Everyone knows that workplace injuries and illnesses can reduce employees’ trust and impede productivity. Because how can people work to the best of their abilities and without distractions if they don’t feel safe? That’s why occupational health and safety procedures and standards are being promoted by the World Health Organization to protect workers and keep them safe from harm.
Not only does occupational health and safety (OHS) protect workers from hazards, but a clear safety management strategy with detailed parameters also keeps things streamlined by reducing workplace accidents and promoting a safe work environment. As a result, workers are more motivated to do their jobs, and staying secure cuts down on costs associated with absenteeism due to work injuries or illnesses and minimizes employee turnover. This is a big win for all parties involved.
Although no one wants to be stuck in a safety meeting or OHS training session, establishing clear safety management guidelines is an essential aspect of any work setting. Check out these effective occupational health and safety tips that help avoid unnecessary stress due to workplace accidents or litigation and ensure workers can keep the good times rolling.
What is occupational health and safety?
You can think of occupational health and safety as a workplace bodyguard. It’s there to protect the company and workers from various hazards. The goal of OHS is to keep everyone safe while they’re on the office premises or job site. Check out these key points that perfectly explain what OHS is all about:
- OHS goals include making sure that all employees and managers can do their job properly without getting hurt or sick.
- Employers are expected to provide proper occupational health and training, protective equipment, and regular safety checks to keep everyone secure.
- These OHS standards not only look out for physical health but mental health, ensuring no one is overworked or subjected to harassment.
Occupational health and safety should be considered a fundamental aspect of every workplace because it aims to safeguard holistic health, including the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of all employees. It promotes a culture of security, by making workplace safety a shared responsibility that requires ongoing commitment and investment from everyone. There’s a strong focus on identifying and preventing hazardous elements to minimize harm and accidents from work-related activities.
When clear OHS guidelines are established, people can work with confidence since they have peace of mind knowing they’re protected from dangerous situations. Next time you have to invest in workplace safety gear, print safety posters, or attend a safety meeting, remember that OHS is an ally to keep you safe and sound.
Why is occupational health and safety important?
When it comes to the workplace, making profits may be the goal, but promoting safety should also be a top priority alongside that. Worker safety is instrumental in achieving company milestones. Why? Because workers who trust their companies and feel secure have better job satisfaction and performance. And this is the primary reason why occupational health and safety matters.
Learn more on why implementing OHS standards is crucial:
- Protects Employees from Hazards
The primary reason for establishing OHS in the workplace is employee protection from hazards. Whether it’s dangerous machinery, toxic chemicals, or physical strain from repetitive motions, these safety standards ensure that employees are fully prepared. They are aware of potential risks in their line of work. More importantly, they are provided with the necessary training and protective equipment to prevent accidents.
- Improves Productivity
When employees feel safe and secure in their jobs, they’re more likely to be efficient and productive. With safety parameters in place, there’s a reduced risk of injuries and illnesses. Consequently, this translates to fewer sick days and less downtime due to accidents. Moreover, when workers feel that their management cares about their health and wellness, they’re motivated to perform and achieve better results. All of these combined means that the company can maintain a high level of productivity because people can do their jobs effectively. As a result, there’s better profitability and a higher bottom line.
- Reduces Costs
Workplace accidents and illnesses can be a money drain for both the employer and the employee. But what if you can prevent accidents and mitigate illnesses before they happen? For example, having protective equipment with face masks and goggles can prevent the onset of allergies and protect against eye injuries. When workplace safety measures are in place, this means fewer medical bills and lesser workers’ compensation claims. Most of all, employers can expect fewer costs associated with replacing injured or sick employees.
- Creates a Positive Workplace Culture
Employees who feel cared for and valued by their employers tend to feel higher job satisfaction. When employees see that their employer is committed to their health and safety, this creates and fosters a positive workplace culture. This leads to increased morale and better employee retention. After all, workers tend to stay loyal to companies who don’t merely treat them as human capital but genuinely care about their holistic health.
- Assures Legal Compliance
Finally, as noted above, occupational health and safety is a priority worldwide, so governments are staunch in promoting and supporting OHS initiatives. Many have rules and regulations in place to ascertain employer compliance. Having safety protocols in the workplace means that the employer is complying with legal requirements. Potential legal action is kept at bay when worker safety procedures are implemented. Hence, workplace safety must be a top priority as it keeps everyone safe and sound.
What are the occupational health and safety procedures?
When it comes to the safety of any work area, occupational health and safety procedures are established to keep everything and everyone safe. These guidelines are all about keeping the workplace secure so that the team can stay motivated to do their responsibilities. Check out the four key areas where OHS comes into play:
Conducting a Risk Assessment
The first step to implementing occupation and safety plans is to assess the risks involved. Before investing in equipment and training, reconnaissance work must be conducted to ascertain all bases are covered. This includes:
- Identifying any potential hazards like dangerous machinery or exposure to toxic gasses
- Assessing the likelihood or probability of the hazards occurring
- Evaluating how these potential hazards will impact the employees and company operations
Providing Training and Education
The next step to the successful establishment of safety plans is to provide proper employee occupational health and training. Educating employees on the job hazards they potentially face is critical so they can make informed decisions. This also assures the management that workers are competent and understand their health and safety obligations, which means they can perform tasks associated with their roles safely. Training can include the following examples:
- How to handle machinery correctly
- Safe handling of chemical and other hazardous elements
- Emergency protocols in case of an accident (whether fire, machine breakdown, or injury)
- Doing certification requirements if required for the industry (ex. first aid for healthcare workers)
Fortunately, training can be fun and engaging because it can be delivered in a variety of ways. It could be in the form of online courses, modules, physical team-building workshops, or safety demonstrations.
Procuring Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Because of the recent coronavirus outbreak, most people around the world have become familiar with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like masks, gloves, and face shields. And these essential materials do live up to their name by protecting employees from job hazards. It provides an extra layer of protection. PEEs can include items:
- Safety glasses
- Hard hats
- Fire retardant clothing
- Surgical masks
- Face shields
Conducting Continuous Monitoring
Establishing safety measures is not a one-time thing. There must be a team who will keep a watchful eye on potential dangers and take note of government updates on safety requirements. Continuous indoor environmental quality monitoring is also of utmost importance to identify minor issues before they escalate into major problems. This involves the following:
- Safety checks at regular intervals using reliable air monitoring devices with real-time data
- Performing on-the-spot audits of machinery to ascertain optimum performance
- Getting feedback from employees to ensure wellness and productivity
Establishing occupational health and safety measures must be a top priority for all businesses in every industry. Creating a safe and healthy workplace protects a company’s biggest asset, and that’s human capital. If you want to keep your employees healthy and happy, you must prioritize occupational health and safety measures. Keep in mind that without knowledgeable, skilled, and competent employees, it would be hard to achieve your company’s objectives and stay competitive in today’s fast-paced business landscape. So let’s keep those targets on track by making sure everyone is safe and sound.
Ensuring a healthy indoor environment is crucial for your employee’s well-being, productivity, and performance. To help you achieve this, we offer the uHoo Aura, an indoor environmental quality monitor that provides real-time data and actionable insights. By monitoring indoor air quality, you can identify potential issues before they escalate. You will also get alerts, allowing you to take proactive measures to rectify any problems. Remember that clean air is a priority because all of the body’s organs rely on oxygen. If you’re interested in enhancing workplace safety and improving indoor air quality, Book A Meeting with us to learn more about the uHoo Aura. Your employees (and their lungs) will thank you!