In my own opinion, I believe that OSHA was correct in citing the company under the general duty clause because of the following reasons. First, there were no occupational safeties as well as health standards applicable to the working condition at Beverly enterprise. On one hand, the OSHA did not have the written regulations in its act that could be used to enforce safety and health compliance practices at Beverly enterprise. On the other hand, Beverly enterprise did not have such regulations in its safety practices. For this reason, there were no written regulations to refer to. A similar issue was identified at Pepperidge farm, Inc. Second, there were no hazard warnings at Beverly enterprise. Consequently, there was no need to develop such hazards where they did not exist. In this case, inasmuch as Beverly enterprise recognized that lifting weight could cause serious injury among the nursing assistants, it did not outline these hazards in its work manual. If anything, it left this issue unaddressed thereby OSHA was correct citing the company under the general duty clause. It would be worth noting that if OSHA tried to create an impression that Beverly enterprise recognized the hazards presented by lifting residents it could be expanding the scope of the clause (Reese, 2008). This would be unacceptable as it was with Pepperidge farm, Inc case. Based on the above two reasons, I believe that OSHA was correct in citing the company under the general duty clause.
Avoiding OSHA from citing Beverly enterprise
With regard to the analysis that I have done concerning Beverly enterprises, I feel that the following needs to be done to avoid the enterprise from being cited by OSHA. First, I feel that there should be a limit of the weight that nursing assistants (NAs) should lift at any given time especially with bare hands. Looking at the case study, it appears that such a limit of weight does not exist because the amount of weight that nursing assistants are supposed to lift depend on the number and weight of the residents they serve. In order to address this challenge, the enterprise should establish a weight limit that its nursing assistants should lift with bare hands. Second, I feel that there should be a comprehensive training program that discourages nursing assistants from lifting weight that exceeds the limit that would be set by the enterprise. Right now, even if such a program exists in the affected facilities, it does not discourage NAs from lifting heavy weights with bare hands. If anything, it encourages NAs to combine effort in doing so rather than encouraging them to use machines to lift such weights (Reese, 2008). Third, I feel that the enterprise should repair its weight lifting machines and encourage NAs to use them. Failing to repair those machines and to encourage NAs to use those machines contributes significantly to the current problem.
An ergonomic program
An ergonomics program is concerned with studying work. Its aim is to fit workplace conditions to capabilities of the working population. The program reduces physical stress on workers’ bodies by ensuring that only the right workplace conditions are developed. This in return results to high productivity among workers, minimizes risks and increases satisfaction among workers. In Beverly enterprise case study, an ergonomic program should be included in this case study because of the following reasons. First, it would help the enterprise to evaluate possible musculoskeletal problems in its various facilities. Second, after evaluating these problems, it would help the enterprise’s management team to commit itself to tackling those problems (Karwowski, & Marras, 2003).
Third, the management team would commit itself to offering training to its workers so that it can improve their abilities to evaluate possible problems. Fourth, the enterprise’s management team would be able to gather data that could help it to identify the most problematic work conditions in the affected facilities. Fifth, once the management team identifies these conditions, it could address them one by one by developing the right control measures for those work conditions. Sixth, the management team could establish a system that could detect possible problems early enough. After detecting the problems, it could prevent possible disorders (Karwowski, & Marras, 2003). Seventh, the management team could prevent possible disorders when planning other work operations and processes.
Tool to use
In order to identify ergonomic stressors in the workplace, I would use the NIOSH lifting equation. This equation assesses the likelihood with which low-back disorders are likely to occur at a workplace that involves lifting weights. The equation comprises of two primary products namely lifting index and recommended weight limit. The recommended weight limit is the load weight that nearly all workers that are in good health can lift over a substantial period of time without developing musculoskeletal disorders. This weight is usually the product of ideal lift and six weighted task variables namely angle of asymmetry; quality of hand-to-object coupling; load distance from the worker; vertical displacement; vertical height of the lift; and frequency. Lifting index, on the other hand, is the ratio between actual load weight and recommended weight limit. When lifting index is greater than one, it signifies increased risk, and vice versa (Cohen, 1997). The rationale for utilizing this equation would be the lifting index that would signify the level of risk. By so doing, it would help me to identify the possible ergonomic stressors.
Cohen, A. (1997).Elements of ergonomics programs: A primer based on workplace evaluations of musculoskeletal disorders. Atlanta, Ga.: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Karwowski, W., & Marras, W. (2003). Occupational ergonomics: design and management of work systems. New York: CRC press.
Reese, C. (2008). Occupational health and safety management: a practical approach. New York: CRC press.