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Why We Manage Health And Safety?

Why We Manage Health And Safety

Safety is the state of being “safe” (from French sauf), the condition of being protected from harm or other non-desirable outcomes. Safety can also refer to the control of recognized hazards in order to achieve an acceptable level of risk. Safety is a relative concept and depends on perspective. It can apply to general conditions or specific situations. It can also be classified in terms of being physical, psychological, financial, or occupational.

For example, safety is often considered to refer to the controls that are used to protect workers in a hazard-filled environment, such as the use of personal protective equipment, work procedures, and training.

Health is the state of being “healthy” (from French santé), the condition of being free from illness or injury. Health can also refer to the overall well-being of an individual, including their physical, mental, and emotional state.

For example, health is often considered to refer to the absence of disease or injury, but it can also include the presence of good physical and mental health, as well as the ability to lead a fulfilling and satisfying life.

What is Occupational Health and Safety?

Occupational health and safety in the field of public health focuses on reducing the risks of injury and illness in the workplace. This includes both preventing accidents and protecting workers from exposure to hazardous materials and conditions. Occupational health and safety programs typically include training for workers on how to safely work with or around potential hazards, as well as regular safety inspections of the workplace. Employers are also required to provide a safe working environment and to take steps to prevent accidents from happening.

Reasons To Manage Health And Safety

There are many reasons to manage health and safety in the workplace. Some of these reasons include:

Moral Reasons/Ethical Reasons

Moral reason is all about the moral duty that every person owes to others.it is not morally acceptable that when people go to work they will be exposed to danger resulting in pain, suffering, injuries, and ill-health. Workers expect to work in a safe environment and to return back to families and friends at the end of the shift.

When a worker is killed, injured, or suffering any terrible disease by any accident he is not the only one to suffer but also his family, dependents, friends, and colleagues pass through a massive impact. So it is a must for workers to be provided with a reasonable standard of care to prevent them from suffering.

  • It is our duty to protect the lives of others. We have a moral obligation to do everything we can to ensure that others are safe from harm. This includes ensuring that the workplace is safe.
  • Managing health and safety in the workplace protects the workers themselves. Workers have a right to a safe and healthy workplace. It is immoral to allow them to work in unsafe conditions.
  • No one wants to be responsible for a workplace tragedy. The thought of something awful happening to one of your employees because you failed to take proper safety precautions is unbearable. Unfortunately, accidents do happen. But if you have taken the necessary steps to reduce the risks in your workplace, then you will be able to sleep better at night knowing that you did everything you could to avoid a tragedy. Families may never be the same after losing a loved one in a workplace accident, and companies may be forced to shut down if they are held liable for the injuries or fatalities.

or In short:

It is morally unacceptable to expose the worker to danger in return for the work that they do to earn for their families. It is the moral duty of the employer to prevent his workers from pain and sufferings from injuries and ill health by providing them a safe environment to work in.

Legal & Social Reasons:

Legal reasons to manage health and safety

Note: Though there is a slight difference in legal and social reasons, most people consider it same. This is due to the fact that Laws are made in order to meet societal expectations and protects the right of people. So here I mention it separately but points can be merged occasionally if required.

Legal Reasons:

  • As laws are made to protect human rights so it compels the employer to do what he morally should do in order to take reasonable care of employees.
  • Laws define the framework that governs the conduct of business and organization.
  • It sets the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees so that they can be made accountable for that.
  • In order to get a license to operate one need to oblige local laws.
  • Failure to achieve minimum standards set by laws can lead to enforcement actions and prosecution before the court.
  • Legal reasons also include preventive reasons to avoid enforcement notices such as improvement notices and prohibition notices.
  • It also includes preventing Punitive damage where the criminal prosecution due to breaches of legal duty may result in a fine for organizations and imprisonment or fine or both to individuals.
  • There is also a compensatory effect of law where employees are able to sue in civil courts for compensation claims by proving negligence of the employer.
  • Organizations have a legal responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their employees, customers, and other stakeholders. Failing to do so can result in heavy fines, penalties, and even jail time. Beyond the legal implications, managing health and safety is simply good business.

Or In short

There are strict legal obligations imposed on employers and employees relating to health & safety. Legal reasons are based upon compliance with the national laws and international standards to avoid preventive, punitive, and compensatory damages as a result of prosecution before the court. It also set the boundaries and governs the rules for the conduct of business.

Social Reasons:

Society expectations are different in terms of standards of deliverance but as a minimum, all societies demand a safe working environment that includes a safe place of work with safe access and egress, safe plant and equipment, a safe system of work, and adequate training, and supervision and competent employees.

Expectations of society tend to increase with time and these are often translated in-laws and standards. The organization needs to improve the standard of behavior to meet these higher expectations.

Or In short

Social reasons relate to social expectations that demand employers to provide a safe place of work, safe plant and equipment, safe systems of work, competent workers, and a high standard of training and supervision. The organization tends to bring improvements in standards in order to meet these expectations.

Economic Reasons/ Financial reasons:

Economic Reasons to manage health and safety

Though most employers think of health and safety arrangements as an additional cost, researchers show that it is not true because such arrangements prevent us from so many losses caused by accidents due to the absence of such arrangements. Accidents and ill health result in various direct and indirect costs.

There are many good reasons for businesses to invest in health and safety management, both from an ethical standpoint and from a purely economic perspective. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Health and safety management can help reduce workers’ compensation costs: Workers’ compensation insurance is a necessary expense for any business, but it can be a significant financial burden. By implementing health and safety management strategies, businesses can help reduce the number of workers’ compensation claims filed, and the associated costs.
  • Improving health and safety can boost productivity: When employees feel safe and healthy at work, they are more productive. This is good for business operations and the bottom line.
  • Reducing health and safety risks can help protect your company’s reputation: No business wants to be associated with a workplace injury or illness. By investing in health and safety management, businesses can help reduce the risk of such incidents and protect their reputation in the process.
  • Investing in health and safety can help you attract and retain employees: Employees want to work for companies that care about their safety and well-being. By investing in health and safety management, businesses can show their employees that they are committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace. This can help with employee recruitment and retention.
  • Implementing health and safety management strategies can save you money in the long run: While there is an initial investment required to implement health and safety management strategies, businesses can save money in the long run by reducing workers’ compensation costs, boosting productivity, and protecting their reputation.
  • An organization can enjoy the economic benefits due to the highly motivated workforce that may result in an increased rate and quality of products and services.
  • Competitive edge by maintaining the image and reputation of the organization with stakeholders and low staff turnover rate
  • Cost avoidance of
  • –  Accident investigation
  • –  Hiring legal services to face the prosecution in courts
  • –  Hiring and training of replacement staff
  • –  Remedial actions or repair of plant, equipment, and location
  • Similarly, a reduction in insurance premiums helps to secure favorable terms for insurance.

Or In short

Accidents and ill health result in various direct and indirect costs. Some of the costs can be insured against and most cannot be insured. To prevent such financial losses and damage to the profitability of an organization it is required to manage health and safety to avoid accidents and ill-health.

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