Representatives of 30 enterprises in Liaoning province, including RHI Refractories (Dalian) Co. Ltd., have been presented with copies of a book entitled Ergonomic checkpoints. It was distributed by leaders of the ACFTU and the Liaoning Federation of Trade Unions on the morning of 12 June, which marks the official launching of the ACFTU project to promote the International Labour Organization (ILO) toolkit for safety and health prevention and protection work in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Liaoning is the first province in China to implement the pilot project.
It is well known that SMEs all over the world face a number of problems: backward production processes, poor production environment, ill-educated workers and inadequate infrastructures for occupational safety and health management. The ILO collected and summarized the experience of various countries in ergonomics application, working conditions and improved efficiency, occupational hazard prevention and control, and worker safety and health protection. As a result, it developed 132 realistic and flexible solutions to nine categories of ergonomic problems applicable across a whole range of workplace situations: materials storage and handling; hand tools; machine safety; workstation design; lighting; premises; control of hazardous substances and agents; welfare facilities; and work organization. These solutions have been compiled in the toolkit.
Ergonomic checkpoints covers all nine categories of problems. For example, under the category of “materials storage and handling”, readers are advised to “clear and mark transport routes” and “make the surface even, not slippery, and without obstacles”; under “machine safety”, it is recommended to “make emergency controls clearly visible” and “make different controls easy to distinguish from each other”. Most of the checkpoints constitute essential safety knowledge to be mastered by operators. Production accidents will be greatly reduced if they do their work in accordance with the relevant regulations. The application of the toolkit is mainly aimed at improving the safety awareness of the operator without great extra investment or high-end solutions. The toolkit is an effective and practicable measure to improve work safety prevention and protection.
Li Houchen is Deputy General Manager of Anshan Qianfeng Heating Company with responsibility for work safety management. Expressing strong interest in the toolkit pilot project, he said that with Ergonomic checkpoints as a guide, his company will improve workers’ self-protection awareness and skills and do a good job in occupational safety and prevention.
After the launch ceremony, the ACFTU’s Labour Protection Department provided training for the pilot enterprises on how to understand and master Ergonomic checkpoints. Following implementation in the initial 30 enterprises, the Liaoning Federation of Trade Unions and the Work Safety Administration of Liaoning Province will gradually promote the pilot project in SMEs across the province over the next three years.