What is occupational health and safety?

Sep 21, 2022

There are four types of occupational health and safety relevant to any business: general, technical, social, and medical.

General occupational health and safety focuses on creating safe working conditions to protect employees’ health and lives. The employer is responsible for developing occupational health and safety measures and educating employees about them. Employees must then follow the rules and take responsibility for their own health and safety.

Technical occupational health and safety refers to employee health and safety relating to the exposure to hazardous substances, machinery, noise, radiation, and vibration. It also relates to workplace safety or facility safety in general, such as providing escape and rescue plans or regular lift inspections.

Social occupational health and safety regulate the protection of children, young people, expectant or nursing mothers, and disabled people.

Finally, medical occupational health and safety is when medical officers inspect the workplace for work-related illnesses, accidents, and hazard risks. Furthermore, medical occupational health and safety entails having first aiders on hand in case of an emergency and reporting suspected work-related illnesses or accidents to the accident insurance company.

In addition, occupational health and safety can be further subdivided into the content subcategories of occupational safety and health protection.

Occupational safety

Occupational safety aims to provide employees with a safe working environment by reducing and controlling potential hazards. Workplace hazards can be caused by improper use of machines, work processes, materials, physical, chemical, and biological influences, and psychological stress.

Health protection

Health protection aims to protect employees from long-term, work-related health damage and illnesses and prevent them as much as possible. All measures aimed at preventing health damage are included in health protection. Physical, chemical, psychological, and biological factors can contribute to illness. This includes preventive medical exams, activity suitability assessments, employee information, first aid, and assistance for employees with limited abilities, among other things.

What practical workplace safety measures are available?

Occupational health and safety measures should keep people safe by separating them from the source of danger. This can be accomplished through technical, organisational, or personnel-related measures.

Technical occupational health and safety measures are designed to keep people physically separated from the source of danger and to avoid or eliminate hazards before they occur. Examples include equipment safety, separating protective devices to protect employees from a hazardous area through a physical barrier like fencing, etc.

Organisational occupational health and safety measures isolate people from the source of danger both spatially and temporally. These are most visible in the organisation, work processes, information, tasks, working time management, and work restrictions or prohibitions.

Personnel-related occupational health and safety include personal protective equipment and their behaviour. It ensures recognised safety measures are followed and adhered to.

Who oversees workplace occupational health and safety?

The employer’s responsibility is to identify workplace hazards for employees through risk assessment and determine the necessary occupational health and safety measures. Unless the working conditions are the same, each activity should be evaluated separately. Following that, necessary steps should be decided upon considering the circumstances, their effectiveness reviewed, and, if necessary, adapted to changing conditions. These tasks can be assigned to safety experts, safety officers, or the occupational health and safety committee.

Employees’ accountability

Employees must be informed about and trained in the necessary and appropriate occupational health and safety precautions to ensure they comply with and follow the instructions of their employer.

Implementing occupational health and safety measures

Written operating instructions are an effective way to publicise company occupational health and safety measures. They serve as the foundation for occupational health and safety instructions, explaining in simple terms the desired behaviour in the workplace and when performing tasks. Employee training is critical in ensuring that all employees are aware of potential hazards and how to work safely with machines, substances, and processes, depending on the degree of danger and the field of work. The manager is responsible for issuing instructions to ensure that occupational health and safety measures are implemented and, if necessary, enforced.

Contact Procon Marketing for details

When you understand the significance of occupational health and safety for your employees, you’ll want to know how to put the theory into practice. To assist you in this, Procon Marketing provides high-quality personal protective equipment to your employees. Our comprehensive range includes safety helmets, glasses, hearing protection, respirators, protective clothing and workwear, safety gloves and safety shoes. Contact our team today for more information about our personal protective equipment offers. Alternatively, please browse our website to find the right solution for your needs.

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