Is health and safety important in the workplace? This is a question that many people in charge of management may be asking themselves. First, it is critical to understand the definition of occupational health and what it is all about. Occupational health is a practice that concentrates on protection, promotion and restoration of health of all workers in a healthy and safe work setting. The key objective of NZ health and safety is to protect the well-being of workers and enhance a safe and healthy occupational environment. NZ health and safety provide strategies that minimise or prevent the chances of workers to contract different types of bad health caused by work activities. A point worth considering is that a majority of the accidents that happen in workshops result from fire, poor environmental conditions, insufficient storage, poor ventilation and congestion of space. NZ health and safety assists in assessing factors that are considered in the safety of work setting. Occupational health involves the process of recognising and managing risks that arise from workplace, physical and chemical hazards so as to sustain a safe working environment. These hazards consist of:
- Physical agents, for example loud noise
- Heavy metals such as mercury
- Physical hazards, for instance electricity
What structural factors are required in health and safety?
A safe work environment is made up of these structural factors:
- Fixed ladders – sound, have sufficient lighting and back rings fitted from 2 metres upwards.
- Portable ladders – correct storage and inspection system for ladders, rung and style connections, suitable styles.
- Floors – good and clean finish, sufficient floor drainage where required.
- External areas – storage of waste, directional signs, lighting, traffic hazards, yard surfacing, traffic routes and segregation of pedestrians.
- Raised storage areas – safety rails (minimum 1 metre high) with intermediary toe-boards and rails, safe access, adequate lighting.
- Inspection pits – pit covers, drainage with pump, intrinsic flameproof lighting, clean, safe access.
Which environmental features are conducive for health and safety in a work environment?
- Ventilation – enough LEV systems installed.
- Temperature control – wall mounted thermometer, minimum 16°C after the first hour of operation, utilisation of portable heating equipment, fumes released from heating devices.
- Noise – Noise reduction, notices exhibited, ear protection offered appliances and machinery.
- Lighting – sufficient and appropriate, specified lighting plans.
Activities of health and safety professionals
From a perspective of safeguarding worker’s welfare, health and safety experts scrutinize the work environment to ascertain that there is adherence to the regulations and laws that define the hygiene and health of workers. Activities of health and safety professionals include:
- Monitoring the standards of washing, first aid and toilet facilities, canteens and accommodation clothing.
- General observation of the health of workers involved with ionising radiation.
- Supervision of the well-being of workers.
- Inspection of the degrees of protective measures given where poisonous substances are utilised.
A basic principle is that the responsibility of health and safety is in the hands of those who manage, work and own commercial and industrial businesses. These categories include the self-employed. Business entrepreneurs should investigate the risks that are connected to their operations and embrace the necessary actions. For instance, the businesses can adopt the modern idea of management that implements a health and safety management system to enhance work environments. The development of these systems requires the workflow and data management between enterprises and professionals.