An occupational health and safety standard is a regulatory framework designed to protect the health and safety of employees in their workplace. It does this by setting out specific provisions that employers must comply with to ensure that workers are safe. It is important for both the individual worker and the wider community, as it prevents accidents and injuries from happening in the first place. Compliance with the set standards also helps businesses maintain a good reputation, as well as limits their liability in the event of an accident.
What is the Occupational Health and Safety Standard?
Occupational health is a branch of medicine that deals with the promotion and preservation of the health of workers. It is concerned with the prevention and treatment of work-related injuries and illnesses, and the promotion of healthy working conditions.
Every employment has some level of health or safety risk, and it is the duty of every employer to make sure that employees can perform their jobs as safely as possible. Maintaining an emphasis on employee safety and reducing accidents, which increase production and quality, needs continuous improvement of health and safety rules and procedures at work.
At present, one of an organisation’s needs when looking to do business with another firm may be compliance with health and safety laws.
Workplace Incident Statistics
It is estimated that every day, 6,500 people die from work-related illnesses and 1,000 people die from occupational accidents throughout the world. The total number of deaths attributable to work increased overall from 2.33 million in 2014 to 2.78 million in 2017
The International Labour Organisation reports that every year, 2.3 million men and women perish from an illness or injury at work. Over 350,000 fatalities are brought on by tragic mishaps, while over 2 million fatalities are caused by catastrophic occupational disorders.
With high numbers of injuries happening in the workplace, there must be a global program which puts safety in places of work.
Common Injuries and Diseases
Workplace injuries and diseases can broadly be classified into two categories: those caused by acute trauma and those caused by chronic exposure.
Refers to an injury that is sudden and severe usually from an accident, such as a fall, a blow to the head or a car accident resulting in:
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
Refers to repeated exposure to a hazard over time, such as exposure to harmful chemicals or repetitive motion injuries developing:
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Respiratory infections
- Skin diseases
In Southport QLD, the 5 most frequent workplace accidents are:
- sprains and strains
- slips stumble and falls
- cuts and wounds
- ailments relating to the mind
What is the Role of SafeWork Australia?
SafeWork Australia is an Australian Government statutory agency that is responsible for developing national policy, guidance and advice on work health and safety and workers’ compensation arrangements across the country.
They also collect national data on work-related injuries and diseases and administer the model Work Health and Safety Act and model Work Health and Safety Regulations.
Their vision is for all workers to return home safe and healthy from their work. And its mission is to prevent work-related injuries, diseases and fatalities through effective regulation and enforceable standards.
Occupational Safety vs. Industrial Safety
A division of public health called occupational health and safety (OHS) aims to raise workplace health and safety standards. It analyzes worker injury and sickness patterns and makes recommendations for reducing the risks and dangers they face at work.
On the other hand, industrial safety refers to the safety management procedures that apply to the industrial sector. These procedures are designed to safeguard industrial personnel, equipment, buildings, facilities, and the environment.
Key Areas of Occupational Health Programs
Typically, occupational health programs focus on four main areas:
Primarily focuses on preventing injuries to employees that may arise from occurrences connected to the tasks they carry out at work.
The goal of occupational medicine is to treat diseases and injuries that occur at work. Occupational medicine specialists identify and treat work-related injuries far more successfully than the majority of primary care doctors.
In order to keep companies operating and people safe and healthy on the job, occupational medicine doctors frequently collaborate directly with employers.
Employees’ assistance in occupational health
In employee assistance programs or EAPs, workers with personal challenges that impair their performance at work are provided with private, short-term counselling services. EAPs need to be a part of a wider organisational wellness strategy that includes written rules, training for managers and staff, and, if necessary, a sanctioned drug testing program.
Employees health wellness
Employees’ happiness leads to increased productivity. Stressed-out, exhausted, dejected, and marginalised employees not only display poorer morale but may also result in increased employee turnover and recruiting expenses.
The Primary Goal
The goal of workplace health and wellness is to make sure that the workers are happy, safe, and engaged in their job. However, what is applicable to one individual might not always be applicable to another.
Healthy employees also have financial advantages. A happy, healthy staff is more productive and more likely to stay on the job. Additionally, employers could pay less for health insurance and their occupational health expenditures will be lower. Health and well-being are investments that pay for themselves.
Revisiting Employee Health and Wellness Programs
Why is it necessary to review employee health and wellness programs? We’ve listed some of the most important points.
Mental health matters
This is a new concern both for the employees and employers. Mental health is becoming a trending concern. This is because the most common reason for employees’ long-term absence is poor mental health., as cited by 59 percent of organisations, the risk of mental illness among workers and employers may be lowered by creating a well-structured health and wellness program.
Multiple generations working together in the same company is becoming more and more typical. Opportunities result from this, but it also means that companies must alter the way they assist their employees to take into account the health and wellness issues faced by a wider group of people.
More workers are doing their job from home. Despite the benefits of reducing the trip and working in their tracksuit bottoms, their welfare may be compromised. Home workers may have feelings of isolation, and find it difficult to maintain constant contact with the rest of their team, and their physical health may suffer.
Importance of First Aid
The relationship between first aid and occupational health is important in order to maintain a safe and healthy work environment. First aid is the initial care given to an injured person and can be conducted by a trained lay person or healthcare professional. Occupational health refers to the promotion and maintenance of worker safety and health in the workplace.
First aid is a crucial component of occupational health because it can be used to prevent or lessen the severity of illnesses, injuries, and fatalities that occur at work. This can be used to treat minor injuries, such as cuts and scrapes, as well as, provide life-saving care in the event of a more serious injury, such as a heart attack or stroke. Knowing first aid practices can help workers to identify and respond to potential hazards in the workplace.
Occupational health programs in Southport should include first aid training for all workers. First aid kits should be readily available in the workplace, and workers should know how to access them. First aid training should be conducted on a regular basis, and workers should be familiar with the contents of first aid kits and the procedures for using them.
Where Can I Enrol on a First Aid Course?
CPR First Aid (RTO 21903) is a leading provider of accredited first aid courses and training. Queensland employers can book training for workplace first aid at Cnr Ferry Rd and, Cotlew St E, Southport 4215 or anywhere in Australia, held in the business location or in one of our training facilities. HLTAID011 Provide first aid Courses (Level 2 or Workplace) that have been tailored for your team and workplace first aid requirements. Contact us for more information.