SAFE WORK ENVIRONMENT
Where do you work? Do you consider your work environment safe? That is a question which should linger on your mind every day you go to work. Several researches have shown that good health goes hand in hand in good business performance which is achieved through better workplaces. Therefore, the workforce should be informed about occupational health.
Occupational health refers to the process of identifying and controlling the risks which arise from physical, mental, chemical, and other workplace hazards so as to establish and maintain a safe and healthy working environment. Workplace hazards may include the following:
- Heavy metals such as lead and mercury. In May 2015, in Owino Uhuru slums in Mombasa, Kenya, residents of the area sued the state demanding a compensation of 1.6 billion shillings due to lead poisoning. A smelting plant had been established in the area and its effects were being felt since there were over 3000 victims, including its former workers who had medical complications or death due to lead poisoning.
- Chemical agents and solvents. Some chemicals can be expensive, and workers in some industries may never know when they’ll need to use a certain chemical again in the future. Such an instance may be hazardous because with time there’ll be literally hundreds of chemicals on the shelves and no one needs and wants. If a company purchases and uses chemicals, it needs to have a control system where they are labeled in terms of their use and arranged in an order.
- Working at height. As an employee working at heights you should be informed of your rights in regards to your safety. You should have fall protection gears if you’re on a construction site. This may include; a contractor, engineer or mason.
- Poor housekeeping. As a worker you shouldn’t wait for sanitation personnel to take care of issues like cleaning up your spills, instead, you should clean as you go.
- Physical hazards such as electricity or dangerous machinery. Electrical extension cords lying on the ground for extended periods of time can cause trip accidents. Workers should be cautious in their movements around the workplace to avoid such scenarios. Cords that are daisy-chained; which is connecting several devices in a linear series, can easily overdraw electricity from the circuits, causing the wires to heat up and potentially result in a fire. If a cord is being used for temporary measures; say to power a fan on an extremely hot day, it should be gathered up after use and stored. Employees should be trained and encouraged on ensuring cords stay in good working condition by being responsible.
For any organization to have a better workforce, occupational health services will keep employees healthy and safe at work and manage the risks that may lead to work related ill health. Keeping the staff healthy is fundamental for the productivity and profitability of any business.
As a leading advocate of health, Indepth Research Services has organized a training course on Introduction to Occupational Health and Safety course on 26th-30th March 2018 to be held in Nairobi, Kenya. The course will enlighten participants in development, promotion and maintenance of workplace policies and programs that ensure the physical, mental and social well-being of employees to enhance productivity and reduce health management cost and absenteeism.
By: Annet Wekesa
Digital Marketer: Indepth Research Services