Introduction to Health and Safety Management
The medical sector is challenged with the task of ensuring that there is the provision of quality health service care as well as the development and utilization of effective management systems in the healthcare setting. The development of a proper health system network ensures that healthcare service providers can work following the outlined guidelines, thereby facilitating better and improved health safety management approaches (Nembhard and Edmondson, 2006). Various professions expose their workers to a variety of risks in the course of work and therefore necessitate the adoption of quality health management policies to ensure the safety wellbeing of the workers. The construction industry is one such sector that has been viewed to have the highest incidences of work related injuries as outlined in the annual nursing report findings a survey conducted by the nursing board on safety at the workplace (Mearns, Whitaker, and Flin 2003). It is, therefore, necessary to ensure that the workers in the various professions get protected for their safety wellbeing to facilitate continued professional development (Langford, Rowlinson and Sawacha, 2000).
Current benefits of health and safety policies and strategies in the Built environment
Initially established in 1970, the health safety act regulations were aimed at ensuring the provision of safe working conditions for the employees in their different professions. With time, there has been the incorporation of numerous changes in the act to accommodate previously unidentified likely areas that may expose employees in the line of work to unknown risks. Due to the high cases of work related injuries reported in the engineering sector, especially in the construction sector, there has been the incorporation of more safety regulation acts in this sector than any other profession (Toellner, 2001). The occupational safety and health act, of 2017 has paid significant focus on the following major health and safety management concerns in the construction sector; Cleanliness, Overcrowding, Ventilation, Lighting, Drainage of floors, Sanitary conveniences, Cleanliness
Current health and safety management findings from data collected from different construction sites, it was observed that cleanliness in the construction sector was largely ignored. This was attributed to the fact that ongoing construction sites (Rowlinson, 2004). As a result, there has been an increase in the number of cleanliness related complications in this profession, which has necessitated the adoption of new regulations to ensure that the above crisis gets addressed.
Working in an economically competitive sector, contractors have been on the need to hire more employees to ensure that projects get completed on time to move on to new ones. As a result, hiring a hug workforce that will complete the required task in the shortest duration possible is a move that most of these construction companies have adopted (Kheni, Dainty, and Gibb, 2008). However, this has been observed to pose a health safety risk where accidents and other challenges are likely to be experienced in crowded working spaces.
Ventilation, lighting and sanitary convenience
The incorporation of the above key factors has been identified as a necessity in the determination of the health wellness of a given working environment.
The nature of human factors and their influence upon safe work planning
The industrial society that we are currently living in today has primarily affected the various ways in which individuals are taking up their healthy wellbeing (Hassan, Basha, and Hanafi, 2007). The need to remain economically productive has been observed to take preference over other key essential aspects such as the healthy wellbeing of an individual in the workplace. This has, in turn, resulted in the need for enforcement of more strict rules and acts that are aimed at the development of a healthy and safe working place regime in the workplace (Fang, Chen, and Wong, 2006). Through the development and implementation of health safety management measures, it is possible to alleviate any challenges that may get experienced later, such as the incurrence of medical bills and other utilities that may get incurred in the administration of the treatment process (Mohamed, 2002).
Benefits associated with health safety and culture in the workplace
The benefits of observing a safe work environment are innumerable. They have been found to not only be beneficial for the individual at hand but also for the employment organization at large (O'neil et al. 2007). Through the development of an active safety culture in the workplace, the organization can run its operations more effectively as compared to instances in which there are no elaborate safety guidelines (Lingard and Rowlinson, 2004). Though the observation of the various outlined health and safety guidelines, it is possible to avoid the incurrence of unprecedented costs such as emergency treatments as well as losses that are incurred when operations have to be stopped to address a safety-related risk.
The construction sector in engineering, being a primarily affected area in the application of safety measures that are aimed at the facilitation of healthy employee wellness, in particular, needs more stringent standards in addressing the above situation (Baxendale and Jones, 2000).
Creation of awareness as well as compliance with legal implications
Sometimes, it has been observed that the number of injury-related accidents that occur in the workplace is a result of a lack of awareness among the employees (Koehn and Datta, 2003). As a result, the employees get exposed to unfavourable working conditions, which puts their health at risk (Rui et al. 2013). The creation of awareness among the workforce has, therefore, been viewed as an essential approach towards the implementation of health safety management programs. As outlined in the 2017 act, it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that their employees get provided with the best possible conditions that will help to facilitate productivity as well as ensure that safety gets observed (Zeng, Tam, and Tam, 2008).
The respective organizations are, therefore, charged with the task of ensuring that the employees are in full compliance with health safety acts while under their employment regimes. On the other hand, the failure of an employee to observe health safety precautions outlined by the employing association has been approved as a basis of termination of employment by the 2017 health and safety management act.
Incorporation of the insurance policy in health and safety management
In the attempt to ensure that a safe and healthy working environment gets provided to employees in various professions, it is necessary to bear in mind that accidents are inevitable and are bound to occur in multiple instances. As a result, a certain level of preparedness is essential when addressing the health safety case at the workplace (Muiruri and Mulinge, 2014). To facilitate this, certain health aspects such as insurance cover policies are necessary to provide a means through which any bizarre accidents or related injuries may get addressed (Zhou, Gohand Li, 2015). Employees are therefore required to have an active health insurance premium cover that would be essential in ensuring that there is the administration of effective healthcare practices in the event of the occurrence of a healthcare-related case.
The health insurance approach is also essential in the sense that, it helps in the access to cost practical treatment approaches which are in return beneficial for the employees and the organization at large as compared to the direct out of hand payment for healthcare services (Hassan, Basha and Hanafi, 2007).
Future challenges of health and safety management in the workplace
The economic landscape is continually changing, with a vast amount of changes being witnessed in different spheres of various professions such as the engineering and construction sector. Looking into the future of sustainability in the safety management in the workplace, there is a need to ensure that there are the development and adoption of new policies that will ensure that employee safety continues to get observed in the different professions (Cheng, Ryan, and Kelly, 2012).
a) Stress management for improved personnel productivity
Stress has been identified to be among the leading causes of reduced productivity among employees in the engineering and construction industry. Stress related factors have also been observed to be among the leading causes of accidents that occur in the workplace. As a result, health safety management policies have observed the necessity to come up with stress management programs that could be essential for employees in enabling them to cope with stress and any other distracting factors that could reduce productivity as well as affect the quality of labor delivered.
The mental health wellbeing of employees is an important factor in ensuring that there is continued productivity. The mental health wellness of employees could get achieved by ensuring that there is the provision of safe working conditions as well as constructive relations between employees. For instance, the construction industry has been considering the enactment of a health and safety act that will require individuals working in the construction industry to undertake a compulsory safety assessment course in which the prospective employees get equipped with the relevant skills to ensure that they are in a position to carry out basic health safety operations such as the administration of first aid and other necessary protocols (Clarke, 2006).
b) Indoor environmental quality and workers wellbeing
The future sustainability of health and safety management depends on the flexibility of employers, employees, and the administration to come up with and implement practical solutions and policies that will be instrumental towards the attainment of the desired safety outcomes in the workplace. The indoor environmental quality should be treated with paramount importance to ensure that there is the provision of the best possible working conditions for employees.
Living in an industrial society, there is the continued need to meet the various financial obligations that an individual may need. However, it is necessary to ensure that these needs are not met at the expense of the healthy wellbeing of the individual or any other vital aspects of wellness. As a result, the enactment of various policies that are aimed at ensuring there is the observation of safety is necessary. This could get achieved by adhering to the different necessities that are stipulated in the various professional safety acts whose violation may result in law breakage persecution.
List of references
Baxendale, T., and Jones, O., 2000. Construction design and management safety regulations in practice-pr...
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