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Losing employees and their productivity due to sickness, accidental injuries, or even mental disturbances can cause significant problems in the production of business. Occupational injuries or health damages cost a lot to the business, which needs to provide compensations to the affected employees in the form of medical assistance or health insurance claims. It is important to have a prominent health and safety management system that will foster a responsive approach to find and avert workplace hazards or illnesses. An occupational health and safety (OHS) management system ensures the proper collaboration between the employees and the organisation’s management team to identify and assess the risk factors. This collaboration helps to dispense the risks or dissolve any probable risks before they occur.
The establishment of strong and inclusive OHS management is a priority for a business if it wants to safeguard its employees and enhance their wellbeing. This article further explains the OHS management process.
Training the Employees
The first step to protecting your employees from accidental risks or illnesses is training. The more they are aware of possible health and safety hazards, the better they can prevent any harm to themselves. Thus, training and awareness programs are needed to let the employees know what things can happen in their workplace and what they can do to fight against those odds. With the help of specialised occupational health and safety consultants, formulate your training program and coordinate it with the employees. You need to provide repetitive and involved training sessions with practical situations/examples to help employees clearly understand their role in ensuring their safety. Medical Support at Workplace
This is highly necessary to prevent any negligence towards employees when a mishap occurs, physical injuries are encountered, or any health problem is observed. A medical assistance team must be present or close to the workplace where any injured employees can easily receive treatment. Apart from immediate medical support, the medical team should also work to collaborate with the business to conduct regular medical examinations or health screenings of the employees. This is also called general medical surveillance, and it is needed to prevent any occupational illnesses.
Periodic inspections and evaluations of the workplace is necessary to find the potential risks or the hazards that are prevalent. Management needs to classify the hazards as recurring or new ones, and they should identify the trends of the risks, injuries, or sicknesses of the employees, collecting information to investigate their root causes. Proper assessment of workplace hazards and health risks will lead to the introduction of effective hazard prevention programs.Effective Hazard Prevention Plan
A proper hazard control plan with a hierarchy of controls need to be established so that every health hazard encountered or suspected is systematically averted. The most effective hierarchy of controls that will help to prevent workplace hazards is as follows- elimination (physically removing the hazard), substitution (replacing the hazard), engineering controls (isolating employees from the hazard), administrative controls (changing the work structure or process), and PPE (providing employees with personal protective equipment).
Promoting a coherent and responsive health and safety management system is an important need of every organisation to ensure the protection of its employees. Besides preventing loss of productivity to the businesses, it will also lead to workplace morale improvement, increase in turnover (due to fewer sick leaves), savings (due to fewer claims of medical insurance), and a better reputation in the business (due to the safe work environment).