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The Influence Of Occupational Health And Safety On Employee Performance

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

1.1.1   Concept of Occupational Safety and Health

1.1.2 Occupational Safety and Health Programs

1.1.3 Employee Performance

1.2 Research Problem

1.3 The Objective of the Study

1.4 Research Questions

1.5 Significance of study

1.6 Limitations of study

1.7 Organization of study

CHAPTER: TWO LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 Introduction

2.2 Theoretical Foundation

2.3 Occupational health and safety

2.4 The Effects of Occupational Safety and Health Programs on Employee Performance

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Research Design

3.2 Target Population

3.3 Sample Design

3.4 Data Collection

3.5 Data Analysis

CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS, RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Response Rate

4.3 Demographic Characteristics of the Respondents’

4.4. Occupational health and safety

4.4.1 Occupational Health Surveillance

4.4.2 Health and Safety Committees

4.4.4 Employee Wellness Programs

4.4.5 Health and Safety Policy

4.5 Means and Standard Deviations for Measures of Employee Performance

4.6 Relationship between Occupational Safety and Health Programs and Employee Performance

4.7 Discussion of the Findings

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Summary of Findings

5.3 Conclusion

5.4 Recommendations

REFERENCES

QUESTIONNAIRE

ABSTRACT

Organizations have both legal and moral obligations to provide healthy and safe working environments as well as ensuring the total well-being of their employees. The provision of any health and safety program varies from according to the locations and size of the organization, the nature of work being performed and type of employees. Organizations depend on employees as working partners and fellow members of the organization community. By reducing the rates and severity of occupational accidents, diseases, workplace violence, stress related illness, and improving the quality of work for their employees, organizations become significantly effective. The study adopted Descriptive Research Design inform of Survey where data was collected from across population by use of Primary source for purposes of establishing the effects of occupational health and safety programs on employee performance at Ghana Power and Lighting Company. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data. A Five point Likert scale was used to determine the degree to which various programs are being used by departments in the company. To present and analyze the data collected by the researcher through the use questionnaires in finding out the facts in support of the statement of problem, the researcher analyzed and report the information in form of pie charts, bar graphs, percentages, continuous prose and through use of Statistical Package foe Social Sciences (SPSS). Regression analysis was used to establish the effects of occupational safety and health to employee performance. The findings of the study established that occupational safety and health programs have a positive relationship with employee performance at Ghana Power Company. The findings also indicate that there is a strong relationship between health and safety programs and employee performance. The study concludes that health and safety programs have a positive effect on employee performance. It is recommended that companies should align their occupational safety programs to their business strategies.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Occupational safety and health is a discipline dealing with prevention of work related injuries and diseases, and the protection and promotion of healthy workers. It aims at the improvement of working conditions and environment. Occupational health entails the promotion and maintenance of the highest degree of physical and mental health and social well-being of workers in all occupations (Taderera, 2012). Occupational Safety and Health has recently become a much higher priority in light of the growing evidence of great loss and suffering caused by occupational diseases and ill-health across many different employment sectors, and is of concern to managers at least partly because of increasing number of deaths and accidents occurring at work. Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) is a complex area which interacts widely with a broader spectrum of business interests and concerns. To date OHS has been confined to the periphery of Human Resource Management (HRM), where its role, influence and importance have been overlooked (Cassio, 2004).

The study was supported by Goal-Freedom Alertness Theory founded by Kerr (1954) and Distractions Theory founded by Hinze (1997). Goal-Freedom Alertness Theory states that safe work performance is the result of psychologically rewarding work environment as workers will be safe in a positive work environment if managers and supervisors actively work to alleviate hazards, illnesses and accidents at the workplace. Distractions Theory states that safety and health is situational and has two components. The first component deals with hazards posed by unsafe physical conditions and the other dealing with a worker pre-occupation with issues not directly related to the task being performed. The study was carried out at Ghana Power  Company because the company has failed to put in place adequate health and safety measures in the workplace to safeguard not only the employees and management but also customers and other stakeholders who might have some kind of interest in the company.

Naidoo & Willis (2002) identify a number of benefits to the organization from promotion of health and safety workplace as improvements of productivity as a result of reduced sickness absence, enhanced corporate image and staff turnover. Safety measures prevent accidents and ensure regular flow of work which helps to improve the morale and productivity of workers. It also contributes to team work and a sense of belonging to employees. On the other hand Boyd (2003) argues that when employee performance increase, it will lead to the organization effectiveness. Among the positive consequences of safe and healthy workplaces are: higher productivity owing  to few lost workdays, increased efficiency, quality from healthier workforce, reduced medical and insurance costs, lower workers’ compensation rates and direct payments because of few chains being filed, and improved reputation. According to McCunney (2001), the primary beneficial impact of occupational health and safety on productivity is reduced absenteeism.

The challenge of organizations today is how to enlist the hearts and minds of all their employees. Occupational exposures verse ergonomic, physiological and psychosocial factors are found in today’s work environment. Such factors, individually or in several complex combinations, threaten workers’ safety and health and reduce well-being and productivity (Health and Safety Executive, 2008). World Health Organization (2013) estimates that over 160 million of new cases of work related illnesses occur every year. International Labour Organization estimates that 2.2 million workers die every year as a result of work related ill-health and injury, 350 thousand of these deaths are due to accidents and the rest due to occupational illness and accidents. On top of these International Labour Organization estimates that there are 264 million non fatal accidents occur each year that result in more than three (3) days absence from work and 160 million people suffer from work-related diseases. In economic terms, the ILO has estimated that 4% of the world’s annual GDP is lost as a consequence of occupational diseases and accidents (ILO, 2013). In past one year slightly more three (3) million US workers suffered from occupational injuries and illnesses resulting from accidents at work number of fatal accidents. This statistics results in an incidence rate of 3.3 cases per 100 equivalent to full time workers (Bureau of Labour Statistics, 2013).  In the United Kingdom 2 million people are reported to be suffering from illness believed to be caused or made worse by their current or past work. Overall UK performance is better than many other European countries such as Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Poland in the key areas of injuries, fatalities and self-reported work related ill-health (British Safety Council, 2014).

In Africa the issue of Occupational health and safety practices has been ignored by most countries and organizations.  The ILO reported that 63,900 work deaths occurred in the 54 African countries and that an estimated 1,560,000 disabling work injuries occurred (ILO, 2010). The fundamental perspective on why majority of African countries and organizations struggle to foster an effective occupational health and safety workplace is that most employers put greater emphasis on productivity and profitability while compromising health and safety standards, procedures, policies and programmes. In Ghana the status of occupational safety and health situation/conditions is an issue of growing concern by the employers, government, managers, industrialists, workers and other stakeholders. Health and safety has not been given increasing emphasis by managers, employers, employees, trade unions, employers’ associations and other stakeholders in recent years (Nyakang’o, 2009). The above understanding coupled with the fact that at the core of every business is man whose output is partially dependent on his/her state of health, an appreciation of the concept of occupational health and safety becomes imperative to the success of any organization.

Concept of Occupational Safety and Health

Occupational health and safety is a cross-disciplinary area concerned with protecting the safety, health and welfare of people engaged in work or employment. The goal of all occupational health and safety programs is to foster a safe work environment (Amazon, 2006). Occupational health deals with ill-health arising from working conditions/or environment that slowly accumulate to lead to deterioration of the workers health. However occupational safety is concerned with prevention of accidents and minimizing the aspect of work environment that has the potential of causing immediate violent harm to employees (Armstrong, 2012).

According Mejia (2010) asserts that occupational safety and health is abroad area which includes both physical and emotional well-being. Effectively managing workplace safety and health requires far more than reducing the number of job related accidents and injuries. Health and safety is a positive concept that includes social and personal resources as well as physical capabilities (Nutbeam, 1990). It has been conceptualized as the ability to have and to reach goals, meet personal needs and cope with everyday life (Raphael, Brown, Renwick & Rootman, 1997).

The concept of accident proneness is now largely discredited; safety and health programs concentrate as far as possible on ensuring that the employee is suitable for the job and that work is conducted in a safe environment (Graham and Bennet, 1995).

Jackson et.al. (2009) states that the term occupational safety and health refers to the physiological – physical and psychological conditions of a workplace that result from work environment provided by the organization. Physiological-physical conditions include diseases and accidents such as actual loss of life, repetitive motion injuries, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome. Psychological conditions encompass symptoms of poor mental health and job burnout, including apathy, emotional exhaustion, withdrawal, confusion about roles and duties, mistrust of others, in attentiveness, irritability and a tendency to become distraught over trifles.

These conditions often are responses to workplace stress and a low quality of work life.

Occupational Safety and Health Programs

Occupational safety and health programs involve practices or activities that are undertaken by the organization in reducing unsafe conditions and unsafe acts in the workplace. Reducing unsafe conditions is always an employer’s first line of defense in accident prevention (Hopkin, 2010). He further observe that in designing safe and healthy environments, employers need to pay special attention to vulnerable workers in the workplace either due to lack of education, ill-fitting personal protective equipment, physical limitations or cultural reasons.

The achievement of a healthy and safe place of work and the elimination of maximum extent of possible hazards to health and safety is the responsibility of everyone employed in an organization as well as those working under contract. The occupational safety and health programs are designed to minimize the impact of work related illnesses and accidents arising from the work (Armstrong, 2012). Designing and implementing intervention programs is more challenging to organizations/or companies with none operations around the world because it is more difficult to monitor progress. Related to this challenge and responsibility of Human resource professionals and organizations in managing the conditions resulting from major diseases epidemics and major disasters. Because the magnitude of the impact of diseases and disasters, organizations must be proactive in managing occurrence (Stewart and McGoldrick, 1996).

On the other hand Dessler (2008) argues that healthy and safe working environment does not just happen it has to be created. The organizations with the best reputation for safety have developed well planned, thorough health and safety programs. Concern for safety should begin at the highest level within the organization, manager and then supervisor. If an organization takes effective safety and health measures, fewer of its employees will have short or long term illeffects as a result of employed at that organization. Nzuve (2009) believe that organizations depend on employees as working partners and fellow members of the organization community. The achievement of a healthy and safe place of work and elimination of maximum extent of possible hazards in an organization as well as those working there under contract. By reducing the rates and severity of occupational accidents, diseases, workplace violence, stress related illness, and improving the quality of work for their employees, organizations become significantly effective.

Organizations invest in health and safety programs in part of humanitarian reasons but also out of concern of controlling costs of many kinds, extending from times Occupational Safety and

Health Act for non-compliance to health insurance premiums, to payments for non-productive labour. They also benefit from having healthy employees as some have been willing to invest for this purpose by setting wellness programs and facilities (Miner and Crane, 1995). Many interventions can used to improve workplace safety and health. Among the most common are programs designed to reduce accidents and injuries, reduce diseases, improve employees’ ability to manage stress and overall health. While some of the interventions are intended to change the lifestyles and non-work behaviours of employees. All these interventions can reduce the many costs associated with employee injuries, illness and death (Werner (2009).

Employee Performance

Employee Performance is the record of result which is gained from the function of certain work or certain activities in certain period of time. It is a set of behaviours that are relevant to the goals of the organization or the organizational unit in which a person works (Bernandin & Russell, 2009). Armstrong (2010) state that employee performance is a process for establishing a shared workforce understanding about what is to be achieved at an organization level. It is about aligning the organizational objectives with the employees’ agreed measures, skills, competency requirements, development plans and the delivery of results. Many business organizations in this era of global competition are trying to create a high performance work culture which is incorporated of both business and corporate strategies in order to develop individual’s contribution to the overall success of the organization. In recent years, many organizations are trying to create a ‘performance culture’, which is incorporated of several strategies in order to develop individuals’ contribution to the overall success of the organization. The human resource department commonly has the responsibility for ensuring the health and safety of employees is taken care of hence high performance output (Armstrong, 2007; Boxal and Purcell, 2008; Fletcher and Williams, 1996).

Armstrong (2012) assert, the aim of managers is to establish a high performance culture in which individuals and team takes responsibility for the continuous improvement of business process and for their own skills and contributions within a framework provided effective leadership. Most of the world’s largest corporations are realizing that business and work activities must no longer ignore safety and health concerns. According to (Gilley et.al, 2003) argues that what is required is an organization wide approach to performance improvement with workplace health and safety as critical aspects of employee performance. The desire for improved workers productivity cannot be approached in a vacuum. The benefits accrue from keeping the workplace safe must not exceed the costs incurred for occupational safety and health programs.

According to (Pritchard, 1990) states that productivity improvement is important for the individual organization and to improve productivity it is important to measure it. Effective managers and supervisors realize that they must take an active and positive role in employee performance to ensure that goals are met. Managing employee performance is one way of empowering employees. To give the organization and its employees the opportunity to achieve high performance, managers and employees must understand their workplace safety thoroughly, in terms of both what they are doing and how they are supposed to do it. Effective managers create antecedent that achieve two purposes: they facilitate performance and stimulate employees for performance (Zeithmal, 2002). Employee performance reviews ensure that the workers are focused on their jobs and work toward reaching the company’s overall goals and satisfying the organization’s mission statement (Aldag, 2004).

1.2 Research Problem

Health at work and healthy work environments are among the most valuable assets of individuals, communities, companies and countries. Occupational safety and health is an important strategy not only to ensure the health and safety of workers, but also contribute positively to productivity, quality of products, work motivation, job satisfaction and thereby to the overall quality of life of individuals and society (WHO, 1994). Virtually all employees in an organization are affected by occupational safety and health for better or worse.  Employees at work environment are out in the open to many of the health and safety hazards as they are exposed to potentially dangerous equipment, machines, tools or chemicals in the workplace. Due to mounting social and public pressure and rising consumer expectations, enterprises are increasingly being expected to go beyond the legal requirements and act more responsibly. Creating workplaces that are healthy for the employees and that prevent illness and disease, is one way in which companies can meet these rising expectations while also improving productivity and competitiveness (Torrington et.al, 2008).

Ghana Power Company has developed policies, guidelines and programs on occupational safety and health that are applied and implemented across the board to all employees. The company is also committed to excellence and success in the energy sector through motivation kitty awarded to best performing employees and departments. Ghana Power Company has an occupational safety and health program that has been designed to recognize employee performance. However, from the statutory safety and health audit report conducted in 2013 shows that work related accidents, illness and injuries have increased by 20-30% especially among technical workers, and that there are challenges with implementation of occupational safety and health programs. Health care costs have continue to increase, this has led to a conflict between the needs of the company to push for increased output and efficiency and the needs of employees to be protected from hazards and accidents in the place of work. Absenteeism for health reasons was also cited by the audit report as among the many reasons often disrupts performance of individuals employees as sick or injured employees are likely to perform less if they do try to work.

Several studies have been done in relation to occupational health and safety to employee performance. Badekale (2012) conducted a descriptive research in form of a survey on the effects of organizational health and safety policies on employee performance in Larfage (WAPCO) Ewekoro, Ogun State in Nigeria which revealed that a healthy worker is a productive worker. The study found out that lack of good safety practice, and health care costs are some of the issues that successful health and safety programs. Abuga (2012) conducted a case study at Pyrethrum Board of Ghana which sought to know the effects of occupational safety and health programs on organization effectiveness. His findings were that employees must be involved in planning of occupationa; safety and health programs.  Indakwa (2013) also did a cross-sectional study on the perceived influence of occupational health and safety practices on job satisfaction among employees in the sugar industry. The research established that occupational health and safety influence job satisfaction, and the findings of the study was that occupational safety and health influences job satisfaction.  On the other hand, Mberia (2007) also conducted a survey which seeks to establish the occupational health and safety programmes adopted by banks operating in Ghana. The findings of the study revealed that banks are very keen on physical and mechanical hazards that affect employees. Jelimo (2013) conducted a descriptive research on the effects of occupational health and safety practices on employees’ productivity. The study find out that occupational safety and health practices has a positive relationship with productivity of employees.

In a nutshell all these studies have focused on occupational safety and health practices, strategies and compliance on performance/productivity of the organization, and their findings have established that occupational health and safety enhances organizational performance. However, none of the studies conducted have provided or linked the relationship between occupational safety and health to performance of employees especially in the energy sector. It is from this knowledge that the study seeks to unpack the relationship between occupational safety and health programs on performance of employees at Ghana Power by answering the following question: What is the influence of occupational safety and health program to performance of employees at Ghana Power Company?

1.3 The Objective of the Study

The objective of the study was to establish the effects of occupational safety and health programs on employee performance at Ghana Power Company.

The study aimed at finding out the following:

  1. To examine the influence of occupational health and safety on service delivery in the company.
  • To identify any inadequacies in the hospital’s health and safety measures.
  1. To examine the roles of the employee, employers in the execution of health and safety programmes in the hospital.
  • To assess the level of compliance of occupational health and safety practices by employers and employees.

 

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  1. What are the indications that the hospital administrators and supervisors are really concern about health and safety?
  • What are the respective responsibilities and rights of employers and employees for effective occupational health and safety policy?
  1. Is the hospital current occupational health and safety policies adequate?
  • What happens if staff fail to comply with occupational health and safety rules in the hospital?

1.4 Significance of the Study

The findings of the study will enable the management and employees to identify the various occupational safety and health programs hence relevant information on the way of improving employee work performance by enhancing the safety and health standards on the job. The research will be of benefit to other researchers as they may use it as a reference guide when carrying out a similar study on the impact of occupational health and safety programs on performance of employees. It will help them identify the gap left by the researcher in the course of carrying out this study.

The findings will be useful for policy makers, practitioners, and implementers who could use the results of the study to identify and bridge the gap of occupational safety and health programs in the workplaces. This would help in improving performance and reducing accidents and work

related illness.

Academicians/scholars will also benefit from the study since it will add value to the existing body of knowledge by stimulating new areas for further research through the findings and subsequent recommendations. Finally the study will provide the Government of Ghana with an i insight on how to review, design, develop and implement the new occupational safety and health legislation. Also in ensuring that the new law on OSHA is adhered to by all employers and organizations to reduce work related accidents, injuries and diseases.

 

1.6 Limitations of The Study

Most of the employees of the hospital have unstable or unfavourable work schedules. This made the conducting of interviews very difficult.

Financial constraints-in the course of the research, the researcher had to spend a lot of money in printing of the research work, photocopying relevant research materials, allowances to research assistants, travelling and transport cost to the site to gather information.

Another limitation was the reluctance of the respondents in disclosing information with the view that the information will be disclosed to the outside world and it could be used against the hospital.

Time limitation- In a research work like this, time is essential. Every section of this research was given a timeframe within which it was to be presented. However; the researcher had to combine the exercise with other academic activities at the same time. Again, due to the fact that the period for the research is short to allow for adequate data collection on the subject, this could affect the outcome of the work.

 

1.7 Organization of the Study

The research work is divided into five (5) chapters. Chapter one concerns itself with the general introduction grouped under the following headings; Background to the study, Statement of the problem, Objectives of the study, Significance of the study, Research questions, Scope of the study and Organization of the study. Chapter two involves the review of various related literatures on the relevant subject under the study.

Chapter three includes the various methods used for collecting data for the research work. These methods include administration of questionnaires, interviews, observation etc. Chapter four presents results, discussions and provides analysis of the data gathered for the study.

Finally, the fifth chapter provides conclusions and recommendations. 

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