Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) is an important part of every workplace. No matter where you work, there are hazards of the job that may not even be apparent to you but they are a very real risk to workers. Take for example an office worker, you may not think that sitting at a desk all day is particularly dangerous; perhaps it is not in the common definition of the word, but it is definitely hazardous to your health. Your eyes spend around 40 hours a week, strained, staring at a computer screen, your back may be misaligned due to an uncomfortable desk chair, and of course when you’re sitting you are experiencing a lack of movement. Even office buildings have OHS requirements that should be complied with to ensure the best health and safety measures for their workers. More industrial workspaces such as construction sites and factories have more obvious and immediate hazards that make compliance to OHS standards even more important. In these areas, a small slip or missed step could be disastrous, even fatal, in a workplace that involves the use of heavy machinery and tools.
Employers should always employ high OHS standards in the workplace. They should properly train and supervise staff to ensure that safe work practices are understood by all and followed appropriately. If any safety issues come up, they should be open and discuss these with employees and discuss a safer option. It is also a requirement that all employers supply suitable protective clothing and accessories to their workers and ensure that the workplace is kept up to standard. Similarly, employees should always wear the required protective gear and adhere to the OHS practices that are standard in their workplace. If these requirements are not met, workplaces are at a very real risk of injuring their workers and the company, and those in charge, can face very serious consequences.
If an employer fails to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its employees, they can expect to pay. This can occur due to the physical and emotional costs arising from serious injuries or fatalities, also affecting other employees and the business. When other employees witness a serious event due to non-compliance of OHS standards, they may become unhappy, thus working less effectively and lose trust in their employer for not providing a safe work environment. As an employer, you can receive a fine of up to $500,000 for not providing safe OHS practise. Also, if you are convicted under the OHS act, you will receive a criminal record. All businesses must have a formal, OHS risk management and consultation plans in place to ensure the safety of their workers, and there are a variety of ways to do this. Companies such as JTA Health, Safety & Noise Specialists provide trained individuals to asses the safety of your workplace, as well as providing solutions to improve the safety and function of your workplace. It is important to keep your workplace safe and employees happy.