Health and Safety, Management Skills, Professional Skills

Why Health and Safety Measures are the Most Important Pillars of Workplace Management

According to OSHA, in the year 2012, about 27 million working days were completely lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury.

The human civilization has thrived on the principles of ‘survival of the fittest’. We survive when we say yes to the professional growth at work… we survive when we take that little step ahead to learn a new thing… but more certainly, we survive when we embrace SAFETY at work. After all, health is said to be the ultimate wealth. Whether you are at your workplace or home, the vulnerability to accident or damage is always there. It is a proven fact that all work exposes people to hazards which might come through manually handled work, the machine dangers, use of toxics, electricity fluctuation, use of display screen equipment, etc. In such a situation, workplace health and safety procedures are significant for the overall wellbeing of employees and employers.

Why is occupational safety important for your business?

According to OSHA, in the year 2012, about 27 million working days were completely lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury. Occupational safety and health is not all about having a social conscience. Much more than that, it is about a good business sense that accepts safety as a key business objective like other goals. You can use the following methods of identifying safety and health problems in the workplace. Have a quick look:

  1. Identify the most common cause of workplace injuries.
  2. Check the pattern of health complications or complaints in the employees.
  3. Look for the places in the workplace where major health problems are occurring.
  4. Identify the segment of ill performances and working condition.

As per OSHA, Some common cautions of health hazards in the Workplace are:

Common types of health hazards in the workplace are:

  • Chemical (asbestos, solvents, chlorine)
  • Biological (tuberculosis, HIV, hepatitis, molds)
  • Physical (noise, heat and cold, radiation, vibration)
  • Ergonomics or Repetitive Strain Injuries (carpal tunnel syndrome, back injuries)
  • Psychological (stress)

How health hazards enter your body:

  • Breathing (inhalation)
  • Swallowing (ingestion)
  • Skin (absorption)
  • Cuts (injection)

Harm caused by health hazards depends on:

  • Strength, or potency, of the agent.
  • Amount of the agent that is present.
  • How long you are exposed to the agent.
  • Part of your body that is exposed.

Types of health effects:

  • Acute: the effect shows up right away.
  • Chronic: problems show up after a long period of exposure and/or long after the exposure ends.
  • Local: only the part of the body that was exposed is affected.
  • Systemic: an agent enters the body and affects other parts of the body

Common types of safety hazards in the workplace are:

  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Being caught in or struck by moving machinery or other objects
  • Fire and explosions
  • Transportation and vehicle‐related accidents
  • Confined spaces
  • Violence

Slips, Trips and Falls:

  • Bad housekeeping and poor drainage can make floors and other walking surfaces wet and slippery.
  • Electrical wires along the floor pose a tripping hazard.
  • You can fall if you are not provided with fall protection equipment, guardrails, and safe ladders.

Caught In or Struck By Moving Machinery/Objects

  • Machinery can cause injuries in different ways:
  • You can get parts of your body caught in or struck by exposed moving parts if machines are not properly guarded, or not locked out when being repaired.
  • You can be struck by flying objects from machines without protective guards.

Fire and Explosions

  • Improper labeling, handling or storage of certain materials can pose a risk of fire or
  • Every workplace should have an evacuation plan for getting people out of a building in case of fire and an alarm or alert system to quickly inform employees of an emergency.
  • Every worker should be trained on what to do in case of an emergency.

Transportation and VehicleRelated Accidents

  • Operators of vehicles and equipment can be injured or cause injury to pedestrians if equipment is unsafe or if adequate training has not been provided.
  • You can be seriously injured or killed after being hit by a vehicle while repairing roads or doing other work in traffic zones. This danger exists when traffic is not properly route and/or adequate barriers are not placed between the workers and the traffic.

Confined Spaces

  • A confined space is an area with small openings for a worker to enter and exit and is not designed for regular work. Examples of confined spaces include manholes, sewer, digestors and silos. There are many hazards in confined spaces.
  • Workers can become unconscious and die from a lack of oxygen.
  • There may be too much oxygen, or other chemicals that can catch fire or explode.
  • Poisonous gases and vapors, such as hydrogen sulfide or carbon monoxide, may also build up in a confined space.
  • Confined spaces can also pose physical hazards. They can be very hot or cold, very loud, or slippery and wet.
  • Grain, sand or gravel can bury a worker.

Violence

  • Violence on the job is a growing problem.
  • Homicides are the second leading cause of workplace fatalities.
  • Workplace violence includes physical assault as well as near misses, verbal abuse and sexual harassment.

(Information Source: Osha.gov)

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