No form of work should be forced upon, encouraged, or permitted that compromises people’s safety and health. Unfortunately, insufficient or unreliable safety and health regulations are an ongoing problem worldwide. Formal and informal industries both expose employees to some (or many) health and safety hazards.
However, it is possible to reduce the number of work-related injuries and deaths by creating and nurturing a safe and healthy workplace culture. As a result, if there are chemical, physical, biological, mechanical, ergonomic, psychological, or electrical hazards in the workplace, it is crucial to provide and maintain safe working environments.
Therefore, a safe workplace environment is essential for all employees. In addition to causing them to feel anxious and uneasy, a fear that they’ll become ill or suffer serious injuries can negatively affect their performance and peace of mind. Because of this reason, ensuring the safety and well-being of employees at their workplace should be the topmost priority of every employer.
Why Health & Safety at Work is Important?
Health and safety must be improved to make the workplace better, safer, and more productive. Employers benefit from worker protection by reducing absenteeism and increasing productivity. Therefore, healthy and safe workplaces produce more productive employees. Furthermore, it reduces sickness and accident downtime, saving employers money and time.
To accomplish this, most organizations have a system of checks and balances. The staff receives occupational health and safety training under expert supervision. Moreover, many organizations prefer hiring managers with safety degrees. This has led to a rise in the demand for occupational health and safety degrees. Jobseekers looking for management jobs should also consider getting a degree or diploma in occupational health and safety, as enrolling in the best online occupational health and safety degree program can help land a lucrative job.
Ways to Ensure Safety & Health at Work
The following are some suggestions for improving the work environment. These tips are handy for employers, managers, and company owners as well as employees because ensuring workplace safety is the utmost priority for all of them.
Keep an eye out for dangers
Employers must ensure their working environment is free of obvious risks, such as unsafe practices, inadequate equipment, or lack of training. Supervisors may not be able to spot hazards if they are not directly involved in the work. Therefore, the working staff must notify their supervisors immediately if there is any hazardous equipment or items in the general work area. Any danger to health should be reported to management as soon as possible.
Ensure proper use of equipment, tools, and machinery
It is possible to prevent injuries by using tools and machinery correctly. Ensure that machines are cleaned and maintained regularly and that employees are properly trained to use them. Equipment and machines should always be used as intended. To prevent straining or injury, forklifts and wheelbarrows should be used when lifting and moving heavy items.
Always wear safety gear
Wear safety equipment at all times. Workplace safety gear might include fire-retardant clothing, reflective gear, industrial workwear, and even non-slip shoes. Similarly, when the workspace contains dust, debris, hazardous chemicals, or fumes, it is important to wear a breathing mask.
Pressure and stress can be reduced
Reducing stress at the workplace is essential as it adversely impacts employee productivity. It is the responsibility of the employer to provide a stress-free working environment for their employees. There are many problems at work that cause stress for people. Some examples are conflicts with co-workers or bosses, never-ending work hours, deadline pressure, financial difficulties, job insecurity, or transportation problems.
Many factors can lead to insomnia, exhaustion, depression, and difficulties performing everyday tasks. Managers may be able to help ease the pressure if employees are suffering from workplace stress.
Safety tips, particularly for employees
The following safety tips are specifically created for employees.
The best way to keep the back healthy is to maintain good posture
Shoulders should line up with the hips to prevent back problems. Likewise, correct posture should be ensured when picking things up to avoid back injuries. Stooping and twisting are not acceptable. Make sure the safety equipment and furniture are designed ergonomically to prevent overreaching.
Taking regular breaks
Employees should take regular breaks, so their muscles and mind don’t get tired. It is common for companies to offer their employees an uninterrupted 30- to 60-minute break after a long day of work.
Also, it might be useful to take frequent small breaks. The time interval between assignments can range from a minute to several minutes. Employees can keep their bodies refreshed throughout the day with these small intervals. Long and intensive tasks should be scheduled first thing in the morning.
Staying alert as to one’s surroundings
The key to avoiding workplace injuries is to be aware of one’s surroundings. Consider the following things in the environment:
- Make sure there are no spills or items on the floor that could cause trips.
- Each task should be performed with the correct safety equipment and gear.
- Encourage others to lift items with mechanical aids such as a forklift or wheelbarrow.
- Ensure that emergency exits are clear and uncluttered so they can be accessed quickly in an emergency.
- Keep tools and machines in good condition and encourage others to do the same.
- Signage should be displayed in hazardous areas and materials.
- When an injury occurs, a person should know where the first aid kits are and which staff members are trained to administer them.
- Prepare for floods, fires, and earthquakes by knowing the emergency procedures.
- As a rule, only use secure, steady ladders, and don’t improvise.
- A person should test railings before using them to ensure they are secure.
Avoiding shortcuts at all costs
Procedures ensure the safety of workers. Skipping steps or ignoring safety gear may save time, but it isn’t worth the injuries incurred. So, observing all instructions when using tools and machines is imperative.
Ensuring workers are aware of their legal rights
It is not uncommon for accidents to occur that are completely beyond one’s control and result in injuries. Compensation may be available in case of an injury or illness caused by a work accident.
Medical expenses, loss of income, and anything related to the long-term effects of the accident, such as ongoing rehabilitation, might be covered. To ensure all workers’ rights are protected, they should hire reputable compensation claim solicitors to handle their claims.
The Way Forward
In all, ensuring safety at the workplace is not only the responsibility of the employer but the employee as well. Therefore, employees must adhere to safety rules and regulations to stay safe and healthy while working at their workplace.