Health and Safety in the Workplace

Posted September 20, 2021 by in Career

Health and Safety is a crucial aspect when it comes to work areas. Firms and organizations that adhere to health and safety policies have avoided unnecessary risks and dangers. Both employers and employees are responsible for health and Safety in workplaces. Where any party refuses to conform to health and safety guidelines, the risk of hazard increases.

Why Health and Safety is Important 

The importance of health and safety in the workplace cannot be overemphasized. From protecting employees and clients to the general public, everyone stands to benefit from it. A safe and healthy workplace can:

  • Protect employees and workers from injuries and illnesses.
  • Reduce absenteeism and employee turnover.
  • Lower the cost of personal injury, worker’s compensation, or medical treatments for employees.
  • Increase workplace productivity, quality, and performance
  • Raise employee morale and motivate them to work harder.
  • Makes employees happy, and this is good for your business.

Furthermore, health and safety procedures avoid accidents that may occur in the workplace. Not complying with these procedures can make businesses lose their reputation and make employers lose money in the process of restoring damages.

Common Problems at the Workplace

Generally, for welfare, health, and safety purposes, every workspace should have height, substantial ground area, and a vacant space. Extra space may be required if wheelchair access is needed. Here is some common workplace problem:

Ventilation

Adequate ventilation is required in work areas. Openings such as windows and doors can provide sufficient ventilation to a workplace. However, in workplaces where air conditioning systems are used, AC’s should be maintained regularly to ensure quality is circulated. 

Bullying and Harassment 

Unfortunately, getting bullied or harassed at the workplace due to a dental deformity can affect your confidence. If you want to get your smile and improve your confidence at the workplace, ensure that you get the best invisible braces. Regardless, employees can report any form of bullying and harassment to their employer.

Manual Handling

There should be a provision of guidelines for cases where manual handling is required.

Temperature

There is no specific maximum temperature, but generally, 16° centigrade can be assumed as the minimum indoor temperature for passive employees, and 27° centigrade can be assumed to be the maximum working temperature level.

Fire Risk

There should be provision for evacuation and emergency exit in every workplace in case of a fire outbreak. Regular fire drills should be performed to confirm employees’ awareness of the emergency procedures. 

Natural Light

There should be ample lighting so people can easily work and move around. Areas of high risk such as staircases, hallway, balconies, and corridors should have lighting to prevent hazards. Light fitting should be constructed appropriately to avoid dangers. There should be a provision of emergency lighting in high-risk areas which require constant lighting.

Slipping, Tripping, and Falling 

This can be caused by wet ground surfaces, trailing wires, slippery floor coverings, uneven ground level, and poor lighting. Employees should report such cases and seek medical assistance.

Work-Related Stress

Work-related stress may be physical or mental. Employees should adhere to their employer’s policy on work-related stress.

Employer’s Duties

Employers are legally obligated to provide a healthy and safe workplace for employees, customers, and clients. Regardless of the size of the business, an employer must perform the following responsibilities:

  • Create, set up, and maintain a safe and health hazard-free work environment.
  • Identify both actual and potential health risks, then take the necessary steps to eliminate those risks. Risks that are impossible to remove should be controlled and reduced to the barest minimum.
  • Create and promote safe working practices; also ensure they are implemented.
  • Make provisions for essential healthcare facilities such as the first aid kit.
  • Provide information, training, and guides on how to handle accidents and emergency cases.
  • Ensure that health and standards are met by inspecting lighting, ventilation, toilet, and other workplace facilities.
  • Provide and maintain work equipment; ensure they are used correctly.
  • Take necessary precautions when handling flammable and hazardous equipment. 
  • Make necessary provisions for health care.
  • Provide warning signs and protective gear to protect workers.
  • Report cases of injuries, fatalities, and accidents to the appropriate authorities.

Employee’s Rights & Duties

The law makes provisions for employees’ duties in an organization as well as their rights. Employees’ responsibilities help to promote cooperation and smooth running in a firm. Employees’ rights are enshrined in the law; hence employers can’t override employees. Here are the major employees’ rights and responsibilities.

  • To get personal protective gear and safety equipment free of charge.
  • To have employees’ health risks reduced as much as possible.
  • To stop working and evacuate the workplace when there are safety concerns without being reprimanded.
  • To report any health and safety concerns you have with your employer.
  • To freely report your concerns to the relevant authorities without being reprimanded if your employer does not address your concerns.
  • Employees are responsible for caring for their health and Safety. However, they should avoid putting others at risk. Here are some of the major duties of employees:
  • To partake in health and safety training.
  • To adhere to the health and safety guidelines of the employer.
  • To use personal protective gear at the workplace.
  • To report cases of accidents, illness, or injuries sustained during the job process.
  • To inform your employer of any health condition that may affect your work, such as pregnancy or illness, and allow your employer to modify your working arrangement.

Health and safety hazards reduce to a minimum when employers and employees know their rights and responsibilities and implement them appropriately.

*Photos by Dayvison de Oliveira Silva