SAFETY AND HEALTH AT WORK
The World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2020 is themed “Stop the Pandemic”. The theme emphasizes on end of the pandemic and save as many lives as possible. Everyone is trying to guarantee their employees they will not face any risk of the worldwide pandemic.
Safety is an important aspect for any workplace, as an accident-free atmosphere increases the interest and morale of any worker working in a hazardous situation. Any accident in a workplace can cause heavy losses. Most workplace hazards include trips, falls, working at heights, slips, exposure to loud noises and unguarded machinery etc. Mining with 100% output and 0% accidents sounds Utopian. But, industries in Australia recorded the lowest accidents in year 2016. Companies such a Metso Minerals, who have committed to long-term target of zero work-related accidents.
The infamous Bhopal gas tragedy is the biggest example of industrial as well as health hazard. On the night of 3 December 1984 , the plant released approximately 40 tons of toxic gas, called methyl isocyanate (MIC), exposing more than 500,000 people to it. It clearly shows that safety is an essential condition for an enterprise to exist.
Any undesired event in a workplace can give rise to damage, severe injury or even death. So, it’s important to take proper care of safety at work place. Safety management should be proper to provide safe working conditions and individual safety. All employees in various sectors such as medical, manufacturing, mining etc, should be encouraged to debate safety-related matters flexibly. Direct safety conversations need to be a portion of every manager’s separate targets. Many companies have adopted a work culture were employees are expected to pay attention to potential hazards and actively report their risk observations.
Many times workers working in an unhealthy environment are more likely to experience a slew of physical as well as mental health issues. Physical issues include insomnia, weight gaining , blood pressure issues and medical problems. Mental health issues include anxiety, alcoholism, stress, hypertension, depression and many other harmful effects.
Mental health and satisfaction of employees closely linked. Job satisfaction level is a significant factor impacting the health of workers. To cite an example, Google has claimed the top position on Glassdoor’s annual list of the fifty best places to work, as well as Fortune magazine’s annual list of the hundred best companies. It offers some of the best employee perks, chances for career evolution, work that positively impacts the human competition, and innovative culture.
Safety also deals with improvement in health conditions. Employees are the best assets for all organizations, and improving their health can contribute to regularity at work, teamwork and work efficiency. In modern times, most of the companies provide best health care to employees but Arthrex is one such name among the few, known to cover hundred percent of healthcare payments for employees, and fifty percent of treatment for dependents.
“Individuals will achieve healthier lifestyles when prevention and wellness programs are accessible and available in their workplace, through their health provider, and in their communities.”
– Rob Wittman
Moreover, workers must be skilled about safety precautions. Constant warnings and publicity slogans are helpful to reduce accidents. It’s also an individual responsibility of employees to use all the protective equipment before going at the work place, having knowledge about proper exists and entries, along with presence of mind to immediately report any symptoms of mis-happenings.
In order to ensure individual safety, government has made several legislation like Factory Act 1948, Indian Electricity Act, 1884, Mines Act 1952, Workmen Compensation Act 1923 and Petroleum Act 1934. Recently, Government of India has invoked the provisions of National Security Act against people disrespecting health care workers and has also announced compensations from 50 lakhs to 1 crore. The relations of all government staffs (medical and others) will continue to receive full salary till the date of retirement.
Doctors and physician are better known as the saviours who restore the health by examining , reviewing and diagnosing with a personal risk currently. Many times patient agitate due to acute medical illness, dementia or psychiatric issues or just anger. A little dissatisfaction from their health conditions may at times causes physical injury to the doctors, and other providers. Beside this physical risk, patients sometimes can be emotionally and personally abusive and adopt violence. In general, doctors should be clear about the examiner judgement of the patient health and take precautions and safety terms such as to call police service.
“We need special measures to protect the millions of health care workers and other workers who risk their own health for us every day.”
“Teleworking offers new opportunities for workers to keep working. However, workers must be able to negotiate these arrangements so that they retain balance with other responsibilities, such as caring for children, the sick or the elderly, and of course themselves.”
-ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder
Safety and health is a key factor of workplace in order to promote the wellness of both employers and employees. It is the moral duty of a company to look after the safety of its employees.
After all human loss is intolerable and immeasurable.
Inspired by the Writing of Connecting Dreams foundation SVC member Chahat Dhawan.