Occupational Health and Safety:
The term ‘Occupational health and safety’ suggest that it is something to do with the safety aspect and well-being while at work. That I correct. However how many people are actually aware of the significance of the term and the true meaning of what is occupational health and safety?
What I am driving at here is that there are many workers who join a workforce immediately after graduation, some not even that; some may be high school dropout as well and others looking for a change of job. Either way, all these people would have had no real reason to be concerned with the safety at work. It is surprising though true that many workers are not aware how risky it actually is.
These statistics tell a grim story:
- The Year 2012: Number of fatalities were 4620 while at workplace. That a very big figure in spite of having all the precautions.
- May 2014: Number of fatalities were more than 250. This was in a mine in Turkey and involved workers from all around the world.
I can go on and on; but I have mentioned only a couple of recent statistics to keep it relevant.
Occupational health and safety (OH&S) program:
The main aim of the Occupational health and safety program is the much needed prevention of workplace incidents. If you are in the Canadian Jurisdiction and you are a business then it is mandatory to have some form of the program. Besides which the components of the program also dictated by Health and Safety Legislation.
Not every organization is the same and hence the same rules and regulations do not apply to all the organizations. This is more of a comprehensive guidelines for all the organizations to follow out of which only few may be applicable to you depending in the size of your organization. In fact in a small organization the level or the program is likely to be a scaled down version of what may be implemented in a medium to large scale organization.
The Policy Statement:
The Occupational Health and Safety policy of an organization are more of a guideline for action. It gives an overview of the extent to which every unexpected situation is covered. However in general if should have the following points:
- Showcase their commitment to protect the health and safety of the employees.
- State the main objectives clearly.
- The basic health and safety philosophy of the organization.
- Defining the structure of the occupational health and safety program and also naming the person accountable.
- A general list of responsibilities of the employees.
This is an important document or statement hence the policy needs to be stated in unambiguous and clear terms. Furthermore it should always be updated with the latest modifications. This is one document that should be easily available and even provided to each employee.
The Program Elements:
The specific of the program are highly dependent on the nature of the organization as already mentioned, however there are some things that are recommended for every organization and they are listed here:
- Employee Orientation
- Individual Responsibility
- Medical and First Aid
- Health and Safety Rules
- Health and Safety Promotion
- Workplace specific items
- Correct Work Procedures
- Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee
The Individual Responsibilities
It is correct to assume that the management is responsible for the issues of health and safety in an organization and they are also accountable. However in medium to large organization or even the small ones for that matter it is the employees who are carrying out the major tasks, handling dangerous material and working with machines. Hence at the end the day if the employee as an individual does not understand his responsibilities towards his own safety and the safety of his colleges the whole purpose is defeated.
Hence it is vital that each employee be made aware of their responsibilities in general. They need to be aware of who the correct authority is and who is in the best position to make the important decisions. Besides which they should be aware of what is expected of them, know their responsibilities, have the correct set of skills and be sufficiently trained and certified as the position demands.
Sample list of responsibilities for a worker:
- Making use of the personal protection and safety equipment that is recommended by the employer for each task.
- Following the guidelines for each procedure to remain safe.
- Be aware of all the regulations and implement them in every situation.
- Remaining alert to be able to report an injury or illness as soon as it is spotted.
- Report any unsafe practice when observed.
- Be actively involved in the joint health and safety committee.
Sample list of responsibilities for the First Line Supervisor:
- Instructing and reminding the workers of the safe work practices.
- Actively enforce the health and safety regulations.
- Remain alert to spot any wrong doings and immediately correcting any unsafe activity.
- Making sure the workers are performing the tasks assigned to them and only the authorized workers are doing the job.
- Making it a point to report any incident that takes place in the workplace no matter how small it may be.
- Perform routine inspections of the work place and eliminating any potentially hazardous elements.
- Actively promoting the importance of safety to the workers.
Why Choose Safety First?
Safety first is one firm that is well placed to help organizations on the subject of JHSC. In fact Safety First has several industrial safety training courses to offer so that the company management can have a better understanding of the same. Their team consists of certified safety professionals and an expert team of health and safety professional consultants with experience in businesses of all sizes and a wide variety of different industries as well.
The professionals at Safety First Consulting can show you how to navigate the sometimes technical and often confusing OSHA regulations with occupational health and safety training. They can help you figure out what regulations apply in your workplace and what you need to do to comply. Just know About us, take one of our classes, or request a Contact us form.
About the author
Sophie Moore is a Digital Marketing Analyst, in charge of many digital marketing projects that involve SEO, Social Media and mobile web strategy. Moore has a background in IT, strong experience on website development and web interface, degrees in both traditional and digital marketing at Duke University, North Carolina.
Moore has a wide experience of internet projects and keeps herself up to date with the latest technologies and trends. Moore always explains that social media is her passion, SEO a motivation and a dynamic challenge where she is involved every day.