Student research

 

This search facility showcases work that was carried out by students in an undergraduate or postgraduate role (for example BSc, BA, MSc and PhD students).

There are several ways to carry out your search. The simplest is to enter your key word into the ‘Search Text’ box and click on the search button. For a more advanced search our search facility allows you to define the specifics of the project if you know what you are looking for such as author and institution and the topic of the research. You can also filter your results to order them to your preference whether that be peer reviewed, published or work that is still underway.

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Irish golf course maintenance workers...

Completed but not published

University College Dublin - UCD
Barry McElroy

This study examined the awareness and knowledge of skin cancer and solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) among a group of outdoor workers in Ireland and ascertained the current use of sun protection measures in the workplace.

Exposure to sunlight or UVR is an occupational health and safety issue, since UVR is a known carcinogen associated with the development of skin cancer. Occupational UVR exposure relates to the continuous pattern of sun exposure widely experienced by outdoor workers, placing workers at an increased risk of developing skin cancer.

Members of a golf course maintenance workers' professional association completed a postal questionnaire which collected information on respondents' UVR exposure, their knowledge and awareness of skin cancer and the normal sun protection measures used in the workplace. The response rate was 39%, with 156 of the 400 administered questionnaires returned.

Respondents worked outdoors for an average of 36 hours each week, with over 80% working during the peak sun intensity hours (11am-3pm) each day. Knowledge and awareness of skin cancer was low, with almost 60% of respondents only knowing 'a little' about the disease. Only 10% of workplaces provided employees with UVR exposure information, while just 7% had sun exposure risk assessments in place. Almost one fifth (22%) of employers did not provide any sun protection measures to employees. Despite this, multiple sun protection measures were widely used by respondents, although the frequency of sunscreen use was low among some respondents.

In conclusion, this study highlighted a knowledge and awareness deficit in the workplace in relation to skin cancer, UVR exposure and use of protective measures. While the general use of multiple protection measures was encouraging, the provision of targeted educational and training materials for both employers and employees could result in the development of more robust sun protection policies in the workplace.

How health and safety affects fire service...

Completed but not published

University of Strathclyde
Simon Fleming

This research looked at the safety of firefighters and tried to see behind the headlines of relentless negative health and safety stories, particularly with regard to the Fire Service. Additionally, examining how this legislation affects fire service operations and what perceptions firefighters and the public have on this subject.
There has been wide spread criticism of health and safety legislation from the media and the present government. There has also been specific criticism made against Fire and Rescue Services, implying that firefighters are unnecessarily constrained by health and safety rules when dealing with serious incidents. This despite the Löfstedt report in which emergency services were “largely supportive” of these rules.
The research methodology used both qualitative and quantitative data, involving a triangulation approach by:
• Questionnaires sent to firefighters & officers. Also to those who have needed Fire Service assistance.
• Reviewing extensive documentation.
• Observation at emergency incidents.

153 questionnaires were returned from 200 that were sent by post and accessed online at www.fireservice.info. 28 were returned from the public and businesses. The main findings of this research are that health and safety legislation has no significant negative
impact on Fire Service operations. Businesses and the public are all very satisfied with the service they have received, reporting no delays. The most significant finding is that 50% of firefighters, including officers, don’t believe they have enough training to deal with the many different types of incident they may face. Further research should be undertaken to examine in which areas firefighters feel undertrained and appropriate action taken. Which could be more training, demanding more resources or more specialization of firefighter roles.
Lessons learned from firefighter deaths should not be forgotten such as those where the lack of risk assessments, training and equipment were strongly criticised.

Occupational health and safety...

Completed but not published

University of South Wales
Emmanuel Folami

This research introduces a method for auditing occupational health and safety management systems (OHSMS) of Dormac Marine and Engineering in Cape Town South Africa. The Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1983 (Act 85 of 1993) of South Africa placed statutory obligation upon industries to ensure the implementation of health and safety procedures and practices in the workplace. OHSMS is essential in promoting a safe and healthy working environment by providing a framework that allows organisation to consistently identify and control its health and safety risks and improve overall performance in accordance with international accepted standards. The research strategies were decided along a continuum, with experiments, such as comprehensive occupational medical surveillance examinations in respect to noise induced hearing loss, occupational lung disease measurement and tuberculosis assessment. Further data were gathered from interviews with top management, employees, recording outcome of direct observations and examination and collection of data form records as well as distribution of questionnaires to staff of the company. The results show that all the sections in the company that were evaluated failed to reach a best practice score of 80%. The results also revealed that OHSMS is not yet fully practiced in the company. The average percentage score of Dormac conformances OH&S practices to potential achievable standard of BS 18001:2007 standard is 43%. It is therefore recommended that OHSMS be implemented as part of risk management strategy to address changing legislation and protect their workforce, while the critical elements with score from 10% to 30% should receive management attention within 3 months. It has become pertinent that OHSMS be taken as indicator of safety management standard and sustainable development ability for all companies, not just in South Africa but for all African countries and other developing nations that are yet to adopt it.

A study of the relationship between ergonomic...

Completed but not published

University of South Wales
Glifford Ndiwankeh

The aim of this study was to establish whether a relationship exists between ergonomic awareness and the prevalence of computer related disorders among full time staff at the University of Glamorgan. Physical measurements, observation and questionnaire were used in the collection of data. A total of 106 respondents completed the questionnaires and the measurements and observation were carried out on 12 workstations. The university was chosen for this study because the researcher noticed from observation that most members of staff do not adopt the proper posture at their workstations and the posittioning of some of the computer hardware is usually inappropriate. Furthermore, by interacting with the staff, most of them indicated that they frequently suffer from neck and back pain. One of the objectives of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of online display screen equipment (DSE) training and self assessment in creating ergonomic awareness and preventing computer related disorders. This study was therefore of tremendous importance; considering the fact that very little research has been done in connection with the above- stated objective. The results proved that a strong relationship exists between ergonomic awareness and computer related disorders. Insufficient ergonomic awareness was indentified especially in relation to work posture, positioning of input devices, housekeeping/workstation set up, stretch and eye exercises. Online DSE training, induction, practical training on the effective use of workstations, the provision of information, instructions, the execution of workstation analysis/monitoring and a system of reporting were identified to be inadequate. As the result suggested, all the above-mentioned deficiencies partially or totally led to the prevalence of computer related disorders; with more than 50% of respondents indicating that they sometimes/frequently suffer from shoulders, back, neck and visual problems. Strategies to address issues of ergonomic awareness and computer related disorders were suggested in the recommendations.

Perceived career aspirations of genders...

Completed but not published

University of Portsmouth
Nisa Carey

Equal opportunity initiatives, issues and legislation progressed simultaneously with health and safety (H&S) legislation which facilitated equitable representation of women in the H&S profession. However, there is no research to assess gender equality in this profession. Therefore, this provides an opportunity to assess its existence and examine whether women H&S professionals encounter barriers that can hinder their progression into senior management roles. Research literature from other male-dominated professions identified as construction and science, engineering and technology provided a background. This research suggested that women working in these areas encountered barriers in their career aspirations

This study was explanatory in design for research which incorporated a mixed method approach of quantitative (questionnaires) and qualitative (interviews/focus group) data collection and analysis to test/assess the relevant hypotheses. Judgemental sampling was used to target one hundred and eighty (n=180) Civil Service H&S Advisers. The questionnaire yielded a total valid response rate of 59% (n=107). Twelve (n=12) participants had semi-structured interviews and there was one semi-structured focus group with nine (n=9) participants.

This study found that the percentage of male to female H&S professional in the Civil Service is higher but more women are joining; there are more men in senior positions; women are deterred from joining the profession, for example due to the older male H&S workforce and organisational changes. Key barriers identified for women to progress into senior management roles were inflexible working practices and exclusion from networking due to over representation of males. It was recommended that improving the overall status of the H&S profession would in turn assist in the better management of Civil Service Equality Strategy and Public Service objective on gender equality. Additionally, an enhanced understanding of the H&S profession in the Civil Service by senior management would make a difference.

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