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Why do we need to “sell” Health & Safety to employees?

Why do we need to "sell" Health & Safety to employees?

According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in 2009, globally 4551 workers were killed, in 2011, globally 4609 workers were killed and in U.S alone every year approximately 5800 workers are killed due to injuries at the workplace. It is now evident that why an organization has to prove the value of safety to its employees if they really value the life of their employees.

According to Health and safety Authority (HSA) there are 3 reasons for having health and safety management system in place.

1) Economic Reasons

Safety management in place promotes business efficiency because the myriad of accidents at the workplace are resulting in loss of working days. Work related illness resulted in 1 million loss of working days.

2) Legal Reasons

Organizations in very country have to comply with the laws prevailing in those countries, for example The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 in UK requires every company to ensure their safety, health and welfare

3) Moral and Ethical Reasons

Organizations should have the responsibility of ensuring health and safety at workplace to prevent ill-health and injuries at the workplace. This can help organizations reduce the loss incurred due to workplace accidents.

Unfortunately, many organizations have taken health & safety for granted and saw it as inconvenient and time-consuming. They have been giving less importance to safety and health needs, hence leading to an unsafe working environment with injuries, accidents and potential costs.

According to SafeWork SA every organization must perform the following duties to ensure a safe working environment

Organizations’s duties

  • Provide and maintain a safe working environment
  • Provide information, instruction, safety training and supervision to staff so as to ensure that each employee is safe at the workplace.
  • Keeping the records of work related injuries.
  • Provide information to employees in their respective languages about health and safety at workplace
  • Ensure that new employees working under hazardous atmosphere receives enough supervision and training.
  • Make sure that supervisors and managers are provided with enough training to ensure that employees under their supervision are guided well for safe practices.
  • Monitor the health and wellness of the employees.
  • Should inform employees of any changes in the workplace, work practices, processes and given proper training before the changes occurs.

To make sure that the above duties are met, every organization needs to have safety management in place. But how does an organization ensure that it has a sufficient knowledge and skills to perform safety management? Here are a few steps that can meet your health and safety management goals.

  • Every organization should have a training manager with sufficient level of skills and knowledge to be able to train their managers, workers and supervisors and need to be updated with new developments in safety and health.
  • Employing safety and health professionals who can address and take up on relevant health and safety matters to management.

I hope now every training manager, manager, supervisor and engineer will now have an idea why they should prove the value of safety and health to their workforce. In my next blog I will be touching upon the importance of safety training and how an organization can meet their safety training needs. If you have any success stories on how your organization has set up a safety management system in the workplace, do share with us through the comment box provided below.

View the presentation on "making safety training fun and interesting"

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  • If you want safety to be taken seriously (and the safety records to show for it), you can never treat safety as an inconvenience or a chore. Only when safety is seen as an integral part of every successful workday will you see a dedication to safety emerge among employees.