1. Workplace Safety- Introduction
Workplace health and safety or occupational health and safety is a multidisciplinary field concerned with protecting the health and safety of all stakeholders in workplace from exposure to hazards, mishaps and risks resulting from work activities. It is also involving maintenance and safety of all assets of the organization. In this tutorial, we will be discussing about the various aspects of the safety related to employee and their working environment.
This tutorial is designed for the Human Resource team and Managers, who want to understand how to provide safety and protection to their employees. It also throws light on how to create a safe and productive work environment for all the employees within an organization
The readers of this tutorial are expected to have a basic understanding of the complexity of employee safety at workplace and the strategies for protecting the employees in the organization.
▪ What is Workplace Safety?
Workplace safety is a composite field related to safety, health and welfare of people at work. It narrates the strategy and methods in place to ensure health and safety of employees within a workplace. Workplace safety includes employee’s awareness related to the knowledge of basic, workplace hazards, risks relating to hazards, implementation of hazard preventions, and putting into practice necessary safer methods, techniques, process, and safety culture in the workplace.
It is also including safety rules and regulations designed mostly on the basics of existing government policies. Every organization puts in place a number of safety rules and regulation for its people. Safety training and education for employees is imparted periodically with a view to making them aware about and updating them with latest safety measures.
▪ Needs for Workplace Safety
Before analyzing various aspect of workplace safety, it is pertinent to know the reasons for ensuring safety in life. We attach top priority to safety and security in place we live, stay, visit or work in.
• To Say no to Accidents- Accidents are fallouts of recklessness and lack of responsibility. When we don’t follow required safety norms, we end up in getting injured or even in ending our valuable lives. It is true with regard our home and workplace alike.
• To Stay Healthy and Energetic- We should have a healthy food habit, which is itself a safety measure, to keep us healthy and lively for work at home and in workplace.
• To have longevity in Life- We should take care of ourselves everywhere we are and of others for leading a safe and meaningful life.
• To create Public Awareness- Promotion of safety norms everywhere creates public awareness and discipline. It is true of workplace and motivates new employees to take up safety measures necessary for their safety.
• To avoid loss of property and life- The basics aim of safety measures is to prevent the occurrences of mishaps and hazards that sometimes cause heavy loss of life and property.
• To Devise Planning for Safety- Need for safety paves the way for devising an effective planning for all-round safety of employees in an organization.
▪ Basics Objective of Workplace Safety
The basics objective of workplace safety are as follows-
• Preservation of and assistance for employees’ or workers’ health and well-being.
• Enhance workability of employees by ensuring a safe and congenial work environment.
• Growth of the organization that remains free from prospective hazards and mishaps.
• Encouraging a favorable social climate in the organization that motivates the employees to work efficiently towards organizational progress and prosperity.
• Secure the health and safety of workers by eliminating or minimizing risks.
• Achieve higher productivity among the employee by providing a safe and secure environment.
• Focus on employee safety and health arising from chemicals and hazardous elements used at workplace.
2. Workplace Safety- Importance
Maximum employee spends a least eight hours a day in the workplace. Therefore, the workplace domain should be safe and healthy. Everyday employees all over the universe are experiencing a lot of health problems emerging from various sources such as-
• Excessive Temperature
Workplace safety and health surrounds the social, mental and physical well-being of employees in all professions. Imperfect and unhygienic working situations have the possibility to upset an employee’s health and safety. Harmful and risky working conditions can be found anywhere, whether the workplace is in building or in a house or in other country.
Work-related hazards and illnesses are usual in almost all the parts of the world and often have many personal and secondary negative results for employees and their families. A single hazards and sickness can mean extensive financial loss to both the employees and the employers.
Successful workplace safety and health programmers can assist to protect the lives of employees by lessening risks and their results. Productive programmers can also have constructive influence on both employee self-confident and production, and can save employers a great deal of penny. In carrying out this promise safety scopes are as follows.
• Expand and execute successful policies, strategy and programs which give a safe and healthy
and well-being of their staff and that of their clients and the public.
• Permission to use professional health and safety policies and programs and strategies on a daily
• Take every safety measure to make sure that their work does not cause a danger or an injury or sickness or environmental and the customers or the general public.
• Observe and obey all health, safety and environmental laws and regulations.
• Educate of the newly recruited employee of their health, safety and environmental responsibilities and the accidents and dangers related to work and about the safety exercise in the workplace they execute.
Safety scopes contemplate health, safety and environmental safeguard of initial importance and acknowledge the rights of every employee the rights of every employee to work in a safe and healthy work location.
3. Workplace Safety-Planning
▪ What is Workplace Safety Planning?
Safety planning is a set of preparatory approaches and policies to meet safety and health challenges and needs. Generating a safety plan includes picking out actions to enhance the safety and health of employees, especially, of those who work in hazardous and risky places and are expected to fall victim to dangers
Your organization will have its own distinctive system, indicating your way of doing business, the risks of your work, and how you handle the safety and health of your employees-
• If you manage a small business in a low-risk industry, your system may generally involve listening to your employees concerns and responding to them. Put in place necessary safety
measures and ensure a healthy place for the workers or employees to work in.
• The larger the organization the grater the risks for safety and health issues. A large business in a dangerous industry may have notepads full of written policies and methods and a full-time
▪ Workplace Safety and Health Legislations
Occupational health and safety legislation manage the quality of workplace hygiene and safety with in the objectives to stop workplace accidents, injuries and disease, and make laws against violation of those standards. It features responsibilities of employers, supervisors, and employees.
Normally, the legislation needs that the employers do everything they can fairly do to safeguard the health and safety of their employees in the workplace.
This includes, but is not restricted to: providing suitable training for picking up possibly dangerous equipment and/or material, informing employees of possible dangers in the workplace, and setting up safe work exercise.
A health and safety committee are an assembly for upgrading workplace health and safety. A committee consisting of both employee and management representatives is needed to look after the safety and heath factors in the organization.
Generally, the role of the committee is to recognize and help in stopping or preventing any untoward incidence and hazards from occurring in the workplace, endorsing and maintaining health and safety in the workplace. Health and safety are important issues in all workplace and such, organizations are required to obey with health and safety regulations and acts. Health and safety is generally controlled by provincial or territorial legislation. Organizations fall with in the federal or central jurisdiction have
separate legislations to deal with health and safety issues.
While all provinces and territories have same legislations, there is contrast among them. It is very significant to visit your province or territory’s health and safety website for information that is
applicable to you and your organization.
4. Workplace Hazards
Keeping a safe workplace needs employers to pick out hazards and risky issues and take necessary steps to reduce their chance of occurrences. Each industry has its own set of hazards, but their workplace hazards that are general across organizations. The hazards in this module are example of usual hazards.
By recognizing and predicting hazards, employers can protect employees from injuries and hazards and keep them safe. The terms hazard and risk are frequently used manually but this simple example explains the difference between the two.
▪ Workplace Hazards by Computer workstations
Computer Workstation may seem non-dangerous, but monotonous movement injuries such as repetitive stress injury and muscular skeletal problems are general due to badly engineered workstations.
Workstations need to be structed so that the body and injuries are curtailed. These elements include: desks, monitors, keywords, chairs, mouse, telephones, document holders, and wrist pads. There should be sufficient room in the workstation to move around and take short breaks from boring tasks.
▪ Workplace Hazards by Ergonomics
Ergonomics is the study of efficiency of people in their workplace. Certain often unnoticed workplace situations may lead to both short-term and long-term illness, these happen when the type of work, body positions and working conditions put a stress on your body.
Ergonomics are the toughest to spot since you don’t always directly notice the struggle on your body or the harm that these hazards pose. Short-term display may result in “sore muscles” the next day or in the days following the exposure, but long- term display can result in serious long-term illness.
Ergonomics Hazards result due to the following reasons-
• Poorly adjusted workstations and chairs
• Having to lift heavy objects too often
• Embarrassing movements, especially if they are continuous
• Having to use too much force, especially if you have to do it frequently
• Dealing with frequent vibrations
▪ Fire Prevention
Fire safety is everyone’s accountability. Fire presents remarkable risk or threat to the survival of businesses. It can kill or seriously injure employees or visitors and can damage or destroy buildings equipment and stock.
Organizations working from single premises are especially endangered as loss of premises may completely damage their operations. Many businesses fail to continue trading following an acute fire.
▪ Treats of Fire at Workplace
Fire can have devastating effect on businesses. The destructive power of fire can only be controlled and checked. Even after putting in place stringent fire safety measures, organizations sometimes fall victim to fire at workplace causing a great loss to property and human lives.
Every stakeholders of an organization or a company like its employer, the management, the employees, the visitors, the customers and the general public must be aware of the potential threats of fire on the premises. The employer or the management has to bear the responsibility for making provisions of fire and activate awareness programs for the knowledge of all concerned.
The potential threats from fire can be common occurrences in an organization that-
• Stocks combustible materials like cotton, paper, plastics etc. including flammable liquids or gases.
• Uses heat methods and lacks sufficient extinguishers placed throughout the workplace.
• Has public entry, so the organization is at risk from arson
• Has poor housekeeping standards
• Has poor preserved equipment, poorly maintained machinery, or electrical circuits.
The following steps are essential to deal with the menace of fire-
• Ensure all measure to reduce or prevent the chances of fire accidents from occurring.
• Regular carrying out of fire risk assessment
• Immediate actions to eliminate risk factors after the assessment
• Safeguard the workplace by putting fire extinguishers at every possible location in and around the premises
• Remove inflammable waste daily, including build-up of dust.
• Notify the fire precautions for the knowledge of all concerned to safeguard anyone using the workplace.
• Provide information, instruction and proper training to employees about the fire precautions at workplace.
5. Workplace Safety- Training
The training on safety norms and programs will make the employee confident to react to the situations when a problem or issues arises. The safety training will give a brief lesson on the things what to do and what not to do etc. hence, safety training is very important and mandatory for any employee for his/her safety, when he/she joins the organization.
▪ What is Workplace Safety Training?
Workplace training is also known as trade or industry training, inculcates learning and earning money while you work. Traineeship is one type of workplace training. You can do workplace training in a range of active industries.
“Training is the act of enhancing the knowledge and skills of an employee for doing a specific job”. Training is an efficient activity for enhancing the technical art to the employees to authorize them to do particular jobs efficiently. Training gives the employees the tools to help them grow as safety professional
▪ Aim of Workplace Safety Training
The aims of workplace safety training are as follows-
• To supply job related knowledge and skills to the employees to arm them with the ability to protect themselves against unintentional injuries and death.
• To reduce damage or loss to non-human factors like equipment, machinery and stocks.
• To communicate skills among the employees regularly so that they may learn quickly.
• To lessons number of accidents of accidents by providing safety training to the employees.
• To bring out the adjustment in the attitude of the employees towards colleagues, manager and the organization.
• To make the employee handle the materials, machine, equipment effectively and thus to check disappearance of time and resources.
• To formulate the employees for promotion to higher jobs by communicating the advanced skills.
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