For many, it might seem needless to say that workplace health and safety is a compulsory practice, not an optional one. Yet it is still something that several people and businesses take for granted. Each year an estimated 340 million men and women around the world experience occupational accidents while 160 million are victims of work-related illnesses. Combined, these incident numbers exceed the populations of the USA and Bangladesh.
There are mandatory practices that the South African Department of Employment and Labour enforces through the Occupational Health and Safety (OHSA) Act 85 of 1993, which mitigates risk and protects the health and safety of employees, including those visiting a place of business. Updated regularly, legislation prescribes safe practices that need to be adhered to in businesses relating to sanitation, first aid, machinery, fire prevention, lighting, ergonomics, and so forth, with the most notable regulatory addition pertaining to health and safety measures to reduce and eliminate the escalation of COVID-19 transmission and infections at work.
With compliance, there are several benefits for employers and their staff, some of which include:
1) Incident Prevention: Long-term health complications, injuries, illness and death as a result of workplace hazards and risks are greatly reduced, and where applicable, eliminated.
2) Financial Protection: Fines and penalties issued by inspectors for violation of the OHSA are avoided, protecting one’s business legally, avoiding enforced closures and preventing corporate financial loss.
3) Business Reputation: Good reputations are built on doing the right thing and putting people first. This promotes a favourable public image and makes a company a more desirable place of work for future candidates.
4) Increased Productivity: Safe workplaces foster happier professional environments where staff feel relaxed and have more focus on achieving their targets and deliverables. It also helps to avoid project delays, damage to equipment and losing out on business deals.
5) Absenteeism Drops: Reduced downtime from employee absenteeism results in less disruption and operational delays.
6) Higher Standards: Work premises are kept to higher standards for safety, cleanliness, and housekeeping.
7) Asset protection: Every business’ greatest asset is its employees, without which a company cannot operate, let alone be successful. Through compliance, staff turnover is reduced.
As businesses look to the future, their occupational safety practitioners will need new skills to address the changing nature of work. SafetyCloud is at the forefront of occupational health, safety, and environmental training in South Africa. Our courses are designed by academic and industry experts to experience the aforementioned benefits of Health and Safety compliance, in addition to several others, thorough understanding, practice, and implementation of efficient Occupational Health and Safety. Enquire today.