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Health and safety in workplace – A practical guide

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1. What is Health and Safety at workplace?
2. What is occupational Health and Safety?
3. Apply an health and safety specifications correctly
4. Importance of health and safety in the workplace

1. What is Health and safety at workplace?

  • Health and Safety in the workplace is to do with protecting the safety, health and welfare of the people working or employed there. It is vital for any organization that their employees are always safe and secure while working on their premises.
  • Workplace health and safety in Ontario, Canada is given a lot of importance. Although it is true that workplace health and safety applies just about anywhere in the world.
  • The organizations develop a health and safety in workplace program to deal with the issue of health and safety at the workplace of the employees. Such a program makes sure that the organization is taking all the preventive measures necessary, additionally it also needs to educate the employees regarding the perils at work.
  • Such programs are highly beneficial to any organization and also act as a morale booster for the employees.

2. What is Occupational Health and Safety?

  • The World Health Organization has established the definition of Occupational Health and Safety since as early as 1950. It has since then been revised several times, however the gist of it remains the same.

The definition goes as below:

  • “Occupational health should aim at: the promotion and maintenance of the highest degree of physical, mental and social well-being of workers in all occupations; the prevention among workers of departures health caused by their working conditions the protection of workers in their employment from risks resulting from factors adverse to health; the placing and maintenance of the worker in an occupational environment adapted to this physiological and psychological capabilities and to summarize, the adaptation of work to man and of each man to his job.

The main focus in occupational health and safety is on three different objectives

1. The maintenance and promotion of worker’s health and working capacity.

2. The improvement of working environment and work to become conducive to safety and health.

3. Development of work organizations and working cultures in a direction which supports health and safety in workplace and in doing so also promotes a positive social climate and smooth operation and may enhance productivity of the undertakings. The concept of working culture is intended in this context to mean a reflection of the essential value systems adopted by the undertaking concerned. Such a culture is reflected in practice in the managerial systems, personnel policy, principles for participation, training policies and quality management of the undertaking”.

  • This should more than answer your questions as to what is occupational health and safety. Thus this goes to show that the requirement of health and safety policies at workplace was established a long time ago. It also highlights the importance of such a program and how it benefits an organization and its employees on the whole.
  • It is important to note that the occupational health and safety procedure apply to all types of organizations and is not limited to only construction companies. The risk of accidents is usually higher at construction sites though this is something that all type of organizations should take seriously.
  • There are many different kinds of hazards at the workplace. For example chemicals, biological agents, physical, ergonomic conditions, psycho-social risk factors to name a few.
  • The Physical and mechanical hazards are usually common at a construction site though are not limited to a construction site. It is important to make a note of the fact that not every risk related to health and safety in workplace issue is identified can be eliminated.
  • What is possible however is to educated the concerned personnel of the risks involved in a given procedure as well as the precautionary measures to take while performing the task.
  • In addition to this there are biological and chemical hazards like infection from blood, or acids etc. The Psycho-social hazards include occupational stress, violence, etc. There are also different type of hazards as per the sector of work like construction, agriculture, mining, etc.

3. Apply an Health and Safety specification correctly:

The minimum requirements in order to apply the health and safety in workplace specifications are listed below:

  • A good occupational health and safety policy: It is a good idea to have such a policy of some for the relevant health and safety issues that affect the organization. Though this is not legally required, it only helps the organization in the long run.
  • Hazard identification risk assessment: This is in fact where you need to start. You need to identify the hazards and risks and once done you should be prepared with a plan to prevent potential accidents and injuries. The hazard risk assessment should be performed prior to the start of work.
  • Health and Safety representatives: A health and safety consultant is often the best person to assess the workplace and detect the risks present. In addition to which it is usually a good idea to arrange inspections as often as possible as well as arrange for mock drills once a month.
  • Health and Safety training: It is legally necessary for the company to train their employees and inform them about the risks involved while working,. Such training needs to be performed at the induction stage. Besides which special health and safety consultants can provide training regarding health and safety at workplace.
  • General record keeping: It is necessary to maintain records of all the safety precautions in place and efforts made in order to secure the workplace.
  • Emergency Procedures: An emergency plan should be in place and the employees should be fully aware of this plan. In fact mock drills should be carried out periodically to ensure that everyone has the ability to act in time of a real crisis.
  • Known Hazards: All the potential hazards should be identified and solved. Those that cannot be completely removed, need to have appropriate warning signs and specially informed to each of the employees.
  • Protective equipment and clothing: It is necessary for the organization to provide the employees with the necessary gear (clothing) in order to stay safe.
  • Restricted Access: It is highly important to ensure that the place of work is secure and has no unauthorized access by people other then the trained employees.

4. Importance of Health and Safety in the Workplace:

  • As an employee receiving training or as an employer providing the training you may have often wondered as to why is Heath and Safety so important at the workplace. The fact remains that it is very important to ensure health and safety of the employees at the work place.
  • It is necessary for the well being of both employers and employees. There are many hazards at the workplace, they could be due to dangerous substances or risky procedures or dangerous environment.
  • The employees are usually engrossed in there working routines and may not pay attention to the necessary precautions. This can result in bad accidents which will not only cost the company dear but will also result in loss of productivity, since then the employee is not available for work as well.
  • Thus a small training session on health and safety in workplace can go long way in ensuring the safety of the employees and even enforcing the use of proper procedures and methods while working.
  • It is necessary for the supervisors to receive special training above the usual training imparted to all employees since they are responsible for overseeing the other employees as well. First aid training as fire fighting training is usually a must no matter what kind of organization it may be.

Safety First Consulting Professional Corporation is a licensed paralegal firm regulated by the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC). Our paralegal team provides a widespread workplace health and safety ontario designed to reduce and control an employer’s costs associated with workplace injuries and illnesses. Our pro-active program begins at the point of occurrence and continues to the final resolution of the claim with a rapid response.

One thought on “Health and safety in workplace – A practical guide

  1. Pingback: Accidents or Injuries in the workplace | Health & Safety First Consulting

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