Practical Health and Safety Steps for Employers in an office environment

Practical Health and Safety Steps for Employers in an office environment. Overview The office environment may not comprise of a lot of manual labour as that which can be found in other industries. However, this does not mean that office health and safety is not important, as there are still injuries which can occur, which the employer can be liable for should there be non-compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Why should employers take office health and safety seriously? The most important asset of any legitimate business is its employees. The Occupational Health and Safety Act forces employers to ensure that work environments are healthy and safe for employees and visitors to the premises. It further requires that employees also safeguard their own health and safety, along with that of those working around them. The costs involved with non-compliance is increasing as tough penalties and fines are handed to employers across all industries and sectors for breaches of health and safety law. In addition to this, the costs involved with medical treatments, claims, and numerous others can dip the cash flows and balance sheets of many organisations. Therefore, there must be conceited efforts to protect employees and ensure the future of the organization by complying with all rules and regulations. What are the employer’s duties towards office health and safety?

Posted date: 23rd Feb 2021
Blogs

Potential Health and Safety Hazards in Offices

Potential Health and Safety Hazards in Offices. What are office health and safety hazards and risks? Simply defined, an office hazard is any aspect in an office which may cause health and safety risks and that has the potential to harm. A risk is the likelihood, or chance that an incident will occur. Some hazards are more likely to exist in some offices than in others, depend on the work that is being done and the equipment used. However, there are hazards present in each workplace despite the organisation’s industry, size, or nature of business.

Posted date: 23rd Feb 2021
Blogs

25 Steps to a Healthier and Safer Office

25 Steps to a healthier and safer office Overview It may be a common misconception that health and safety is only paramount in workplaces where there is interaction with manual labour and heavy machinery and not an office. However, office health and safety are as crucial as in any other workplace, in addition to being dictated by the Occupational Health and Safety Act, which holds employers responsible for health and safety of employees, contractors and visitors to the premises. Even though office work, where work tasks are conducted while sitting in a chair in an office building which is climate-controlled, can present a surprising number of hazards. There are numerous on-the-job injuries that occur in office and administrative industries, which could have been avoided if the risks were identified and if simple workplace modifications were implemented to mitigate them. Falls are statistically one of the most common sources of injuries in an office. However, there are also cases where employees are injured by being struck by, or against, objects, and suffering ergonomic injuries due to the nature of their work. By implementing simple changes to the workplace, measures can be effective in increasing office health and safety, minimizing, and even eliminating, hazards, which will greatly reduce the number of injuries. Great use can be made of administrative interventions including scheduled walkthroughs as well as establishing a formal reporting system. This can greatly assist in protecting employees in an office environment. In addition, the following 25 steps can be used to increase office health and safety.

Posted date: 23rd Feb 2021
Blogs

South Africa Education Departments Health and Safety requirements for schools

South Africa Education Departments Health and Safety requirements for schools Overview Health and Safety in schools is a factor which is taken extremely seriously by the Department of Basic Education. It is also an apex priority of the department and as result of this, there are various policies as well as measures which have been put in place to ensure the safety of all learners, educators, and relevant stakeholders in schools. Requirements as indicated by the Department of Education The Department has reiterated that there is no tolerance towards violence, drug-use and/or abuse, sexual harassment, and any other acts considered criminal, in schools as it poses a substantial barrier to learning. There is a significant focus on the inculcation of values as well as ethics along with a just and caring society within both schools and communities. The Department views any non-compliance in a serious light as such actions carry the potential of depriving learners of an inherent constitutional right to life, education, equality as well as dignity. There are numerous interventions which specifically focus on addressing the elements associated with physical infrastructure which includes adequate fencing, alarm systems, and burglar proofing. It also includes resilience-building programmes for young people as well as the strengthening of partnership with various stakeholders. There is a solid partnership between the Department and the South African Police Service (SAPS) which focuses on joining schools with local police-stations as well as the establishment of functional School Safety Committees. Schools are considered critical in the instilling of discipline and ensuring safety. It is for this reason that there is an emphasis on the Codes of Conduct for Learners at all public schools.

Posted date: 11th Feb 2021
Blogs

Guidelines on Managing Health and Safety in Primary Schools

Guidelines on Managing Health and Safety in Primary Schools Why manage Health and Safety in Primary Schools? The reasons for managing health and safety in primary schools is associated with moral, legal, and ethical reasons. Hazards and risks are present in schools as much as they are in any other workplace or industry. Schools, however, provide a unique environment which serves as a workplace and is shared by students, who have a high need of care due to their vulnerability. Accidents and incidents that thus occur in the workplace, cause pain and suffering not only to the individual, but also to their family. They affect the ability to perform work and impact on a person’s quality of life outside of work. It has been proven that many accidents, as well as cases of occupational ill-health at work, are as result of failure in managing safety, health, and welfare adequately.

Posted date: 11th Feb 2021
Blogs

Managing Health and Safety In Schools and Colleges

Managing Health and Safety In Schools and Colleges. Why is Health and Safety in Schools important? Health and safety in schools and colleges in an imperative factor. Ensuring that pupils and student safety is an imperative part of ethical framework for decades. As with other public services, schools as well as colleges are obliged to adapt to periods where considerable changes are occurring. They are also forced to continuously meet existing as well as new challenges. These challenges faced are often associated with new structures, accountabilities, additional concerns from parents, the public, and political circles in addition to concerns with excessive risk aversion.

Posted date: 11th Feb 2021
Blogs

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Audit Criteria for SafetyWallet

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Audit Criteria for SafetyWallet It is imperative for auditors to be qualified and certified as such, making it necessary to overview and explore the auditor criteria with regards to Occupational Health and Safety, specifically where SafetyWallet auditors are concerned. SafetyWallet is proud to say that they are registered as a corporate member and that SafetyWallet audits and support team is registered in their personal capacity as members with the South African Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (Saiosh) 

Posted date: 11th Feb 2021
Blogs

How to conduct a health and safety audit

How to conduct a health and safety audit Purpose of a Health and Safety Audit A health and safety audit, also referred to as an OHS Audit, serves the purpose of assisting in the consistent and continuous improvement of an organisation’s OHS procedures and OHS programme. When an OHS Audit is conducted, it must: • Identify risks along with the level of risks within the workplace. • Identify any strengths as well as weaknesses in the OHS procedures and OHS programme. • Compare current documentation as well as practices against best practice, legal requirements, and SafetyWallet protocols. • Highlight and recommend any improvements to be made in OHS procedures and the OHS programme. • Ensure that adequate resources are available for effective OHS management, and • Ensure that resources which are devoted to health and safety are effectively implemented and used. What does a Health and Safety Audit involve?

Posted date: 11th Feb 2021
Blogs

Audit of Occupational Health and Safety

Audit-of-Occupational-Health-and-Safety The purpose of an OHS audit is to identify both strengths and weaknesses in the OHS program of a workplace. Areas such as accountability, policies, hazard identifications, and control, training, and numerous other factors must be considered.

Posted date: 11th Feb 2021
Blogs