Healthy indoor air for workplace safety and health

Indoor Air Cartoon Journal, August 2022, Volume 5, #133

[Cite as: Fadeyi MO (2022). Healthy indoor air for workplace safety and health. Indoor Air Cartoon Journal, August 2022, Volume 5, #133.]

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A furniture company was sued by the family of its former employee who died due to exposure to poor indoor air quality, as suggested by a medical report. The court ordered the company to pay a multi-million-dollar penalty to the employee’s family and was threatened with additional legal repercussions if no improvement was made to ensure healthy indoor air for workplace safety and health (WSH). The threat of additional legal repercussions and negative implications to the business led the company on a journey of improvement that involved a man who was not getting fulfillment in his professional career. The man’s journey in helping the furniture company reduce the threats unhealthy indoor air posed to WSH and seeking fulfillment in his professional career is the subject of this short fiction story.              

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“Congratulations, my son, or should I say Dr. Jordan Bruce!” Mr. Aaron Bruce said joyously to his son, Jordan, after he and his wife returned home from their son’s Ph.D. graduation. Son, what do you want to do now that you have finished your Ph.D.? “I have already applied for a postdoctoral position at several universities.” Dr. Bruce said to his father.

Dr. Bruce continued talking. “I aim to be one of the best in my field one day. I want to engage in cutting-edge research to discover new knowledge that will revolutionise what is known and understood in my research area. Being respected and known worldwide as a leading scientist in my area of expertise will give me professional fulfillment.” Jordan said.

“Have you also considered working in the industry? If you want to work in academia, you may consider engaging or doing research with the industry to solve industry problems while teaching at a university.” Jordan’s father asked. “No, dad! Dad, researching to discover new knowledge and publishing in top-tier journals is the only way I think one can get fulfillment as a professor.” Jordan replied. “Ok, then. I believe you know better.” Jordan’s father said. “Let us enjoy your day and celebrate you, my dear son. Your mum will be waiting for us.” Jordan’s father said.

Two years passed, and Jordan, now called Dr. Bruce, completed his postdoctoral fellowship at a university. Due to his excellent performance during his postdoctoral fellowship, he was recruited by the same university to be a lecturer in workplace safety and health. As he wished and planned, Jordan published several articles in top-tier peer-reviewed journals and conferences.

As a lecturer, Dr. Bruce won several research grants as a principal investigator to generate new knowledge and published them in top-tier journals with his research team. His research articles received several citations. He was promoted to a senior lecturer position three years after joining the university.

Dr. Bruce continued his excellent performance in teaching, research, and administrative work at the university and was promoted to associate professor two years after becoming a senior lecturer. Typically, a faculty was required to have spent at least five years at the senior lecturer position at the university before even being considered for an associate professor position. An exception was taken in Dr. Bruce’s case because of his extraordinary research outputs and his research’s impacts on the scientific community.

Dr. Bruce was a world-class researcher and well-respected authority in the workplace safety and health research field. Dr. Bruce was very dedicated to his research and ready to sacrifice anything for it. He only considered getting married only after becoming an associate professor. He married a colleague, a faculty member, in the university, and having a child was not their priority. Dr. Bruce married someone who was also not ready to have a child because of her career.

Despite all the local and international recognition Dr. Bruce was getting and his fast-track promotion to associate professor position, he was not fulfilled professionally. He thought perhaps; it was because he had not been promoted to a full professor position. He worked harder, sacrificed day and night working on his research with his team, and made numerous excellent contributions to the body of knowledge on workplace safety and health.

Dr. Bruce was rewarded for his sacrifice. He was promoted to full professor five years after his associate professorship appointment. While many people envied his accomplishments and for becoming a full professor at his university in a very short period, he did not feel fulfilled professionally. Unfortunately, he did not know why.   

One day, Prof. Bruce received an email from the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Eugene Williams, of a major furniture company, Ashton Furniture Private Limited, in the country. Mr. Williams wanted to meet with Prof. Bruce to seek his help in helping his company resolve the unsafe and unhealthy workplace situation his company was experiencing.

Ashton Furniture had been found guilty in court for poor workplace safety and health (WSH) practices that contributed to the death of a former employee, Mr. Roberto Marcus. Mr. Marcus’ family, led by his sister, sued the company after learning from a medical report from the hospital that Mr. Marcus died from a cardiovascular disease caused by his exposure to PM2.5, which worsened his diabetes and made him susceptible to cardiovascular disease.

Coupled with the rumour that many of Mr. Marcus’s co-workers’ suffered from poor health effects caused by unhealthy indoor air that led to deficiencies in physical and cognitive abilities, lack of concentration, and absenteeism at the workplace. It was rumoured that the impact of the unhealthy indoor air increased the risk of accidents and injury at the company. Court documents revealed that the company’s lack of appreciation for poor indoor air quality as a major threat to workplace safety and health led to work and facility management practices that led to Mr. Marcus’s death.

Ashton Furniture Private Limited was operated on a site with two buildings on it. One of the buildings housed the company furniture factory. The other building, the office building of three-floor levels, was used for the company’s corporate activities. It was found that many of the company’s WSH plan focused mainly on the company’s factory. There was little WSH plan for the office building. The conditions in the office building were not seen as threats to workplace safety and health.

The WSH plan, albeit not taken very seriously, at the company’s building focused mainly on preventing harm that may occur to workers and other occupants of the buildings due to unexpected or unintentional impacts of work activities and equipment and other issues related to building systems. The WSH plan for building systems-related issues focused mainly on fire outbreaks assessed as likely threats due to adjacent factory buildings in the same compound as the office building.    

Investigation reports presented during court proceedings revealed that pollutants, especially fine particles (PM2.5) and gaseous pollutants, generated from the factory found their way into the office building through ventilation and infiltration. Outdoor to indoor transportation of air pollutants via ventilation occurred mainly through the dedicated outdoor air intake and supply air duct systems.

The office building is air-conditioned. Windows were typically not opened. The investigation report showed that the filters in these systems were ineffective in removing fine particles and gaseous air pollutants. Due to the perception that indoor air is not a likely source of harm that will compromise WSH, the company chose to purchase and adopt cheap air filters in their office building. 

Unfortunately, the cheap air filter came with low filtration efficiency and a low clean air delivery rate. Low efficiency means the filter is ineffective in removing pollutants from the air exposed to it. For easy comprehension, clean air delivery rate (CADR) measures the flow rate of clean air coming out of a filter. If a filter can generate a high flow rate of air it has cleaned, it means the filter has a high CADR.

Thus, a good filter must have high filtration efficiency and CADR. Unfortunately, the office building’s air conditioning system did not have such filters at the outdoor air intakes or the supply air ducts. The meaning of supply air was stated in the investigation report. Supply air is a mixture of outdoor and recirculated air. Supply air flows into different microenvironments in the office building.

It was also noted in the investigation report that due to the office building leakages, i.e., gaps in the building façade, the office building’s infiltration rate was very high. Due to factory emissions from the factory, the polluted outdoor air entering the building through the gaps in the office building did not have the opportunity to be cleaned to remove pollutants in the air.

Of particular concern in the court proceedings were fine particles, i.e., PM2.5. PM2.5 are particles with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less but greater than 0.1 micrometer. Particles with a diameter of 0.1 micrometer or less are called ultrafine particles (PM0.1). The investigation report noted that the particles in the office buildings were toxic chemical oriented due to their origin. Examples of such toxic chemicals were chemicals from the family of aldehyde, ketone, toluene, etc.

Investigator reports showed that aside from Mr. Marcus, some office employees that did not have anything to do in the factory and did not have any form of cardiovascular disease before joining the company developed cardiovascular disease five years after joining Ashton Furniture. The rumour about the impact of the office building’s unhealthy compromising physical and cognitive abilities and causing lack of concentration and absenteeism that led to events that compromised safety in the workplace were confirmed in the investigation report.

The investigation report presented during the court proceedings also revealed that the risk assessment done for the office building did not effectively account for the vulnerability of the occupants of the office building. The vulnerability was considered very low due to administrative work done at the office building. On the contrary, the factory’s occupants’ vulnerability was considered to be very high. Thus, considerable effort was made to reduce exposure to pollutants generated from furniture-making activities. Mr. Eugene Williams revealed the court proceeding events to Prof. Bruce at their scheduled meeting.

Mr. Williams also informed Prof. Bruce about the multimillion dollars the court instructed Ashton Furniture, the defendants, to pay the plaintiff, Mr. Marcus’s family. Mr. Williams told Prof. Bruce that the judge also instructed his company to develop an effective WSH plan, especially for the office building’s indoor air quality, and provide evidence of improvement in their WSH within 18 months to avoid profound legal implications.

Mr. Williams went on to state the specific legal implications to Prof. Bruce. Mr. Williams was also worried about the business the company would lose due to the decline in public relations the unsafe and unhealthy workplace could cause. “There is a need to do something urgently to avoid significant negative implications to the company’s business.” Mr. William said to Prof. Bruce.

Mr. William told Prof. Bruce that the company would like to hire him as a senior consultant to help the company with the WSH plan to ensure improvement in their WSH. He told Prof. Bruce that Ashton Furniture would pay him generously, considering the seriousness of their predicament. Prof. Bruce told Mr. William to let him consider his request and offer. After much deliberation, discussion with his university, restrategising the plans for his numerous ongoing research projects with his students, and discussion with his wife, Prof. Bruce agreed to be a consultant for Ashton Furniture.

Coincidentally, before the meeting with Mr. William, Prof. Bruce planned to go on a one-year sabbatical at an overseas university. Instead of going overseas for his one-year sabbatical, Prof. Bruce decided to spend his one-year sabbatical at Ashton Furniture Private Limited in his country.

Prof. Bruce saw the request from Ashton Furniture as an opportunity to experience the industry, coupled with the fact that he would still be collecting his salary from the university and Ashton Furniture would pay him a huge amount of money for his service. Prof. Bruce could command a lot of money for his services because of being a leading expert in WSH worldwide. Unknown to anyone besides his wife, Prof. Bruce was a little nervous about working in the industry because he had never worked there.

When Prof. Bruce resumed work at Ashton Furniture, he set out his plans to help the company. The first part of his plan was to revisit the concept of risk with the staff and senior management of Ashton Furniture to ensure he was on the same frequency with the company. Below are sharing by Prof. Bruce, in his own words, on the concept of risk to members of Ashton Furniture Private Limited.

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When doing a risk assessment, it is essential first to understand the concept of risk. Risk is a product of the probability or likelihood of harm occurring from a thing or event (the doer of harm, i.e., hazard) and the extent (impact or consequence) determined by the vulnerability of the recipient of the harm. Vulnerability is the level of the inability of a recipient of harm to resist being in the vicinity of harm and the experienced harm.

Thus, if a hazard became an active source of harm and the recipient of the harm had a lower vulnerability, the impact the hazard could have on the recipient would be higher. It is important to note that a recipient’s vulnerability can be so low that harm from a thing or an event that would typically be considered to have a considerably negligible impact can be considered to have a severe impact by the recipient.  

What is risk measuring? Risk is a measure of how much value will be compromised based on the level of harm a recipient of harm would likely experience based on the likelihood of a potential hazard being active or interpreted by the recipient as an active source of harm. The value being compromised means that the doer of harm and the harmed recipient will not have the ability to serve as or invest resources (in the case of humans) in a current or future problem-solving process to maximise the usefulness generated to itself or others in solving the problem. Doer (hazard) and recipient of harm could be living things, non-living things, the environment, and the economy.

What influences the likelihood of a potential hazard (doer of harm) becoming active? What influences vulnerability that determines the level of impact of harm a recipient would experience? How to compute risk in practice? What is the purpose of computing the risk? What to consider in managing the risk level?

The likelihood of harm occurring from a potential doer of harm, i.e., the hazard, is a function of its makeup or constituents and the situations that make the inherent harm in it active. An increase in vulnerability will increase the speed at which a recipient experiences harm it is exposed to.

The recipient’s high exposure to the harm from the hazard, the recipient’s poor physiological or psychological condition to resist the harm, and the unfavourable economic and social condition attributed to the recipient that increases the exposure level or compromises physiological or psychological condition of the recipient, will increase the vulnerability. A vulnerability reduction will reduce the speed.

The variation in vulnerability levels can be dynamic or occur in real time. The dynamism in the variation of the recipient’s vulnerability and its cause needs to be well understood, perhaps in real-time with artificial intelligence (AI) enhanced digital solutions, to inform appropriate action to reduce it on time. The likelihood of a potential hazard becoming an active source of harm can also vary in real time due to the dynamic or real time changes to the makeup of a hazard and situations causing it to be active.

AI-enhanced digital solutions can also help to provide an understanding of the likelihood. In practice, the likelihood of harm occurring from a hazard is computed to range from rare, unlikely, possible, likely, to almost certain to occur. The impact experienced by harm, influenced by the vulnerability level of the recipient of harm, can be computed to range from negligible, minor, moderate, severe, to catastrophic.

A risk matrix can be plotted with a likelihood of harm occurring on a five-point scale placed on the Y-axis and the impact of harm on a five-point scale based placed on the x-axis. The point at which the data point from the X and Y-axis meets will determine the risk level, which can be broadly categorised as negligible (low) risk, tolerant (medium) risk, and unacceptable (high) risk. Details on the risk matrix can be found in this video. What does each risk level categorisation mean? What is the purpose of understanding the risk level?  

Negligible risk means the level of value that would be compromised if a hazard became active and the recipient experienced the harm is insignificant. Insignificant means the doer or recipient of the harm can still serve as a resource or invest resources in other problems that need to be solved in the current or future situation to generate usefulness, causing the overall value to be gained significantly higher than the value to be lost. 

Tolerant risk means the amount of value that will be compromised is manageable or bearable. In this case, the overall value to be lost is considered equal to or not significantly higher than the value to be gained in a problem-solving task considered worth carrying out. Unacceptable risk means the level of value that will be compromised is so high that it is not manageable or bearable. It is not manageable or bearable because the value to be lost is considered significantly higher than the value to be gained in a problem-solving task.

The categorisation of risk levels can be used to inform or motivate actions that should be taken to move to the lowest possible points on the X and/or Y axis of the risk matrix to ensure movement towards a lower risk level. The lowest possible points on the X and/or Y axis can be achieved through due consideration for actions taken or interventions to reduce the likelihood of a hazard becoming active and the vulnerability that influences the impact before and after harm is generated and experienced.

Before a hazard becomes an active source of harm, a review should be done to identify the makeup and situations that reduce or increase the likelihood of a hazard becoming active. Appropriate actions should also be taken to enhance and maintain makeup and situations that reduce the likelihood. For those increasing the likelihood, appropriate action should be taken to reduce or eliminate them as much as possible.

After a hazard becomes an active source of harm, people entrusted to reduce the risk should be careful of their actions to ensure they do not suggest solutions that increase the risk further. Poorly considered solutions can further worsen the situation and makeup that further increases the likelihood of a hazard becoming a more harmful agent. Mistakes made or important factors overlooked, with regards to the makeup and situation, which made the hazard active, should be explored and reduced to reduce the risk effectively.

The concept adopted to reduce the likelihood of a hazard becoming active or becoming a more harmful agent should also be adopted to reduce the vulnerability of the recipient of harm before and after harm occurs to reduce the risk level. Risk assessment can be done at the individual or group level or the macro or micro level. The risk concept can be related to indoor air pollution, which was the subject of the court case. Now, let us talk about indoor air quality.  

Can indoor air be harmful? Asking this question is essential. A failure to do so could lead the company on a risky journey with serious legal implications. To answer this question, the application of the understanding of the components used in computing risk is essential. The likelihood of indoor air becoming a hazard is a function of its constituents (makeup) and factors that contribute to the makeup of the air. What are these constituents in the indoor air? What are the factors that contribute to their existence?

Air pollutants are the makeup. Air pollutants are particles and gas in the air. Particles, whether solid, liquid, or vapour, are chemical or biological based. The concentration and toxicity of the pollutants in the air will increase the likelihood of indoor air becoming a hazard, a doer of harm. The indoor’s temperature and relative humidity (RH) can further increase the generation and toxicity of the air pollutants, thus increasing the likelihood of the indoor air becoming a hazard.

The likelihood of the indoor air becoming a hazard depends on how: (i) indoor and outdoor sources are activated to introduce pollutants into indoor air, i.e., the source rate, and (ii) pollutants are removed from the air, i.e., the sink rate. Suppose the source rate of a pollutant is greater than its sink rate, the likelihood of indoor air becoming a hazard will increase because the concentration of the pollutant in the air will increase. The air pollutant concentration will reduce if the sink rate is higher than the source rate.

Ventilation rate, infiltration rate, rate of indoor air movement, air pressure difference, filtration or air cleaning, human presence and activities, indoor materials or equipment, environmental parameters, and indoor air chemistry are factors that could be the source and/or sink. The rate at which these factors introduce and remove a pollutant from the air will determine the source and sink rate, respectively, for a pollutant. These factors can determine the type and toxicity of a pollutant in the air.

Vulnerability due to exposure will increase due to situations or factors that move pollutants in the indoor air to the proximity of occupants of a building to facilitate the pollutants finding their way into the occupant’s body through breathing, dermal uptake, and ingestion. Higher exposure may occur due to the proximity of occupants to a high concentration of air pollutants in a short period or a long period and low concentration over a long period. Higher exposure to and intake of air pollutants means higher vulnerability, increasing the impact of the experienced harm.

A human physiological condition that increases the fraction of air pollutants retained in the body from the concentration of air pollutants absorbed into the human body, i.e., absorbed dose, will increase the vulnerability level. The inability of the exposed occupant’s body to effectively prevent the harm air pollutants intend to cause will increase the vulnerability level.

Long exposure to toxic air pollutants and high absorbed doses can also weaken the body’s ability to resist the harm it is constantly exposed to. In such a case, the level of the harmful impact of the indoor air on the exposed occupants will increase. The biological factors contributing to exposed occupants’ physiological condition should be well understood for effective vulnerability reduction.

Several situations in life are hazards that worsen the human psychological condition. Unhealthy indoor air is a hazard in life. Thus, higher exposure to air pollutants would increase the chances of the psychological condition worsening. When the psychological condition of a person is compromised, the person’s stress level increases, and the ability to cope with experienced harm will reduce.  

Economic and social conditions associated with occupant activities and the design, construction, and management of building systems can contribute to the concentration and toxicity of indoor air pollutants building occupants are in proximity with and the duration of the proximity (exposure). Economic and social conditions associated with occupants may also influence how their physiological and psychological conditions develop. Understanding the role of economic and social conditions can help reduce the vulnerability they cause.

Suppose all the vulnerabilities are not well understood and managed. In that case, the frequency of harmful impacts caused by indoor air pollutants, which could be manifested as poor perception, health problems, poor work performance and productivity, poor human relationships, and death, will increase. Thus, improving WSH, including ensuring healthy indoor air, is important. 

What should be done to ensure indoor air support WSH? Monitor what is expected to provide direction for what is expected to be done to achieve what is expected. Developing strategies for reducing the risk of an unsafe and unhealthy workplace based on assumptions with little or no facts on the parameters contributing to the risk is very wrong and counterproductive.

Unfortunately, a counterproductive approach is a prevailing approach in WSH practices. Many decisions are made when doing risk assessment and management based on assumptions or what is convenient for people doing the tasks with little consideration for or understanding of the WSH problem at hand. 

Adopting digital solutions can help enhance the prudent use of invested resources to solve a problem. Digital solutions can only aid the prudent use of resources in defining a problem, identifying the cause of the problem, and exploring, developing, adopting, and testing the solutions that can be used to eliminate or reduce the impact of the cause of the problem to reduce the defined problem.

However, humans still need to be competent in problem-solving. The lack of knowledge, understanding, and skills needed to solve a problem will make using digital solutions a waste of invested resources. This sentiment is also applicable to solving WSH problems.

Please read through the following fictional case studies: Case 1, Case 2, Case 3, Case 4, and Case 5. These fictional case studies are on the indoor air quality problem-solving process and the importance of digital solutions to you all. I would like to emphasise the importance of engaging or recruiting people with the right expertise and motivation to engage in problem-solving and adopt required digital solutions. Failure to do this will significantly compromise the achievement of WSH.

You do not want to tell unmotivated employees what to do to ensure WSH. This will not be good for the company. Making the process of solving the WSH problem lean is also important. That is, always look out for opportunities to eliminate activities that are not necessary and consume resources with no usefulness delivery in the WSH problem-solving process. Again, unmotivated employees with no right expertise will not engage in continuous improvement efforts to make WSH problem-solving process lean.

Activities that are necessary for the WSH problem-solving process but do not provide directions for solving them should be reviewed and optimised to ensure they do not consume more resources than necessary to deliver their usefulness. Examples of such activities are activities used to verify that the determinants of success of solving a defined problem are meant.

Efforts should be made to get more usefulness from activities that are necessary for solving and providing directions for solving a problem with prudent use of resources. These are the activities that occur at the point of defining a problem, identifying the causes, and identifying the solution that solves the problem. Developing the right measurement tools for accurate feedback on past, current, and future events is also important. Due consideration should also be paid to materials or technology used in the WSH problem-solving process.

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Prof. Bruce spent his 1-year sabbatical leave at Ashton Furniture, ensuring his suggested ideas were implemented to reduce the WSH risk at the company. After his 1-year stint, Prof. Bruce continued to work in the company for another 3 years when he saw he could make a meaningful impact on the company, industry, the country, and hopefully, outside the country. He also wanted to know the outcome of his ideas so he could document the journey in the form of a book. He took a 3-year unpaid leave from his university. He did not take new Ph.D. students but helped the Ph.D. students he had to complete their studies.

During his position as a senior consultant at the company for over 4 years, he helped the company define problems related to the likelihood of indoor air becoming a hazard, the causes, and possible solutions informed by the causes to effectively reduce or provide direction for reducing the likelihood. He did the same in reducing vulnerability, increasing the harmful impact of unhealthy indoor air on building occupants.

Prof. Bruce leveraged the knowledge gained from AI-enhanced digital solutions development he and his research team had worked on over the years and those by other researchers in the industry and academia. Despite his knowledge of available solutions in the industry and academia, he emphasised to the Ashton Furniture WSH team not to see the available solutions as solutions that will solve their problem.

Prof. Bruce frequently emphasised to them to let the problem to be defined, the causes of a problem to be identified, and the need to maximise value delivery for all stakeholders involved, especially the users, informed how the solutions are developed, tested, and applied.

In the 4 years, Prof. BRUCE worked with the company to develop staff problem-solving (prevention, reduction, and elimination) capabilities and several AI-based solutions that the helped company reduce its WSH risk. With the adoption of AI-enhanced digital solutions, the company could do risk assessments in real time at the individual and group level or micro and macro level.

The ability of the company to predict the risk involved if exposure to air pollutants were to occur over a long period also helped the company to take appropriate preventive actions in the present time to reduce exposure, even at low concentrations of indoor air pollutants.

The company was able to do the same for other hazards aside from indoor air pollutants. The success made a company that was disgraced for poor WSH practice become a company of envy for many in the industry, country, and worldwide. With great public relations came a higher revenue for the company. During his stint at Ashton Furniture, Prof. Bruce and his wife were also blessed with a triplet. 

The role of Prof Bruce in improving the company’s WSH practice and transforming the company to be the best company in the world with the best WSH practices was not missed. The country’s government recruited him to chair the committee tasked with enhancing the WSH practices across industries. At that time, the country was experiencing a rise in accidents and deaths, especially at construction sites.

A report written by Prof. Bruce’s led WSH committee recommended monitoring the likelihood of hazard occurrence and the existence of vulnerabilities that could increase harmful impact to make an informed decision in reducing the risk of unsafe and unhealthy workplace occurrence.

The report noted that the lack of or inadequate on time monitoring of WSH risk led to situations where companies and industry professionals do not have the appropriate direction for what is expected to be done to enhance WSH. Thus, companies could not effectively prevent accidents, health problems, injuries, and deaths that compromise work performance and productivity.

The report also noted while penalising companies that breach WSH may provide the benefit of having consciousness of WSH, it is not an effective or sustainable solution for preventing the rise in accidents, injuries, health problems, and deaths in the workplace.

The report noted the significant economic benefits the country stands to gain if WSH is enhanced to increase workplace performance and productivity. The committee recommended that the government invest in training workers in problem-solving processes needed to enhance WSH, invest in infrastructure, and provide digital solutions needed to enhance the problem-solving process.

The government approved Prof. Bruce’s led WSH committee report and promised to adhere to the recommendations. The government’s support and efforts toward corruption-free practices in the country led to the recommendations being implemented appropriately in practice. A few years later, the benefits of the government’s investments started to surface. There was a significant reduction in unsafe and unhealthy workplace incidents. The economy of the country improved like never before.

In a way, the unsafe and unhealthy workplace incident at Ashton Furniture due to poor indoor air quality led to effective strategies that revolutionised the country’s WSH practices. Mr. Roberto Marcus’s family, especially his sister, was particularly happy about this. Their decision to sue Aston Furniture Private Ltd led to a journey that made every company in the country know how to improve WSH effectively. Prof. Bruce wrote many books documenting his experience with several case studies to educate people on achieving WSH effectively. The books benefited students, industry, community, and academics locally and internationals.

The government highly honored the man, Prof. Bruce, who made the revolution effective. He received the country’s most prestigious national honour. He was honoured by his university with the University Professor title, an honour typically bestowed upon a faculty member who had significantly served the university, country, and global community. Only 23 people have received such an honour in more than 150 years of the university history.

While Prof. Bruce appreciated all the accolades, he said the journey had led him to realise what gives him fulfillment in life. He said being able to solve problems in the industry and people’s problems for a better life gives him the fulfillment he had been searching for all his life. He said no wonder the academic accolades he accumulated, and his promotions did little to fulfill him despite appreciating them. “Hmmm. I should have listened to my father’s advice about working at a university, doing my research, and working with the industry to solve problems.

“Jordan! Jordan!! Jordan!!! Wake up! We need to start preparing for your Ph.D. graduation.” His mother said as she knocked on Jordan’s bedroom door. “Ok, mum.” Jordan said as he struggled to open his eyes. Jordan woke up and realised he had been dreaming. “Is this a vision for me.” He asked himself as he walked to the bathroom, scratching his head and body to bathe and prepare for his Ph.D. graduation. The End!

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