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- Legislation and standards
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Last edited 25 Mar 2019
Health and safety as an essential aspect of the workplace
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 requires employers have proper health and safety management systems at work. The Act makes provision for securing the health of people at work, welfare and safety of the employees including the people who are not directly employed by the company such as contractors and visitors.
It is mandatory for employers to satisfy the requirements, and it is also necessary for employees to know about their rights and duties regarding their own health and safety. Employers should conduct a general risk assessment to ensure the health and safety of their employees.
To create awareness about health and safety at work, the employers should have proper employee induction & health and safety training programmes whenever new employees join the company. The induction program should educate the employees about the safety standards, procedures and policies of the company.
The basics of health and safety at work start with having proper first aid. Every organisation big or small must have proper first aid kits and systems. While at work, people can suffer an injury or fall ill. It is very important for the company/firm to have proper arrangements so that employees can receive immediate medical attention if required. A person who has received proper training for administering first aid should be appointed for this.
Fire safety is also of prime importance at work. The potential hazards and sources of fuel, oxygen and ignition, etc. should be identified. Proper fire detection and warning systems should be in place to prevent incidents. Fire extinguishers should be kept ready in different places throughout the building. There should be fire doors, exit doors and escape routes in the building. Electrical equipment and wiring should be properly installed and checked at regular intervals. Employees should be given training on dealing with fire emergencies. Fire drills and fire risk assessments should be undertaken at regular intervals.
Stress at work place is common. But if it starts affecting the health of the employee then it is a problem. Employers should identify the factors causing excessive stress to the employees. A stress risk assessment should carried out to identify potential hazards and risks. Proper measures should be adopted to control excessive employee stress. Employees should be given proper training, support and care to help them prevent and relieve stress.
Employers should follow the requirements of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations. They should assess the health risks faced by employees from chemicals or other substances used in the workplace. Proper control measures should be adopted, and training and information about health risks should be provided to employees.
Employees with cognitive, physical, sensory, ambulant and other disabilities have a right to proper arrangements and facilities in the workplace. There should be proper access, lighting, signage, seating arrangements and so on. Employees of the company should also be sensitized about the same.
New and expectant mothers have a right to proper care at the workplace. Employers should identify potential hazards to the mother as well as the baby while at work. Employers can offer alternative work, different or less work timings or paid leave to ensure the health and safety of the mother and baby.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Aspects of construction works.
- Fire risk assessments and historic buildings.
- Fire safety design.
- Health and safety at work etc Act.
- Managing fire risk in commercial buildings: A guide for facilities managers.
- The need for company fire risk assessments - in detail.
- Workplace fire risk assessments.
- Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.
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