Sunday, August 21, 2011

Occupational Health and Safety

This is my entry to Techie She Lucky Blogger Weekly Giveaway Week 12. This week’s prize is $10 paypal cash credit from Sir Rob of Be a LifeSaver of Goodness.

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The topic on Safety in the Workplace is very important. Nowadays, companies are giving emphasis on the Occupational Health and Safety of the employees and the community. But companies also has business advantages on doing this, some requires it before any transaction and it gives the company itself added value to their brand or name. So it’s a win-win situation.

Why am I taking about this, well I am not the assigned Safety Officer of our company but I am assigned to manage and update our certification to OHSAS 18001:2007 standards (Occupational Health and Safety Management System). That is aside from ISO 9001:2008 (Quality Management System) and ISO 14001:2004 (Environmental Management System). I am more on the documentation rather than on the implementation.

WARNING: From here on, it might get a little boring. Read at your own risk.

What is OHSAS 18001:2007? It is the standard for managing Occupational Health and Safety of an organization. While the standard specifies the requirements such as documentation and other activities, we need a third party assessor/ auditor to certificate us to the standard. And let me tell you it is not just a simple auditing, so being certified is a big thing.

Sample of the requirements is assessing the hazards and risks associated for a particular area. We usually call it HIRA or Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment, here we identify the likelihood and severity of a given activity or area and propose actions to lower the risk.

Area: Office
Activity: Use of Computers
Hazard: Eye Strain
Risk: Eye Problem
Likelihood: 4 (scoring 1 to 5, since use of computer usually takes most of the time)
Severity: 2 (scoring 1 to 5, impact is not that severe)
Control Measures: Take breaks every 2 hours, use antiglare glasses or screen protector.

This is a simple and common sample. Activity varies from one company to another depending on the nature, of course.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Moon and Ramadan

Ramadan Kareem!

And to understand why is I am fussing about it while I’m not a Muslim, please read my post Ramadan Mubarak on my other blog. It’s tiring to repeat everything.

Did you know that start and end of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar is based on the moon sighting? Now you know. It starts with the new moon and ends after a complete cycle.

The traditional method, mentioned in the Qur'an and followed by the Prophet Muhammad, is to look to the sky and visibly sight the slight crescent moon (hilal) that marks the beginning of the month. If one sees the hilal at night, the next day is the first day of Ramadan and thus the first day of fasting. At the end of the month, when the community sights the hilal again, the Festival of Fast-Breaking ('Eid al-Fitr) begins.

Aside from that, I am really fascinated with the Moon and it’s many phases. You have the new moon, waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full moon, waning gibbous, third quarter and waning crescent (in order of appearance, and in the picture, counterclockwise).

The moon orbits the earth approximately 28 days, so the lunar calendar is shorter than our usual calendar. And the differences in the phases depends on the relative position it has compared with the earth and sun.

And we have the solar and lunar eclipse.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes between the Moon and the Sun, and the Earth's shadow obscures the moon or a portion of it. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, blocking all or a portion of the Sun.