Workplace Health and Safety
All workplace health and safety plan must include all stakeholders – employers, workers, policy makers and practitioners. This way, everyone’s needs can be addressed within a team environment to reach the desired outcome.
It is as much a wise business decision, as well as a duty of care issue for management to embrace Workplace Health and Safety as a global issue, rather than a way to appease compliance and regulation.
The success of a business depends on the health and well being of its workers, and it behoves everyone involved to take their responsibilities seriously.
Examples of objectives to be tackled are:
- Promoting healthy practices at the workplace
- Provide access to occupational health and safety regulations
- Incorporate workplace health and safety into the Company policies and procedures and ensure they are communicated to all involved: management, workers and ancillary personnel. Constant vigilance must also be put in place to ensure attention to safe work practices are adhered to.
Here’s some food for thought for corporations in implementing Workplace Health and Safety:
- costs incurred resulting from accidents vs cost of prevention
- workers health and safety as an asset to the business
- cost of legal violations of regulations relating to workplace health and safety
This article also provides more information on enhancing health and safety.
As well as the physical ramifications of workplace accidents/injuries, attention must be given to the mental health of workers at all levels. This is an often forgotten issue in the construction industry. Due to the many hazardous situations which can be faced, the long and physically demanding hours worked, the increased stress due to deadlines and transient nature of work, construction workers are at high risk of alcohol and substance abuse, which may lead to suicide.
A case can be made that Workplace Health and Safety is not only a business case and a legal case, it can also be considered a humanitarian and ethical case in which everyone involved can be accountable and fulfil their duty of care for co-workers, colleagues and anyone involved in their industry.
A framework for Workplace Health and Safety Plan could include a physical workplace environment, personal health resources, enterprise community involvement and a psychosocial work environment. Leadership engagement and work involvement are vital to put into place the ethics and values required to ensure an effective and efficient Plan.
Suggested ways to commence the process include:
- Mobilising employers and workers together and find common motivating factors to enable them to work together to achieve their outcome
- Assembling a healthy workplace team
- Assessing the data compiled to commence the documentation
- Prioritising criteria for good practice
- Develop a health plan, including short and long term goals
- Just do it stage
- Evaluate on a regular basis as to what is working and what needs adjusting
- Improve the plan as new information comes to hand
One of the major keys to success will be goodwill from all participants in the development and implementation stages, leading to ongoing feedback and consultation.
In order to help improve health and safety in the construction industry, the government introduced the white card course which has become a legal requirement for anyone working in the construction industry. If you need more information about the safety induction training you can find out more here.