If you are an employer or an employee, you can almost feel the subtle shift in the room’s temperature when an OHS inspector sets foot on the premises. In some cases, everyone becomes overly busy, in others nervous, some give a put upon sigh, while in other work places it is business as usual. Why does one person produce so many effects upon so many people? Because this inspector is a Representative for Occupation Health and Safety a government agency that oversees that each business is abiding by guidelines and rules that are set to protect the health and safety of the employee, employer and the public at large.
For some employers the rules set down by Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) seem to be little more than interference in their business practices that cost them money and sometimes time. It sometimes seems every move they make is watched over by Big Brother (the government).
The truth is that Big Brother is watching.
But he is watching out for you. Keep in mind that the job of Occupational Health and Safety guidelines and training is to reduce the number of injuries, deaths, property damage, legal liabilities, illness, worker’s claims against employers and missed time at work due to accident and health risks in business that could affect the lives of not only the employers and the employees but also the public at large.
More than a century ago before Occupational Health and Safety became a government agency and today in countries that lack government guidelines. Workers were expected to work in environments that lacked ventilation and proper lightening for long grueling days given little time for food or water and sometimes locked in during working hours to prevent them from leaving. Work related injuries were rife and those who were injured or became ill due to the working conditions were fired with no benefits and no recourse of action.
Death on many jobs was simply a part of earning the money to live and safety measures were not undertaken because of the bottom line. When workers had enough, riots would issue damaging or completely destroying the business and resulting in harm or death to employers and managers of these businesses.
As times changed, more and more employers began trying to offer better working conditions for their employees by establishing rules, cleaning up, better working environments and through training. However, accidents and illness still occurred due to the lack of knowledge on the part of many employers on how to properly evaluate risks and minimize them and the unwillingness of employees to adhere to the guidelines for safety that were set down. This resulted in good employers going broke trying to see to the needs of employees who became ill or injured on the job. Insurance helped to alleviate some of the financial burden on employers but did little to make workplaces safer.
Occupational Health and Safety Guidelines
Then along came Occupational Health and Safety, they set down minimum guidelines to help protect health and Safety. Individualizing these guidelines to fit the needs and the risks in various fields of work. They offered training to help make Employers aware of health and safety risks and to teach employees how to do their jobs in a manner that would pose less danger of injury or illness to them.
Today, Because Of OHS, businesses are thriving, the workplace is become safer and the public is protected to a greater degree than ever before. This has ended up saving employers money and giving employees a safer, better place to work.