yes,
ii. What other safe and better ways could be used to move the containers from one position to another?
iii. If machines are to be used, how can the workers be well-trained to handle the equipment without causing harm to one another?
Stacking pallets should be a task that should be rotated among the employees working on the conveyor belt and the stacking of boxes to a maxed height of 1.5m. This means that there will be a need for efficient spacing to facilitate the rotations between the shifts without obstructing the conveyor-engaging process with minimum to no injuries in the warehouse.

Identified Concern
Numerous recent complaints by the facility and production management at UPL have indicated an upsurge in the number of near-miss accidents that have occurred during mechanical lifting in the warehouse (Stramler, 2019). A team member was almost incapacitated by the dropping of packaging boxes by an operator who was handling a packing machine. On the other hand, the packing operator placed the blame on the team member’s dearth of attention. The safety and risk officer steered a valuation of the situation and concluded that the procumbent of the lifting aids was completed before the personnel had adequate training on how to handle the machines used in the production system (Stramler, 2019). The managers seem not to have been appropriately primed to fully integrate the machinery in the company’s production and packaging system when the company received the two packaging products due to an abrupt increase in employees.
Additionally, the hurried upsurge of employees resulted in a shortage of protective equipment such as helmets, heavy-duty gloves, safety boots, and protective glasses (Bahari, 2021). In numerous ways, this could be attributed to the chief source of the misses in the warehouse. Some workers felt that reverting to manual package management was the best option as their production lines seemed too intricate for their present skill sets.
Moreover, the work morale of the workers has dramatically been affected, and as a result, the overall output in the warehouse has plummeted. There should have been a better and more efficient way of assimilating the lifting mechanical aids into the production and packing process. It was first essential to escalate the employees’ confidence in operating the machinery before it could be integrated into the assembly process (Realyvasquez, 2023). Priority should have been given to intellectual ergonomics by the design and planning committee because machine operations are an intellectual load. Inadequate training results in a more significant cognitive load that results in stress, which is revealed in the responses of the company personnel. The company personnel reported that they were given minimal but inadequate operations training. This exercise was presented as a theory in paperwork on the safety of using machines for a month before they could be allowed to use the machines actively (Stramler, 2019). This is a contradiction of the safety and health acts that necessitate that the employees be led through practical lessons over an unlimited time frame to ensure that their confidence in the operation of machines is at its peak. This training should be done before the personnel are integrated into the warehouse operations.
Some personnel reported high stress levels due to the working environment in the warehouse. Augmented production activities in the last few months affected the workers’ mindset, resulting in exhaustion (Bahari, 2021). These activities have emphasized the human dependability factor of employees in the long term. The UPL must sensitize the significance of psychological well-being amongst the personnel to diminish stress and cerebral strain issues. Some mental biases, such as suppositions, customs and authorization, resemblance and frequency, and accessibility biases, are the chief causes of accidents in the packaging warehouse. The workers should undertake mandatory training to lessen blunders and upsurge output in manufacturing (Muha, 2020). The corporation should invest in machines that are easy and friendly to users. This will assist in reducing the mental burden on workers and, in the long run, improve their output. Technology and machinery can help diminish human errors by correcting and warning workers when they make mistakes outside instructions.
The mechanical system can also distinguish between internal and external mistakes and errors. By assimilating these machines, warehouse workers will be less likely to be overwhelmed by the assembly process and can make better decisions. Training and seminars can help increase the workers’ intellectual competencies and give them a wide range of information to make decisions (Bahari, 2021). In the long run, this will intensify growth in the workers’ production output along with their confidence as they continue learning and using the machines. Therefore, the quality of the training must be high so that only the applicable and expedient information is given to the workforce. Training upsurges the team member’s self-esteem (Bahari, 2021). Projected work instructions are, for example, more effective at snowballing workers’ self-esteem. Projected work instructions, for example, are more effective in training workers because they break information into comprehensible portions, reducing data memorization. Appropriate decision-making relies on critical thinking abilities that allow workers to circumnavigate risks and ambiguity in the decision-making process. The workers then narrowed down a list of alternatives based on the available options, weighed the evidence, and chose the best alternatives to solve the problems.
The planning committee failed to consider the human resource interactions during the installation of the machines. These interactions constitute key aspects in plummeting mishaps and injuries in the warehouse and increasing the quantity and quality of production (Realyvasquez, 2023). The equipment installation chiefly focused on efficiency rather than the human factors available, which required training and operation skill sets. UPL is, therefore, in contradiction to a number of the safety and health acts that administer industrial processes. In a nutshell, the management failed to issue personal protective gear to their employees, cater to their employees’ comprehensive insurance policy coverage, and give adequate training to the workers operating the company machinery. UPL should come up with sufficient dogmas and procedures that will be used to rectify these mishaps before an occurrence or a grievous accident that might result in profound financial implications (Muha, 2020). Lack of individual protective gear and deficient preparation has already been conveyed to the local labor unions as per the notifications sent to the Human Resource Department at UPL.

Risk Management
Risk management is termed an indispensable element in any packaging organization. It consists of recognizing potential risks, analyzing the possible impression on the corporation’s processes and financials, the likelihood of occurrence, and the advancements of measures to encompass or alleviate these risks (Muha, 2020). When risk management policies are efficiently implemented, a packing organization can decrease the adverse effects on its reputation, procedures, and profitability. Risk management in UPL should address the potential risks related to product safety, quality, environmental impacts, operational resources, team member safety, and the like. Through proper management of these risks, UPL can safeguard its operations through efficiency and smooth running, and as a result, it can maintain a competitive edge in the packaging market. One of the chief aspects that could be used in risk management in UPL would be establishing an all-inclusive risk assessment framework (Bahari, 2021). This framework entails steering systematic assessment that would aid in identifying and prioritizing probable risks both externally and internally to impact the enterprise positively. UPL can develop customized risk amendment policies to address individual risks when they are identified.
Additionally, UPL must stay restructured with industry standards, guidelines, and the finest practices to ensure that the company complies with and minimizes latent liabilities (Muha, 2020). Regular education workshops and training for company personnel on adequately using the machines and instigating stringent quality control measures could positively affect UPL. Moreover, UPL could institute a strong relationship with contractors that would contribute to operative risk management. By developing this relationship through open lines of communication and efficient deliveries, UPL could forestall and address any impending disruptions up or down its supply chains (Bahari, 2021). This company will be able to decrease the impact of such occurrences on its maneuvers. Ultimately, assimilating durable risk management practices into the fabric of UPL as a packaging organization is vital for longstanding accomplishment and sustainability in a competitive market set-up (Muha, 2020). Products must meet the necessary safety and quality standards, maintain a sufficient and reliable supply chain, minimize in-house accidents, and comply with the essential safety and quality standards. UPL packaging company should allocate more resources to achieve optimum pecuniary and operational outcomes.
Risk management at UPL is crucial in the sense that it ensures that there are realizations and stability in the organization, risk management will aid in classifying, analyzing, and evaluating probable risks that would, in turn, curb unavoidable accidents in the warehouse (Bahari, 2021). This curbing would result in a positive impact on UPL’s operations. Finances and reputation to their suppliers and potential workers as well. In a nutshell, risk management in the company will be directed toward potential risks in relation to human resource safety, training, product safety and quality, regulatory acquiescence, supply chain interruptions, and environmental impacts. Additionally, it is vital for UPL to regularly monitor and reevaluate its risk landscape in order to improve its risk management procedures further. This monitoring necessitates consistency in updating the risk assessment structure to accommodate shifting market dynamics, new risks in the market, and changing legal necessities (Muha, 2020). Through the use of pre-emptive and supple risk management, UPL can efficiently recognize and deal with emerging risks and the preservation of a strong and stable commercial model. Integrating technology can be used to significantly improve risk management in the packaging industry, emphasis should be placed on the need to have employees well-trained over a substantial period. The visibility of the Supply chain can be heightened by the use of instigated digital platforms, extrapolative analytics, and monitoring schemes that are innovative, offering real-time discernments into possible risks and facilitation of prompt decision-making to reduce them (Stramler, 2019). Moreover, the cultivation of a culture where risk consciousness and accountability within the workforce are crucial to risk mitigation is vital for UPL as a packaging company.
It is also essential for there to be success when it comes to risk management initiatives for the safety and accountability of the organization’s workers and customers. UPL must cultivate a culture of responsibility and risk awareness among company workers (Stramler, 2019). UPL, as a packaging business, has the capability to access instrumental forefront information and improve overall risk attentiveness by allowing its workers the freedom to recognize and report latent risks at any level in the company.

Ergonomics Tools
Below are the ergonomic tools to be used to make work at the warehouse comfortable and safer for the employees.

Packaging Area
There should be a standard 0.9 m and 0.7 m height on the working station for the standard and shorter workers, respectively. This will ensure that the workers at these working stations are comfortable during the packing shifts. Adjustable desks will be appropriate when a worker is packing larger and longer containers with a need for the team member to stand on higher ground for ease in packing. Special handles on the containers should be incorporated to ensure that there is ease in gripping, reducing strain and the amount of strength required to carry the boxes. The modification of blades will ensure that the knives are stable and strong when cutting for precision to avoid both major and minor cut injuries. The blades should also be easy to change when they get blunt during the cutting process.

Conveyor Belt and Stacking Area
Stock picking carts will be required to allow them to carry heavy products from one point of the warehouse to the other. This means that workers can load the carts with the heavier boxes for them to be placed on the conveyor belt. A lot of energy and time will be saved that could have been utilized in trying to have the heavy boxes moved (Muha, 2020). Lift tables at the stacking tables will aid in efficiency while stacking the higher containers without the employees having to bend over repeatedly. There will be a need for the management to create extra space at the warehouse to accommodate the lift tables according to the table design.

Ergonomic Improvements.
There will be reduced strain in using the work tables in terms of optical and physical access by the use of the hands. This means that the workers placed at a comfortable height will tire slower as their production levels remain at peak for a longer time (Muha, 2020). The additional visual relief gives more space for effectiveness, which is a plus for the warehouse services. Training the workers on how to use the carts and forklift in the warehouse will also add to the production sector of the company with reduced accidents, efficiency in moving the boxes, and maximization of the available time for the shifts. Having made the cutting process easier, with less frustrations, a happy and cheerful environment is created in the warehouse.

In conclusion, a team member should be comfortable operating the equipment in the warehouse by their employer, ensuring that proper mental health guidelines are adhered to. Work environments should be designed with the human resource in mind. For UPL Company to succeed over the long run and persist in a fast-paced industry, it must integrate healthy risk management throughout its business operations. The packaging company can efficiently manage ambiguity and maintain its competitive edge in the competitive market by espousing new types of machinery, training workers, doing frequent updates on assessment frameworks, and nurturing a culture of proper risk awareness.

Bahari M S., Harun A., Zainal A Z., Hamidon R., & Zakaria S. 2021. Intelligent manufacturing and mechatronics: proceedings of SympoSIMM 2020. Springer.
Muha R., Škerlič S. and Erčulj V., 2020. The importance of risk management for the introduction of modern warehouse technologies. Promet-Traffic&Transportation, 32(3), pp.321-333.
Realyvasquez A., Satapathy S., & García-Alcaraz J L. 2023. Automation and innovation with computational techniques for futuristic smart, safe and sustainable manufacturing processes. Springer.
Stramler Jr. 2019. The Dictionary for Human Factors/Ergonomics. Routledge.

Subscribe For Latest Updates
Let us notify you each time there is a new assignment, book recommendation, assignment resource, or free essay and updates