Opinion: Maintaining Health And Safety At Workplace: The Role of Employees And Employers In Promoting A Safe Workplace

By Dr Mariam Nakimuli

Every human endeavor has a legitimate reason to be concerned about health and safety. In order to reduce safety risks, it is important to ensure the staff’s safety, maintain the working equipment that is already in place, and install any equipment that is missing in accordance with health and safety rules and procedures.

Management should give top emphasis to employee health and safety programs because they save lives, boost output, and cut costs. These health and safety initiatives ought to emphasize employee participation, ongoing observation, and a focus on overall wellness (Anthony et al., 2007). Workplace safety demands that there shouldn’t be a major chance that employees may become unable to perform their jobs. Therefore, health and safety at work aims to develop environments, skills, and behaviors that allow the employee and his or her organization to carry out their work effectively while avoiding situations that could endanger them (Garcia-Herrero et al., 2012).

Employee behaviors are influenced by safe working environments, which in turn affects productivity. This suggests that workers who are in a safe environment are more inclined to act in a way that won’t hurt them.

Employees’ responsibility for safeguarding their safety by contrasting two different safety model kinds, The ‘careless worker’ model, which has been the standard approach to workplace safety, is challenged by Robens (1972). Employers used this model with the presumption that most accidents happened because workers didn’t take safety seriously or didn’t take precautions. In his report, he recognized that the ‘careless worker’ model does not explain occupational ill-health caused by toxic substances, noise and badly designed and unsafe systems of work.

By contrasting two different safety models, we may examine how employees might ensure their own safety. The ‘careless worker’ model, which has been the standard approach to workplace safety, is challenged by Robens (1972). Employers under this model believed that the majority of accidents were caused by the employees.

Overall shared responsibility’ concept, a novel approach to occupational health and safety, is based on the premise that cooperation between employers and employees is essential to lowering the incidence of occupational accidents and disease. Workers and managers must be trained to have a health and safety mindset in order to maintain a safe and healthy workplace. Such open-mindedness is not necessarily accompanied by the development of equipment operation abilities or knowledge. However, a mature mindset is required (Siegel, 1962).       

Although employers are expected to provide and maintain safe and healthy work environments, it is also the responsibility of the employee to act in a way that protects both their own and their coworkers’ health (Bratton & Gold, 1999).

Personal safety, a safe environment, and safe behavior were found to be crucial elements that employers need to ensure their availability within their organizations, according to research conducted at The Research Centre Design and Technology of the Saxion University of Journal of Education and Practice on “Safety at Work.”

The answer, according to this research, is to enforce safety by modifying the working environment and identifying workplace dangers so that employees can stay out of perilous circumstances (Ynze Houten (ed.), 2012).

Employees have a duty to ensure their health and safety, as well as the health and safety of everyone else who may be impacted by their work or activities. (Canadian Labour Code, 2015) They are obligated to use all tools, technologies, and clothing that the employer provides.

The Function of the Executive Branch in Health and Safety Laws Early studies in workplace health and safety were conducted by psychologists and sociologists who used disciplinary frameworks to explore societal causes and individual inclinations (Dawson & Zanko, 2011). The results of workplace surveys conducted by industrial relations experts, which highlighted the significance of legislation and cutting-edge non-regulatory as well as regulatory tactics, added weight to the conclusions (Nichols et al., 2007).

Health and safety issues have existed throughout history. Theoretical insights into employee health and safety worried early academics.

Later surveys emphasized the significance of legislation. There is a social component to technical workplace health and safety problems. As an illustration, consider the power relationships in the production process: who directs whom and how quickly. After all, someone had to develop the machinery, arrange the work, and plan the job in order for it to go faster (Sass, 1986).

Because it exposes the topic of economic costs and power relations, it is implied that “health and safety is not simply a technical issue, such as providing hard hats and goggles or ensuring adequate ventilation.” Every institution shares this.

People were perplexed about the distinctions between guidance, approved codes of practices, and regulations, according to a 1994 evaluation by the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) under health and safety regulation.

The commission continued to offer a solution to this complication. What is required by health and safety law was among the findings. The Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974 outlines the obligations that employers have to their workers, the general public, as well as to one another and themselves.

Both employers and employees are subject to the law. Employers are expected to incorporate national legislation into local law (HSE, 2003/2008).

The act clarifies and strengthens the obligations of employers, independent contractors, employees, and other stakeholders regarding workplace safety and health.

The Safety, Health, and Welfare at Work Act of 2005, retrieved in 2015, also outlines penalties that may be imposed for violations of occupational safety and health rules and offers a variety of enforcement techniques that may be used.

Many states have implemented ‘right to know’ laws that guarantee each employee the right to be aware of potentially harmful drugs in the workplace and oblige employers to do so (Anthony et al., 2007).

The welfare of the worker is protected by both state and federal laws. The most important one is the Occupational and Safety Health Act (OSHA), which went into effect in 1971 and aims “to assure” as many working men and women in the country safe and healthy working conditions as possible as well as to conserve our human resources.

There are provisions for occupational safety and health standards, research, information, education, and training to help achieve this (De Reamer, 1980). Institutions may encompass a wide range of topics, including record keeping, inspection, health and safety audits, compliance, and the application of safety regulations.

Authored by:

Dr. Nakimuli Mariam (PhD)
ADMINISTRATOR OFFICE OF THE NATIONAL CHAIRMAN -NRM

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