Study of Occupational Safety and Health Audit on Facilities at Ungku Omar College, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM): A Preliminary Analysis

Article excerpt

Occupational safety and health (OSH) in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) is being considered as an important program to measure employee and student welfare and well-being. During academic session, apart from attending lectures, laboratory works, tutorial and library search, majority of students spend most of their time in residential colleges, thus occupational safety and health of students at respective colleges must be taken care and measured in order to guarantee students well-being. In addition, many co-curriculum activities nowadays are conducted in colleges. Therefore, it is important to observe to what extent the safety of students at colleges is taking care by the management of colleges. Based on this reason, therefore, this study attempts to observe and identify the safety and health level at one of the colleges in UKM i.e. Ungku Omar College (KUO). By using criteria and indicators as listed in checklist of hazard risk assessment, safety inspection or audit was conducted at various places or localities in KUO. Percentage and scoring systems were used in evaluating every area in KUO. The result showed that the overall score of safety at all localities in KUO was about 77.6%. Based on localities, general administrative office had the highest safety score i.e. 90.9% followed by college facility areas (71.6%) and administrative blocks (70.3%). It can be said that, the whole of KUO facilities scored above the required safe indicator of 50%. However, there were some safety technical aspects which previously did not apply and practice by the college management. For instance, provision of building which shows emergency exit in every exit doors should be implemented by the KUO authority. Hence, it shows clearly the way out of the buildings if anything happen inside of the buildings. In general, the effectiveness of the occupational safety and health of students in KUO are in the hands of administrators and employers. Therefore, based on this study, safety and health audit should be carried out not only in KUO but also in other residential colleges, thus the UKM students' well-being and welfare can be guaranteed and monitored entirely.

Keywords: Occupational Safety and Health, risk assessment, safety indicator, safety inspection, safety management, students' well-being and welfare.

Introduction

Study on risk assessment proved the effectiveness of the standardized technical and safety inspection in reducing accident rates among workers and also increasing the workers safety at workplace (Geyer et al. 1990). Among safety inspection that should be conducted is audit process on occupational safety and health based on activities that is carried out by organization. Direct safety inspection may prevent risk and hazard potential especially at workplaces.

Past studies on occupational safety and health (OSH) touched on various issues and topics that are related to not only employee well-being and walfare but also on management of the organization. Studies on the walfare of employee were carried out in various countries in the world, such as in the Netherland (Van Der Weide et al. 1997), in the United Kingdom (Gay and New, 1999; Heron, 1999; Shelmerdine and Williams, 2003), Suphi and Sitki (2007) in Turkey and Jan Hovden et. a1.(2008) in Norway. For instance, occupational safety and health management system was studied by Auty (1999) and Heron (1999). Generally, they used audit assessment in their studies to observe and to evaluate hazard risk in organization. They found that a good management will improve the effectiveness of accident and injury prevention at workplace. This implies indirectly impact of moral and also commitment among employee and employer.

Employee well-being and walfare is another area of interest in audit assessement study. Van Der Weide et al. (1997), for instance, used hospital patient records to study employees absent from work due to backbone problem. Their studies proved that by edmitting to hospital it will be an economic burden to employees who needed to pay highly cost of hospital treatments. …

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