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What does “workplace health and safety” imply?

The meaning of occupational health and safety, what it means for companies, and why risk assessments are crucial are all discussed in this article.

Occupational health and safety is concerned with the following:

  • Promotion and maintenance of workers’ optimum levels of physical, mental, and social well-being in all occupations.

  • Worker absence due to bad health induced by their working circumstances is avoided.

  • Protection of workers in the workplace from hazards caused by variables that are harmful to their health.

  • Evaluation of an employee’s work environment and adaptation to their physiological and psychological abilities.

There are two things that are obvious. Workplace health and safety is about encouraging positive wellness in terms of people’s comfort, pleasure, and contentment, rather than simply preventing illnesses and accidents. It also imposes a number of substantial obligations on employers.


Health and safety responsibilities of employers


Employers have a legal obligation under the workplace regulations to safeguard, as far as is practically feasible, the health, safety, and welfare of their employees while at work.

A documented health and safety policy, which contains steps on how to implement the policy, is also a legal obligation under the health and safety at work legislation. As part of the implementation phase, employers must provide the necessary training. For the majority of small, low-risk firms, a few simple procedures are all that are required.

One of the most important reasons for a company to care about its employees’ well-being is that it can boost productivity and loyalty. People who suffer from health difficulties are more likely to be absent from work, be less productive at work, and quit.


What is a risk assessment for health and safety?


Employers are responsible for the physical safety of their employees and anybody else who visits the workplace, just as they are for their employees’ health. This entails ensuring that all applicable safety requirements are strictly adhered to.

A risk assessment is more than just a way to make sure you’re following the rules. It’s a five-step procedure:

  1. Identify all of the things in your company that could injure a person (the hazards).

  2. Determine who might be hurt and how they might be harmed (the risk).

  3. Put in place control mechanisms to help limit the hazards (what are you going to do to prevent harm?)

  4. When there are any modifications, go over the risk assessment again.

  5. Record your findings.

A risk assessment is not a one-time activity; it must be conducted in collaboration with employees, and you must discuss and get their input in order for it to be appropriate and sufficient.

It’s a crucial document that proves you’ve done all “reasonably feasible” as a company to safeguard your employees’ safety, and it helps you prove it if necessary to the appropriate authorities or insurance.

The major goal of any risk assessment is to communicate dangers and risks to your employees, as well as to raise awareness about these hazards and the preventative measures you’ve taken to avoid them.


Handling by hand


Employers in the United Kingdom must provide enough information and training to employees who manually lift, carry, push, or pull any load. Phoenix has an e-learning course on manual handling awareness that can help organizations meet this legal requirement.

Because manual handling is a part of most people’s jobs, even in the office, all employees should obtain manual handling awareness training at the very least.


Mental health and stress


Employers have a responsibility to preserve their employees’ mental health as well as their physical well-being. Workplace stress is included in this category. Most health and safety in the workplace courses go over the topics outlined above in depth.


How to keep your health and safety in check


Following workplace accidents, businesses are frequently penalized. When the HSE publishes findings on these prosecutions, the same few errors keep cropping up: failures to effectively assess risks and plan jobs, as well as a failure to provide enough training and supervision.

These issues have been brought up numerous times. The outcome is obvious. To avoid health and safety problems, it’s important to have the right procedures, protocols, and training in place.