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What is Health and safety?

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Workplace health and safety:

Workplace health and safety

Workplace health and safety is a very important issue and should not be taken lightly. These procedures are necessary for the well-being of every one (both the employees and the employers). As per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration each year many workers (employees) succumb to their injuries caused due to workplace accidents. The statistics gathered in 2012 showed us that close to 4628 workers met with fatal accidents at workplace in that year.

This is a very big figure and thus it is foolish to live under the false pretence that you are invincible and that nothing can happen to you at your work place. It is true that some workplaces are more risky than others, however it is necessary to take the proper precautions at all times no matter where you work. For example construction sites and mines are usually more prone to having workplace related accidents than any other workplace. In fact a very recent incident that took place in a mine in Turkey (in the month of May 2014) claimed the lives of more than 250 people. These were miners from all around the globe.

Health and Safety Hazards:

There is always the risk of employees being exposed to hazardous substances at the workplace (where such substances are used). In addition there are also several circumstances in which workplaces pose as major hazards to their employees. For example for employees working at places like constructions site there is always the danger of either some heavy material falling on the workers or machinery related injuries. Similarly working in mines is hazardous too.

These are just two simple examples but in the real world there are health and safety hazards in just about every profession in the form of infectious diseases or fatal injuries. There is rarely ever something like a 100% safe workplace. Thus it is the duty of the employer to make sure he identifies all the potential hazardous situations and materials and takes appropriate measure to safe guard his employees.

Health and Safety Enforcement:

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has the task of enforcing the strict laws pertaining to health and safety. It is their duty to make sure any violations of Workplace health and safety are corrected and properly dealt with. In general the government has several responsibilities some of which are mentioned here:

  • The enforcement of occupational health and safety rules and legislation.
  • Inspection of workplaces.
  • Ensure correct flow of information.
  • Promote the relevant training, education and research.

Health Guidelines for health and safety:

Like just about any other legislation or standard there are guidelines for the health and safety requirements too. These guidelines are meant for companies who are seeking information on how to develop their health and safety policies. Furthermore these guidelines are also aimed at helping workers better understand the importance of being prepared in event of a incident occurring at their workplace. It helps the workers understand how to react in emergency situations. The guidelines are truly comprehensive and even include information for the companies that work with dangerous chemicals and hazardous substances.

Employee Awareness At Workplace:

There are health and safety guidelines and then there are organizations that enforce the health and safety policies but unless the employees themselves realize what effect their small carelessness or failure to behave and work properly can have on their future and the future of the company they may not take such matters seriously. Thus it is vital that the employees understand the risks and potential outcomes of their actions. As the famous saying goes “The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire not things we fear”. It is the duty of the companies to make sure they prevent accidents by making sure the employees are fully aware of the dangers and hazards of the respective workplaces and not by hiding or blind sighting them.

Health and Safety Programs:

Health and Safety Programs help form the foundation to help the employees and employers alike for the necessary precautions that should taken and the dangers that lurk at every corner. Such programs make sure that the employers have all the information they need in order to be able to provide a safe and sound working environment for their employees. It also works for the employees by educating them on the benefit of proper workplace behaviour and practices. The programs try to hammer in the message that injuries and illness impact the companies and their employees in bad way and following systematic and proven procedures is the best way forward.

The cost of Safety failure:

In general the reason for an workplace incident is usually not enough preventive measure being taken, since it is safety first. Safety does not come after the accident has occurred. The workplace safety statistics paint a very murky picture; as per which in the year 2010/11 approximately 26.4 million working days were lost due to work related incidents. It would be naive to believe that this applies only to large industries because the small industries are equally at risk if not more.

System in place to manage Health & Safety:

There is a system in place that will come to the aid of the employees (and employers) in case of a workplace incident. But in an ideal world it should never come to that. In order to make sure that such kind of help and support is not required; and no incident occurs it is necessary for every company or industry to have a proper system in place. This system can be in the form of a health and safety policy which should ideally be on paper and if the resources do exist, even designate people to enforce the system.

Benefits of a good Health and Safety policy:

If you do have a good health and safety policy it can only mean one thing and that is that you have taken the first step towards safe guarding your employees. Having such a policy that is followed by all concerned has many benefits some of which are listed here:

  • Lesser requests for sick leave.
  • Lesser stress.
  • Better ability to cope with change.
  • An overall improvement in the morale.
  • An increase in productivity.
  • Greater job satisfaction.
  • Increase in the retention.
  • Fewer workplace incidents.
  • An overall improvement in the company image and culture.

Choosing to be safe with Safety First:

Safety First

Safety First is here to help you in every step from assessing the risks, to formation of a decent health and safety policy, to even helping train the employees and employers on the risks factors of their respective workplaces. Their certified health and safety consultant are fully qualified to make perfect assessments and provide the necessary help and consultation.

The professionals of Safety Consulting can show you how to navigate the sometimes technical and often confusing OSHA regulations. They can help you figure out what regulations apply in your workplace and what you need to do to comply.

2 thoughts on “What is Health and safety?

  1. Pingback: A list of steps to take towards making a construction site safe | Health & Safety First Consulting

  2. Pingback: Meaning of a Safety Program | Health & Safety First Consulting

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