In some organizations, employees have been reported to lack the necessary skills of doing their activities in the safe way to avoid the existence of hazards. This is clear in cases such as manual handling activities, storage of files, storage and disposal of waste, and dealing with fire. Every business operations emanate with a scope and a hazard potential, which may lead to accident or loss to the personnel and/or equipment. Every kind of function provides people a direct or indirect connection to workplace hazards. For example, loads to be manually handled, lethal elements, fire, electricity, physical and psychological threats, and unsafe equipment.
You may have heard this before, “One accident is too many!” Remember, insufficient health and safety standards in an organization may lead to catastrophic results, including legal compensations or claims; increasing the number of accidents/ incidents; and demotivating employees towards higher production rates. All of these things may eventually lead to loss of the organization’s reputation.
For these reasons, all (employers and employees) should be keen on adopting their responsibility to maintain high health and safety standards.
The resulting drop in the number of accidents and work-related illness is due to the effective safety-related arrangements aiming at mitigation of the potential hazards in the workplace maintained over groups. Safety does not, or rather should not, be exercised only after an accident. It is very significant to understand most accidents occur due to the absence of safe practices at work. The role of proactive monitoring tools, such as OSH audits and inspections, health surveillance, benchmarking, etc., are used to ensure health and safety standards are correct in the workplace before accidents, incidents or illness occur.
Responsiveness to Occupational Health and Safety should not be limited to being socially accountable or adhering to applicable legal requirement. Rather, it should be introduced, accepted, implemented and exercised as a key business objective. The fundamental objective of a good health and safety management system ought to ensure its resources–both human and material–are safe from all possible hazards. It must also ensure no job happens if it possesses a risk to the life of the worker, as well as damage/loss of equipment.
In the long run, successful implementation of health and safety renders a business:
- advancement to the business goodwill with clienteles, stakeholders, insurers, enforcers/auditors
- aids at work efficiency with more productive and enduring performance
- condenses the accident related damages/loss
If an employee strives to make sure any function they perform at work is preceded by appropriate information, training, instructions and supervision, accidents can always be avoided. An employer holds strong accountability to ensure it advocates and provides their staff and stakeholders a safe environment to execute its role based on moral, legal, social, and financial reasons. The Health, Safety, Environment, and Quality (HSEQ) Initiative by an employer is expected to be included clearly within their key policies, should be organized, planned in advance, and effectively implemented. Its progress should be monitored, audited and reviewed to ensure continual improvement.