It is no secret that good health and safety standards are vital in the workplace. However, despite the importance of these standards, many businesses still struggle to promote them effectively. One of the main reasons for this is the existence of barriers that prevent employees from embracing health and safety initiatives. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common barriers to promoting good health and safety standards in the workplace.
One of the most common barriers to promoting good health and safety standards is a lack of understanding among employees. Many workers are simply not aware of the importance of these standards and what they can do to improve them. This lack of understanding can lead to complacency and a general unwillingness to change.
There are several other potential barriers to promoting good standards of Health and Safety due to which organizations might not be able to achieve or maintain safety goals or performance standards. Due to failure to achieve good standards of health and safety, accident rates might increase. Some of the barriers are as follows:
Sometimes workplaces are complex in nature, that means several people doing several different activities at the same time and in the same place. In this case, it might be difficult to maintain good health and safety standards for every person or activity.
Sometimes we encounter complicated or complex health and safety issues or problems. Finding solutions to those problems might be difficult and require extensive background knowledge and experience.
Some solutions are straightforward, and for some issues, several courses of action are available with different good and bad outcomes. So lack of competence might become another barrier to promoting good health and safety standards, and the wrong selection of solutions might result in an increased number of accidents.
Employer sometimes places conflicting and competing demands on workers. A common conflict of interest is like
‘demand to increase the supply of a product or service by speeding up the process to make a profit or ‘to do so safely
Obviously, this conflict will compromise safety in the real world. So the conflict of demand becomes a barrier to maintaining good standards of health and safety and may cause accident rates to increase.
Conflict of Standards
This conflict may be created when there is a need to comply with different types of standards at the same time and same place like ‘Health and Safety Laws’ as well as ‘ Environmental protection Laws'(it is obvious that the theme for both is totally conflicting as health and safety standards demand the prompt removal of hazardous waste material from the workplace while environment protection standards refrain from throwing it in an environment so some standards can be compromised).
This type of conflict of standards becomes the barrier to maintaining or promoting good standards of health and safety.
Unfortunately, several employers, due to lack of awareness, consider it an extra financial burden to improve health and safety standards in the workplace, and some want to improve, but due to lack of resources, their desires fail to be accomplished. So budget issues become a barrier to promoting good health and safety standards.
It is a fact that human behaviour is the most challenging barrier to maintaining and promoting health and safety standards. All hardware and procedural improvements go in vain if workers do not behave ideally. Poor morale and low motivation toward safety goals may deteriorate the safety culture.
Sometimes they make mistakes, sometimes they do violations, and sometimes errors occur. As a result, an organisation’s safety culture will deteriorate, resulting in an increasing accident.
In most countries, there is no enforcement agency for implementing health and safety laws. Even if it exists in any country, the health and safety standards of the companies are influenced by several inspectors, their legal mandates, punishments for breaches and the competency of inspectors. The absence or poor control of such agencies might become a barrier to achieving national safety goals of improved workplace standards.
Lack of Management Commitment
If management commits to bringing improvement in the health and safety standards at the workplace in policy but doesn’t give it a priority and does not demonstrate its commitment by visible leadership, then safety culture will deteriorate dramatically, and the morale of workers will decline, resulting in an increasing number of accidents and become a barrier in maintaining good standards of health and safety.
Ignorance of Standard
Workers should be involved in every step towards promoting good standards of health and safety. They should be consulted regarding health and safety matters and communicated all required information, instructions and training like a safe work system.
If workers are not involved or safety standards will not be communicated to them timely, chances of accidents will increase. Ignorance of health and safety standards may become a significant barrier to promoting good standards of health and safety matters.
If the employer does not make arrangements for supervision or will not take disciplinary actions on demonstrating poor safety behaviour, then health and safety standards cannot be maintained, and the result will increase in the number of accidents. So supervision can bound workers to behave safely, and poor supervision may become a barrier to maintaining and promoting good health and safety standards at the workplace.
Other Barriers In Promoting Good Standard Of Health and Safety
There are a few other examples of common barriers to promoting good standards of health and safety:
- Lack of awareness or understanding of the issue
- Limited resources, including time, money and personnel
- Poor communication between different stakeholders
- Inadequate consultation with workers or their representatives
- Unclear roles and responsibilities
- Lack of leadership commitment
- Poorly designed or implemented health and safety management systems.
Overcoming these barriers is essential to promoting good standards of health and safety in the workplace. Awareness raising and training, effective communication, consultation with workers and their representatives, and strong leadership commitment are key ingredients in overcoming these obstacles. Additionally, well-designed health and safety management systems can also play a vital role in promoting good health and safety standards.