249937 A Multi-Layered Approach to Health and Safety Hazard Assessment and Control

Monday, October 31, 2011

John Oudyk, MSc, CIH, ROH , Hamilton Clinic, Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers Inc., Hamilton, ON, Canada
Background and Objective: Most workplaces struggle in an environment of limited access to occupational safety and health professional skills, therefore it is incumbent upon such workplaces to use the skills available sparingly and appropriately. In response to this need Jacques Malchaire has put forward a multi-layered approach to workplace health and safety (H&S) issue based on four layers: Screening, OBservation, ANalysis, and Expertise (SOBANE). The objective of this presentation is to explain the approach and demonstrate its application to the issues of workplace noise and heat stress exposures. Methods: At the screening stage, workers selected by their peers assess by means of discussion and brainstorming, evaluate 18 different aspects of workplace H&S by comparing their situation to the ideal. At the observation stage the health and safety committee and frontline supervision use checklists to qualitatively assess hazards unresolved at the screening stage. Quantitative assessment support is provided in the analysis stage. Experts are retained to resolve issues which professional H&S practitioners cannot resolve. Results: Field experience with screening and observational tools for assessing noise and heat stress exposures will be presented. Conclusions: SOBANE provides a framework to support shop-floor H&S efforts. Emphasizing the importance of shop-floor screening and observational assessment of workplace hazards reverses the reliance on scarce technical resources. Field experience has shown that simple, quantitative measurements can be included in the screening and observational evaluations of workplace noise and heat stress.

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
To explain the SOBANE approach and demonstrate its application to the issues of workplace noise and heat stress exposures.

Keywords: Occupational Exposure, Worksite

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an Occupational Hygienist with the Hamilton Clinic of the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers Inc. in Hamilton. I graduated from Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo in 1983 and from the McMaster University Health Research Methods Program in 2005. I have an appointment as an Assistant Professor (part-time) in the Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department. I am certified both with the Canadian Registration Board for Occupational Hygienists and the American Board of Industrial Hygiene.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.