Importance of Health & Safety at Work

The importance of health and safety at work cannot be overstated. The employer has both a moral and a legal obligation to ensure that his employees work in both a safe and healthy environment.

Morally no worker should be forced to work in an environment where his welfare is at risk. It also makes good business sense to ensure that workers are both safe and healthy during working hours. Sick or injured workers lead to a drop in production and a subsequent loss of profits.

Moral issues aside, there are strict laws and regulations governing health and safety at work, and should an employer transgress these requirements he could find himself being prosecuted and having to pay out large sums in compensation.

Good work practices effectively pay for themselves as production remains free from disruption,insurance costs are minimised, the workforce remains contented and customers are delighted with a regular and prompt supply of fulfilled orders.

In the United Kingdom the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) are in change of health and safety regulations in the workplace. The HSE not only enforce these regulations, but will also prosecute employers when they are contravened. While this is very necessary, it puts an enormous strain on employers whose first concern, quite naturally, is to run their businesses as efficiently as possible.

While the HSE produces plenty of information on the regulations, which are often updated, the typical busy employer or manager often has little time to read through them, let alone fully understand them. It is because of this that agencies have emerged that advise employers, managers and key employees just what the law demands and how to comply by keeping your work premises and practices as safe as possible. These agencies also run courses on various aspects of health and safety, many of which are certificated.

One of these courses is the IOSH Working Safely Certificate. This course meets the HSE’s requirements as a safety certificate. It defines and identities risks and hazards and looks at ways of improving safety performance. The course also looks at safe systems of working, and considers personal responsibility for safety in the workplace, as well as the protection of staff in the working environment.

The fact that such courses exist emphasises the importance of health and safety at work in the modern world.

Main Benefits of Allowing Your Employees To Undergo Health And Safety Training Courses

Employees must adhere to the rules of the health and safety at work. After all, they have the duty of care for employees along with all the visitors to their work environment.

Regardless of how small or large your company is, workers face dangers in their workplaces which can threaten their health and safety. In some industries like the mining and oil industries, the dangers are indeed evident. These include exposure to fires, chemicals, breakdown or machinery and explosions. For other fields, dangers might not be very obvious. Working in a restaurant or an office might seem harmless; however, poor ergonomics, psychological stress, and food contamination can actually cause health problems that are sure to hinder productivity. Due to the fact that all hazards are present in all industries, it is very important for companies to provide the right health and safety training for their employees or perhaps allow them to undergo such courses. It is also crucial for them to update such knowledge regularly.

Benefits Of Health And Safety Training Courses

Workplace accidents and injuries can be reduced by educating workers on the basics of occupational health and safety. In return, this can prevent companies from expensive legal battles with employees along with the lifelong support for their families. Moreover, company owners must bear in mind that prioritizing the safety of your personnel can help keep them from leaving your firm and finding another job due to work-related issues.

Aside from that, businesses can also enjoy an increased productivity and satisfaction among personnel by having the workplace safe at all times. It is worth note taking that employees working in a safe environment can greatly focus on their tasks since they need not be worried about their personal safety. Such enhance focus will then lead to better work output, which can eventually result to increase in productivity and profit.

It has been proven that employees who are very confident of their safety at work tend to become more satisfied with their employers. Such increase in employee morale will also mean an increase in productivity levels. Employers taking measures to keep their workers safe are indeed most likely to earn the loyalty of employees. Hence, valuable skilled workers will less likely to leave and become another part of other companies.

Today, there are different certificate courses that workers in different industries can avail. It would be a smart idea to ask help from experts to determine which among these courses suits you best. More information mentioned here.

Safety and Health in the Workplace – Environmental Safety

Safety and health in the workplace cannot be overemphasized. In a work environment two things take precedent over any issue. Number one is the occupational well-being of employees. The second most important issue is environmental safety and health. It is no surprise that when environmental safety and health guidelines are followed, threat to humans health is lessened, not to mention the threat to the environment. Codes, laws and regulations often go hand in hand to achieve both. The list of environmental concerns is lengthly. As a Health and Safety professional, your obligation is to follow and address environmental safety and health issues.

Four of the major environmental safety and health in the workplace areas are; indoor air quality (IAQ) issues, chemical disposal, petroleum storage / fuel tanks and pest management.

Indoor Air Pollutants

I have learned that indoor air complaints range from uncomfortable temperature ranges, fear of dirt on a ceiling tile, actual mold growing on walls and unexplained illness in an entire wing of a building. One thing to make clear is this: The complaint is real to one or more persons and needs to be taken seriously. The culprit most often to blame in an IAQ investigation is inadequate ventilation. People need to breath fresh air that is brought in from outside. Often the second most common complaint is mold. Keeping roof leaks (or any water intrusion) under control is the best practice at reducing mold growth on indoor environments.

Chemicals and Chemical Disposal

Other indoor contaminates are chemicals in the air that we breathe. Chemicals that are “green” approved are considered safe for the environment, and the people who occupy the rooms. Green chemicals are safe when considering prolonged exposure for the staff who use them day after day.

State and Federal laws mandate the proper disposal of chemical, electronic, universal and hazardous waste. It is not OK to throw items into the dumpster unless the owner is certain that the items do not posses characteristics that would classify it as hazardous. Electronic items for example contain metals like cadmium, lead, and mercury. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) knows that the disposal cost for hazardous waste is high, therefore they classify items like computers and fluorescent bulbs that contain these metals as being a universal waste. This means these items can be managed by recycling. Other chemicals must be disposed of as hazardous waste. It’s the employers duty to determine the classification of the waste and how material is to be disposed of. They must be very careful to do so correctly to avoid serious and costly penalties and harm to the environment.

Petroleum Storage and Fuel Tanks

Another major responsibility that employers have is on keeping in compliance with state and federal regulations concerning above and below ground petroleum fuel tanks. There are many laws regulating that entities report and register existing tanks at their facility. There are daily, weekly, monthly and yearly record keeping and reporting that goes into being a petroleum tank owner.

Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management or IPM is the least toxic approach to pest management. IPM is important because no one wants to work with or around toxic or dangerous pesticides, herbicides or any other chemical that is designed to “kill”. And we certainly don’t want to harm the environment either. It is the business owners responsibility to assist and teach all employees how to comply with laws pertaining to IPM so that no one is exposed to dangerous pest elimination chemicals at work.

Environmental safety and health in the workplace is everyone’s business. Most people aren’t aware of the issues concerning indoor air, chemical disposal, petroleum storage tanks or integrated pest management. But for the safety person, these environmental issues are a major part of the job. We will continue to strive to keep human safety as our main priority and the safety of our environment a very close second.