Why Is Health And Safety Important In The Workplace

Why is health and safety important in the workplace? Because it is quite simply that people’s lives depend on what happens at work. It is not unreasonable to expect that someone will return home in the same condition they left for work that morning. Unfortunately 171 people were killed at work in 2010 (according to the HSE 2010/11 statistics) with another 315,379 employees injured. The HSE doesn’t say how badly they were injured but safe to assume some pain was involved!

In reviewing the HSE figures, the industries with the highest fatality rates were Agriculture and Construction and in hindsight this does make sense. Although these figures are currently provisional, 42 people suffered fatalities in Agricultural incidents including 8 members of the public with 52 fatalities in Construction including two members of the general public.

Overall these are not great statistics, but the underlying trend of fatalities in the UK is downward and the UK is consistently one of the lowest in the EU and has been the lowest amongst the big five European countries for the past six years.

In business terms it does not make good reading either – over 26.4 million working days were lost due to work related illness or injury, with the average worker absent for 15 days. Just think if you are a business owner and you lost a percentage of your workforce for 1 to 3 weeks – what impact would it have on a business?

Over 1.2 million people also suffered a work related illness – either caused or made worse by their current or past work. Around 75% of these cases were due to lifting/bad posture, stress, depression or anxiety.

More bad news… The HSE issued over 18,000 enforcement notices against businesses with 551 cases going on to face prosecution. Of these cases, a conviction rate of 94% was secured with an average penalty of £35,938 per offence. Can you imagine what time, effort and cost to a business in dealing with the associated investigations, responses, paperwork and not to mention any communication with any legal representatives together with the stress it would put on any business? With recent changes to how to HSE operate this is expected to increase so even more reason to ensure your Health & Safety is in good order.

So, overall it looks to be easier to spend some time in making sure your employees are safe and spending some time looking at Health & Safety for your business. If you need an answer to the question of why is health and safety important in the workplace then the figures shown above and your responsibility as a business owner gives you the answer!

Improve Your Staff’s Awareness With a Health and Safety Course

Workplace health and safety is an important issue for every business. Every employee needs to be aware of the importance of these issues in the workplace and the best way to improve staff awareness of these issues is by providing access to a health and safety course.

While some businesses may be tempted to overlook safety for fear of reduced productivity, the most successful businesses know that good health and safety records are important not only for the wellbeing of their employees but also for the corporate bottom line. The cost of work related illnesses and injuries can be enough to put a company out of business with increased insurance costs, compensation payout, hefty government fines and a reduction in productivity from a demoralised and unmotivated workforce.

A comprehensive safety course will cover how to recognise an unsafe situation, what to do in an emergency and specialised industry specific safety information. If your staff have undertaken health and safety training, you can be sure that your employees are aware of the rules and regulations governing workplace safety and possess the knowledge required to remain safe in the course of their duties and the confidence required to work without fear of hazards.

A good health and safety policy for the workplace should aim at: promoting and maintaining the highest degree of physical, mental and social wellbeing of all workers within the organisation; preventing ill-health amongst workers due to their working conditions; protecting workers from risks resulting from the type of work in which they are employed or exposed to and; ensuring staff are placed in an occupational environment suited to their physiological and psychological capabilities.

Employee health and safety, morale, confidence and productivity increase while insurance costs and unplanned leave are reduced when your staff are made aware of the safety issues. Providing your staff with access to training in health and safety creates an atmosphere of safety conscious workers and workplace environments through all levels of your business from upper management through the middle right down to the maintenance and cleaning staff. The lives and careers of all workers can benefit from staff safety training.

A safety training program not only protects your staff and visitors, it also protects your company. An insurance company can see if all of your employees have completed a health and safety course, this shows that your company has done its best to protect its employees and ensure workplace safety.

Safety training promotes awareness, which is the key to workplace safety, giving you peace of mind that you have provided your staff with the knowledge and skills required to protect themselves and each other. A comprehensive safety training program is essential not only for safe and healthy workers but also for a healthy and successful bottom line in today’s competitive global marketplace.

Health and Safety Signs – Information That Could Save Your Life

Communication is hands down the best discovery credited to human beings, the ability to use a simple yet sophisticated system to get a message across is one of the best evidences of human beings as a highly evolved life form. Signs are one of the most common and universal media used in modern society. These arbitrary symbols help individuals regardless of culture or language understand certain notices and therefore react appropriately. Health and safety signs are quite common today, yet the weight of its importance is still a bit taken for granted.

Signs help identify potential safety hazards and serve as efficient early warning devices for various situations. Being informed as to which signs stand for specific things could pretty much save one’s life. Road safety alone is an area that is very dependent on signs and symbols. There are a lot of accidents that happen in road systems that could have easily been avoided if proper attention was given to signs that litter the road sides. A huge amount of motoring related accidents have intentional and unintentional negligence of health and safety signs as main reasons.

There are also a lot of work related accidents that could have been prevented by paying attention to signs and symbols. Too often a worker gets into a compromising situation just because a signs was ignored. How often have you heard of an employee who encountered an injury because he or she was doing an ill advised activity at the wrong place and in the wrong time? Take a simple no smoking sign for example, A person who smokes in a non smoking area can trigger a smoke alarm that can lead to panic that could lead to a stampede causing injuries and damage to property. Too often a sign no matter how simple when ignored can lead to a situation that can get out of hand.

Education and a proper mindset are very important in using signs to prevent accidents. It is important that everyone is made knowledgeable and informed as to what a sign stands for and why it is being used. Orientations can provide avenues for information dissemination to help people understand why a sign is in place and why it is important to obey that specific sign. People should also be vigilant and aware of the signs, being ignorant of these devices is not an excuse beside the fact that too often one risks ones health when he or she decides not to pay attention.

The importance of understanding and being aware of health and safety signs cannot be stressed enough. It should be a conscious effort for organizations involved to bridge the gap as far as understanding different signs and symbols and encouraging people to follow the rules they stand for. People should also take it upon themselves to reach a certain level of awareness for the simple reason of protecting themselves and their best interests. The phrase “knowledge is power”, cliché as it may be, have profound implications that no one should be taking for granted.

What Occupational Health and Safety Entails

Occupational Health and Safety is all about providing health and safety measures in different sectors and work environments. The implantation of these different training programs has reduced the number of incidents and injuries that typically occur in the workplace. These training and safety programs have greatly reduced the occurrence of the injuries and the different fatalities that occur on a regular basis in different industries. A larger number of people are enrolling to get involved in occupational health and safety programs on a yearly basis. Different occupational health and safety programs are available and they are currently run by different establishments such as firms, educational institutions and other concerned institutions of learning. Programs in occupational health and safety are divided into different categories and these categories are varied but cover the aspects that concern health in the workplace generally.

The OSHA is one institution which conducts its own specific training programs. The association has its own training centers which are located all over the United States. All these programs are offered, certified and recognized by the association and most of them are voluntary. These programs are offered in classroom environments and they are led by instructors in the course. What these programs offer is a standard education and training scheme for the employed workforce. Nowadays the methods used to disseminate such training may be online and offline as each method has its advantages and its own levels of efficacy. Other organizations may have their own occupational health and safety programs but these programs may not be recognized for what they can provide if they are not certified and approved by the OSHA.

Any certified training center will offer you a safety card with your name attached to it on the completion of the program. The card may be issued after a period of three or four weeks after it has been requested. These cards don’t expire unlike trainers who get a trainer id number which is valid for only four years after which the individual has to retrain and update their knowledge in the field every four years or so. In order to promote the well-being and the wellness of people who operate in the workplace certain programs are needed and occupational health and safety training covers all of them. Instructions are provided on all health and safety issues that may come up in the workplace. The guidance on these issues is provided by instructors and workers who have relative experience working under these conditions. You can visit http://www.occupational-health-and-safety-guide.com to find more information about workplace safety.

If workers are assured of a proper working environment they will then perform to the best of their abilities. It is the responsibility of management to secure these workers from harm and provide safety measures and advice to forestall the occurrence of unwanted situations and accidents. Training cannot be a one time affair; time and again certain refresher courses are required in order to maintain the level of knowledge that individuals in the workforce have about occupational health and safety procedures. By developing the culture of health and safety in the workplace you gain a lot of benefits clearly evident from the discourse above.

Choosing Essential Health and Safety Training for a Safer Workplace

Over 200 people are killed each year in accidents at work, and over 1 million people are injured. Workplace injuries are not just a feature of dangerous environments, but every workplace across the world. A basic essential health and safety training course will give workers an understanding of how to prevent themselves, other workers and others who enter the workplace from suffering illness or injury. As an employer, it is also your legal duty to protect the health and safety of employees, and failing to create a safe working environment can be breaking the law.

A basic safety course enables you to ensure everybody in your workplace remains safe and healthy. Basic safety training will cover the essential factors in a number of areas, making it an easy option for managers wanting to maintain a good working environment.

The key areas you should look for in an essential health and safety training programme are the following;

Fire awareness
Manual handling
Display screen equipment training
Slips trips and falls prevention.

These areas are the most common causes of workplace accidents, and should therefore be covered in a basic safety training course. The training should encourage employees to be aware of hazards which may occur in your workplace, and encourage them to do something about them if they do identify hazards. This is effectively done by giving students a risk assessment.

A good general health and safety programme will be able to be completed at different times, rather than all in one go when a student may not be concentrating for the full length of time. Online and CD-ROM based courses offer this advantage.

To track the learning progress of employees, it is often useful if the employer has access to an easy-to-understand tool to measure progress. This way, you are able to ensure that staff are completing their training effectively. To help you meet health and safety legal registrations, it may help to have certificates to prove that employees have received their essential health and safety training.

A good basic safety course will use a number of teaching methods, perhaps including videos, text, images and encouraging interaction. Everybody learns information in different ways, so it is best to choose an essential health and safety course which uses a variety of teaching techniques. Again, CD-ROM and web based courses are usually the only basic safety courses which offer this flexibility. They also allow for unlimited use, so are much more economical and cost-effective as they can be used to train other staff in the future too.

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