It also specifies the qualify of standards for working environment. You may have seen on many occasions the sign "Safety First".
Occupational Safety and Health Act forms an important part of employment laws. In some countries such as Australia, this is referred to as "Occupational Health and Safety" or OHS.
It is said that poor concern for occupational and health matters indicates poor human resource management.
It is also said that this reflects the failure by many organizations to follow sound ethical and social responsibility principles.
Providing a safe and healthy working environment for your employees is an important organizational policy. People prefer to work at safe and healthy workplaces.
There are a number of reasons for the importance of OHS.
OSH Act is one of the many concerns under human resources employment and industrial relations.
Making Safety as Part of Organizational Culture
OSH Act imposes safety standard requirements on organizations.
There are other legislation that may supplement the law on health, safety and environmental matters.
Ensure that you get to know this in the country where your organization carries out its business.
Aim for zero tolerance of accidents at work and zero incidence of work-related sicknesses.
Safety and health are the concern of everyone in your organization. Make it your constant concern.
Ensure that your employees know and understand their respective role and responsibility in every aspect of safety and health requirements.
As the employer, your organization is ultimately responsible for all health and safety issues.
And this responsibility will only end when the employee leaves or is terminated.
Why Do Accidents and Work-Related Illnesses Happen?
The causes vary from organization to organization. Limit or eliminate its occurrence at your workplace.
Duties of Employer and Employee
OSH Act imposes duties on employers such as:
These duties may vary from country to country and differences in statutory provisions. But there are similarities.
As an employer, your organization owes these duties to both to employees and non-employees such as independent contractors and visitors to your premises.
As an employee, you are duty-bound to -
Ensure that your employees follow OSH Act Provisions, and every safety rules and procedures. This can reduce incidences of accidents at work.
Wearing protective clothing and equipment, adherence to speed limits, and obeying non-smoking signs are some of these.
Safety and health legislation usually provides for the formation of safety committees, appointment of safety representatives and safety officers.
These are compulsory for organizations that come within the description stated under the law. Legislation stipulates safety audits on installations especially where hazards are very likely to occur.
Check whether your organization is classified under the type of industries covered by safety and health regulation.
Know the industry your organization is involved in, the number of installations and the number of workers. These are some of the conditions under which safety committees and safety officers are required.
Petroleum installations, oil companies, transportation depots, factories, R & D laboratories are examples of such industries where safety standards are very stringent.
Health and Safety Committees
A health and safety committee is a joint employer-employee committee concerned with OSH Act matters.
Whether or not your organization is under statutory requirement to form a safety and health committee, it is advisable to have one.
This is especially important if your activities involve some degree of risk and a large workforce.
The functions of the committee include:
Managing Health and Safety at Work
Effectively manage the working environment in accordance with OSH Act requirements by doing the following.
It is good for your organization to consider international standards on health and safety when implementing legislative provisions such as OSH Act.
Compliance with OSH Act requirements is necessary if and when you want to obtain certification of services quality based on internationally-recognized quality standards such as ISO Standards.