Employees have never been looked after so well than they are in today's workplace. With many new legislation and laws in place, employer’s duties to protect employees have steadily increased, over the past few years. But even with this increased protection it is still important for individuals to have an understanding of workplace safety rules and what they entail - as although your employer has a legal duty of care from when you arrive at the workplace to when you leave, you also have an individual responsibility to look after your own safety.
To help you understand the differing levels and layers of workplace safety your own organisation should have either a 'safety management plan', 'health and safety strategy', 'workplace safety directive' - or a document named by any other connotation of these titles. It is these documents which will show how the safety responsibility cascades down from the Board of Directors to individuals at ground level, showing that everyone has a role to play in managing safety.
Safety in the workplace is of course there to protect you as an individual and the workforce as a whole. The objective of any safety plans or communications is to ensure all employees are aware of the dangers involved in tasks they have to undertake, and how to minimize any risks. It has been proved that by engaging employees in safety awareness accidents and injuries in the workplace can be dramatically reduced, therefore reducing personal injury, time off work and ultimately leaving the workplace a safer, healthier and happier place to be.
So what type of jobs are covered by safety in the workplace?
Many people think this relates solely to heavy manual jobs, engineering work or jobs where there are immediate and obvious dangers. But in reality safety in the workplace relates to ANY job - for example if you are office based and at a desk for most of your working day then you may have been privy to a 'workstation assessment' - having your monitor checked and your sitting position analysed - if so you may be surprised to learn that these actions are indeed part of an organisations safety plans. These checks and measures are carried out to ensure you are advised well on your own working circumstance so any related risks can be minimized or avoided -in this instance back and neck pain or eye strain.
Maybe you spend time outside during your working day and have been issued waterproofs, hi-vis clothing and safety boots, if so then this is also part of the overall safety plan for the organisation. Your safety and well being are being considered as you are kept protected from the natural elements to ensure you are physically comfortable and safe whilst completing your tasks.
Of course there are tasks which are more dangerous and unfortunately have the potential to lead to serious injury but safety in the workplace is there to protect everyone at all levels within an organisation not solely the roles facing obvious dangers. Safety is of course important from the employers perspective - as an economic tool, minimizing any accidents will reduce time off work, loss of productivity and decreased earnings. However it is hoped that for the most genuine organisations the moral reasons of implementing workplace safety processes will outweigh these economic ones .
Author Bio: Vivienne Ollis - Journalist & Copywriter for www.essexinsulation.co.uk