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Occupational health and safety in the workplace | Praxis42
Learn about the importance of occupational health and safety in the workplace with our expert guide, including advice on steps to take.
Occupational health, occupational health and safety, or workplace health and safety. Call it what you will, but this is a vital area of health and safety, concerning itself with the wellbeing of workers and their safety as they carry out their day-to-day duties. The latest figures from Health and Safety Executive (HSE)state that 38.8 million working days were lost in 2019/2020 in the UK.
The importance of occupational health and safety in the workplace
It's a legal requirement to ensure employees can work safely, and that your organisation assesses and controls any risks that can harm employees, contractors, customers, the public and others. Occupational health and safety training could aid you in these efforts.
Why occupational health and safety is vital
So why exactly is it so important that organisations implement occupational health and safety practices in the workplace beyond their statutory duty to do so? The simple answer is that failing to do so will harm both employees and the company itself.
All workplaces are required to ensure a safe working environment for their employees by implementing the proper safety measures and providing appropriate training to every staff member. In some cases, such as an office building, this may be far simpler than in a more hazardous workplace like an offshore oil rig or a construction site, but it is no less important.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has a section dedicated to occupational health. This area of health and safety covers everything from the risk of injury or diseases in the workplace to social and individual factors and provides access to health services when required.
Because occupational health is so closely linked with overall public health, WHO outlines a key set of objectives about the purpose of occupational health and what it's designed to achieve. These include:
- Promoting and maintaining employees' health and their working capacity.
- Providing more conducive working environments, so they aid health and safety initiatives.
- Developing work organisation and cultures that include effective management systems, personal policy and principles for participation to try and improve occupational health and safety.
The WHO outlines a key set of Health & Safety objectives
While this isn't a statutory obligation, it does help to create a global framework of occupational health and safety standards. However, organisations in the UK do have a statutory duty to ensure the health and safety of their workers, as set out in the Health and Safety at Work Act, 1974.
How can you improve your organisation's occupational health and safety?
Employees should be trained in health and safety awareness and procedures, so they can perform tasks in a safe manner. This helps fulfils the statutory duty of employers to safeguard their employees and can help reduce the cost of absences due to illness or workplace accidents.
Health and Safety eLearning is an effective way to introduce new employees to policies and procedures or ensure existing employees refresh their knowledge. Unlike traditional training days, online training allows employees to work at their own pace, ensuring that everyone engages with the training material in a meaningful way.
Conduct in-house health and safety risk assessments
Conducting health and safety risk assessments will enable your organisation to identify health and safety risks, and spot gaps in existing health and safety policies. Risk assessments can help you avoid any potential fines and avoidable harm to your employees.
Employ a health and safety consultant for assistance
You could seek professional advice and work with a specialist health and safety consultant who could identify what you need to do to improve your organisation's occupational health and safety policies. They could help with overall strategy, implementation, engaging with your employees to generate support for new measures or new training.
Occupational health and safety eLearning courses
As specialists in providing workplace health and safety eLearning and training, we know the importance of occupational health in the workplace and the difference that training employees can make. You can find the right eLearning course to meet your needs no matter what industry you operate in. We provide training courses such as Health and Safety induction and Health and Safety awareness.
To find out more, contact a member of our knowledgeable team by calling 0203 011 4242.