OHS, or occupational health and safety, is an important part of business. Injuries to employees can cause bigger monetary losses, not to mention the loss of safety ratings, than any other issue. Besides the clear money issues, OSHA, or the occupational safety and health administration, can shut a business down, and fine them heavily, for safety violations. Each sort of business has different laws, but some are the same no matter what.
The most vital thing in OHS management is that all workers are exposed to clear instruction in the hazards their job may contain and a process to best avoid wounding themselves. Governments have put out videos for nearly any industry, and management are required to show them to new staff. Nothing can actually replace education, and the knowledge of how to handle a workplace risk, should one present itself, is a great way to make staff safer while performing job.
The next most crucial thing is that potentially dangerous circumstances at work be clearly marked in some form or another. Hazardous materials are identified with bright, color-coded labels that state the nature of the chemical and what it is reactive with. Slipping or falling dangers are most frequently marked with bright yellow plastic easels, and virtually everybody knows what the bright red containers in a hospice or doctor’s office are.
Human creativity has given great strides in the protection of employees. Medical staff have been given plastic syringes that cannot splinter and sharps boxes that can’t be punctured, as well as leak-proof biohazard bags. Factory employees have received floor mats that help to reduce foot and back pain for those that must stand in one place for long periods, as well as back braces and new laws on working periods. Even firms like trucking firms have to conform to OHS standards; providing their drivers with safe motorcars, access to emergency gear like fire extinguishers, and acceptance of Federal regulations on how long a driver may drive in a day, maybe a week.
The final significance of OHS management is two-fold. There is a definite humanitarian side, as well as a business and monetary side. For the humanitarian in us all, good safety management has the potential to save lives. Particularly in a business where workers risk life and limb. On the business and monetary side, a business’s greatest asset is often its staff. OHS management is the easiest way to keep that person safe and healthy. Financially, safety violations can cost a good deal of cash, both in citations from OSHA and in doctor’s bills, higher insurance costs, and lawsuits. Great safety records are a way to keep the business alive and can even help gain state contracts and things of that nature. Safety is quickly rising up the list of importance for almost everything in life, and business isn’t different.
Kevin Gardner is an OHS Safety Advisor in Australia and provides services to entrepreneurs to enhance and manage their workplace OHS through safety sofware and systems.