Health and safety in the workplace is extremely important, as it is one of the human rights to be safe at work. Employers can’t put people in danger, so they need to make sure they have detailed safety guides and regulations. Moreover, they need to instruct their employees in order to minimize the risks. They also have to make all necessary arrangements for offering their employees effective protection. Managing health and safety isn’t easy, hence the need for health and safety consultants or specific work procedures and internal rules and regulations that need to be acknowledged and followed by all members of the team.
This type of information is workplace-specific. There are certain things to know when you work in a factory, and totally different ones when you spend your work time in an office building, stuck at your desk, with your eyes staring at the computer screen. There are rules to be followed in each of these situations, as everything can be potentially harmful if done the wrong way. For instance, if your job implies working on the computer for eight hours a day, you should know that you have to stand up every 20-30 minutes, take a few steps, stretch your legs and look out through the window. These actions would take you about 2-3 minutes, but they are going to buy you good years of health. They are effective for protecting your eyes, your muscles and your bones. However, you may not be aware of this, so your employer has to instruct you in this regard immediately after you get hired. Warehouses, stores and other similar premises are subject to a different set of health and safety rules. Construction sites need to follow another set of rules and regulations. All these are standardized by law, so that workers across all industries and areas of activity are safe.
If you are an employer, you have to be aware that your employees might sue you in case of a work accident, so you have to make sure you’ve instructed them properly. Besides, you are also responsible for providing them the safety and protection equipment “enforced by the law”. Moreover, you need to check that your employees use the safety equipment as instructed. This means you have to watch your teams closely, and warn them in case you notice anything that’s not right.
Health and safety awareness is so important that the government invests in promoting this type of information through national campaigns across all main media channels. In addition, they try to increase the awareness of all employers and business owners by providing free consultancy and advice over the phone. If employers know what they have to do, they can pass on this information to their employees, thus contributing to a safer society and better working conditions for all of us.
Workers and employers need to be on the same side of the barricade when it comes to safety issues. If you suspect your employer is exposing you to risks that could be avoided, you should raise this concern and even seek for a response in court, should your employer remain insensitive to your observations. There are third party institutes that can come and investigate all complaints regarding health, safety and working conditions. Such inspections result in fair resolutions and advice for controlling the risk and correcting all faulty procedures in the workplace.
It’s our right to be safe at work, so we shouldn’t allow the pressure of deadlines or the need of lowering the costs to transform us into victims. “The welfare and the working conditions should always come first”, even if they lead to a higher price of the end products.