Safety in the workplace is a sensitive issue and there are wide regulations and departments specifically dedicated to it. The need for regulations has been brought forth by the high number of deaths and injuries reported as a result of work related injuries. Workplace safety is broad and encompasses a number of several issues. These include the working environment, the raging health factors, the mental and physical well being of the employees and all those living within the organization. The major organization when it comes to workplace safety is OSHA. It is charged with the responsibility of enforcing safety standards to eliminate all hazards that can result to injuries or deaths.
The extent of coverage
When it comes to safety standards the focus is on the employee. It is the responsibility of the employer to enforce the regulations. These standards are supposed to cover all employees regardless of the rank, title or classification. Any discrimination of any sort is to be reported to the relevant authorities. The law also covers supervisors, stockholders and also family members who are under the organization as its employees.
The main rule when it comes to workplace safety is for the employers to maintain a work environment that is free of hazards. All potential hazards should be identified and gotten rid of. The responsibility of the employer is not only within the organization premises but rather it extends to any other location where workers are positioned even if temporarily. OSHA stipulates that regardless of the location, whether abroad or locally, it is the responsibility of the employer to provide the necessary protection against hazards. Any accidents arising must be reported to the relevant authorities within eight hours after they have occurred.
The regulations on workplace safety are broad and although the objective is to provide non-discriminating safety, there are certain rules that apply only in certain industries. The construction, the industrial and agricultural industries are the most regulated in the belief that their nature of their activities poses more hazards to the workers. The regulations on pipe markings and labeling of equipments mostly relate to these industries and any other that deals with the transportation, manufacture and storage of harmful chemicals.
Workplace safety is paramount and it has one key objective; ensuring the safety of the workers. The stipulations on safety accords the employees immense rights that are inalienable and non-negotiable. Although the onus of safety is on the shoulders of the employers, workers have to be involved to ensure this is realized. The safety guidelines of OSHA for instance are to be strictly adhered to and any aspect that is not legislated upon to be dictated by the need to safeguard the safety of the employee. Employees have a right to petition the authorities should they feel that their right to safety is being compromised. They have a right to boycott work until this grievance is addressed. In addition they have a right to be involved in the process and to be adequately trained and informed of the various measures taken.
- OSHA : Safety and Health for Workers Increased Productivity
- How to Ensure Workplace Safety
- OSHA Empowers Employees
- Enforcing Workplace Safety Measures to Avoid Liabilities
- OSHA’s Priority Areas in Workplace Safety