Occupational Safety and Health
Its implementation, importance and benefits
Entrepreneurs are required to look into several aspects of their business to ensure its success and sustainability. One of these aspects is the implementation of occupational safety and health measures in the workplace. These procedures bring several benefits for employers and employees in the workplace. If you lack knowledge about this aspect, check the following key principles and benefits of occupational safety.
The importance of occupational safety and health to the success of businesses
Several reasons make occupational safety and health key to the success of businesses.
- Providing occupational safety and health proves that the company is socially responsible.
- Promoting and protecting brand value and reputation.
- Increasing the productivity of employees and workers.
- Enhancing staff loyalty.
- Increasing the efficiency of the workforce, as a result of promoting employee wellbeing, which contributes to reduced business disruption and costs.
- Allowing businesses to meet customer expectations for occupational safety and health.
- Ensuring an active work environment.
It is clear that every company or business that invests in proper occupational safety and health procedures will enjoy many benefits. These simple procedures can increase the profitability of the company and its competitiveness as well as employee productivity. By having an occupational safety and health system, the workforce will have in place an effective and efficient framework to reduce or prevent injuries, accidents, medical illnesses or even fatalities at work. This means higher revenue for the company as a result of incurring less costs.
Main principles of occupational safety and health procedures
There is a set of occupational safety and health principles that you should consider, including:
- Effective policies and procedures for occupational safety and health.
- Leadership and commitment to improving and enhancing occupational safety and health.
- Participation in risk assessment programs.
- Hiring experts and trainers in the workplace.
- Taking effective measures to reduce risks.
- Continuous monitoring and review.
It should be noted that the above principles apply to small and large businesses. As long as the company has employees, it is necessary to adopt occupational safety measures.
Benefits of occupational safety and health measures
- The primary objective of occupational safety and health measures is to improve the working environment for all working individuals. By maintaining the health and safety of all employees, companies will be able to reduce their medical expenses and insurance costs among other expenses. In addition, ensuring the health and safety of the workforce will positively reflect on the business, increasing efficiency and productivity, which in turn leads to the success and growth.
- Entrepreneurs should be well aware of their ethical and legal obligations towards their employees, so business owners should look closely at the possible consequences of accidents that may occur in the workplace. Key to the successful management of health and safety procedures is the preparation of a safety document or plan, which includes all occupational safety and health measures for workforce injuries.
Responsibilities of employers and employees under occupational safety and health policies
The employer has legal obligations with respect to safety and health practices in the workplace, once he or she has started operating his or her business. In this regard, the employer should ensure that his work practices do not cause any problems to the health and safety of employees, contractors, volunteers, visitors or even clients.
Familiarity with occupational safety and health laws and how to apply these policies in the workplace will help you avoid unnecessary costs and damage to your business due to workplace injuries or illnesses.
Key occupational safety and health-related legislations require:
- Providing a safe workplace.
- Assessing risks and taking the appropriate measures to control risk.
- Providing and maintaining safe machinery and materials.
- Evaluating workplace plans and providing safe work systems.
- Providing a suitable work environment and facilities.
- Providing health insurance and workers’ compensation insurance.
Your legal obligations can vary depending on the circumstances and industry in which your business operates, so you should obtain independent legal advice about the obligations that apply to your particular activity.
On the other hand, you have a legal obligation to ensure occupational safety and health for yourself and your colleagues. So, you should:
- Comply with occupational safety and health instructions.
- Use personal protective equipment, and train employees on how to use them properly.
- not endanger others deliberately.
- not injure yourself intentionally.
General tips to ensure a safe working environment
- Staff training on safety procedures.
- Reduce risk by adjusting working conditions instead of adding security measures.
- Conduct safety and inspection tests, according to the occupational safety and health department.
- Employers should continually inform staff about potential risks through alarms, stickers and other channels.
- Using safe chemicals and better ventilation systems, rather than asking your workers to wear masks, gloves, etc.
- Employers must maintain detailed records of any diseases, injuries or accidents occurring in the workplace.
- Staff should be well trained on the right way to operate and shut down machines, while monitoring speed limits and wearing appropriate protective equipment such as a seat belt, if they work at high altitudes.
Key information to be included in the occupational safety plan:
When preparing your occupational safety plan, it should include the following basic information:
- Information relating to potential risks. These include mechanisms to identify and report hazards, alert procedures, as well as mechanisms to inform staff about risks, and alert institutions to respond to emergencies and implement evictions.
- The safety plan should also include procedures on monitoring the number of evicted staff, their names and departments in order to contact them for additional information regarding the safety plan.
- The safety plan should be kept in an accessible place and the employer should review the plan at least once a year or whenever necessary. The plan should include information proving that the staff was informed of this safety plan.
A copy of the company’s safety plan should be also provided to organizations that respond to emergencies.