Write an essay on Health and Safety Measures In Organizations?
Employees of an organization just like other resources need care and maintenance so as to maximize their productivity and improve performance. Human resource managers are thus these days faced with crucial issues of occupational health and safety than before. Creating a workplace that attracts, maintains and motivates The workforce is thus one of the biggest and modern challenges that organizations are facing today. This calls for the management team to explore new ways of countering this problem by instituting drastic, accurate and up-to-date mechanisms that will make the workplace environment exciting; a workplace environment where people enjoy what they do, reveal a purposes of work and give them a reason to be proud working and enabling them to reach their potential (Nowier, 2009).
America has an occupational safety and health Act 1970 which is supplemented by the National Institute for Occupational health and safety. Furthermore, governments in most countries have become committed to occupational safety and health aspects thus making it a policy issue. Occupational, health and safety issues are based in the Ministry of Labor, Department of Occupational Health and Safety.
Studies conducted in the past, for instance, Hughes (2007) surveyed 2000 employees pertaining to various organizations and industries in multiple levels. The reported results of these surveys showed that nine out of ten affects the attitude of employees and increases their productivity (Nowier, 2009).
Employees feel motivated and 'valued by their employers when their needs are comprehensively taken care of. The motivation and employee satisfaction are a major contribution to employee productivity hence improved organizational performance since there is a reduction in cost associated with injuries, absenteeism, accidents and court cases due to failure to comply with occupational health and safety regulations.
Previous research studies have shown that about 4.7 million non-fatal injuries and illnesses occur at work annually (Mathis and Jackson, 2006). Injuries are prone in every occupations and matters of safety are treated differently by both the employer and employees.
The building surveyor provides services that are sensitive to safety and health of employees and thus the challenge it faces is based on providing a safe and health work environment in order to motivate staff and hence improve their performance. Safety training and safety policy are also essential determinants to enhance safety performance. Effective training assists employees to have a sense of belonging and thus, is more accountable for safety in their workplace.
This aimed to highlights the theoretical review of occupational safety and health standards, the role that organizations play in enhancing workplace safety and health and the various strategies developed by several authors.
Previous studies have demonstrated that effective safety management improves level of safety in organizations. Thus, it can be seen to decrease damages and harm from incidents (Bottani, Monica &Vignali, 2009). Commitment to safety management, communication safety, health and safety objectives, training needs, rewarding performance and worker involvement are some common themes of safety management practices noted by Mearns et al. 2003. They also maintained the associations between safety management, safety climate, and safety culture.
Overall safety culture is considered to be indicated by safety climates, while safety management practices display safety culture of top management. The result is a good safety management practices are reflected in enhanced safety climate of all employees. Commitment of management determines the level of the positive and supportive safety attitudes portrayed by the employers to the employees.
From a prior study, Yule: Bin and Murdy (2007), claimed there has been a reduction in accidents from the dedication to the safety management. The study conducted in the construction industry in 2001 by the Occupational Safety and Health Council of Hong Kong found out that the attitude of senior management towards safety culture was positive. The level of positive response fell from the senior managers, supervisors to the front line workers. The study based on the fact that the construction industry is the most hazardous industries in Hong Kong, proposed that its safety culture be strong.
OSHA is a federal law from the Occupational Safety and Health Act established in 1970.It was designed to make the workplace safer by ensuring that the work environment is free from hazards. It was created within the Department of labor, and it is mostly concerned with administering the act and to set and enforce the safety and health standards that apply to most workers in the United States. OSHA Act mandates numerous safety standards and enforces these standards through a system of inspections, citations, and fines. OSHA requires that employers should provide a safe and healthy work environment. This calls for the compliance with specific occupational safety and health standards and keep records of occupational injuries and health. Occupational diseases were being reported every year. To ensure that each employer complies by the health and safety standards, OSHA imposed three major obligations on employers: To provide a safe and healthy work environment, complying with specific occupational safety and health standards and keeping records of occupational injuries and illnesses.
Canwell (2004), state that in most large organizations, all health and safety issues are mainly coordinated by a particular officer, who is concerned with the maintenance of a safe working environment and safe working practices. Employers should thus provide an employment place that is free from recognized hazards that are likely to cause death or serious physical harm. It is a requirement by law that businesses should ensure that their employees' health is not compromised as the result of their work (Sutherland and Canwell, 2004). All the employees should be made aware of the existence of the safety and health policy by issuing a safety policy document to all employees or through a company handbook that has details of the policy.
Mathis and Jackson (2007) came up with three approaches to be used in managing safety and health. The first approach is organizational approach consisting of designing jobs, developing and implementing safety policies, using safety committees and coordinating accident investigations. The second is the engineering approach: Designing work settings and equipment, reviewing equipment and applying ergonomic principles. The third approach is the individual involves reinforcing safety motivation and attitudes, providing employee safety training and rewarding safety through incentive programs.
Economic arguments aimed at promoting business efficiency through effective management. Legal argument showed the responsibilities of both the employee and the employer. Moral and ethical argument portrayed the importance of having the safety an employee protected.
The costs of accidents and illness can be immense, but the good news is that there is evidence that the regulations, penalties and increased awareness brought about by OSHA have improved workplace safety and health significantly.
The major role that organization should to play is in enhancing a workplace health and safety environment. The management and employees should actively participate in enhancing a conducive working environment through effective implementation of OSH regulations to enhance employee productivity. Organizations should train their staff on health and safety issues, regularly inspect the workplace and provide a health policy for guidance. Organizations that adhere to OSHA standards are bound to be at a competitive advantage over the long-run.
Analoui F., 2007, Strategic Human Resource Management. Thomson Learning, UK.
Bottani, E., Monica, L. & Vignali, G., 2009, Safety Management Systems: Performance
Differences Between Adopters and Non-adopters: Safety Science, vol. 47, pp. 155- 162.
Carder, B. &Ragan, P.W., 2003, A Survey-Based System for Safety Measurement and
Improvement: Journal of Safety Research, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 157- 165.
Hughes, 1., 2007, Office Design in Pivotal to Employee Productivity. Sandiego Source the
Mathis, R.L. & Jackson, J. H., 2007, Human Resource Management, II edition. Thomson,
Sutherland 1. & Canwell D., 2004, Key Concepts in Human Resource Management. Palgrave
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Preventing Risk-Taking at Work : International Journal of Risk Assessment and
Management, vol. 7, No.2, pp. 137 - 151.
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Safety Performance in Offshore Environments: Safety Science, vol. 41, no. 8, pp. 641-680.
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