Contemporary Workplace Health and Safety Practise

Workplace Health and Safety

It involves the management of risk to promote the health and safety of everyone in a workplace, including employees, suppliers, and all the stakeholders. Creating a safe working environment is not only a legal requirement but also an influence of success in a business. It influences the success of a company in ways such as; maintaining staff, improving their productivity, and reducing injuries and illnesses among the workers. Employers are charged with the responsibility of ensuring a safe working environment for their employees by managing risks. However, employees too have the obligation of utilizing the environment by taking care of their health and safety and following the safety measures put in place by the organization.

Understanding of Hazards and Risks

A hazard is anything that has the potential to cause damage, harm, or pose adverse effects on someone or something. For instance, electricity is a hazard as it can cause shock or electrocution. A risk, on the other hand, is the probability that a person is likely to be exposed to a hazard. For instance, cigarette smokers’ likelihood of suffering lung cancer is high; therefore, their risk of having lung cancer is increased. To ensure safer environments free of hazards and dangers, conducting a risk assessment is necessary. It involves identifying hazards and risk factors that may pose adverse effects, evaluating risks associated with a threat, and finding appropriate ways of eliminating the threat. Nevertheless, the process of risk assessment is influenced by several factors, with the most common being society, culture, and perception.


Society’s Influence on Risk Assessment and Management

While the external society of an organization has a responsibility of creating a healthy and safe working environment, the internal society is no exception. The external society may include customers, other social organizations, and the government. The government is responsible for enforcing laws and regulations that ensure the community is safe, and nobody is at health risks. The internal society of an organization involves the managers and the individuals who work for it. These people have a role in ensuring a healthy and safe working environment within the organization. They can do this by, one, eliminating potential hazards. Keeping the environment free from physical and chemical dangers that may pose a threat to their health is vital. Two, the management can make sure all workers are properly trained. The training should cover the safety precautions to take in case of emergencies such as fire breakouts. It will ensure workers can manage risks on their own. Thirdly, ensuring workers have the right equipment. Old equipment and those that have defects should be eliminated to ensure no one suffers physical injuries when operating them.

Culture Influence on Risk Assessment and Management

An organization must have the right culture in terms of values, beliefs, and norms that govern risk assessment and management in the organization. Safety procedures must start from the top management to employees. An organization that has a strong culture for assessing and managing risks results in a healthy working environment for its employees. On the contrary, an organization with a weak culture of risk assessment always suffer a hazardous environment and its employees with safety issues. For instance, organizations that always scrutinize their reports, check their machines, and train their employees on various safety measures create a culture that ensures they foresee risks and deal with them. A threat may be identified when checking a machine, and they find that the machine has a breakage that can harm those operating it. In that case, a physical accident has been prevented. Therefore, a strong positive culture is important in any workplace in assessing and managing risks.

Perception Influence on Risk Assessment and Management

Recognizing a risk goes beyond seeing it; one important thing is the perception of that risk or how one acknowledges the causes and consequences of a certain risk. One must understand that a threat can happen to them regardless of their perception towards it. For instance, if in the past, somebody fell, and they were not injured, the person is likely to develop a notion that falling causes no injuries. With that perception in mind, it becomes hard for the person to identify what triggered them to fall, the possible consequences of falling, and how they can prevent such an accident in future. Thus, managing that risk becomes a problem. On the other hand, if the person was injured, they are likely to assess that risk and manage it. Hence, perception greatly influences risk assessment and management.

How this has influenced my Understanding

I have understood that we influence the occurrence of risks as individuals, our culture, and what we conceive of a particular’s risk causes and consequences. Also, the same factors are the pathway to appropriate risk assessment and management. For instance, we can manage risks by changing our perception, by forming societal programs of ensuring a safe environment, or by developing a strong culture that foresees and manages risks before they happen. The society can respond to the threat by being responsible and knowing that health and safety are vital for its well-being. Providing a safe environment starts with an individual taking responsibility and thus resulting to safety of all. The culture of risk assessment and management that is formed in a workplace has to be strong and should be adhered to encourage a safe working environment. Lastly, if we are to employ appropriate risk assessment procedures, we must change our perception of what we think are the consequences of that risk. Hence, having the right perception about what causes a threat, and its possible effects is crucial in the assessment and management procedures.

How I will use this Knowledge in my Workplace

Firstly, I will drive a health and safety program focusing on educating workers on the importance of taking personal safety responsibility. The program will ensure individuals have the right skills for safety and risk management. In respect to the program, I will propose creating a safety committee from different departments whose central role will be to inspect and track safety activities in their respective departments. Secondly, I will urge the top administration to provide a healthy and safe working environment by enhancing a strong culture for the organization. The culture may involve checking their machines to ensure they are in the right state such that they cannot harm workers and training its employees on safety techniques. Such a culture will result in a safe environment and healthy employees as they will be able to assess and manage risks. Lastly, I will encourage everyone to follow the safety guidelines put in place by the management as it may help a great deal in avoiding risks.