If you are the owner or manager of a business enterprise, you will invest a great amount of time, resources, and energy in optimising your workplace. From safety equipment down to infrastructure design, driving a business enterprise in the 21st century demands significant labour for itself. Optimising your workplace concerns a deal of improving your on-site:
Security – the capacity of a workplace to protect its members or workforce from any possible harm
Safety – the ability of a workplace to make an individual free from the danger down on a personal scale, whether the harm is deliberate or not
Convenience – the characteristic of a workplace’s environment to conduct procedures without much difficulty while saving or maintaining its resources
Comfort – capacity of a workplace to provide a personal state of well-being and ease for individuals in regards to creating an ideal and ergonomic environment
Stability – the quality of a workplace to remain on a solid foundation via sound organisation among its members
Suitability – the quality of a workplace that projects having a sense of being appropriate to suit and accommodate every working individual in order to perform at their calibre
Safety & Security As Rights
From all the given factors above, safety and security are of the most prime importance. Why is that? Because safety and security is also the right of every worker – as it is also the right of every individual human that is outside or inside their office and home.
Today’s workplace industry appeals to the usage of a fixed detector and PPEs – it serves to promote worksite safety and security and sets an example of an ideal working place for all. When everyone has the right to live and work with safety and security, individuals tend to be free from anxiety or become the saviour of fear from situations that will put them in great harm.
According to the Ministry of Manpower, Workplace Safety and Health Act (WSH) highlights the responsibilities of every stakeholder group, including occupiers, employers, employees, and the self-employed. It further provides key information on how employers bear the responsibility to ensure the protection of every employee’s safety and health under their working direction.
Regardless of whether buying safety equipment or re-designing the workplace infrastructure becomes a necessary step, employers will have to do anything within their power to ensure that no workers will be put at great harm in regards to their health and safety.
To bring further information, the Ministry of Manpower provides necessary acts for employers to perform, such responsibility of protecting every worker’s safety, including:
- Conducting risk assessments for determining risks and hazards and developing sound control measures that will minimise or prevent risks
- Providing adequate safety measures, safety equipment, articles or processes for operating within the workplace
- Creating and implementing systems that deal with workplace emergencies
- Provision of adequate training, instruction and supervision
- Ensuring and inspecting if the working environment is safe and healthy
For further and other specific details, you can visit the Ministry of Manpower website for the Workplace Safety and Health Act.
Understanding Risk Assessment For Workplace Safety
A risk assessment is a process of carefully examining your workplace in order to determine any factors or objects that can cause potential harm or hazard for workers. After taking a risk assessment, you will be equipped with enough knowledge in what safety equipment to invest in, what exact precautions and implementations to reduce – to a minimal extent, or prevent harm from being caused.
What Occurs With Businesses With Poor Risk Assessment?
Workplace accidents and health illnesses induced by a poor risk assessment or lack of workplace safety, and even improper use of safety equipment can endanger and ruin the lives of all members working under the direction of negligent management or the employer. Apart from it, it can cause potential injury and harm to your business enterprise. Assets including machinery and other office equipment can be damaged – leading to a racking cost for covering maintenance and damaged assets.
All stakeholders are required to provide any necessary step that will serve as a goal to eliminate risks via risk assessment.
Identifying Risks & Hazards
Before taking any steps in identifying any risk within your workplace and buying safety equipment, it’s crucial to understand what risks and hazards are.
Hazard concerns with what is something that can cause specific harm. On the other hand, risk involves a degree or possibility of how this harm is likely to happen. These two terms work together, and employers can use such understanding in executing a proper risk assessment with full effect. Upon knowing what risks and hazards are required to deal with attention, employers can pinpoint what specific safety equipment is needed for prevention.
Understanding Hazards – Chronic & Acute
To identify hazards in a more specific manner, we must take into knowledge that they can be broken into two known classifications:
Acute hazard can be defined by the potential for an injury or damage to happen as a result and the impact of quick or instantaneous exposure. An example of an acute hazard is experiencing electrocution from a loose or fallen electric line or slipping over and hurting your back because of a liquid spillage. One can resolve the dangers of acute hazards by using safety equipment and can prevent proper safety precautions.
A chronic hazard is about the injury or damage that occurs as a result of long-term exposure as opposed to acute. An example of a chronic hazard is having cancer or cardio disease due to long-term radiation exposure. Another example of chronic hazard is the gradual build-up of stress and mental breakdowns due to experiencing stress from the workplace. Most chronic hazards are the ones that carry harm that is not apparent but more apparent over time. One can tackle the problem of chronic hazards with proper training, supervision and investing in equipment as well such as using a fixed detector example.
You can determine chronic and acute hazards with these classifications:
Physical is a factor or agent that leads to harm or damage upon direct physical contact. An example of physical hazards are obstructions in a hallway, water spillage in a stair, and machinery accidents.
Psychological hazards affect our mental health state or mental well-being. Stress, anxiety and depression are well-known impacts of psychological hazards that are found in company changes, demotivation, harassment, long duration of work and personal relationships.
Chemical dangers can induce explosion, toxicity, fire, gases, corrosiveness, and oxidisation. Chemicals can be found in the form of fumes, dust, gases, liquid, vapour or other substances. It is important to use PPE gears and a fixed detector when dealing with harmful chemicals that can cause combustion, explosion, and poisoning.
Biological hazards can be often mistakenly associated with chemicals. However, it is not entirely true as biology can be distinguished as hazards from biological forms such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. Infections and health illnesses are the by-products of exposure to biological hazards.
Ergonomic hazards affect physical wellness as a result of poor designs. Think of an uncomfortable or non-ergonomic chair that can induce back pain or stress muscles. Ergonomic hazards usually happen in workstations when an individual is exposed to poor working conditions that lead to physical ailments. While safety equipment might not resolve most ergonomic concerns, investing in proper and well-designed chairs, keyboards, and other workstation equipment can be an effective help.
The Basic Steps Of Risk Assessment
Risk assessment should not be complicated. However, it should be well-thought and well-planned. Here are some essential steps for conducting risk assessment within your workplace:
Step 1 – Check and look for possible hazards.
Once you have determined the hazards present in your workplace, consider measuring how likely such hazards are to occur or encounter. Make sure to have a list of potential dangers that can happen within a single area of your workplace for a thorough inspection.
Step 2 – Identify the groups that are at high risk.
At least, someone in your workplace might be more prone or are likely to be exposed to harm. Be it seniors or those who are spending time working on materials or machinery, before you decide to buy any safety equipment, make sure that you know those who are at high risks. Never overlook trainees, cleaners, guests, and maintenance workers who are all likely to be at risk as well.
You can ask employees about their suggestions, feedback or anything in mind to determine the existing problems. Deciding the course of action is good, but it should be a proceeding phase after covering every group at risk.
Step 3 – Evaluate the identified risk
Is it about flammable chemicals or toxic gas/fumes? You should see how a task can be performed in a hazardous area – seeing its aspect and the effects of the risk is crucial. You can even look for possible records of incidents and injuries in the area or conduct a safety equipment and machinery diagnostic.
Step 4 – Keep a note or record the assessment’s result.
You need to have everything on the assessment detailed and recorded before reviewing the results. This stage can be beneficial for decision-making in regards to purchasing safety equipment and implementing safety precautions in your workplace.
Step 5 – Review assessment’s result
Finally, this is the final stage of the risk assessment process. It is the step where you can conduct proper responses and actions to counter the risks. However, if the results within the assessment yield unsatisfactory outcomes, you can revise the assessment if needed.
The Principles Of Controlling Risks
Applying the principles for controlling risks is a good practice for minimising hazards and dangers that are present within your working site. Regardless of the nature of operation or safety equipment (that are being actively used by employees), proper control can benefit everyone.
Have access restriction to hazardous areas
Restricting or preventing access to untrained workers to hazardous areas is a better way to have a decent control practice. You should not allow unfit individuals (workers that lack proper training, experience, lack safety equipment, and guests) to enter prohibited areas. Such individuals are more prone to accidents and risks involved. Adding additional supervision or equipment such CCTVs and door access control systems can further reinforce this practice to be more effective.
Have a more organised work
Empowering your workplace with a better culture that is focused on safety and security and delegating proper personnel for organised work can promote safety and wellness for all. However, ensure that workers are trained in their specific field as more trained employees are likely to embrace and accept safety culture because of awareness and knowledge of risks and their impact.
Issue protective gears and safety equipment
There are several suppliers of safety equipment in Singapore available that firms can trust. Make sure to inspect and check that all the safety equipment is up to industry standard. Inform and train employees about its proper usage and maintenance to curb potential work-related injuries and accidents.
Issue first aid kits and washing facilities
Issuing first aid kits (depending on your industry) can address the concerns that enter with major emergencies and life-threatening situations. Washing facilities are for enhancing workplace sanitation and promoting personal hygiene.
Safety and security are among the topmost priority of corporate management, employers, and stakeholders. Every individual has the right to be protected from dangers that threaten their safety and health. Through proper risk assessment, we can lead workplaces in developing sound response plans including, proper training and use of safety equipment for creating awareness and protection against risks.
If you are looking for quality PPE gears, a portable or fixed detector, and other equipment, visit Ansac Technology for more details.