The protocols associated with the health and safety of employees at any organization play a pivotal role in the efficiency of the workplace. Occupational safety aims at improving the health and safety standards at workplaces. It implies complete physical, mental, and social well-being to foster a safe working environment. This occupational safety and health week, (May 1st, 2022 – May 7th, 2022), Silent Beacon aims to spread awareness about the topic in little effort to improve working conditions throughout the state. 

The importance of occupational safety

Reduced accidents:

Identifying potential hazards at workplaces is important since it alleviates the risk of major accidents. According to the Bureau of Labour and Statistics, private industry employers saw 2.8 billion nonfatal injuries/accidents in 2019. The number can be greatly reduced if safety standards are ensured in all companies, big or small. 

Must Read: Why Occupational Therapists Need Personal Safety Device 

2. Improved efficiency

Healthy employees are productive since they know they’re being looked after at work. Similarly, when the staff raises a safety concern and they’re heard and their advice considered, their loyalty towards your company is affirmed. A trustworthy employer-employee relationship boosts productivity and promotes a healthy workplace. 


Must Read: Healthcare worker safety tips one by one on Health Care Aide Day

3. Saves money

While workplace accidents may result in mental or physical retardation of an employee, they’re heavy on the pockets of the employers. Every employee being injured results in the loss of countless hours of manpower and huge sums of money spent in the name of health insurance. The National Safety Council reports that in 2020 alone, the work injury costs in the US exceeded $163 billion.

4. Determines the social climate

Inefficient occupational safety protocols result in decreased employee morale. People want to work in a safe environment. They are very likely to switch when they see a coworker suffering from an injury merely due to inadequate safety measures. 

5. Matter of company reputation

You do not want to be known as the company that is least bothered about employee health and safety. Complaints regarding social health and safety measures on social media and recruitment sites can be a major hindrance to your growth.

Must Read: Social Media Influencer Safety Tips 

Some workplace hazards you need to be aware of!

1. Electrical hazards

Frayed cords, missing ground pins and improper wiring can impose severe electrical hazards. The cases of employees getting injuries are quite common due to sheer carelessness regarding electrical machinery. Overloaded circuits and exposed electrical parts are the major cause of electric shock or death. The construction sector is at the greatest risk of electrical hazards, accounting for 52% of all electrical fatalities.

2. Chemical hazards

Toxic chemical substances pose a wide range of health hazards, ranging from skin irritation, allergic reactions, sensitivity, and carcinogenicity. The chemical substances used in industries as fuel are flammable, corrosive, and can cause explosions. Some serious hazards include oxygen deprivation due to chemicals, mutagens that cause DNA mutations and genetic diseases, and teratogens that disrupt normal fetus development in pregnant workers. 

3. Biological Hazards

Sources of biological hazards may include microorganisms that cause diseases, insect bites, and bird and animal droppings. Contagious diseases spread like wildfire in workplaces. Special working environments where employees have greater contact with living organisms like zoos, farms, and veterinary service providers are at a greater risk. 

4. Safety Hazards

Beware of anything that might cause trips or spills on the floor like uncatered wiring or cords or ice!/water/oil spills. Working from heights which may include using a ladder, or working on an elevated work area might cause unprecedented falls. Unguarded machinery parts, if touched, may splice a worker’s hand or foot. Confined spaces are also the site of many accidents in workplaces. Electrical hazards like frayed cords, missing ground pins, and improper wiring.

5. Challenges related to Ergonomics

The problems less highlighted are concerned with employees’ mental and social well-being. Toxic competition among employees, a disrespecting working environment, and excessive workload affect the employees beyond their mental capacity. Sexual harassment is another significant workplace challenge. Long sitting hours often result in people suffering from backbone pain or disk dislocation. 

Occupational health and safety tips

1. Know your emergency move

Always know the emergency exits from your workplace so you can escape. Keep emergency exits clear and have clear access to emergency shut-offs on machinery. Learn how to use a fire extinguisher so you can operate it yourself if needed.

2. Report unsafe conditions

At times, employees are reluctant to report situations like a chemical spill or electrical damage for fear of getting scolded. Such cases result in even greater damage to themselves and to anyone who might come in contact with the harmful substance. Maintain a trustworthy relationship with your coworkers and always report any unsafe conditions to protect the masses. Once reported, the problem will be handled more efficiently and mitigated easily.

3. Wear protective gear

Wearing personal protective equipment saves from severe accidents. Although safety goggles or protective hats may seem unnecessary at times, they are meant to keep you safe and protect you from injury. Always wear a back brace for heavy work and hold the load close to your body. Different tasks require different safety equipment, make sure you wear all suitable protective gear suited to your industry.

4. Fix your posture

And this includes not just your sitting posture, but also when you’re working in a cramped place or standing in front of potentially harmful machinery. Most backbone problems arise from a wrong sitting posture while you’re on your computer, or when lifting heavy weights inappropriately. Always keep your posture balanced to avoid long-term harm to your head, neck, showers, and spinal cord. 

5. Wear your Silent Beacon

Having a personal safety device at hand allows you to report to the workplace management in case of accidents. In severe injuries, you may want to inform your family or call an ambulance. Besides, you may discreetly report cases of sexual harassment or workplace personal aggression to higher management. Silent Bacon’s Panic Button is a Bluetooth device that connects with your phone or watches and helps you share your real-time GPS location with your emergency contact in case you find yourself in an unknown working place. Keep yourself safe with Silent Beacon and buy your panic button here

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