Safety and Health at work also commonly known as Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) is mainly concerned with the safety, health, and welfare of people in any occupation. Its goal is to provide a safe and healthy occupational environment. OHS provides a set of common laws ensuring all employers provide their employees with reasonable safety. Specified high-risk occupations have added laws to comply with the safety standards of a specific occupation. OHS also provides specific rights to a person in a specific occupation. Protecting them from work hazards, potential accidents, and exploitation.
From the early 19th Century, frequent but isolated labor movements slowly started to highlight the miserable conditions of laborers. Especially in the Textile and Mining industry where children were frequently employed. Soon there was legislation passed to ensure basic safety practices were introduced. Another important milestone was the legislation passed to prevent Chronic Overwork which was then identified as the leading cause of workplace accidents, especially in factories!
Unsafe Work Conditions (A.K.A Workplace Hazard)
Anything that compromises the health or safety of a worker is considered a Workplace Hazard. These hazards can be classified into many types. These hazards include chemicals, biological agents, physical factors, adverse ergonomic conditions, allergens” and with the progress of understanding mental health, a broad range of psychosocial risk factors are also included in the list of risk factors.
Some of the hazards are part and parcel of the industry, such as Noise Hazard is common in huge factories or for that matter in aviation, especially affecting the people working in close proximity to an airplane such as Luggage handlers, Aircraft Marshall’s. In these situations, the employee must provide adequate warning signs near high-risk areas and also provide noise-canceling earphones to ensure no permanent damage occurs while on duty!
There have been numerous health and safety campaigns that have been launched, warning signs have the highly effective in reducing accidents. With the legislation in place for adequate warning signs and protective gear, the number of workplace accidents has dramatically reduced.
Each industry is different and poses unprecedented risks. Hence it is often required that every workplace has an expert come in and assess potential risks. Accordingly, solutions are provided for every risk, be it a warning sign or a required piece of equipment. For example, you would notice “Wet Floor” signs when there is a spillage anywhere. This warning sign was enforced to ensure that people are aware of potential risks and can take adequate measures to save themselves from injury. Recommendations of using masks, hard hats, gloves, and boots at construction sites are also the result of detailed risk assessments.
Thanks to these Risk assessments, most workplaces in developed nations are well equipped and are safe. However, accidents do occur. Even in these cases, arrangements are in place to ensure the employees are looked after in terms of Medical Assistance and mandatory compensations depending in the kind and severity of the accident.
Advantages of OHS
The whole concept of OHS revolves around employee safety. Thanks to it, today’s workplace is the safest it’s ever been. Employees are well informed of hazards associated with every industry and office. They are also well compensated in cases of unfortunate incidents which sadly is still a reality even though the number has been brought down to a fraction of what it used to be.
If you are ever a witness to these unfortunate incidents, ensure you have the Gigadocs app ready. Gigadocs helps you search for the best doctors available near you. Please note that Gigadocs is not an emergency service provider, however it does facilitate the booking of doctor’s appointments online. It takes less than a minute to book an appointment. Download the Gigadocs app today and we hope that we continue to take all precautions and ensure our workplace is safe and healthy for us!
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