Literature Review AKU

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					2.2 The Importance of OSH Towards UMP Students

              Many people do not realize the importance of occupational safety and health

(OSH), even some who never heard of what OSH is. For your information, OSH is defined as a

discipline of job health and safety information needed for workers to protect themselves. Beside

safety and health, OSH does focus on the environment of the workplace, whether the employees

are comfortable or not with the places that they work, in other word called ergonomic.

Furthermore, OSH does cover on ways to prevent workers from harmful effects towards their

health at the workplace. The question here is whether OSH is important for us or not and does it

affect our work. OSH specialized on the protection of employees during work from risks that can

cause harm to their health. Therefore, it can be said that the importance of OSH program are to

give students the appropriate education and training in undergoing work (Tong, 2009), improve

the worker productivity (Martonik, 2001) and lastly the efficiencies of having OSH as a subject

to be learn (Sawaqed, 2003).

              By learning OSH, it can help to reduce worker’s pain and suffer because we will

learn the entire dos and don’ts while working. OSH is very important because it is mainly about

the knowledge on how to take care of our safety and health at the workplace. Without OSH,

accident might easily happen because of the shallow understanding about safety during work.

We do not want adverse events occurred only due to the less knowledge of OSH.

       “A study of hairdressing students in Taiwan revealed changed attitudes toward
       the safe handling of chemicals after the students received appropriate education
       and training in reducing hazardous chemical exposure.”
                                                    (YU-Huei Tong, 2009, p. 468)
Therefore, it can be said that OSH is very important and is recommended to be included as a

subject educationally either in school or in colleges (Tong, 2009; Sawaqed, 2003). Since OSH is

restricting about safety, so it will also teach us on doing the right working steps which is more

efficient towards safety. The low knowledge of OSH is the main cause of accident occurrence.

Sawaqed (2003) asserts that “it is believed ergonomic deficiencies are the root causes of

workplace health hazards, low level of safety and reduced the productivity and quality of

worker.” Similarly, Martonik (2001) argues about the ergonomics deficiencies but literature of

his is more to asbestos rulemakings. Besides, OSH Act also suggests educational testing service

(ETS) during work. This is to make sure that the material we are using is safe and non


       “The OSH Act itself greatly restricts the use of ETSs. An ETS must be necessary
       to protect employees from ‘‘grave danger’’ from exposure to substances or
       physical agents determined to be toxic or physically harmful.”
                                                     (John F. Martonik, 2001, p. 209)

If it is hazard, we should be extra careful while handling the thing. Every precaution steps should

be done to make sure the situation is fully secure and under control. Tong (2009) observes that

“Universities rarely provide adequate education in occupational health and safety.” The same

author also reveals that “many university facilities such as laboratories and workshops pose

worker health and safety hazards.”

               In addition to the important of OSH, it is believed that OSH is one way of

ensuring that the company is successful, sustainable and growing economy in the long term. To

achieve a stable economy, a country must ensure their national product is produced continuously.
Sawaqed (2003) “Improving worker productivity, occupational health and safety (OHS) are

major concerns of industry, especially in developing countries.” With the existence of OSH, it is

as a guide for workers to improve their level of productivity due to it has its own standards in

handling materials. For instance,

       Between 1971 and 1994, OSHA issued 2 asbestos emergency temporary
       standards (ETSs), 3 major notices of proposed rulemaking (NPRMs) for
       asbestos, 3 final asbestos standards, and 31 Federal Register notices related to
       asbestos regulation that address various procedural, substantive, and minor
       asbestos-related issues.
                                                    (John F. Martonik, 2001, p. 208)

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have regulated occupational

exposure to many other materials besides asbestos. This is to ensure the safety of workers

guaranteed and also leads to the producing high quality of product.

       “Clearly, the nature of prescribed worker protections has become more
       complex over time, changing from a simple PEL-based standard to a complex
       standard comprised of mandatory work practices for specific asbestos jobs and
       operations. These changes are due in part to increased knowledge of the health
       effects resulting from asbestos exposure; better measurement and control
       technology; pressure from labor representatives; changing regulatory policies
       within OSHA and other regulatory agencies; and court decisions directing
       specific regulatory actions.”
                                                   (John F. Martonik, 2001, p. 208)

               Furthermore, the efficiencies of ergonomic in work system also play an important

role in improving the productivity of workers. Ergonomic is related to the science of health for

human. In other words, the right way to get the job done that includes the right positioning of our

body, the environment and also the right equipment to use.
       Neglect of ergonomic principles brings inefficiency and pain to the workforce.
                                                           (Sawaqed, 2003, p. 564)

Ergonomics are applied into the system of OSH because of its highly prioritizes towards safety

and health of workers. The OSH system could be improved by applying ergonomics into the

system. For instance, a man could get his job done effectively when he can work in a

comfortable way. By increasing the health maintenance of the workers, the productivity and

quality of work can also be increase. According to Sawaqed (2003:564) “It would, therefore, be

extremely difficult to attain company objectives without giving proper consideration to


               As conclusion, to include OSH as a subject educationally into the curriculum

either in school or in colleges is a very acceptable opinion in view of OSH does bring many

advantages rather than disadvantages. For example, if students learn OSH in school, the level of

safety awareness of each of the student will increase. They’ll know when and how to take

precaution steps and also be extra alert towards the environment while working. In my opinion,

due to the fact that OSH is important so I agree very much that OSH retains as a compulsory

subject of study by UMP students. Indirectly, it will teach safety awareness among UMP

students while doing their practical lessons and also as a preparation before becoming an

engineer. The importance of OSH towards UMP students is mainly to prevent any worst case

scenario to happen. As we all know, “prevention is better than cure” so it better to take

precaution steps while working rather than give treatment to accident victims.

John F. Martonik, E. N. (2001). The History of OSHA’s Asbestos Rulemakings and Some
             Distinctive Approaches that They Introduced for Regulating Occupational
             Exposure to Toxic Substances. Ameican Industry Hygiene Assosiation , 208-216.

Sawaqed, A. A. (2003). Worker productivity, and occupational health and safety issue in selected
             industries. Computers & Indusrial Engineering , 564-572.

Yu-Huei Tong, Y.-W. L.-C.-M. (2009). Perceptions of General Education on Occupational
            Health and Safety Among College Student in Taiwan. Journal of Occupational
            and Environmental Hygiene , 468-474.

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