Although sometimes misunderstood, Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) is extremely valuable in workplaces around the world, both for the sake of individual employees as well as the health of the company as a whole.
For this reason, it’s important to break down exactly what this area involves. Whether you’re in charge of managing company-wide policies or if you’re the new designated health and safety officer in your organisation, we explore exactly why it’s important and how you or your team can make sure you’re qualified to build safe and positive work environments that are beneficial to all.
What is Occupational Health and Safety?
In short, Occupational Health and Safety is designed to create a safe, healthy work environment for everyone. However, the practices and processes involved for each business will largely depend on how they operate and what they offer. For instance, the practices used by metal or glass manufacturers will differ to that of your standard white collar work space.
Nevertheless, there are some very important underlying principles that apply to the world of health and safety. And if you are responsible for handling this side of your business, it can be important to learn what they are so that your organisation can remain compliant with national policy.
The two main strands of this field are:
- Identifying and addressing major risk factors in your workplace, and potential safety hazards that could possibly cause injury (e.g. fire and gas safety).
- Occupational Health, on the other hand, looks at potential health concerns and wellbeing issues. This can include either kind of trauma that your staff may be exposed to if you work in health services or justice services, for example. However, it can also include the overall health and wellbeing of your team in any sector.
When Does Occupational Health and Safety Apply?
Whether you’re stacking shelves, working with children or using a tractor, there are health and safety risks. It is the employers responsibility to minimise those risks and reduce the likelihood of any workplace accident or mistreatment, both physically and emotionally.
Why Occupational Health and Safety is Important
Mental Health and Well-Being
In light of world events, it is increasingly important for employers to consider the conditions their staff work in. OH&S puts a care of duty on every company to make sure that their staff work in reasonable conditions, and that their mental health is protected.
It’s no surprise that long hours, few breaks, little recognition, and impossible demands will quickly increase stress and lead to lack of employee engagement, fatigue, and poor mental health.
Avoid Disputes and Union Action
When left unchecked, widespread neglect of employee welfare can lead to legal disputes and even union action. Many industries are closely tied to strong unions today, and will be aware of their rights. For companies that abuse their relationship with their staff, there’s a chance that you could face the full force of a UK trade union.
Happy workers are more productive workers. We all know it. If you can build a safe and caring environment, people will be much more likely to commit to their tasks. If people are worried about various health or safety concerns at work, they may feel cheated or undervalued and could easily detach from their roles.
Occupational Health and Safety with TTS
Ultimately, Occupational Health and Safety is an important part of the working world, regardless of your industry. Total Training Solutions (TTS) can help you and your team access the right kind of training to ensure that standards are always met in your organisation and you can maintain a safe and productive team.
We can help you access the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) training in Leeds as well as other areas throughout the UK. Just let us know your requirements and we should be able to find an arrangement that works for you.